Pompey have cash to stay afloat until fire sale ignites

Trevor Birch. Picture: Sarah Standing (120580-7869)
Trevor Birch. Picture: Sarah Standing (120580-7869)
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Trevor Birch has conceded Pompey’s fire sale will not ignite until the end of the summer.

But the club’s administrator insists there is enough finance in place to see the Blues through to the key Football League meeting at the end of the month.

The futures of Jamie Ashdown and Ricardo Rocha will become clearer this weekend, with the pair expected to find out if they will remain at Fratton Park next season.

In terms of exits, however, Jason Pearce is the only player to leave Fratton Park following his £500,000 move to Leeds.

Joel Ward is likely to follow him out of the door next week, with sides lining up to land the versatile Emsworth talent. Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool are the latest outfits in the £450,000 hunt for Ward.

They join Crystal Palace, Ipswich, Leeds and Burnley in the race for his services, with the 22-year-old set to decide on his future next week.

But Birch has confirmed there is still no movement with regard to other players leaving.

Despite being keen to get rid of the club’s top earners as quickly as possible, he has yet to receive any firm bids for any players.

The administrator has, however, admitted there have been a number of enquiries for Michael Appleton’s squad members.

Birch believes clubs are waiting to make their moves until later in the summer to save on paying out more on wages.

The fear was Pompey would struggle to make it through to the Football League AGM on May 30, when they have to show they can fulfil their obligations for next season.

That’s when it is anticipated a new owner will be at the helm, with Balram Chainrai yesterday tabling a bid.

The money is in place to see the Blues through the month but Birch believes the player sales will now go way beyond that date.

He said: ‘There’s nothing to report, no news at all.

‘Clubs will hold back because they don’t want to carry the cost over the summer.

‘It’s really difficult to move players early in the close season. It’s a difficult job.

‘There is interest, though, and clubs are making enquiries but nothing solid yet.

‘We can get through the next couple of weeks but nothing has changed from previous announcements. It’s still a critical period.

‘There’s nothing at the moment. It’s all going to be last-minute deals, I think.’

Meanwhile, Birch has confirmed there has still been no move for Appleton’s services.

West Brom have been linked with a return for the man who left the Hawthorns for Pompey in November, with his odds tumbling to get the vacant job this week.

Birch said: ‘There’s nothing – no approach (for Appleton). Hopefully he’ll be here because he’s the future.’