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Storrie: Defoe, Diarra sales allowed Portsmouth to find new owner

Portsmouth chairman Peter Storrie says the sales of Jermain Defoe and Lassana Diarra gave them enough breathing space to find prospective new owner Sulaiman Al Fahim.

"The club was put up for sale in November 2008 as the global recession impacted on everyone," Storrie told the Sunday Mirror.

"Owner Alexandre Gaydamak could no longer fund the club and a company was approached to find a buyer.

"The problem we faced was paying out £12million of existing transfer fees in January and with little or no interest in the club we had to sell two players - Lassana Diarra and Jermain Defoe.

"Naturally it was a difficult period which was not helped by ludicrous uninformed reports that the club were in complete financial meltdown.

"It wasn't. The owner secured all the debts and therefore if we didn't meet our financial obligations he would be personally responsible.

"We were faced with the same dilemma come August when a further £12m had to be paid out. Obviously I bore the brunt of the supporters' frustrations.

"But as the chairman I had to implement a structure to keep the club going while we found a buyer.

"And when people don't really know what is going on they assume they do. I had to develop a thick skin, what choice did I have?

"My family and friends got more upset about things said and written about me.

"Of course it wasn't helped by an on-going police enquiry which had nothing to do with corruption or bungs, but was ostensibly a tax issue."

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