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Cash strapped Portsmouth stare into the abyss

Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch has warned that the League One club could be liquidated within the next fortnight unless agreement can be reached with their eight high earning players. Nwankwo Kanu has also lodged a claim for £3million in back pay and Birch says it is the players who have the future of Pompey in their hands.

"The club is heading for liquidation in just a few weeks, perhaps two weeks if these players don't leave or compromise on their wages," Birch said.

"We still have players like Ben Haim, Dave Kitson and Kanu on our books.

"Kanu has served the club notice that he wants to leave but before doing so he wants the money he says is owed to him by the club. These players hold the survival of the club in their hands.

"I must stress it is not their fault as the players didn't get the club into this trouble, but they do now have the ability to get the club out of this mess.

"The problem with everybody is that this club has cried wolf so often that no one believes it will happen, no one believes they will go out of business, but they will in two or three weeks.

"It is that serious now. The trouble is 'Portsmouth fatigue', but the truth is that the club is now fighting for its life."

Former owner Balu Chainrai, whose Portpin group are set to take control at Fratton Park once again should no other buyers be found, confirmed that the future of the club was in the hands of the players.

Chainrai told Sky Sports News: "We are working with Trevor Birch to reach compromises on lowering the players' wage bill which, at the moment, is unbearable for the club.

"Unless this can be achieved the administrator will be forced to liquidate the club as there will be no way to exit administration.

"The survival of the club lies in the hands of these players who need to compromise."

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Dave Williams

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