Pompey chief exec Peter Storrie has been charged with 'tax evasion' in relation to the signing of Amdy Faye from Auxerre in 2003.
Storrie - who like Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric had been on bail since his arrest in 2007 - is alledged to have been part of the deal that saw Willie McKay (Faye's agent) and Faye given a payment upon his arrival that saw no tax paid - both McKay and Faye were cleared of any wrongdoing and Storrie was expected to be given the same exoneration, but he has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the public revenue and false accounting...
He becomes the first person charged since the corruption in football enquiry was opened.
A statement was issued to The Guardian late last night in which Storrie expressed his 'astonishment' at the charges against him and 'bewilderment' at the conclusion drawn. Storrie is also said to have been on his honeymoon at the time so he was not 'directly concerned' with the agreement of Faye's arrival: '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 has fully co-operated with the authorities at every stage of this 31-month investigation in the belief and expectation that after an inquiry as protracted as this, the authorities would understand that there was no wrongdoing in any aspect of the player's transfer.'
As well as McKay and Faye being cleared of any wrongdoing in this transfer it is also said the same has been concluded of Redknapp and Mandaric, although an investigation is still ongoing into another payment made into an offshore account, in Redknapp's name, from Mandaric...
Storrie will now fight to clear his name of any wrongdoing in that transfer and the allegations against him - looking to do so as 'swiftly' as possible: '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.'
Well, there you have it - just an 'everyday' occurrence at Pompey I guess!
With enough going on as it is, and our name dragged through the mud as much as it has been over the months this is not exactly 'ideal' is it. We now just have to hope that this can be 'concluded' ASAP, and, from the clubs point of view, without further disruption to it...
PLAY UP POMPEY!