Ben Haim cleared to play as pay row is resolved

Tal Ben Haim in action against the Hawks
Tal Ben Haim in action against the Hawks
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Joe Gallen. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey have reached a settlement with Tal Ben Haim over his unpaid wages.

The Israel international had claimed the Blues owed him £1.4m after stopping his pay packet last season upon his return from a loan stint at West Ham.

That had prompted the former Bolton defender to seek legal advice.

With the backing of the PFA, his case was set to go to a Football League hearing this month.

That process has now been scrapped after Pompey managed to thrash out an agreement with Ben Haim.

It leaves the 29-year-old free to play again, after Steve Cotterill was instructed not to pick him in the second half of last season while the row ensued.

Ben Haim returned to training on Friday and appeared as a substitute in last night’s 4-0 win over the Hawks.

Cotterill revealed the defender will also be flying out to America with the squad on Sunday as part of their pre-season.

And the Blues boss has every intention of selecting him this season.

Cotterill said: ‘At this moment in time, Tal is going to be available to play.

‘He will also be going to America.

‘I think an agreement has been struck over monies that Tal has been owed.

‘That’s another important deal the owners have sorted out.

‘He was training with us last year for the best part of four months and we couldn’t pick him.

‘Hopefully now we have got a good player.

‘Tal did really well last night, I’m pleased with him.’

Ben Haim last played a league match for Pompey in May 2010, when he appeared as a substitute at Everton.

He spent the first half of last season on loan at West Ham, returning to Fratton Park in January.