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Oct 22, 2009

Storrie "astonished" at charge over Faye transfer

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has vowed to defend himself against accusations of tax evasion.

Storrie has been charged with "cheating the public revenue" over the transfer of Amdy Faye to the south coast club six years ago. The player was paid £250,000 as part of the deal which it is claimed was never disclosed to the tax man.

However, Storrie insists he had no part in the deal and was actually on his honeymoon at the time.

Storrie has been under suspicion since being arrested in November 2007, since which he has been on bail. And it has not been confirmed he will be charged.

A statement released by Portsmouth said: "Mr Storrie would like to place on record his astonishment at the decision that has been made to charge him with an offence of cheating the public revenue, and bewilderment as to how such a conclusion could be reached concerning the transfer of the player Amdy Faye to Portsmouth Football Club.

"At the time negotiations to acquire this player were concluded, Mr Storrie was on honeymoon and was not directly concerned in the agreement that was reached regarding Faye's acquisition.

"He was at that time and has continued to be the chief executive of the club and remunerated as such. Mr Storrie did not and could not have gained from any cheating of the public revenue given his role within the club and allowing for the fact that he had no proprietary interest in Portsmouth FC.

"Mr Storrie will defend the allegations in the strongest possible terms and is entirely confident that he will be exonerated not only of the allegation of cheating the public revenue, but any suggestion that anything untoward took place concerning any transfer dealings in which he was concerned.

"Mr Storrie now welcomes the opportunity he will have of clearing himself of these allegations to ensure that his unblemished 20-year reputation in football management remains untarnished.

"He will use all available means to bring these proceedings to their proper conclusion as swiftly as possible.''

The probe into Storrie's finances was part of a wider investigation by City of London Police and HM Revenue and Customs into corruption in football. He was one of nine football executives questioned by police, all of whom denied any wrongdoing.

In May last year, former Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp and his wife Sandra were awarded £1,000 damages against the police after judges held that officers who raided their home as part of the corruption inquiry were acting unlawfully.

Their search warrant was invalid and the High Court said procedural failures by City of London Police in applying for it were "wholly unacceptable''.

Meanwhile, lawyers for the former co-owner and former chief executive of Birmingham City Football Club said in August they would not be prosecuted.

David Sullivan and Karren Brady were told no further action would be taken against them, law firm BCL Burton Copeland said in a statement.

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