James waives contract
David James has waived the right to a one-year contract extension, on wages of more than £60,000 a week, to help Portsmouth in their appalling financial plight and safeguard his own chances of being selected for England's World Cup squad.
If the goalkeeper, who turns 40 this summer, plays nine more games this season -- making 25 in all -- it will trigger an automatic 12-month contract extension, on the same terms.
James knows that, after his injury problems, he needs to play regularly now to convince Fabio Capello that he should be included in the squad for South Africa. But because Portsmouth could not afford a new deal, he knew he was running the risk of being left out once he reached 24 appearances, thereby missing the final seven games of the season.
The news comes on the day that Portsmouth were taken over by their fourth different owner of the season as Hong Kong-based businessman Balram Chainrai secured 90pc of the club's shares after the existing owners defaulted on loan payments due to him.
"My representative has had a chat with the club about sorting out the contract issues, as I didn't want that to be a deciding factor given how the club have been financially over the last few months," James said.
"Given that you're outside the transfer window, then sitting on the bench -- or not even that -- wouldn't have done me any good with trying to help Portsmouth stay up, and it wouldn't have done me any good with trying to stay in the England squad for the World Cup." (© Daily Telegraph, London)