D-day for Hermann

TODAY is decision day for Hermann Hreidarsson who chooses between Charlton Athletic, Portsmouth or staying with Ipswich Town.The popular Icelandic international held talks deep into the evening with Addicks' boss Alan Curbishley last night before talking the decision over with wife Ragna at their Ipswich home.

TODAY is decision day for Hermann Hreidarsson who chooses between Charlton Athletic, Portsmouth or staying with Ipswich Town, writes Derek Davis.

The popular Icelandic international held talks deep into the evening with Addicks' boss Alan Curbishley last night before talking the decision over with wife Ragna at their Ipswich home.

He has already been impressed with what Pompey boss Harry Redknapp had to say on Monday but Charlton's established position in the Premiership and the possibility of UEFA Cup football for a third consecutive season could sway it for Hreidarsson.

With the transfer deadline set for 5pm today, Hreidarsson needs to give his answer this morning so a medical can be completed and any last-minute contractual wrangles smoothed out before signing.


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Although the 28-year-old turned down a £3.3m move to West Bromwich Albion in August, he is unlikely to remain with Ipswich Town now as their parlous state means a move is vital to the Portman Road club.

While the transfer fee has not been officially disclosed it is understood Town will receive an initial fee of around £750,000 with the same following in bonuses.

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Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks last night issued a statement explaining why the Darren Ambrose sale was so necessary. He said: “It's been a horrible few days culminating in being forced to sell one of our brightest young players for what we all believe could prove to be one of the bargains of the decade.

“Clearly this was one of the last deals we wanted to do but regrettably the cash shortfall 'in administration' meant that we were between a rock and a hard place. Apart from the interest in Hermann Hreidarsson there were no other deals or better offers to pursue. Very simply, we had to raise cash by this week.

“This cash shortage was the same deficit that we always knew we faced when we went into administration. We had managed to re-jig the cash flow so that it worked until now but this was the week when our cash flow would otherwise have hit the red. Administrators are not allowed to take on negative liabilities and so cash had to be found from somewhere.

“It hasn't proved feasible to attract new investment while still in administration (although there is considerable interest thereafter), nor was it possible to get the financial institutions to fund us further, despite our proximity to the play-off zone. Had we been in Leicester's position in the table or nearer to it, it might have been different, but we're not. So the only way we could raise cash was from player sales.

“Like all supporters, I feel distressed to lose Darren Ambrose in such a situation, but the reality is that the deal has helped secure the club for the future, irrespective of the amount.

“Together with my Board colleagues and other senior management, our single focus is on seeing Ipswich Town exit administration and facilitating a refinancing of the business as quickly as possible thereafter. Whatever our destiny in terms of results in the remainder of this season, Joe Royle will need as much time as possible to prepare his squad for the new season.”

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