Date: 13th August 2008 at 12:41pm
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Peter Storrie has told The News that the current credit crisis has ended Pompey’s summer spending – in as far as large amounts goes…

He also made reference to his ‘we will sign 3 quality players’ promise this summer, which he says was made pre the credit crunch: ‘I said we would like to bring in three quality players – but that was before the credit crunch.

‘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.

‘It’s not as if we can ask for contributions from shareholders as there are none. Sacha is the owner and has already invested an incredible amount of money.

‘We cannot keep spending the amount of money we have since the summer of 2007. Since then we have spent 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. It is incredible to have achieved what we have really.’

Whilst I understand mainly where he is coming from, and do agree that the credit crunch is having an impact on all walks of life, and football despite all the millions involved in it is not exempt from this – football does not get special dispensation from this – as this is a situation that could go on for some time it will get tough. But this is where football – Pompey included – also needs to realise that it also impacts on us, so if costs spiral out of control we cannot afford to pay them either!

We will probably see the impact on the amount of money coming into football though advertisements, sponsorship, TV money etc. with this possibly decreasing as time goes on, so even if spending is not reigned in by choice the club have no other option…

The part I do disagree with really is Storrie saying that he made his comments before the credit crunch hit – as I know for a fact this was hitting long before the start of the summer, this saw a job fall through for me in the early stages of this year! Businesses – and football is a business – would clearly foresee situations like this as well?

He also went on to explain where the Sulley Muntari money has gone and called for realism, which is something we must do – you cannot keep spending and spending – so you do not always get the players you want. In theory it is easy, in practice it is a lot harder: ‘the Sulley Muntari money has gone towards the general amount spent on players since the summer of 2007.

‘We are not in a position to keep spending money and people have to be realistic.

‘A few more players might arrive but not for big money.’

He finished with an attack on fans that have knocked the transfers we have made this summer: ‘I have read the ridiculous and silly comments from people in the papers.

‘Do people think we are daft and pay the first figure given? We want to negotiate the best deal for this club.

‘I do not know why people criticise. We have got more quality players than we have ever seen at Pompey.

‘I find it very hard to understand – and so do Harry and the coaching staff.’

Again I do agree with the sentiment that we cannot always get what we want and will not always pay what is asked – and why should we, plus some names mentioned are just unrealistic. I would also agree with the quality of the players we have, as I have often said recently that I am more than happy with what we have, as it is hard not to be.

But, and there is always a but, in many ways Storrie has brought some of this on himself as his ‘promises’ for players were something that we should not really have heard. It was not required, but did raise expectations and saw great things expected from many, realistically this was going to be tough but it might have initially blinkered us and sucked us into believing it in its entirety…

That said can we really be that unhappy with seeing Peter Crouch, Younes Kaboul, Glen Little and Ben Sahar – loan – arrive, despite the departure of Muntari?

I would still expect a few players to be moved on, but they will be replaced with decent players – and you do not always need to pay a fortune to get quality do you, you can find the odd gem at a bargain price, or if you work the loan market well that can be to your benefit…

People might say that we still have all the TV money etc. to play with but remember we have a multi million pound training complex to pay for and a wage bill in the millions per months – so although it might not all be used directly to buy players it is being used on the club, to see us ultimately benefit!

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