Blues stars could walk away for free

Greg Halford believes 14-day notices could benefit players and Pompey
Greg Halford believes 14-day notices could benefit players and Pompey
Luke McGee

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Pompey could face a player exodus if first-teamers decide to exert their right to rip up their contracts.

The 11 remaining members of the Blues squad are free to walk away from their existing deals.

That’s because their contracts have been breached from the wage deferrals they have taken following the club’s latest financial crisis.

But Pompey administrator Trevor Birch has yet to receive a single request from players to move on for free via a 14-day notice.

The prospect of losing players with a market value without securing a fee is a worrying scenario as the club continue to fight for funds.

The likes of Luke Varney, Liam Lawrence, Erik Huseklepp, David Norris and Greg Halford would fall into that category.

Birch has not had a firm bid for any of the remaining squad, however, following the departure of Joel Ward for Crystal Palace on Monday.

Undoubtedly, a request to walk away from their existing deals would be more welcome from some squad members than others, especially as the new season gets closer.

With the club still carrying a crippling £9.5m wage bill despite a number of exits, more needs to be done to ensure Pompey’s survival.

And Blues defender Greg Halford believes handing in a 14-day notice could be beneficial to the club and players in certain instances. He said: ‘There are things the players can do.

‘They could essentially hand in a 14-day notice where we could leave on a free.

‘That’s because our contracts have been breached.

‘The administrator would probably want that with some of the higher earners.

‘I guess that then becomes more attractive for clubs to take a free agent.’

Kanu and Ben Haim are two players who are very unlikely to tear up their deals. The duo are both refusing to budge on the money they are owed for the remainder of their deals, as revealed in The News yesterday.

Nigerian Kanu is owed £300,000 after a relegation clause lowering his wages was activated.

Ben Haim is owed close to a whopping £2m.

Compromise deals look the only hope for Pompey moving forward.

Birch believes it is revealing there have not been any players willing to walk away from their deals.

He said: ‘The rules state players can issue a 14-day notice to the club if they are owed. They can then rip up their contracts and leave.

‘Nobody has done anything like that so far.

‘It is telling that has not happened yet. I have not had one player approach me about that. Not one.’