By Nick Teale
Arsène Wenger believes the Premier League must ensure Portsmouth complete the season, because the table would be falsified if they are forced to pull out before the end of the season.
Pompey have collected 16 points so far this term, including a 2-0 home win over Liverpool in December. But the south-coast club is in financial turmoil with debts of around £60million and will contest a winding-up order by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs on March 1.
There is a danger that they may be unable to complete the season, and should that be the case it is expected that the Premier League will nullify all of their results this term.
Ahead of Saturday's clash with Sunderland, Wenger was asked if the Premier League would be falsified if the south-coast club had to pull out before the season's conclusion.
‘Yes. Of course," he replied. "Because they have beaten some top teams and so today it would, of course, change a little bit.
"It is difficult to raise beyond your own interest when you're in a situation like that. That's why the rule is more down to the Premier League to make the regularity of the league respected.
"You would think they have the responsibility to make Portsmouth go until the end of the season."
If Portsmouth were to drop out of the Premier League and have their results nullified, Arsenal would lose six points. However, Manchester United have also beaten Avram Grant's side this term, while Chelsea were victorious in their only match against Portsmouth this season.