League One Portsmouth's hopes of avoiding liquidation on Friday have been given a boost after Israel defender Tal Ben Haim agreed to leave the club. Just Ben Haim, reportedly on wages of £36,000 a week, and midfielder Liam Lawrence remain of the club's senior players, although the latter's future is also expected to be clarified soon.
Birch said in a statement: "I am pleased to announce we have reached a compromise agreement with Tal Ben Haim, who will now leave the club. We expect to make an announcement on Liam Lawrence's future later and, while the situation with Kanu has not yet been resolved, we are cautiously optimistic about our prospects.
"The progress we have made over the past 24 hours means there is now a much better prospect of meeting the conditions of the CVA, completing the sale of the club and avoiding liquidation.
"As a result, we will now push on with our negotiations with Portpin, with a view to finalising a (takeover) deal in the next few days. There is still more to do, and the club's future is not yet guaranteed, but we're in a stronger position and will now take some additional time to try to conclude matters."