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Premiership club's D-Day brings web hits boost

Thousands of football supporters logged on to a regional daily’s website yesterday to get the latest news on a make-or-break court hearing.

High Court judges gave Portsmouth FC a seven-day stay of execution yesterday after getting more time to fight a winding-up petition over its £7.4m tax bill.

More than 8,000 Pompey supporters logged on to The News website to get the latest updates.

The site used blogging software CoverItLive to provide up-to-the-minute reports on the case, which could have resulted in the Premier League football club going out of business.

Reporters David Hurley and Gareth Bethell filed text updates from London, with photographer Malcolm Wells providing pictures from outside the court .

The News also put together a special late edition of the paper following the High Court decision.

Digital Editor Matthew Brown said: “It was great to keep so many fans informed of what was going on in court. There are not many ways to follow a court case from work if you have neither a satellite TV or radio, so doing a live blog seemed to be the most sensible thing to do.

“We already provide live text commentary from matches so this was just a step on for us.

“It was great to receive so much positive feedback from readers – they were thanking us for the job we were doing.

“This was by far the most popular live blog we have run. We had more than 3,000 people log on for our snow blog, but this is amazing.”

The club now has until next Wednesday to file a “statement of financial affairs” proving they can pay their creditors.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs had taken Portsmouth to court over an unpaid tax bill amounting to £7.4m.