Kanu: Blame Birch for woes

Kanu has responded to criticism from Trevor Birch
Kanu has responded to criticism from Trevor Birch
Pompey forward Kal Naismith Picture: Joe Pepler

Cardiff v Pompey: Gaffer for the Day

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Kanu has launched a broadside at Trevor Birch and insists the administrator will be to blame if Pompey are liquidated.

The striker has hit back at Birch’s insistence to supporters that he is the club’s ‘main problem’ as the Blues fight for survival.

And Kanu believes the administrator is treating him as an ‘imbecile’ in compromise proposal talks.

But Birch today responded by offering to invite supporters’ groups to the table for any further discussions between the parties.

Kanu’s barrister, Samuel Okoronkwo, is asking the Football League for £3m in monies he claims the Nigerian is owed.

Birch has stated Pompey face being liquidated on August 10 because players are not agreeing deals to leave.

Okoronkwo claimed that was because Birch was ‘picking a fight with players’, while insisting Kanu is still keen to reach a compromise.

Okoronkwo said: ‘Kanu is particularly offended by the report the administrator told the club’s supporters he is the main problem and his ‘agent’ is asking for a ridiculous amount of money.

‘As a result he has instructed me to make the following clear. (Kanu says) the fact the club is potentially facing liquidation is due to the administrator’s failure to appreciate the consequences of first insulting, offending and then picking a quite unnecessary fight with the club’s secure creditors.

‘We think the administrator is still treating Kanu as an imbecile by making a ridiculous compromise proposal that he should simply give up his entitlement and walk away, while the administrator’s firm receives large fees for negotiating such a smart deal.

‘To the contrary, Kanu who has remained patient and accommodating since 2006, is willing to compromise significantly by a combination of waiving/deferring his entitlement provided he is certain the club will actually be saved and there will be an upside at some date in the future.

‘Absent such a proposal, then the administrator must admit responsibility to the club’s fans for liquidating their club whether on August 10, 2012, or at any other date. He must refrain from blaming anyone else.’

Okoronkwo has also given his backing to Tal Ben Haim, who challenged Birch to write off the fees his company are owed for overseeing Pompey’s administration.

Ben Haim alleged PKF are claiming £650,000 for their work during the club’s administration.

It is believed they have taken around £180,000 out of the Blues since arriving in January. Further fees are expected once a new owner is found,

Okoronkwo said: ‘Kanu fully supports the comments of Tal Ben Haim that the administrator ought to waive the £650,000 that his firm is claiming from Portsmouth, because it is hypocritical for him to be claiming so much money from the cash-stricken club, for a few months work, while asking Kanu, who has been owed while on active service for the club over the past six years, to forego larger sums of indebtedness.

‘The administrator has not helped Portsmouth by negotiating with the press instead of the players, who are the club’s primary secure creditors.

‘He did not also start well when his first act was to single out Kanu for criticism in the press when he clearly played no part in managing the club into two administrations.’

Birch responded by expressing a desire to continue talks with Okoronkwo and promised he was happy to do so in the presence of a third party.

Birch said: ‘‘It is encouraging to note that Kanu is willing to return to the negotiating table to discuss a compromise and demonstrate his support for the club.

‘We have already sought details of his proposal.

‘Hopefully, our message about the club’s survival prospects is beginning to sink in.

‘We will continue to negotiate with the remaining players and trust none of them will wish to see the club liquidated.

‘If Kanu, or indeed any other player, is unhappy with the negotiating stance taken then I am more than content for both parties to place the facts before representatives of supporters’ groups and let them judge how reasonable the proposals are.’