Storrie admits Portsmouth position is untenable

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie admits his position at the club has become untenable.

Storrie has suggested he was left out of negotiations with Tottenham over the sale of defender Younes Kaboul.

Kaboul is expected to seal a return to White Hart Lane in a deal worth around £11million, though £2million of that is reportedly already owed by Pompey from the deal that brought the defender to Fratton Park.

Asked if he felt his role had become untenable, Storrie, one of the few constant figures during a turbulent time on the south coast, said: "In very many ways it probably has.

"It makes you wonder what one's doing here at the moment. My love is for the football club and despite what some of the fans may think, it always has been.

"My interest is in what is best for the football club.

He told Quay Radio: "I'll always keep that in mind whatever decision we make.

"But one feels aggrieved that over the years some excellent deal have been done in terms of transfers, both in and out. I'd like to think I'm pretty good at getting the right transfer fees.

"If there is a need to sell a player and get a fee then I feel I am the best person for the situation.

"But I knew nothing about it (the Kaboul reports) until this (yesterday) morning. I took a call from Avram (Grant, manager) and was told there were meetings going on at Spurs."

Portsmouth's precarious financial position was laid bare yesterday when their official website was temporarily shut down due to an unpaid bill.

The club confirmed their failure to honour their financial commitments to Juicy, the company responsible for running the site, resulted in it being taken off-line.

A Portsmouth spokesman said: "Our website was down because the club failed to keep to the payment plan agreed with our service provider.

"However, the bill was paid and the website is now running again."

Juicy released a statement yesterday afternoon confirming a new payment plan had been agreed with the south-coast club.

The spectre of becoming the first Barclays Premier League club to enter administration looms large at Fratton Park with Portsmouth reported to be £60million in the red.

Even if they manage to limp across the finishing line, their position four points adrift at the foot of the table and needing to sell their best players to stay afloat all but dooms them to relegation.

Wages have regularly gone unpaid, leading to fears of a walkout by disgruntled players, and the transfer embargo in place since October has only just been lifted.

But it is the failure to meet the financial demands of a nuts-and-bolts part of the operation such as the website that really rams home the depth of the crisis.

There was some bright news, though, with the loan signing of Spartak Moscow striker Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.

The 23-year-old former Arsenal and Birmingham player has moved to Fratton Park on loan until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.

There was better news for Pompey fans later this morning too, as Storrie revealed neither he nor Grant was likely to walk away from the beleaguered club.

Storrie conceded he still felt aggrieved by the situation at the club, but after speaking with Grant feels quitting at this stage is not an option.

"We have spoken about it," Storrie told ESPN Soccernet. "We are both angry, frustrated and fed up, but neither of us are quitters.

"I don't intend to quit now I've slept on it, and although I cannot speak for Avram, from what we have talked about this morning, I don't think he will quit either. And, let's face it, we both have good reason to walk out."

Kaboul may not be the only Pompey player set to join Spurs, with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic also being strongly linked with a move to the London club, but Storrie conceded that the player exodus could be the key to securing the club's financial future.

Indeed, Storrie went further by suggesting deals for both Kaboul and Begovic to join Spurs have been completed.

"I am no longer involved in the finances, I am not involved in the transfer negotiations, and Avram doesn't know what players are being sold," he added.

"The two best players on the pitch in our last game against West Ham, Kaboul and Begovic, have been sold to Spurs, and - who knows? - it might not stop there.

"That's not good for Avram, so you can understand why he is frustrated and angry about it, but at least it will keep the club alive for two or three months, maybe until the end of the season, which will gives you all time to sort out what is going on here."

Comments