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With the League One club facing possible liquidiation, their administrator says that the £36,000-a-week contract for the Israeli is represents what went wrong at Fratton Park

Portsmouth’s administrator Trevor Birch has blamed large contracts such as defender Tal Ben-Haim’s for the south coast club’s demise as they face liquidation before the start of the season.

Ben Haim is paid £36,000-a-week by Pompey, and despite a £5,000-a-week salary cap being imposed to help the club’s cash flow, the club still has heavy debts and could face liquidation within weeks.

Birch told the Independent: "Ben Haim represents everything that has gone wrong at Portsmouth, the excessive wages that were given four or five months before they went into administration the first time.

"There were no relegation clauses in his contract, and here we are in League One trying to negotiate a way out of it.

"The player and his agent haven't caused the problem but they are not helping.

"It's not just him, but his contract is by far the largest.

"The creditors have accepted Chainrai's offer but it is conditional on me reaching an agreement with those players.

“I'm working night and day to persuade them that we are running out of time."

Hony Kong businessman Balram Chainrai made an offer to buy the stricken 2008 FA Cup winners, on the condition that the club’s highest earners were all removed from the payroll.

However, an agreement has not been forthcoming from Ben Haim and his representatives, and Birch believes that the breakdown in negotiations could spell the end for Portsmouth Football Club.

He added: "We are two or three weeks away.

"Then the players will get nothing anyway. It's brinkmanship, but the club is on a knife edge. Michael Appleton [Portsmouth's manager] can't sign any new players because there may not be a club."

Portsmouth are due to begin their League One season at home to local rivals Bournemouth on August 18th, and are currently operating with a minimal first-team squad.

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