Lawrence’s parting message to Chainrai

Liam Lawrence
Liam Lawrence

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Liam Lawrence delivered a parting shot to Balram Chainrai and blasted: Give Michael Appleton the tools to do his job.

The Blues skipper became the final senior player to leave Fratton Park, paving the way for Chainrai’s Portpin to regain control of the club.

Tal Ben Haim departed yesterday after agreeing to a compromise deal over the final year of his contract – which stood at £36,000-a-week.

Lawrence has also reached an agreement to move on, as today’s August 10 deadline imposed by administrator Trevor Birch to remove the club’s high earners was reached.

The 30-year-old indicated this week he was prepared to stay at Pompey, with talks going on over stretching the remaining two years of his contract over an extended period.

In the end, his current wages – thought to be in the region of £20,000-a-week – proved too big a hurdle to overcome.

News of the exits has proved a much-needed fillip for the club, with it being the step needed to avoid liquidation.

There is still plenty of uncertainty, however, with Appleton still not knowing what moves he can make in the transfer market.

The 36-year-old was hoping for a wage budget in the region of £4m from Chainrai to be able to create a squad capable of making an impact in League One next season.

Indications were made that would be the situation, but it now appears it may not be the case.

Pompey Supporters’ Trust are fighting to provide another ownership option and are in talks with Portpin to assume control.

However, Lawrence believes Chainrai has the opportunity to give Appleton the support needed.

He revealed there are a host of players who are waiting to join Pompey if Appleton is finally given the green light to make a permanent signing.

But the 30-year-old said there is some uncertainty among the multitude of triallists at the club who are waiting to ink contracts.

Lawrence’s departure brings his two-year association with Pompey to a close.

There remain Championship sides keen on his services, with Cardiff again linked – as well as interest in Greece from PAOK Salonika.

Lawrence spoke of his hope there could be brighter days ahead for the long-suffering Fratton faithful – and for Appleton.

He said: ‘You would have thought he (Chainrai) would think: “we could get Tal and Liam sorted and we could have a right go next season”.

‘The gaffer wants to sign players and the lads are getting frustrated because they have other things lined up.

‘I know for a fact there are players who still want to sign for Pompey, which is good.

‘There’s been people who have been on to me saying they still want to play for Pompey.

‘So if Chainrai took it and got on with it, I think things could be sweet next year.

‘Look, we’ve got rid of people now and me and Tal are sorted.

‘So let’s take the club, let the gaffer sign the players he needs and get on with it.

‘The fans have suffered. They are frightening people with their support.

‘We need to give those fans a sigh of relief.’

Pompey administrator Trevor Birch this morning confirmed the departure of Lawrence and released a club statement.

It read: ‘We have negotiated a compromise agreement with Liam Lawrence, who will leave the club when the paperwork is finalised later today.

‘I’d like to thank Liam for his support and all of the other players for putting the club’s interest ahead of their own.

‘They have all had to make very difficult decisions and been placed in an impossible position which wasn’t of their making.

‘This means that we have now successfully completed agreements with all of the first team squad and met the major condition of the offer from Portpin, which formed the basis for the CVA proposal.

‘We will now aim to finalise our discussions with Portpin with a view to completing the sale of the club as soon as possible.

‘The intention is to push this through early next week in order to ensure that player recruitment can begin as quickly as possible for the start of the new season.

‘The offer from the Pompey Supporters’ Trust remains a fall-back position and we are pleased to note that the Council has agreed to provide a loan facility to support the Trust bid.’