The League One club is trying to negotiate with eight senior players, but their refusal to compromise over wage demands has left Pompey at the brink of extinction.
Nwankwo Kanu has also lodged a claim for £3m in back pay and Birch says it is the players who have the future of the team in their hands.
Trevor Birch: "The club is heading for liquidation in just a few weeks, perhaps two weeks if these players don't leave or compromise on their wages.
"We still have players like Ben Haim, Dave Kitson and Kanu on our books.
"Kanu has served the club notice that he wants to leave but before doing so he wants the money he says is owed to him by the club. These players hold the survival of the club in their hands.
"I must stress it is not their fault as the players didn't get the club into this trouble, but they do now have the ability to get the club out of this mess.
"The problem with everybody is that this club has cried wolf so often that no one believes it will happen, no one believes they will go out of business, but they will in two or three weeks. It is that serious now. The trouble is 'Portsmouth fatigue', but the truth is that the club is now fighting for its life."
Pompey's last ever game on Tyneside2008/9 NEWCASTLE 0 PORTSMOUTH 0
NEWCASTLE: Harper, Beye, Coloccini, Bassong,Jose Enrique (Guthrie 28), Smith, Butt (Gutierrez 71), Duff,Viduka (Carroll 64), Martins, Owen.Subs Not Used: Krul, Barton, Lovenkrands, Edgar.
PORTSMOUTH: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson,Davis, Belhadj, Hughes, Mullins, Nugent (Pennant 65), Crouch.Subs Not Used: Begovic, Pamarot, Utaka, Cranie, Kanu, Basinas.
Michael Owen passed up the chance to fire Newcastle to a potentially relegation-saving victory over Portsmouth as Alan Shearer was left staring down the barrel of a gun.
Related ContentClick here for full match stats The 29-year-old striker was denied by veteran goalkeeper David James' legs after he was played in by Mark Viduka 63 minutes into a pulsating encounter, which both sides had chances to win.
James had earlier saved from Damien Duff, and Viduka and Obafemi Martins both went close on a night when the Magpies needed all three points to rekindle their hopes of Barclays Premier League survival.
However, it might have been even worse for Shearer's men with Peter Crouch firing straight at Steve Harper with 11 minutes remaining and Richard Hughes heading against the foot of the post three minutes later.
Shearer had set his side the task of winning their remaining three home games to drag themselves out of relegation trouble but, having fallen at the first hurdle, they now face the daunting prospect of having to get something at Liverpool on Sunday.
The 38-year-old made a series of statements ahead of kick-off when he named all three of his big-name strikers - Owen, Viduka and Martins - in his starting line-up and left Kevin Nolan and Ryan Taylor, two of the three men signed during yet another disastrous January transfer window, out of the 18.
He had appealed in advance for passionate support from the stands and he got just that, with the help of a rousing rendition of Blaydon Races from opera star Graeme Danby moments before kick-off.
But what he needed most was a response from his players and he got that too.
Newcastle took the game to Pompey from the off and, what they lacked in guile and craft in the middle of the park, they made up for in effort and commitment.
That they went in at half-time with nothing to show for their efforts was down to a combination of poor finishing, good defending and one excellent save from Shearer's former England team-mate James.
However, the applause they received as they left the pitch could only serve to increase their determination not to be denied once they returned.
With Pompey fielding Crouch as a lone striker and, at times, getting all 11 men behind the ball, the Magpies had to remain patient.
Alan Smith, still waiting for his first goal in a black and white shirt, had optimistic appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Mike Riley when his driven 30th-minute shot was blocked by Hermann Hreidarsson's arm, and the former Manchester United midfielder fired just over five minutes later.
In the meantime, Viduka only just failed to turn a low drive from substitute Danny Guthrie, on for injured full-back Jose Enrique, past James.
But Newcastle's best two chances of the half came inside the final seven minutes, James making a fine save to push Duff's goal-bound effort around the post, while Martins saw a close-range shot deflected over the bar with seconds remaining.
Pompey created little as they attempted to hit their hosts on the counter-attack, although Harper had to tip a 33rd-minute curler from Sean Davis over the bar.
Viduka was presented with a glorious chance to open the scoring within seconds of the restart after Owen cleverly back-heeled Martins' pass into his path.
However, the Australian could only stab his effort straight at James as the blue shirts closed on him.
Fabricio Coloccini endured a heart-stopping moment when Crouch went to ground inside the box under his 50th-minute challenge but, again, Riley was in no mood to award a spot-kick.
James was alert enough to prevent Martins from reaching a long ball four minutes later, if only just, but, as the game became increasingly stretched, play switched rapidly from end to end.
The Pompey keeper almost handed Newcastle a glorious chance on a plate when he dropped Duff's cross with Viduka and Owen close at hand, although he redeemed himself with 63 minutes gone.
Viduka managed to squeeze the ball through the Portsmouth defence, despite having been wrestled to the ground, to leave Owen with just the keeper to beat, but James blocked with his legs to leave Shearer with his head in his hands.
The manager introduced Andy Carroll and Jonas Gutierrez for Viduka and Nicky Butt in a desperate attempt to find a winner but it was Nadir Belhadj who forced a fine fingertip save from Harper after a lightning 73rd-minute break.
Carroll looped a 77th-minute header high over but it was Pompey who staged the grandstand finish that might have resulted in victory had Crouch been able to beat Harper or had Hughes' header landed six inches to the right.NEWCASTLE v POMPEY - THE HISTORY 2008/2009 Mon 27 Apr Newcastle Utd. 0 - 0 Portsmouth Premier League Sun 14 Dec Portsmouth 0 - 3 Newcastle Utd. Premier League 2007/2008 Sat 12 Apr Portsmouth 0 - 0 Newcastle Utd. Premier League Sat 03 Nov Newcastle Utd. 1 - 4 Portsmouth Premier League 2006/2007 Sat 14 Apr Portsmouth 2 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Premiership Sun 26 Nov Newcastle Utd. 1 - 0 Portsmouth Premiership Wed 25 Oct Newcastle Utd. 3 - 0 Portsmouth League Cup 2005/2006 Sat 04 Feb Newcastle Utd. 2 - 0 Portsmouth Premiership Sat 01 Oct Portsmouth 0 - 0 Newcastle Utd. Premiership 2004/2005 Sat 19 Mar Portsmouth 1 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Premiership Sat 11 Dec Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Portsmouth Premiership 2003/2004 Sun 29 Feb Portsmouth 1 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Premiership Sat 25 Oct Newcastle Utd. 3 - 0 Portsmouth Premiership 1992/1993 Tue 09 Feb Portsmouth 2 - 0 Newcastle Utd. League Division One Sat 12 Sep Newcastle Utd. 3 - 1 Portsmouth League Division One 1991/1992 Sat 25 Apr Newcastle Utd. 1 - 0 Portsmouth Second Division Sat 05 Oct Portsmouth 3 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Second Division 1990/1991 Sat 23 Mar Portsmouth 0 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Sat 06 Oct Newcastle Utd. 2 - 1 Portsmouth Second Division 1989/1990 Sat 10 Feb Portsmouth 1 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Sat 16 Sep Newcastle Utd. 1 - 0 Portsmouth Second Division 1987/1988 Mon 02 May Portsmouth 1 - 2 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 12 Dec Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Portsmouth First Division 1983/1984 Sat 04 Feb Portsmouth 1 - 4 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Sat 01 Oct Newcastle Utd. 4 - 2 Portsmouth Second Division 1964/1965 Sat 06 Mar Portsmouth 1 - 2 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Sat 05 Dec Newcastle Utd. 3 - 0 Portsmouth Second Division 1963/1964 Sat 19 Oct Portsmouth 5 - 2 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Wed 02 Oct Newcastle Utd. 1 - 0 Portsmouth Second Division 1962/1963 Sat 22 Dec Portsmouth 3 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Sat 25 Aug Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Portsmouth Second Division 1958/1959 Wed 11 Mar Portsmouth 1 - 5 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 27 Sep Newcastle Utd. 2 - 0 Portsmouth First Division 1957/1958 Wed 18 Sep Portsmouth 2 - 2 Newcastle Utd. First Division Wed 11 Sep Newcastle Utd. 2 - 0 Portsmouth First Division 1956/1957 Sat 15 Dec Portsmouth 2 - 2 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 18 Aug Newcastle Utd. 2 - 1 Portsmouth First Division 1955/1956 Wed 22 Feb Portsmouth 0 - 2 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 08 Oct Newcastle Utd. 2 - 1 Portsmouth First Division 1954/1955 Sat 05 Mar Portsmouth 3 - 1 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 11 Dec Newcastle Utd. 2 - 1 Portsmouth First Division 1953/1954 Sat 10 Apr Portsmouth 2 - 0 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 21 Nov Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Portsmouth First Division 1952/1953 Sat 18 Apr Portsmouth 5 - 1 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 29 Nov Newcastle Utd. 1 - 0 Portsmouth First Division 1951/1952 Sat 15 Mar Newcastle Utd. 3 - 3 Portsmouth First Division Sat 08 Mar Portsmouth 2 - 4 Newcastle Utd. F.A. Cup Sat 27 Oct Portsmouth 3 - 1 Newcastle Utd. First Division 1950/1951 Wed 11 Apr Newcastle Utd. 0 - 0 Portsmouth First Division Sat 02 Sep Portsmouth 0 - 0 Newcastle Utd. First Division 1949/1950 Sat 17 Dec Portsmouth 1 - 0 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 20 Aug Newcastle Utd. 1 - 3 Portsmouth First Division 1948/1949 Wed 06 Apr Newcastle Utd. 0 - 5 Portsmouth First Division Sat 02 Oct Portsmouth 1 - 0 Newcastle Utd. First Division 1933/1934 Sat 30 Dec Portsmouth 2 - 0 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 26 Aug Newcastle Utd. 2 - 2 Portsmouth First Division 1932/1933 Sat 28 Jan Portsmouth 2 - 0 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 17 Sep Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Portsmouth First Division 1931/1932 Sat 16 Apr Portsmouth 6 - 0 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 05 Dec Newcastle Utd. 0 - 0 Portsmouth First Division 1930/1931 Sat 21 Mar Portsmouth 1 - 2 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 15 Nov Newcastle Utd. 4 - 7 Portsmouth First Division 1929/1930 Sat 29 Mar Portsmouth 2 - 0 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 23 Nov Newcastle Utd. 4 - 1 Portsmouth First Division 1928/1929 Sat 06 Apr Newcastle Utd. 0 - 1 Portsmouth First Division Sat 24 Nov Portsmouth 0 - 1 Newcastle Utd. First Division 1927/1928 Sat 28 Apr Portsmouth 0 - 1 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 17 Dec Newcastle Utd. 1 - 3 Portsmouth First Division 1923/1924 Sat 12 Jan Portsmouth 2 - 4 Newcastle Utd. F.A. Cup