What does the future hold for...ANYONE!
At this time of the year Vital Pompey usual does a 'what does the future hold for...' series, where we look at various players and look for opinions on what we think their futures will be?
Mostly it is players out of contract, but we also try to look at those under contract and debate if they will be sold or not.
Quite clearly though this summer the futures of just about every player at this club are at risk, and that is not forgetting Portsmouth Football Club being at risk itself!
Whilst I do not want to give false hope I do 'think' that PFC will live on, and whilst last week I was under the impression - from what The News was reporting - that this would be under Balram Chainrai again I think that 'ruling out' the fans buyout would be foolish, so would say that it is 'possibly' a 66% chance that PFC live on, either under Chainrai or the fans buyout...
Player wise though, who knows!
Any player out of contract will be released when this ends without a shadow of a doubt, once this ends negotiations with some 'probably' will begin but their wages would have to be dramatically slashed and I cannot see many at all being willing to drop to a maximum of £3,000-£4,000 per week, can you?
So, with that in mind I would think that the out of contract players, bar Ashley Harris and maybe Kelvin Etuhu will be gone...
Maybe, just maybe Rocha John Rocha would be willing to take this drop, but as was said to me at the weekend 'him returning to Portugal would be their bet.'
Those that are under contract, well if they are of significant quality they will be snapped up no questions asked!
We already know that Jason Pearce and Greg Halford are (pretty much) 100% off, and a result agreements were reached with clubs that they would not face Forest at the weekend, nevertheless they still travelled to show their support.
Pearce is 'meant' to be off to Leeds, Halford I do not know. A few 'rumours' were also saying that if he played at the weekend we would have owed Wolves another £1m, but I am not so sure on that one?
My worry is that the loanees will return, and in all honesty I do not think we want this as they are all on too much money. Well all loanees bar Stephen Henderson will return that is, he I would take back but a permanent move to West Ham will come about - not that we could afford his wages anyway...
Hopefully the likes of Dave Kitson and Tal Ben-Haim finally will move on?! It was made clear to us that TBH wants out and has been made clear to Kitson that Appy wants him to move on!
My worry is that as much as TBH's 'representatives' might be saying he 'will not play in league one' and 'he has interest in him' I cannot see him walking away from a £36,000 p/w contract without a 'golden handshake' so would not be surprised if he hung around! Kitson is on around £20,000 or so and I cannot see clubs lining up for him either - and with a year on his contract he may well decide he wants to 'see it out' too...
I would love us to keep Joel Ward, as I would have Pearce, but his (almost certain) transfer to Ipswich should raise some extra cash for the coffers.
Another that I hope can finally come to an agreement to mutually end his contract is Kanu - be the bigger man King and walk away having saved this club a years worth of money from your contract, lets face it the guy has been given a free ride this season anyway!
The reality is, I would say, that the younger members aside in our 1st team not one single player would fit into an 'affordable wage structure' so pretty much everyone needs to leave really!
Although if this wage bill can be slashed significantly with player sales, player departures through their contracts ending and 'mutual agreements' to terminate contracts from others then bringing this into a 'manageable amount' for the next year would probably see a small handful remain - maybe as we have no option in some cases! - and this would give us a chance to finally stabilise in the years ahead.
As things stand the current squad would see everyone of them out of contract by the end of next season, so if the vast majority can leave now the worst case scenario is 'minimal losses' can be faced next season as opposed to huge, and unsustainable and unrealistic, losses.
Appy (assuming he does stay, he says he will but West Brom might have an opening for him?!) has shown that he can see the quality in a player so I am sure, as long as he is able to work at this from sometime in June/July onwards he can snap us up a few free agents - on realistic league one money - and will then beg, borrow or steal others.
Although the biggest thing is that we do not 'kid ourselves' the next year, two maybe even three are going to be anything other than pretty damn tough as it is more likely that we may well go further backwards, arguably at best just stick, before there is much chance of looking to move forward again...
The main thing is that we still have a Portsmouth Football Club though isn't it!
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