League One side Portsmouth look to be heading for survival after the last of their high earners came off their wage bill today. Liam Lawrence, reported in the Portsmouth News to be on a contract worth £20,000 per week, has reached agreement to depart the club, meaning that all eight of their top earners have now left the club.
The 30 year old's departure from Fratton Park means that the club have now met the conditions that were attached to the CVA agreement set up by Portpin and prospective owner Balram Chainrai. Administrator Trevor Birch has now said he will aim to finalise his agreements with Chainrai, in a move that will aim to take the club out of administration, and satisfy the membership conditions laid down by the Football League:
"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."
As Birch implies, the next big race for Portsmouth is to get themselves into a position where the Football League is willing to either lift their transfer embargo, or give them temporary dispensation, with Portsmouth's season opening up next Tuesday with a League Cup First Round match against Plymouth Argyle.
Once that is achieved, manager Michael Appleton should be able to turn his club full of 'trialists' into committed signings. The move out of administration will also mean the Football League will finally invoke the ten point penalty they levied as part of the terms and conditions they gave to Pompey as part of the reformed company's offer of membership.
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