Ben Haim defiant over Portsmouth future

By James Masters, August 7, 2012

Tal Ben Haim insists he will not be held responsible if Portsmouth are forced into liquidation on Friday.

The Israel defender, who has a year left on his £36,000 a week deal at Fratton Park, has yet to come to an agreement with the club’s administrators over his contract.

Administrator Trevor Birch had set Friday as the last possible day for Pompey’s senior players to leave with just Ben Haim and Liam Lawrence remaining.

But the former Bolton and Chelsea defender says he will stand his ground and will not be forced to accept an unsatisfactory solution.

“Having read the theatrical media reports circulating around Portsmouth recently, I feel that it is only right that I say a few words regarding my position with the club,” said Ben Haim.

“I signed a four-year contract with Portsmouth in 2009. Since then, because of the club’s failure to manage its finances on no less than two occasions, I have personally lost a figure in excess of £2m. I currently have approximately one year left on my contract.

“I want this club to survive and I will do everything possible to enable this historic club to continue to play football in the Football League. But you must understand the position of the professional football players.

“Since February 2012, when PKF were appointed, the only thing we have heard is that it is more likely than not that they are going to have to liquidate the club.

“This approach has destroyed the team spirit and led to the club being relegated from a position and with a squad everybody expected to stay in the Championship.

“Also, this talk of liquidation has done nothing but destroy any interest from any other party, other than Mr Chainrai, to buy the club. What a ridiculous position.”

Ben Haim, who has attracted attention from a number of clubs abroad, believes administrators PKF should lower their fees for the team to survive.

He added: “As far as the latest position, I can reveal that only recently have the administrators decided to talk to the players regarding their positions.

“Most of the negotiations were done through the media. When they actually sat and talked to us through the manager, the majority of the players moved quickly to do what was best for the club and themselves.

“As far as I’m concerned, an offer has been made to me only recently. I have offered to waive a further £1.5m of my current contract. They now tell me this is not good enough.

“The fact is that we are only about £300,000 apart in negotiations. If they want to liquidate the club for that money while they still charge their huge fees then all I can say that the blood is very much on their hands."

Last updated: 11:33am, August 7 2012