Storrie hits out at Match of the Day pundits

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has slammed Match of the Day's TV pundits over comments about the poor state of the club's finances.

Storrie is angry that MOTD host Gary Lineker, together with pundits Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson, raised questions at the weekend about the money generated by a club that won the FA Cup two years ago.

Storrie has since revealed that the players had the biggest chunk of the money, the banks recalled £40million of loans and the rest went in transfer fees.

All the figures have been declared to the courts and to the club's potential South African buyers, with a deal anticipated in the next 48 hours.

But angry Storrie fumed: "It's all very well for Lineker, Hansen and Lawrenson to look perplexed about where the money has gone by showing a chart of the players we've bought and looking at that £75million and adding that to £70million of debt and asking 'where's the £150 million gone?'.

"In that period we bought £50million-plus worth of players and paid out their salaries. The list showed one player sold for £18million, but they never took off the £4million sell-on fee to Arsenal or the fact that we paid £4million for him, so in reality we were paid £10million not the £18million shown, and that is just one example.

"If people want to know where the money has gone, look at the accounts. It's no secret, we've had the report submitted to the courts. It's there for all to see.

"The bulk of the money has gone to the players in wages. The cost of the players' wages this year is £37million.

"Last season, when it was running at its height, it was £52million, and the year before it was £42million. The vast majority of the money over the last two to three years has gone on players' wages, and also on their transfer fees.

"I am fed up with everyone highlighting the debts without ever bothering to look at the assets of this football club."

Storrie however, remains hopeful that new owners, a South African consortium, could be in place before they return to the High Court to contest a winding-up petition on March 1.

"It's going to be a hectic few days," added Storrie on ESPN's Soccernet.

"I am heavily in discussions and not been off the phone all day today again. The next couple of days could prove crucial, it's going to be a very busy next 48 hours."

Meanwhile, Pompey yesterday accepted former owner Sulaiman Al Fahim's resignation from the board.

However they were left mystified as to why Al Fahim posted his 'private and confidential' resignation as non-executive chairman on a public website before informing the club of his intentions.

Al Fahim's resignation letter was posted on with the former board member claiming he had not been made aware of the club's financial situation despite repeated requests.

Al Fahim announced yesterday that he was to stand down and give his 10% shareholding to the Portsmouth's Supporters' Trust.

Portsmouth's Director of Communications, Gary Double, later confirmed: "We have received his resignation which has been accepted by the board."

The Dubai businessman is one of four people to have owned the ailing Premier League club this season, having taken over from Sacha Gaydamak last summer before selling Pompey to Ali Al Faraj.

Despite relinquishing ownership to Al Faraj, he retained a 10% stake in the club and was also given the position of non-executive chairman at Fratton Park.