Appleton expects lengthy wait for further Fratton exits

Marko Futacs is the only senior Pompey player not up for sale
Marko Futacs is the only senior Pompey player not up for sale
Pompey lost to Charlton on a frustrating day at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Appleton believes Pompey’s stalled player fire sale will not kick-start into action again until next month at the earliest.

Joel Ward became the third of the Blues boss’ squad to leave since the season ended when he signed for Crystal Palace on Monday.

The £400,000 deal, which also included a 20-per-cent sell-on clause, followed on from the departures of Jason Pearce and Stephen Henderson.

The trio fetched around £1.5m in combined transfer fees to enable Pompey to continue over the summer as they remain in administration.

Of the remaining 11 senior players, all but Marko Futacs are effectively up for sale as Trevor Birch seeks to reduce the current £9.5m wage bill.

Yet at present, no more bids are on the table. And Appleton doesn’t believe there will be further movement for a while yet.

He said: ‘There is nothing happening at the moment with any other players leaving.

‘I have not heard anything, there are no further developments.

‘I don’t expect there to be for a while yet, anyhow. Most stuff gets sorted out by the end of the summer.

‘Obviously, we need players to leave but it is not as simple as that. Someone has to take them first.

‘After Joel, it has all gone quiet and it seems like it will remain that way for a month at least.

‘I have to say that this might be a long, drawn-out affair.’

Birch has also voiced his expectations that player departures will now occur towards the end of the summer.

However, Pompey are eager to clear out their squad as soon as possible, adding a more youthful look in preparation for life in League One next season.