Credit cruch halts Portsmouth spending

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The Independent Online

Portsmouth have admitted their spending spree is over and that Younes Kaboul will be the last of their big-money signings - thanks to the credit crunch.

Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie insists the Fratton Park club intended to loosen the purse-strings to purchase three top-quality signings this summer.

But instead only striker Peter Crouch - an £11m signing from Liverpool - and French defender Kaboul - £5m from Tottenham - have arrived for major fees.

Storrie revealed that manager Harry Redknapp has lavished around £60m on new talent since last summer - since when he has recruited the likes of Lassana Diarra, John Utaka, Glen Johnson and Jermain Defoe to help secure eighth place in the Barclays Premier League last season as well as the FA Cup.

But a worldwide banking crisis has bitten deep into football finances as well as other major businesses and Storrie said: "The credit crunch is there and everybody has been affected by it. We don't get away just because we are a football club.

"The banks are now tighter and not prepared to put debt on. You just cannot continue to increase debts.

"I did say we intended to bring in three top players but that was before the credit crunch.

"The owner has already invested an incredible amount of money but we cannot keep spending the amount we have spent since the summer of 2007 - in excess of £60m on players alone.

"On top of that you have agents' fees while the wage bill has gone up substantially. All that and with just 20,000 coming through the gates."

Redknapp has also been able to bring in Reading winger Glen Little on a free transfer and teenage Chelsea striker Ben Sahar on a six-month loan.

But in the end he had to sell Ghana star Sulley Muntari to Inter Milan to pay for Crouch, and battle to retain much-coveted pair Niko Kranjcar and Diarra.

Storrie added: "People have to be realistic. A few players might arrive but not for big money.

"We have still got more quality players than we have ever seen at Pompey."

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