Portsmouth fans plead with players not to let club fold

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The Independent Football

A Portsmouth fans' group has made a last-ditch plea to senior players to take a pay cut in an effort to stop the club going out of business.

The financially stricken club's administrators announced last week that Portsmouth could fold unless more of the squad can be sold off to reduce the wage bill at Fratton Park further.

It is understood eight senior players have yet to reach agreement with the club over unpaid salaries. Supporters' group SOS Pompey handed over an open letter to the players at Portsmouth's training ground yesterday in an attempt to make them compromise on their wages, while administrator Trevor Birch fears former owner Balram Chainrai could pull out of his proposed deal to buy the club if more players are not moved on.

SOS spokesman Bob Beech told BBC Solent: "This is the endgame for Pompey, in a couple of weeks it will be over. Some players were excellent and stopped to listen to what we said, others as expected weren't interested and drove straight on."

In the letter, the fans said they sympathised with the players, but urged them to "demonstrate that footballers aren't the shallow, selfish people portrayed in the press". It said: "You, like us, have every right to be angry. Now, though, you have the chance to write your name in the history of our club, the decisions you make will decide whether 114 years of history come to an end."

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