Pompey targetting 10-player swoop before weekend

122542_ALDERSHOT_PFC_1/8/12''Izale McLeod. ''Friendly football match between Aldershot Town FC and Portsmouth FC at The EBB Stadium, Aldershot. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (122542-250)
122542_ALDERSHOT_PFC_1/8/12''Izale McLeod. ''Friendly football match between Aldershot Town FC and Portsmouth FC at The EBB Stadium, Aldershot. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (122542-250)

Pompey are seeking to sign up to 10 new players during the next 48 hours as they bid to become competitive for the start of the league season.

Administrator Trevor Birch has given Blues boss Michael Appleton the go-ahead to offer all eight of his triallists monthly contracts.

In addition, other targets not currently training with the club could also be brought in to feature against Bournemouth in Saturday’s League One opener.

Birch insists Pompey can afford the monthly contracts, despite the on-going financial problems and Portpin pulling out of a takeover.

And the administrator also believes it will not represent a risk to the players.

Should Pompey be liquidated, the players will be allowed to sign for other clubs – even outside the transfer window.

Appleton’s first action will be to tie down the likes of Brian Howard, Izale McLeod, Mustapha Dumbuya, Jon Harley, Luke Rodgers, Jack Compton, Kieran Djilali and Liam Walker.

In addition, the non-contract terms of keeper Simon Eastwood can now be turned into a monthly deal.

The good news comes with the backdrop of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust’s on-going talks to buy the club out of administration and safeguard its future.

In the meantime, Appleton will be making crucial progress on strengthening his playing squad for the League One season ahead.

Birch said: ‘We can sign players and are attempting to sign them between now and Saturday – but only on a monthly contract.

‘That means there is no liability for the club.

‘And it can afford to employ them on such terms during administration.

‘We are trying to get as many as we can, perhaps eight, nine or 10 players.

‘These players have a lot of confidence in the club and what Michael is trying to achieve here.

‘The fact they are prepared to sign on a monthly basis shows that.

‘I am getting lots of phone calls from players and agents of players who want to come here for nothing.

‘This club is attractive to players. In return, they will be getting regular football and will be paid every month.

‘That is what all players want.

‘For the players there is no risk.

‘If the club is liquidated they will be able to move to another club, even if it is outside the transfer window.

‘And even in administration they will be paid under the terms of their monthly contract.

‘These players are prepared to come to us on that basis and it shows tremendous faith in what we are attempting to achieve here.’

Players will also be told permanent contracts will kick in once a new owner arrives.

Pompey hope that will convince them to remain at Fratton Park despite interest from other clubs.

Aside from the current triallists, Appleton has lined-up a number of other players.

These have remained in constant touch with the Blues boss during the summer.

But it remains to be seen whether all players offered terms will accept.

Pompey have little room for negotiation while the club’s future remains uncertain.