Liam Lawrence departure lifts Portsmouth threat

Liam Lawrence

Midfielder Liam Lawrence has left Portsmouth after reaching a compromise deal to terminate his contract.

Lawrence, 30, was the last senior player left at the club and is thought to be a target for Cardiff City.

His exit means administrators PKF can start talks with Balram Chainrai's Portpin to complete the sale of the club which they hope will be next week.

The administrators had set a 10 August deadline for all the club's senior players to leave.

Portsmouth begin their League One campaign against Bournemouth on Saturday, 18 August.

"We have negotiated a compromise agreement with Liam Lawrence who will leave the club when the paperwork is finalised later," PKF's Trevor Birch said in a statement.

"I'd like to thank Liam for his support and all of the other players for putting the club's interests ahead of their own. They have all had to make very difficult decisions and been placed in an impossible position which wasn't of their making.

"This means that 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."

Manager Michael Appleton has been playing trialists and youth team players in pre-season and some of these will be offered full-time contracts at the club.

Birch did not discount the possibility of the Pompey Supporters' Trust (PST) taking over the club, but said any such deal was likely to take place between the PST and Chainrai.

"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," he said.

Pompey will start the new season in League One on minus 10 points and have been in administration since February.

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