James to waive contract deal to aid Portsmouth

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth have received a timely boost with the news that goalkeeper David James is set to waive his right to a new contract in a bid to help the financially-stricken club survive.

Under the terms of his current contract, James is automatically entitled to a one-year extension if he plays 25 games for the club this season.

Part of the reason why James has only played 14 times is thought to be because the club would not have been able to afford to pay the 39-year-old's reported £50,000-a-week wages for another year.

Portsmouth were taken over for the fourth time this season today, with Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai replacing Ali Al Faraj as owner.

Chainrai is only thought to be interested in holding onto the club for a short time and the news will come as little comfort for the club's supporters.

James is determined to help the club stay in the Barclays Premier League and is prepared to sacrifice a contract extension to help them do so.

"Hopefully my representative is about to have a chat with the club about contract issues because I don't want that to be a deciding factor given how the club have been financially over the past few months," James told the Portsmouth News.

"I want to stay here until the end of the season, do well, stay up, go to the World Cup and worry about next season afterwards.

"My only concerns were that there might be a power above us that might have dictated things.

"It was definitely an issue and given that we would have been outside the transfer window, then sitting on the bench or not even sitting on the bench would not have done me any good in trying to help Portsmouth stay up or trying to get in the England squad for the World Cup.

"The Premier League rulings allow us to do contract renegotiations outside of the transfer window and we will get it sorted out because I don't want the club worrying about it and I don't want to be worrying about it myself.

"Without being funny, I'm not the richest man in the world but if there is a financial burden that the club can't suffer, then why should I be taking the mickey?"

James has slipped behind Robert Green in the race for England's number one jersey for this summer's World Cup.

He has not started an England game since the 2-1 win over Ukraine last April and was linked with a move to Stoke last month.

But it was team-mate Asmir Begovic who eventually joined Tony Pulis' side in a £3.25million move and James insists he never contemplated leaving Fratton Park.

"I have spoken to the manager and I told him that at no point did I want to go," James said. "My family is sorted out down here so I want to stay."

Portsmouth are currently rock bottom of the league and face the daunting task of a trip to Old Trafford on Saturday.

The former Liverpool goalkeeper denies that relegation is a forgone conclusion, however.

He said: "We're six points adrift of safety but we've still got a chance and we'll give it a go. It's not insurmountable."