Whittingham demands safety first

David Connolly, left, gets in behind the Tranmere defence to score the only goal in Pompey's 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers at Fratton Park Picture: Barry Zee
David Connolly, left, gets in behind the Tranmere defence to score the only goal in Pompey's 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers at Fratton Park Picture: Barry Zee

Guy Whittingham has challenged his players to ensure the Football League are responsible for relegating Pompey.

The Blues extended their impressive recent run of form by beating promotion-hopefuls Tranmere 1-0 yesterday.

The victory takes Whittingham’s men three points away from safety, with four matches still to play this season.

It’s an improbable position made possible from a recent resurgence of just two defeats in the past 11 matches.

In the meantime, there is the issue of a 10-point deduction, which is far from clear-cut.

In July 2012, the Football League stressed such a punishment – in recognition of Pompey failing to fulfil their first Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) – would be applied this season if the club came out of administration.

In theory, the Blues could exit administration by the end of next week if the Pompey Supporters’ Trust receive a satisfactory outcome from their High Court case.

However, there remains concerns that if the Blues are already relegated, the deduction may be applied at the start of next season in League Two.

And for Whittingham, it would mean everything for Pompey to go down because of the points loss rather than their results on the pitch.

He said: ‘It is everything, everything to us that the Football League relegate us rather than the players.

‘We have got to give our all until that point because then we can look at ourselves and say “hey, we did all right”.

‘We want the chance to say “despite everything that has gone on, we have done okay”.

‘That is so important to us and every game is one we are going out to win.

‘Of course there is that worry the points may come off next season.

‘But if we can get enough to finish outside the relegation zone, it doesn’t give people the chance to do that, does it?

‘You can sort of write off December and January with the team because everything else going on had such a big effect.

‘We got through it by being competitive so it (fifth from bottom) would be a huge achievement. Probably, personally, I would think it would be my greatest achievement.

‘You achieve things all over the place but that would probably be one of them, for sure.’

PKF and Portpin head to the High Court on April 10/11 over the valuation of the charge over Fratton Park.

Upon the result of that, should the Trust be able to meet that figure, they will take ownership of Pompey and the club can come out of administration.

It will then be up to the Football League to meet and issue the ‘golden share’, which is effectively League membership.

However, League chiefs have declined to reveal the date when this crucial meeting would be held. Time is running out this season, with Pompey’s campaign closing at Shrewsbury on April 27.