Peter Storrie, the chief executive of relegation-threatened Portsmouth, has been charged with tax evasion over a 2003 transfer deal, Britain's Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) confirmed yesterday.
Storrie is accused of defrauding Britain's tax office by concealing the payment of a signing-on fee made to the talented Senegalese midfielder, Amdy Faye, when the player joined from the French club, Auxerre.
The full charge said that Storrie "cheated the public revenue" by arranging for the fee to Faye to be paid via bank accounts of an agent, William McKay, in order to evade the payment of tax and national insurance contributions.
Storrie is due to appear at London's City of Westminster Magistrates Court on 16 November.
In a statement issued yesterday, Storrie said he was astonished at the decision to charge him. He strongly denied that he had played a direct role in the deal to sign Faye and vowed that he would clear his name.
"At the time negotiations to acquire this player were concluded, Mr Storrie was on honeymoon," the statement said.
"Mr Storrie will defend the allegations in the strongest possible terms and is entirely confident that he will be exonerated not only of the allegation of cheating the public revenue, but any suggestion that anything untoward took place concerning any transfer dealings in which he was concerned."
The RCPO said that there was no maximum penalty for the offence, meaning that, should the Portsmouth chief executive be found guilty, then the court could hand him whatever sentence it believed to be fitting.