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Sep, 3, 2009

Storrie: Portsmouth flirted with administration

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has revealed the south coast club came close to going into administration on a couple of occasions after operating "way outside our means".

Pompey, who were bought last week by Sulaiman al Fahim, have been busy offloading star players during the transfer window, selling the likes of Peter Crouch, Glen Johnson, Sylvain Distin and most recently Niko Kranjcar to Tottenham Hotspur for £2.5m.

Only after Al Fahim's long-running takeover was finally complete did the Premier League club dip into the transfer market themselves; completing the low key signings of Mike Williamson from Watford, Tal Ben Haim from Manchester City and agreeing a loan deal for Benfica's Hassan Yebda.

Storrie now admits the club had been in a precarious position and desperately needed to balance the books.

"On a couple of occasions it (going into administration) got very close," Storrie told BBC Radio Five Live. "It's something I was personally fighting very heavily against but at the end of the day you can only ask people so many times to give you a little longer to pay things.

"Some of the football clubs and the revenue and agents were being absolutely fantastic and doing a lot of it on my name really and saying 'okay, we'll do it for you Peter'. They were being very, very understanding but even they, rightly so, were getting to the point of saying 'how many more times can we do this?'

"I really do want to say a big 'thank you' to all those people helped us so much to get into this position so we're now going forward."

Storrie also challenged England goalkeeper David James to "knuckle down and work hard" after a move away from Fratton Park failed to materialise.

The 39-year-old was linked with a switch to Tottenham on transfer deadline day and a reunion with former manager Harry Redknapp.

However, with no such deal forthcoming, the England stopper, not included in Fabio Capello's latest squad as he recovers full match fitness following shoulder surgery, has little choice but to get on with the job in hand for Paul Hart's squad.

"David has got to knuckle down and work hard," Storrie told the Portsmouth News. "He may be the England goalkeeper, but we have got a lot of talented goalkeepers here.

"As far as we are concerned, he is under contract and here to give 100% to Portsmouth Football Club. If he does not want that he has to tell us that."

Papa Bouba Diop and Kanu have both signed new contracts at Fratton Park. Midfielder Diop has signed a one-year extension to his current deal to keep him at Fratton Park until 2011.

Nigerian Kanu has scored 21 goals in 98 appearances for Pompey and has penned a one-year deal to remain at the club until next summer.

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