Portsmouth Administrator Gives Deadline For Shutdown Unless Players Accept Wage Deals
English side Portsmouth's Administrator Trevor Birch said that the club "will be shut down on Aug. 10 unless all senior players on the books accept compromise wage deals or agree to transfers" before that date, according to John O'Brien of REUTERS. Birch revealed he would have "no option" but to liquidate the Third Division club by the deadline. Former owner Balram Chainrai and the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust are both interested in purchasing the team, but have "stipulated that their attempts to complete a takeover were dependent upon settlements being reached with those high earners." The Aug. 10 deadline is four days before a Capital One match against Plymouth, and eight days before the team is due to start their League One season at home against Bournemouth. Birch "has implemented a £5,000 ($7,737) a week salary cap" (REUTERS, 7/24). In London, Josh Burrows reported that former Manager Harry Redknapp "will try to save Portsmouth from being shut down by administrators." Redknapp will speak personally to some of his former players about their demands for outstanding wages. One of Redknapp's big challenges will be persuading Nwankwo Kanu, the striker he signed from West Bromwich Albion, to "compromise his demands for £3M ($4.6M) in outstanding pay." Rednapp said, "If players have a contract and are owed money, you can see why they think they should get it. But if the club closes down they won't get a penny. They need to think hard about that" (LONDON TIMES, 7/25).