Friendly to boost Pompey funds

Martin O’Neill will not discuss deals with his out-of-contract

players until Sunderland’s Premier League fate this season is


Defenders Titus Bramble and Matt Kilgallon are in the final

months of their current agreements, and Bramble has consistently

said he would like to stay.

The centre-half is back in favour and has started 10 games in

succession, but with Sunderland in a fight for Premier League

survival his future will remain unclear until the summer.

O’Neill told the Sunderland Echo: “Now, at this minute, the most

important issue is trying to get points on the board.

“I know it’s a cliche, but those things can wait.”

Sunderland have taken just two points from a possible 18 and go

into this weekend’s game against Norwich just six points above the

bottom three.

O’Neill’s side face a daunting run of fixtures after Norwich as

they take on Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton either side of

a derby at Newcastle.

The match is being organised in conjunction with the club’s

proposed new owners the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, with all proceeds

going towards their community stake in Portsmouth, and will take

place at Fratton Park on Tuesday, April 16.

Defender Hreidarsson, 38, who made 123 appearances for Pompey,

is paying the expenses to bring his side to the south coast as part

of an eight-day tour of England ahead of the new Icelandic Premier

League season.

PST chairman Ashley Brown said: “We were delighted when Hermann

approached us with this idea. This is a fantastic opportunity for

fans to come and say farewell to a terrific club servant, but more

importantly contribute to the biggest community share yet.

“Every penny will be reinvested in the club as part of the PST’s

shareholding, so this means any fan can have their stake in Pompey

simply by buying a ticket for the match.

“More details of prices will be announced soon, but no standard

ticket will cost more than ?10, so we feel this is a great way to

make community ownership accessible to all.”

Hreidarsson, who has recently been in England to complete a

coaching course, added: “It is a great opportunity for my players

to play at a legendary ground and all the money will be going to a

great cause.

“My time at Pompey was a rollercoaster ride, with some terrific

highs like winning the FA Cup in my first season and also some

difficult times, which saw some good people lose their jobs.

“All the time, though, the Pompey fans were different class and

I didn’t feel I got the chance to say goodbye to them properly

after I was left for Coventry in 2012.”