Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie appeared in court today charged with having "cheated the public revenue" over the signing-on fee to a midfielder.
Storrie, 57, of St Helen's Road, Hayling Island, Hampshire, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth when he appeared before City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London.
The details of his charge allege that, between July 1 2003 and November 28 2007, he cheated the public revenue over a signing-on fee to Amdy Faye from Auxerre to Portsmouth.
The charge alleges that he arranged for the fee to Faye to be paid via the bank account of an agent, Willie McKay, in order to "conceal its true nature and purpose," thereby "causing a failure on the part of the club to operate PAYE and account for income tax and national insurance contributions in respect of that fee".
Storrie, dressed in a dark blue suit, striped shirt and spotted tie, was released on unconditional bail by District Judge Daphne Wickham.
The case was adjourned until January 20 next year for a plea and case management hearing at Southwark Crown Court.
Storrie has already stated that he will defend himself in the "strongest possible terms" against the charge.
In a statement issued through his lawyers following the hearing, and posted on Portsmouth Football Club's official website, Storrie said: "No evidence was served by those prosecuting, who did, however, provide an 11-page preliminary summary, the contents of which represent the same flight of fantasy as the earlier disclosure had promised.
"I maintain that these proceedings are a waste of public monies which continue to impact on my life and the lives of those persons close to me.
"My family and I eagerly anticipate the exoneration that will follow.
"I would like to thank everyone both in and outside the football world, including club supporters, owners and the media, for their continuing support in this unwarranted and dishonest attack upon my character."Reuse content