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By ESPN Staff
Sep 29, 2008

Redknapp moves to calm off-field financial fears

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp has denied reports that he will be forced to sell players in January as a result of mounting financial problems at Fratton Park.

Reports on Sunday suggested that Pompey owner Alexandre Gaydamak was prepared to sell the club after accruing large debts by paying huge wages to players signed by Redknapp at a cost of more than £60 million in transfer fees over the last two years.

A statement from the club aimed at calming fears proved counterproductive and left Redknapp to clarify the situation.

"The club's owner has clearly stated that the club is not for sale but should the right offer be forthcoming, serious consideration would be given to the proposal," read the confusing club statement.

But Redknapp said: "Show me any club that is not up for sale if they are offered fantastic money. I bet every club has a price on it. Nobody is making millions.

"But we have fantastic assets out on the pitch. And I spoke to the owner and he said we don't have to sell anybody or anything, unless we want to bring in somebody better.

"I wouldn't have a clue how much players here earn or what contracts they've got. It's not my job to know. All that is done by (chief executive) Peter Storrie and the owner.

"I could have sold [Lassana] Diarra for £15million on transfer deadline day and didn't do it. I'm not saying who made that bid because he might want to go there if he found out. He's worth more than that.

"But I also sold Benjani, who I love, last season because we wanted to get Defoe, who is younger. And I'm delighted Spurs sold him to me. We needed him and it was nice to see him score again. He's been very sharp."

Jermain Defoe scored a 34th-minute penalty and Peter Crouch was also on target as Pompey claimed a 2-0 victory over hapless Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Guimaraes, Portsmouth's UEFA Cup opponents this week, have been fined £16,000 by UEFA for improper conduct after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Basle in the third qualifying round last month.

The Portuguese club were furious when Dutch referee Peter Vink disallowed a goal for offside in the dying stages of the second leg to deny them a 2-2 draw and a place in the group stage of the competition on away goals.

Guimaraes, who trail Harry Redknapp's side 2-0 heading into Thursday's second leg, have three days to appeal.

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