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Page last updated at 20:09 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 21:09 UK

Lens agree to let Aruna Dindane play in FA Cup final

Aruna Dindane
Dindane played in the FA Cup semi-final win against Spurs

By John Sinnott

French club Lens will let on-loan Portsmouth striker Aruna Dindane play in the FA Cup final on 15 May after ending a dispute over payments.

Lens had insisted Pompey must pay £3.5m if the 29-year-old forward played another game for south coast club.

"Aruna in on his way back with a letter from Lens," Pompey's administrator Andrew Andronikou told BBC Sport.

"I've been told he can play the rest of our games - including the Chelsea final - and we won't have to pay any money."

The Ivory Coast international, who joined Lens from Belgian club Anderlecht in 2005, has been with Pompey since August and played in the 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Spurs, winning the penalty for Portsmouth's second goal.

That was his 21st game for Portsmouth, but a 22nd appearance would have triggered the additional payment under the terms of Dindane's loan deal, which is a sum that cash-strapped Pompey do not have.

Earlier in the season Lens were in dispute with Portsmouth over instalment payments involving Dindane's loan move as well as Nadir Belhadj's permanent transfer in December 2008.

Meanwhile, following the appointment of David Lampitt, the Football Association's head of football integrity as Portsmouth's new chief executive earlier in April, Andronikou is planning more boardroom changes.

When Pompey became the first Premier League club to enter administration earlier this year the club were labelled "completely dysfunctional".

Accountant Nick O'Reilly of Vantis, who had prepared the financial statement that Pompey had to submit to the High Court in February, said Pompey's business methods had gone "against all good governance".

"I came away not knowing who controlled what," said O'Reilly.

"I want to beef up the board and I should be able to make an announcement about that in the next couple of weeks," said Andronikou of insolvency experts UHY Hacker Young. "Doing that sends out an important message to the creditors."

Porstmouth's current owner is Balram Chainrai, who owns 90% of the club through Falcondrone Ltd, but Andronikou revealed he is no closer to finding a buyer for the relegated team.

Property tycoon Rob Lloyd is fronting a takeover bid for an anonymous investor, but Andronikou remains in the dark over key aspects about the consortium.

"I need to know if they would pass the Premier League's fit and proper person test," said Andronikou. "That they have the necessary financial covenants and that they have sufficient working capital for the next eight months.

"My main objective is about saving the club, not selling it. If and when a suitable buyer appears any deal could be done in a couple of days."

Asked whether any potential owner might want a different board composition, Andronikou said: "There is always that risk, but I can't believe that David Lampitt would be seen as anything but an asset to the club."

However Andronikou remains positive about Portsmouth coming out of administration within the next six weeks, thereby opening up the possibility of the club qualifying for the Europa League.

A place in the Europa League is handed to the winners of the FA Cup but since Chelsea will compete in the Champions League next season, Portsmouth would earn that prize whatever the result of the Wembley showpiece.

Pompey must come out of administration, file accounts and prove that they are a going concern by the end of next month.

Uefa delegate their licensing scheme to national associations so it will be the Football Association which needs to sign off Portsmouth's application and the deadline for that is 31 May.

The main issues are that there should be no late payments outstanding to other clubs, or to staff and players.

"We hope the club will come out of administration by the end of May, or the first week of June at the latest," said Andronikou , who revealed a creditors meeting had been scheduled for 6 May.

"Hopefully that will meet a lot of the criteria and our application will meet with approval. I think the Football Association and Premier League will be right behind our application."


But if Portsmouth do qualify for Europe next season, Andronikou revealed it was unlikely many of the current squad would still be with the club.

"Unfortunately the financial position of the club is that we will have to change from a Premiership club to a Championship-playing squad," said Pompey's administrator.

"There will be changes but those decisions will be made at the end of the season. We have a final and we need to keep the players focused.

"It's important we don't talk about changing the squad - that decision will be made at the end of the season."

see also
Portsmouth 1-2 Aston Villa
18 Apr 10 |  Premier League
Portsmouth Europa appeal rejected
22 Apr 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey stars 'will play in final'
12 Apr 10 |  Portsmouth
Tottenham 0-2 Portsmouth (aet)
11 Apr 10 |  FA Cup
Pompey must appeal for Cup money
08 Mar 10 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth enter administration
26 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey bidder to start data trawl
03 Apr 10 |  Portsmouth

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