Tag Archives: compromise

Theo Walcott to sign new Arsenal deal as Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain follow

It's good to talk: Walcott makes peace as Arsenal agree deals with Wilshere, Gibbs, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jenkinson

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UPDATED:

23:06 GMT, 18 December 2012

Theo Walcott has held peace talks with Arsene Wenger as Arsenal close in on securing the futures of their British core.

It is the first time since August 28, when the England forward turned down a five-year contract worth 75,000 a week, that formal discussions between player and club have taken place.

And in further good news Sportsmail understands Arsenal are set to agree deals with five of their other young British stars by Friday.

Crisp finisher: Theo Walcott hit the fifth as Arsenal demolished Reading, and the 23-year-old looks set to end uncertainty about his future by extending his Arsenal deal

Crisp finisher: Theo Walcott hit the fifth as Arsenal demolished Reading, and the 23-year-old looks set to end uncertainty about his future by extending his Arsenal deal

Made up: Arsene Wenger and Walcott

Sources close to Walcott insist the 23-year-old wants to stay at Arsenal. However, he is said to have made it clear he is still currently unwilling to pen fresh terms.

As well as wanting a deal closer to 100,000 a week, Walcott also wants assurances over his role at the club.

The former Southampton man felt he was being treated unfairly by Wenger during the early weeks of the season and spent the majority of Arsenal’s opening games sat on the bench. This decision is understood to have been motivated by the contract dispute rather than footballing reasons.

In addition, Walcott also wants assurances that he will be given more opportunities to play as a central striker — where he played against Reading on Monday and scored in the 5-2 win.

The main man: Walcott wants to be utilised as a No 9

The main man: Walcott wants to be utilised as a No 9

And while it seems there will be no quick resolution to the contract saga, the latest discussions are viewed as a significant step towards persuading Walcott to stay.

It is believed that a compromise solution of an 85,000-a-week contract may be enough to persuade him to sign.

Walcott may be some way from signing but Arsenal are convinced they have agreed new deals with Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson and it is thought they will sign by the end of the week.

Sportsmail exclusively revealed on November 28 that England midfielder Wilshere was set to sign fresh terms — and he will put pen to paper on a new five-year contract worth 80,000 a week.

Staying power: Jack Wilshere will sign a new deal at the Emirates

Staying power: Jack Wilshere will sign a new deal at the Emirates

Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Gibbs and Jenkinson have agreed five-year deals worth between 40,000 and 60,000 a week.

Arsenal’s push to keep their best British talent indicates a deliberate shift in Wenger’s thinking.

After basing his sides around foreign players for years, the manager seems to have had a change of heart after the likes of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy all left the Emirates Stadium.

Speaking after the thumping win at Reading, Wenger said: ‘We have a core of good young English players and I hope we will be able to build a team around them and that they can achieve something together.’

Bright young things Oxlade-Chamberlain

Bright young things: Kieran Gibbs

Bright young things: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) and Kieran Gibbs have also signed new deals

Coventry City ready to leave the Ricoh Arena amid rent row with stadium owners

Coventry ready to leave the Ricoh Arena after rent row

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UPDATED:

18:47 GMT, 6 December 2012

Coventry City is refusing to back down in its' rent row – saying the Sky Blues must be masters of their own destiny.

Tim Fisher, the club's chief executive, has re-affirmed his stance that
the League One side will not pay the current rate to stay at the Ricoh
Arena.

Empty: Coventry City have 21 days to pay their 1.1million unpaid rent

Empty: Coventry City have 21 days to pay their 1.1million unpaid rent

The Sky Blues are in a stand-off with Arena Coventry Ltd, the company charged with managing the site, and who issued the club with a Statutory Demand on Thursday.

That formal request is aimed at putting pressure on the club, and owners SISU, to pay monies owed in back rent. If no compromise is reached a winding order could be issued with Coventry City forced into administration.

Coventry are hamstrung by an agreement, struck seven years ago, which does not take into account the club's League One status and the loss of revenue brought about by relegation earlier this year.

The club claims it is being asked to pay over the odds – around 1.28m per year – to their landlords and has asked for that to be reduced to the average for League One of around 170,000.

Ceased: The club stopped making payments to the Ricoh Arena bosses 10 months ago

Ceased: The club stopped making payments to the Ricoh Arena bosses 10 months ago

According to reports, ACL have agreed
to accept half of that figure in settlement – around 650,000 – but
Fisher says that figure remains unacceptable in the current climate.

'We were disappointed to be issued with the Statutory Demand but our position remains unchanged.' he said.

'We are a League One club and should pay League One rent. We also need access to matchday revenues at the stadium.

'SISU want to build a sustainable football club. But they also want the Sky Blues to be the masters of their own destiny.'

Jacky Isaacs, chief executive of
Arena Coventry Ltd, said that issuing the Statutory Demand was not 'a
course of action that we wanted to take.'

If no satisfactory resolution can be
found, the club could be put into administration, leading to a points
deduction and the possibility that a new venue should be found for the
club to fulfil their remaining fixtures.

'We want to avoid administration, absolutely, we do,' added Fisher.

'And we have a commitment to fulfil our fixtures – which we fully intend to honour.

'But if the gates at the Ricoh are locked, there may be no alternative but to find another venue.

'If turns out that we don't end up playing at the Ricoh Arena, so be it.'

Coventry City given 21 days to pay rent and could face winding up order

Coventry given until Boxing Day to pay rent to Ricoh bosses and could face winding-up order

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UPDATED:

20:11 GMT, 5 December 2012

Coventry City have threatened to pull out of the Ricoh Arena altogether if a row with their landlords over unpaid rent is not settled.

The Sky Blues have been issued with a statutory demand to pay arrears by Arena Coventry Ltd (ACL) and could be wound up on Boxing Day if no agreement is reached.

A stand-off has ensured between the two parties over an annual 1.28m levy which Coventry City say they cannot afford.

Empty: Coventry City have 21 days to pay their 1.1million unpaid rent

Empty: Coventry City have 21 days to pay their 1.1million unpaid rent

They have failed to pay the
outstanding bill since last season when the problem first surfaced amid
calls from them to the landlords to reach a compromise.

And now ACL have issued the statutory demand which could see the club put out of business altogether unless the
outstanding arrears are met.

ACL claimed they are owed 1.6m in
total. Should the club fail to meet the deadline, they would have to
declare themselves insolvent and face closure.

A statement from ACL read: 'Following
the refusal of Coventry City Football Club, and its’ owners SISU, to
pay outstanding rent the ACL board has issued a statutory demand to
Coventry City Football Club.

'This is not a course of action the
ACL board wanted to take. However, the behaviour of SISU, the owners of
CCFC, has left the board with no choice but to issue this demand.'

But the club has hit back over the
demand, saying: 'We are disappointed by ACL’ s actions to issue a
demand, rather than, as we had requested, sitting down with us to
negotiate a level of rent which the club can afford and which is in line
with the rent paid by other clubs.

Ceased: The club stopped making payments to the Ricoh Arena bosses 10 months ago

Ceased: The club stopped making payments to the Ricoh Arena bosses 10 months ago

'For reference, ACL has been charging
CCFC an annual rent of 1.28m which we understand is both the highest
in League One and the Championship.

'We understand the average annual
rent is less than 170,000 and that the average in the Championship is
290,000. All other clubs which rent their stadia get full access to 100
per cent of match-day food, beverage and car parking revenues.

'The club’s objective in requesting
these negotiations has the aim of bringing about a state of commercial
normality. It is unsustainable for CCFC to be put at a severe financial
disadvantage to its’ peers.

'In addition to defraying ACL’s
match-day costs, the club has been subsidising ACL’s general overheads
ever since the Sky Blues started playing at the Ricoh Arena, amounting
to many millions of pounds over seven years.

'The club remains committed to the
city and the people of Coventry. However, its viability depends on it
finding an alternative home ground where it can afford to play.'

Rangers chief Charles Green hits out at SPL

Green in new blast at 'busted flush' SPL as top clubs prepare for reconstruction meeting

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UPDATED:

23:37 GMT, 2 December 2012

Rangers chief executive Charles Green has dismissed the SPL as a ‘busted flush’ — and predicted there will be no rush of SFL clubs to join a breakaway second tier.

All 12 top-flight clubs meet at Hampden on Monday for discussions over their multi-split plan of two 12-team divisions and, if approved, they will invite clubs outside the elite league to put themselves forward for membership of SPL 2.

But Green, still at war with the SPL over the threat of titles being stripped, believes the SFL’s rival 16-10-16 formation will draw more support from clubs — and claims that third-party mediators should step in to reach a compromise between the two league bodies.

Critic: Charles Green believes clubs won't rush to join the SPL

Critic: Charles Green believes clubs won't rush to join the SPL

‘This is not about whether Rangers should be in SPL 1 or not — the SPL is a busted flush,’ said the Yorkshireman.

‘People are sick of seeing clubs playing each other four times a season and the season finished by December because only two clubs can win it.

‘I’m not sure SFL clubs will rush to join the SPL. There is a big sense of injustice about how they were being told what to do over where Rangers should go and we all saw the outcome.

‘They were told to put Rangers in the First Division and, quite rightly, the SFL clubs didn’t listen and put us in the Third Division — and we are happy to be there.

‘I’ve seen the SFL proposal and the SPL version of what should happen. There are merits in both but what it needs is for all the clubs to sit down.

‘It’s not about what’s best for Peter Lawwell and Celtic or what’s best for Rangers or Charles Green — it’s about what’s best for the game as a whole. Someone needs to get a hold of this and deal with it now because it could all end in tears.

‘I think the whole aspect of reconstruction needs a long and hard look and maybe one of the things people ought to consider is bringing someone from outside in to look at it.’

Easing through: Kevin Kyle helped Rangers beat Elgin in the Scottish Cup

Easing through: Kevin Kyle helped Rangers beat Elgin in the Scottish Cup

Green took another swipe at ‘agendas’ within the game, while suggesting that regaining TV rights may yet sway Rangers.

‘Some SPL clubs are terrified of giving up something but the reality is that I had to give up something and that was TV rights.

‘I met with Neil Doncaster last week and told him very clearly that once this agreement is finished we will not give them up again and I have already written to David Longmuir to reinforce that.

‘So if people want to reconstruct the leagues then do it, but don’t do it on the basis that we are going to play ball because we are not.
‘When I see what’s happening up here there still seem to be lots of agendas.

‘I hear comments that people don’t want Rangers here, well I can make it easy, people — we don’t want to be back with the SPL people while this continued persecution of the club for title-stripping is going on.

‘All of the things that have put the game into the terrible state it’s in need to be put behind us and we can move forward. When you look at some of the attendances, it’s not working.’

Meanwhile, Sportsmail understands a motion could be tabled for a fairer distribution of income within the current SPL set-up, in the event that reconstruction falls through once again.

Vote: Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Vote: Celtic manager Neil Lennon

The proposed structure of two 12s, with each club playing each other twice before splitting into three eight-team play-off sections, received unanimous support at a meeting of all SPL clubs a fortnight ago.

There will be no official vote taken at the SPL meeting when the clubs meet again to view the ‘fleshed-out’ version of the reconstruction plan.

The new financial distribution model will be discussed, which is expected to state that getting to the SPL1 would be worth 400,000 to a club, instead of the current 70,000 prize pot for winning the First Division.

If the show of hands at the end of the meeting gives the 11 votes needed to take reconstruction further, the SPL will appoint lawyers to draw up the rules and regulations of the new set-ups, although the SFL remain opposed to the plan.

It was also suggested the SPL’s existing split of finances could come under attack. Currently, television contracts, both domestic and international, are put into one prize pot alongside the SPL’s other commercial deals and 52 per cent is split evenly between the 12 SPL clubs.

The remaining cash is then split on a sliding scale.

This has traditionally favoured the Old Firm voting ‘power bloc’ but the fall of Rangers has left the financial distribution open to attack, with 11 votes required to change it.

‘There has been talk behind the scenes about challenging the current financial distribution model to make it “fairer for all” and, while not finalised, that could even happen as early as Monday,’ one source told Sportsmail.

Theo Walcott confident of new Arsenal contract

Contract rebel Walcott confident of signing new deal at Arsenal as talks continue

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UPDATED:

00:31 GMT, 22 November 2012

Theo Walcott missed Arsenal's victory against Montpellier last night with a shoulder injury picked up in the 5-2 win over Tottenham on Saturday.

But he used the matchday programme to reiterate his desire to pen a new deal at the club.

Walcott said: ‘It’s important for me that something gets sorted out, because I enjoy playing for this club.

Up in the air: Theo Walcott has yet to commit to signing a new deal at Arsenal

Up in the air: Theo Walcott has yet to commit to signing a new deal at Arsenal

'I don’t think you can put a timeframe on when it will be resolved, though when both parties are sure, it will happen.’

Arsenal chiefs previously told the England international they were unwilling to increase their original 75,000-per-week offer, which was rejected by Walcott in August.

But Sportsmail understands the Gunners' stance on the issue has softened in recent weeks, with the club now willing to reach a compromise with the forward.

It is believed both parties feel an offer of between 80,000 – 85,000-per-week will be enough to secure Walcott's long-term future.

Talks: Arsene Wenger has admitted Walcott could leave the club

Talks: Arsene Wenger has admitted Walcott could leave the club

The former Southampton forward has told Wenger he wants to stay at the Emirates but made it clear he wants a contract closer to 100,000-per-week.

And Wenger, who has been highly-impressed by Walcott's displays in recent weeks, will tell the club's hierarchy to up their existing offer and hopes his personal intervention will help resolve the issue when the player's representatives meet with Gunners officials for a second round of formal talks.

Liverpool and Chelsea are plotting January moves for Walcott, while Manchester City want to sign him on a free transfer next summer.

Theo Walcott contract: Arsene Wenger tells Arsenal to improve offer as Liverpool and Chelsea lurk

Wenger issues plea to keep Walcott as Liverpool and Chelsea plot January swoop

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 19 November 2012

Arsene Wenger will make a personal recommendation to the Arsenal board to improve Theo Walcott's contract offer in an attempt to end the uncertainty over his future.

Arsenal chiefs previously told the England international they were unwilling to increase their original 75,000-per-week offer, which was rejected by Walcott in August.

On target: Walcott scored in the 5-2 drubbing of Tottenham on Saturday

On target: Walcott scored in the 5-2 drubbing of Tottenham on Saturday

But Sportsmail understands the Gunners' stance on the issue has softened in recent weeks, with the club now willing to reach a compromise with the forward.

It is believed both parties feel an offer of between 80,000 – 85,000-per-week will be enough to secure Walcott's long-term future.

The former Southampton forward has told Wenger he wants to stay at the Emirates but made it clear he wants a contract closer to 100,000-per-week.

And Wenger, who has been highly-impressed by Walcott's displays in recent weeks, will tell the club's hierarchy to up their existing offer and hopes his personal intervention will help resolve the issue when the player's representatives meet with Gunners officials for a second round of formal talks.

Theo Walcott

Wanted: Chelsea and Liverpool are both considering moves in January

The club want his future resolved by the end of December.

Liverpool and Chelsea are plotting January moves for Walcott, while Manchester City want to sign him on a free transfer next summer.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are close to agreeing a new five-year contract with left-back Kieran Gibbs.

Arsene Wenger slams Roy Hodgson over Jack Wilshere England recall

Wilshere needed a break! Wenger slams Hodgson over England recall just three games into fragile star's comeback

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UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 8 November 2012

Arsene Wenger believes Roy Hodgson is
taking an unnecessary risk with Jack Wilshere by selecting the young
Arsenal midfielder for what he considers to be a meaningless
international fixture designed only to make money.

Wilshere has played in only three
games since missing 17 months with a stress fracture injury but has
still been included in Hodgson’s England squad to face Sweden next
Wednesday, as Sportsmail revealed.

On the comeback trail: Jack Wilshere (right) in action for Arsenal on Tuesday

On the comeback trail: Jack Wilshere (right) in action for Arsenal on Tuesday

His club manager insisted he has reached a ‘good compromise’ with Hodgson — which is expected to mean Wilshere is only used for a maximum of 45 minutes — but maintained the recall has come too early for the 20-year-old.

Wenger said: ‘I wouldn’t like to come out on my feelings on this because they are not very positive. I think it is early for him. He has played three games now and only one full game. He has been out for 17 months. I think he needs 10 days of good recovery. Let’s touch wood and hope he gets through well.

'The ideal solution would be yes [he
wouldn’t be involved]. It is as it is. He has played three games now,
and of the three games only one [has been a] full game.

'He has been out for 17 months. It’s good to have a little break after three games.

'What we like of him is he won’t play over the weekend so will recover. I think he needs 10 days of good recovery.

Wenger revealed he was expecting the call-up because the midfielder is banned for Saturday’s match against Fulham, after his red card against Manchester United.

He added: ‘I saw it coming because of the suspension and the fact that England are looking for some midfielders. What helps is that he is not playing over the weekend because he is suspended, of course. Roy wants him in the group.’

Young Lion: Wilshere in the England shirt

Young Lion: Wilshere in the England shirt

Young Lion: Wilshere has not appeared in an England shirt since facing Switzerland in June 2011

Wilshere has admitted this week that he fears he might never be as good a player as he was before his long injury lay-off.

But Wenger insists that, slowly but surely, Wilshere will get better and better as his comeback intensifies.

'Jack is generous on the football
pitch – he gives 100 per cent. I feel physically, he is quite there –
slowly he gets stronger in every game. That means his basic fitness is good,' he said.

'Sometimes,
you need, when you accumulate games, to have a little rest again and to
build on that and to recover and then go even harder. For us, what is important to know, is to stop him before he gets to that point.'

Wenger is also unhappy Spain
midfielder Santi Cazorla will play a friendly match in Panama on
Wednesday night.

He said: ‘These friendlies in November — you don’t know
how they can prepare you for a game in February.

‘There are a lot of politics behind
these games because when you see some teams travelling during that
period, you think it is more to pay back some corporation rather than
preparing a team for the next official game. I believe the friendly
games are there as well to help some federations raise money playing
against big teams.’

Hamburg keen to sign Rafael van der Vaart from Spurs

Hamburg will fight to re-sign Spurs midfielder Van der Vaart

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UPDATED:

21:43 GMT, 29 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Hamburg insist they will do ‘everything they can’ to sign Rafael van der Vaart from Tottenham before tomorrow night’s transfer deadline.

The German club have already had a 8million bid turned down by Spurs for the 29-year-old but are confident a deal can be concluded.

Van der Vaart has already shown a willingness to return to his former club but the fee remains a problem.

Old pals: Rafael van der Vaart (left) is wanted back at former club Hamburg

Old pals: Rafael van der Vaart (left) is wanted back at former club Hamburg

Spurs want 14m for the Dutch forward
but Hamburg will attempt to find a compromise before the window closes,
offering around 12m.

Hamburg chairman Carl-Edgar Jarchow said: ‘There is not a lot of time — it is really up to Tottenham Hotspur.

‘If we have a chance to sign him, we will do everything we can to make that happen.’

Signing on: Mousa Dembele completed his move to Tottenham on Wednesday

Signing on: Mousa Dembele completed his move to Tottenham on Wednesday

Midfielder Mousa Dembele, whose move
to Spurs was confirmed on Wednesday, said on his Twitter page: ‘Happy to
confirm I signed a new contract with Tottenham FC.

‘I would like to thank all the Fulham fans for their support. You were amazing.’

Olympic sports budget will be cut by UK Sport before Rio

What goes up must come down: UK Sport will slash funding for some Olympic disciplines before Rio

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UPDATED:

19:05 GMT, 14 August 2012

Liz Nicholl, the chief executive of UK Sport, has confirmed that some Olympic sports will lose their funding in the wake of London 2012.

The government has pledged to invest 508million of exchequer and lottery money into sport over the next four years, virtually the same amount that funded Britain's success in London.

But UK Sport's 'no compromise' policy means only those sports which can demonstrate they will qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics are likely to receive any of that money.

At risk: Great Britain's handball funding may be cut

At risk: Great Britain's handball funding may be cut

The final decision will be made in December, following a period of review, with the new funding cycle starting in January.

The policy is expected to hit sports such as handball and volleyball, which had benefited from receiving host nation places at London 2012.

'We will not be able to fund each and every sport that we funded this time round,' Nicholl said.

'We will invest in every sport that has medal potential. The sports that are very likely to multi-medal will be our top priority.

'We have the same amount of money as we had for the last cycle.

'Success is costly because the more successful you are, the more potential medallists you have got, the more athletes we have to support to achieve the medal potentials.

'For handball and other sports that have been given host-nation places here, they have to demonstrate to us that they can qualify by right for the Olympic Games.

Rio dreams: Volleyball may also be affected

Rio dreams: Volleyball may also be affected

'If they can't be there, then they
can't be supported to achieve a medal. That's what our no-compromise
approach is all about, that's the approach that works. We will not
waver.'

UK Sport's policy places sports like volleyball in a Catch-22 situation.

The British Volleyball Federation, who lost men's coach Harry Brokking after the Games because they cannot afford to pay his wages, argue they need funding in order to stand a chance of qualifying for Rio.

The BVF received a shade over 3.5million from UK Sport over the four-year build-up to London but did not meet all their performance targets at the Olympics.

'There will be some sports that will not be receiving UK Sports performance-focused funding but they have the opportunity to generate income from other sources,' Nicholl said.

'Every sport has to take responsibility itself for driving its own development to a point at which we can identify that it has future medal potential and that we are interested.'

The number of Olympic sports has now increased to 28 with the inclusion of rugby sevens and golf in the sporting programme for Rio.

Good to go: Rowing is unlikely to be affected

Good to go: Rowing is unlikely to be affected

Britain won 65 medals, including 29 golds, across 17 sports to at the London Olympics, to finish above Russia in third place in the medal table.

While it may not be possible to increase the number of medal-winning sports in Rio, performance advisor Peter Keen is convinced Team GB can improve on their record haul of 65 medals.

'It doesn't stop,' Keen said. 'There are so many things we can improve. There are so many errors.

'It seems entirely reasonable that if we were to apply the knowledge we have got, do the obvious things better, we can be better than we are.

'I hope people remember just how good it was and how much we valued it and it is game on.

'That planning work for Rio is vastly better than it was six years ago, unrecognisably better – not just in the words written but the the quality of thinking, the aspirations it is showing to us.

'The most emotional moment of the opening ceremony was the Red Arrows flying over at the second the time ticked to 20:12.

'Look at how really good can be. We can go much further.

'I am absolutely certain that if we can reduce the errors and come together even more, those athletes will feel even more support and be on an even more stable platform and they will deliver again.'

Former Portsmouth owner Balram Chainrai given green light to save Pompey again

Former Portsmouth owner Chainrai given green light to save Pompey again

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UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 11 August 2012

Portpin are ready to move forward with
their takeover of financially-troubled Portsmouth if the administrators
agree to a reduction in their fees and legal fees.

A compromise agreement reached with
the only remaining senior professional on Portsmouth's books, Liam
Lawrence, on Friday averted the immediate threat of liquidation and
joint administrator Trevor Birch said at the time that the major
condition imposed by Portpin had now been met.

Portpin principal Balram Chainrai said in
a statement to Sky Sports News that he was encouraged by the efforts of
everyone at Portsmouth, but claimed the fees involved would have to be
reduced.

Talks: Balram Chainrai

Talks: Balram Chainrai

'Although not all CVA terms were met, we are ready to move forward,' Chainrai said. 'All players and staff made a lot of efforts to compromise their situation and we accept agreements to move forward, subject to passing Football League requirements.

'Portpin also request that the administrator, and their lawyers, reach a compromise with Portpin to reduce their fees of 1.85million, including legal fees of PKF lawyers, which we believe are extremely high.

Fantasy football 2012

'We request administrators to reduce their fees by 200,000 and a further 100,000 deferral to 2013 and another 100,000 deferral to 2014 – like all players who have deferred their compromises for four years.

'We are waiting for them to confirm this discount, so we can use all proceeds from the parachute payment to rebuild the club.

'Monies will be used to rebuild this club from the bottom and, with the help of the manager and employees, I hope we get support from fans after saving this club, once again, from its grave.

'Portpin is ready to move forward subject to the administrator accepting to reduce their fees and legal fees.'

There is still plenty of uncertainty with manager Michael Appleton currently working with a squad made up of trialists and youngsters and as yet he is unable to recruit players – while their first competitive match of the season is against Plymouth in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

Players such as Jon Harley, Brian Howard and Izale McLeod, who have been training with Pompey, are all understood to be keen to join.

Portpin are in pole position to take over at Fratton Park although fans' group the Pompey Supporters' Trust are also in the running after securing a 1.45million loan from the local council.

Birch said on Friday after the agreement with Lawrence had been reached: '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.

'The offer from the Pompey Supporters' Trust remains a fall-back position and we are pleased to note that the council has agreed to provide a loan facility to support the Trust bid.'