Portsmouth's prospects look bleak on the pitch but the Pompey Supporters' Trust remain confident they can secure the club's future off it.

Troubled Pompey confirmed on Tuesday that six first-team players have left Fratton Park at the end of their short-term contracts as they continue to cut costs. Captain Brian Howard, defenders Mustapha Dumbuya, Jon Harley and Lubomir Michalik, midfielder Lee Williamson and striker Luke Rodgers are looking for new clubs.

Caretaker boss Guy Whittingham has also lost on-loan forward Paul Benson after he went back to Swindon and has a first-team squad of just 13 players to work with ahead of Saturday's trip to Scunthorpe.

Pompey are in the League One relegation zone, have not won any of their last 14 matches and face a 10-point penalty if and when they come out of administration.

Meanwhile, the ongoing saga of the PST's attempt to buy the club will rumble on at least until the end of the month after the latest court hearing was on Monday adjourned until January 31.

The fans' group's bid hinges on administrators PKF gaining permission to sell them Fratton Park, which is controlled by former Portsmouth owner Balram Chainrai. But the PST say the latest delay gives them more time to successfully complete their takeover.

PST chairman Ashley Brown said: "Our original wish was to buy Fratton Park ourselves and we are optimistic that we will be able to achieve this, which of course is what the fans want.

"However, the single most important thing our supporters can do to help achieve this objective is to convert their pledges or buy a share if they have not yet done so, either as individuals or in syndicates.

"All money is held in an escrow account and will only be used should the bid proceed, as we all hope it will. The more cash we can raise before the final court hearing, the better our chances of success. It is as simple as that."