Administrator says Pompey staff face hard times ahead

17/2/2012 (PM)''A meeting was held with new Portsmouth FC Administrator Trevor Birch at Fratton Park on Friday 17th February 2012.''Pictured is: Trevor Birch at Fratton Park on Friday evening.''Picture: Sarah Standing (120580-7869)
17/2/2012 (PM)''A meeting was held with new Portsmouth FC Administrator Trevor Birch at Fratton Park on Friday 17th February 2012.''Pictured is: Trevor Birch at Fratton Park on Friday evening.''Picture: Sarah Standing (120580-7869)
Dion Donohue Picture: Jason Chadwick

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Trevor Birch has warned ‘sacrifices’ will have to be made to ensure Pompey do not die.

The Blues’ administrator yesterday began his first day at Fratton Park in his role, having been appointed on Friday when the High Court accepted the club’s application to go into administration.

He is charged with finding a new owner and keeping the club alive in the meantime.

With debts of around £50m, a massive challenge now faces the former Chelsea chief executive.

Inevitably there will have to be redundancies, with more than 500 club staff, including part-time workers.

Mr Birch also told The News there could well be more wages dereferrals on the way.

It is a bleak outlook, yet he believes such measures can keep Pompey running until the end of the season without an owner.

He said: ‘We will need to look very closely at the cost base of the company going forward just to be able to get us through.

‘We will have to look at staff numbers as well. I am not pulling the wool over anybody’s eyes, this isn’t going to be easy.

‘We have enough money to get us through only a short time at the moment.

‘That is why we need to get a sale for this club very, very quickly.

‘Let’s get to the end of the season first, we are looking no further than that at the moment.

‘I am as confident as I can be we can do that – but it will need some sacrifices from people to get us there.

‘There are some payments due in terms of foreign clubs and to certain players which there will be uncertainty about.

‘There may also well be further deferrals at a certain level. There will undoubtedly be redundancies.

‘There has to be redundancies, the consequences are too great.

‘Nothing has been decided yet. Work is still being done on it and it still needs further work.

‘We are still reviewing it at the moment.’

Meanwhile, the search is now on to bring a new owner to Fratton Park.

As of this moment, Mr Birch insists nobody has emerged to the point of holding talks.

Yet he remains upbeat over attracting somebody in the near future.

He added: ‘I am confident on one level in that I think it is such a great football club and they will be coming out of the woodwork.

‘They are not there at the moment sitting on a piece of paper.

‘But I think we have to give as good a chance as we possibly can to give us the time to do that deal.’