James blasts Pompey Euro woe
Goalkeeper bemused by failure to apply for Uefa licence
Last Updated: April 23, 2010 8:52am
James: Euro frustration
Portsmouth goalkeeper David James has hit out at the club after they were denied the chance to play in Europe next season.
"The idea of playing Scunthorpe one week and Real Madrid, because they didn't qualify for the Champions League, the following week would have been an absolute fairytale."
David James. Quotes of the week
The FA Cup finalists would have qualified for the Europa League regardless of their result against Chelsea on 15th May with the Blues bound for the UEFA Champions League once again.
But the crisis-hit South Coast outfit failed to apply for the necessary Uefa licence earlier this season and have now had their hopes of a late entry scuppered by the Football Association and Premier League.
The governing bodies have taken a dim view of Pompey's £120million debts which saw them slide into administration earlier this season, leading to a nine-point penalty and contributing to their relegation from the top-flight.
James cannot understand why Portsmouth, who have been under four owners in this shambolic season, did not fill out the necessary paperwork in the first instance.
"Everything that I have signed, as a player, has been done in good faith. We've got the situation now that we're not in Europe," the England international told the Daily Mirror.
"In one way, it's nice that we're playing an FA Cup final just to win a trophy, but the idea of winning the FA Cup means qualifying for Europe.
"The idea of playing Scunthorpe one week and Real Madrid, because they didn't qualify for the Champions League, the following week would have been an absolute fairytale.
"I think it's very wrong. We've been hit by the administration, and that probably has cost us relegation, and the chance to play in Europe would have been fantastic.
"I genuinely can't understand how we hadn't registered for Europe. We're in a competition which could qualify us. I mean, I could understand us not applying for the Champions League!
"That's fair enough, but we're in a competition which we won two years ago and in that season we beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.
"We did something that no-one expected us to do, we beat Tottenham which no-one expected and now we're in a final which should get us into Europe - and we're not."