Portsmouth avoid liquidation

Trevor Birch
Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch has successfully saved the club. Photo: PA

Portsmouth have avoided the threat of liquidation and their administrators are now trying to push through the sale of the club.

Trevor Birch of administrators PKF had said all the club's senior players had to be off the payroll by today or he would have no option but to close Pompey down.

But this morning's announcement that midfielder Liam Lawrence had come to an agreement to leave Fratton Park, 24 hours after defender Tal Ben Haim did the same, means the club is safe.

However, there is still plenty of uncertainty with manager Michael Appleton currently working with a squad made up of trialists and youngsters and as yet unable to recruit players - while their first competitive match of the season is against Plymouth in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

Players such as Jon Harley, Brian Howard and Izale McLeod, who have been training with Pompey, are all understood to be keen to join.

Former owner Balram Chainrai's company Portpin are in pole position to take over at Fratton Park although fans' group the Pompey Supporters' Trust are also in the running after securing a £1.45million loan from the local council.

Birch said: "We have now successfully completed agreements with all of the first-team squad and met the major condition of the offer from Portpin, which formed the basis for the CVA proposal.

"We will now aim to finalise our discussions with Portpin with a view to completing the sale of the club as soon as possible.

"The intention is to push this through early next week in order to ensure that player recruitment can begin as quickly as possible for the start of the new season.

"The offer from the Pompey Supporters' Trust remains a fall-back position and we are pleased to note that the council has agreed to provide a loan facility to support the Trust bid."