Portsmouth face August closure threat say administrators

Fratton Park

Portsmouth Football Club is likely to have "no alternative" but to close on 10 August unless senior players agree to transfers or wage cuts.

Joint administrator Trevor Birch said: "The facts are straightforward, the players have to leave and conclude compromise settlements."

The club has seven senior players left on its books and is due to start its League One campaign on 18 August.

Portsmouth entered administration in February.

It was the second time in three seasons the club had been in administration and followed the issuing of a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs the previous month, freezing the club's bank accounts.

The Football League has docked Pompey 10 points and imposed financial restrictions - which include paying all football creditors in full, unless an alternative agreement is reached - and restrictions on playing budgets, future borrowing and loan repayments for the next five seasons.

Pompey Supporters' Trust and Portpin are both interested in buying the club.

But both offers are on condition the wage bill is reduced through player sales and compromise agreements.

Birch added: "Both interested parties have made it clear that they won't take on the club unless there is movement from the players.

"We will continue to do all we can to facilitate these deals but the club's future hinges on the willingness of certain players and their agents to sign up to compromise agreements that are affordable both in terms of the amount and timing of repayments.

"Unless we make significant progress on this front by 10 August then we are likely to have no option other than to close the club.

"We are making good progress with three or four players but despite many conversations and offers over the past few weeks, some players and agents still don't understand what's at stake here."

Birch has previously metioned the importance of reaching compromise deals over players but this is the first time a deadline date to escape liquidation has been set.

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor earlier told Sky Sports News that some players had been "unfairly intimidated", but admitted all parties had to agree to lose out if the club was to stay in business.

Striker Luke Varney has joined Championship side Leeds United on a two-year contract.

Tal Ben Haim, Greg Halford, Erik Huseklepp, Dave Kitson, Liam Lawrence, David Norris and Kanu remain on the club's books.

Administrators have already told staff they face being made redundant.