Ben Haim has Portsmouth’s future in his hands – administrator

The debt-ridden club faces closure this week unless deals can be struck with the last few remaining players, including the former Chelsea defender
The administrator of Portsmouth, Trevor Birch, has said it is “on a knife edge” over whether the club survives, with the south coast side still attempting to complete agreements with several players.

Dave Kitson became the latest player to leave the club on Friday; however, Portsmouth still require others to depart if they are to avoid closure.

Their administrator, meanwhile, is refusing to speculate over what will happen over the coming days, but conceded that defender Tal Ben Haim was key to the club’s future.

“[Dave] Kitson has now left the club and Liam Lawrence is genuinely trying to sort out his issues, which then leaves Tal Ben Haim. Kanu has left but his claim remains but we are getting close to resolving that one, his agent is now talking and I believe we can get there,” he told ESPN.

"Ben Haim, though, has a deal on the table but he has taken a view and doesn't appear to be shifting. He might think it's a game of bluff and the club won't close, but I think he will very soon find out that it is real.

"I am trying to fight to save the club going into oblivion but we only have a few days left and it's on a knife edge, I cannot genuinely tell you what will happen.”

Despite the doom surrounding the club, Portsmouth managed to pull off a superb 3-0 friendly victory over Bolton on Saturday.

Michael Appleton’s men gave fans a win to cheer at Fratton Park, with goals from Kieran Dijali, Liam Lawrence and Ashley Harris, a result which also thrilled Birch.

"Portsmouth had a friendly today, beating Bolton with a load of trialists, and the crowd were magnificent,” he added.

“Four and a half thousand making the kind of noise only they can make.

"It remains still only 50-50 that the club can survive. We have until August 10, but we will all need to know a few days before Friday."