By Jonathan Davies

Portsmouth Football Club has announced it is officially debt free.

After three relegations, two administrations and five different owners, the now fan-owned club has paid off the final £7m of its debt two years ahead of schedule.

The club has wiped clean all of its legacy debts, including money owed to former players by previous owners.

Mark Catlin, Portsmouth chief executive said: Pompey is completely legacy debt free — but that is just the start.

"It is a fantastic achievement and a weight hanging over the club since coming out of administration 18 months ago has been removed.

"We are at ground zero now. This club was in a crater and we are out of that now with foundations built.

"The club has turned itself around and got itself on a level playing field. We are debt-free and keep moving forward and progressing, never taking our eye off the ball.

"It is important we stay under the microscope and cannot allow ourselves to go to that level again.

"This has taken a lot of hard work and dedication from everyone. I cannot overstate the effort of the staff, the leadership of chairman Iain McInnes, the tremendous board support and, of course, the magnificent fans.

"Our finance director Tony Brown has done a fantastic job, and it has been under his stewardship this has been made this possible. We are in complete control of the club’s destiny. We start here."

Portsmouth Football Club has been in near free-fall since winning the FA Cup in 2008. Mounting debt crippled the club's ability to sign new players and pay existing ones.

The club was forced to sell its top players in an attempt to help its finances. But automatic points deductions followed after the club twice fell into administration, all but guaranteed relegations down the Football League.

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