Birch poised to launch Pompey firesale

Pompey skipper Jason Pearce
Pompey skipper Jason Pearce

Trevor Birch will launch the Pompey fire sale tomorrow.

And the administrator insists up to six players have already attracted interest from other clubs.

The Championship transfer window will officially re-open following the last round of games, which will effectively be tomorrow afternoon.

Pompey make the trip to Nottingham Forest for the season finale (12.30pm kick-off).

Realistically, no prospective deals will be completed until the start of next week.

Keeper Stephen Henderson will be the first to depart – making his loan move to West Ham permanent.

Jason Pearce is set for a move to Leeds United and is expected to be Neil Warnock’s first summer signing.

Birch has revealed a number of other Pompey players are also being coveted as Championship rivals seek to pick the Fratton Park bones.

Erik Huseklepp, currently on loan with Birmingham, has been linked with a return to Norway with Brann.

Joel Ward has been a long-time target for Ipswich and held talks with Tractor Boys boss Paul Jewell during the emergency loan window.

In addition, Pini Zahavi – the agent of Tal Ben Haim – told The News this week there is interest in his client.

With the Blues desperate for cash, all offers will be listened to.

The administrators are also striving to slash Pompey’s £12m annual wage bill down to £5m as they look to make the club manageable.

And Birch is hoping to make in-roads – starting tomorrow.

He said: ‘As soon as the season is over we can start selling players.

‘Thank goodness for that, otherwise it would be impossible (to continue).

‘I am talking to clubs all the time because we must sell as soon as possible.

‘At this moment in time I don’t want to name names but there are five or six players attracting interest.

‘It is still early days. Plenty more talking needs to be done and that will gather pace once the transfer window opens.

‘Anyone is up for sale. We need to sell players of this football club. It is an unfortunate fact.’

Birch is also continuing talks with the PFA over wages.

He held initial talks with the playing staff on Tuesday, raising the issue of more pay deferrals.

Yesterday, Birch met PFA representative Nick Cusack to thrash out a potential deal.

Success could buy the Blues extra time to find an owner before the money runs out.

Potentially, that could take them into early June.

In the meantime, talks are still ongoing.

‘I would say we could keep going until June,’ added Birch.

‘That depends on the situation with the players and what they are owed and deferrals.

‘If that can happen, then it will give us longer to find a solution.’