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Stoke defender Sonko: I was paid £20,000-a-week for three years and hardly played

Stoke City defender Ibrahima Sonko says he has deep regrets over his time at the club.

Sonko admits he feels guilty pocketing his £19,545-a-week while red-tape thwarted him from playing for the Potters.

He played just 697 minutes for Stoke since signing his deal on September 2, 2008. But he has just collected the last of three six-figure bonuses for City staying up each year.

In the 2009-10 season while on loan at Hull he picked up a staggering £1,631 per MINUTE on the pitch.

As one of seven loan players at Portsmouth last season, rules meant he would often sit in the stands while cash-strapped Pompey could not even fill the subs' bench.

Sonko, 30, said: "This has been a dreadful experience. I've taken the money because that's what is in the contract. But all I've wanted to do is go out and earn it.

"I've been caught in an infuriating web of rules and red tape which some managers are not even sure about.

"At Portsmouth I had to sit in the stands and watch my team lose because the rules mean I could not even be in the squad. The fans are sitting around me and God knows what they think? I'm sure that if many clubs don't even know the rules, then they don't.

"So to them I must have looked like some lazy footballer - picking up almost £20,000 a week but could not be bothered to play.

"The last three years has been a mess and it needs to be sorted. Far from being lazy I feel like I've been restricted from doing my work. What other business would have such complex rules that stop people moving around and getting the best out of themselves?"

 It's kicking off again! Click here for your No1 source for Stoke transfer market news and gossip.

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