Birch: I can’t reject significant bids

Stephen Henderson. Picture: Barry Zee
Stephen Henderson. Picture: Barry Zee
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Trevor Birch has defended the decision to send Stephen Henderson on loan to West Ham.

The keeper missed Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Brighton as he finalised a temporary switch to the Hammers – a move due to be completed today.

Pompey will receive a ‘significant’ loan fee for the 24-year-old, who will seal a permanent deal at Upton Park in the summer.

Meanwhile, Hayden Mullins is poised to follow him out of Fratton Park and join Reading at the end of the week.

Erik Huseklepp and Liam Lawrence recently departed as Michael Appleton’s squad is shaved to the bone.

The Blues last week received £800,000 owed to them by the Football League.

But Birch insists players still have to leave in order for the club to prolong its existence as the search for a new owner continues.

He said: ‘We will receive a significant figure, we wouldn’t be doing it otherwise.

‘This gives me the opportunity to save the club – and it is such a big job to try to reschedule and restructure next year.

‘I’m not in a position where if somebody comes out of the woodwork and makes me a big offer I can turn it down.

‘I have still got to take the club to the end of the season and, if you don’t take the money that is offered now, it might not be available at the end of the season.

‘Normally clubs don’t want to buy a player at the season’s end, they will wait until August because they don’t want to cover the costs during the summer.

‘It is a nightmare position for us really.’