Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric has denied that the club’s former manager Harry Redknapp, was involved in any wrongdoing during his time at Fratton Park.
Reports at the weekend raised questions about Redknapp’s involvement in transfer dealings at the club and in particular, his role in the payment of fees to agents. At a specially-convened news conference Mandaric clarified his admission that £3m had been paid to agents during Redknapp’s reign.
“In line with most clubs our former manager Harry Redknapp selected the players he wished to bring to the club and that determined the agent,” said Mandaric.
“My Chief Executive Peter Storrie, with my help, negotiates the actual transfer and agents fees along with players’ contracts and I approve every transaction.
“Harry was never involved at any time on any transfer and contract negotiations throughout his period at the club.
“At no time did I ever imply there was any wrong doing by Harry Redknapp in these transactions and I was simply saying that agents take so much out of the game.
“I want, along with all my fellow Premier League Chairman, to reduce their influence in all club finances.”
Mandaric confirmed that over the past two and a half years the club had spent £11.5 million on 25 players with a further £3.5m potentially linked to future appearances and the club’s Premiership status. In the same time period Pompey have received £5.1m for transfer sales and paid £3.4m to 31 different agents covering 38 players.
The Pompy chairman went on to thank Redknapp for the situation he hads bequeathed, saying: “He has done a marvelous job in carrying this club from the lower regions of the old division one to mid-table in the Premier League.
“To achieve what Harry has been able to achieve in moving our club to the position we are today as a Premier League club at a net cost of £10m is a phenomenal record in the football world.
“I, along with all my supporters, will be forever grateful to Harry for what he has achieved.”
Redknapp, who sat alongside his former chairman, claims the headline surrounding the club’s transfer dealings left him with a nasty taste in his mouth and says he called the press conference in a bid to clarify the situation.
“I just felt it was important that we came along today to clear up what has been going on,” he added.
“I have to be honest and say when I woke up on Saturday morning, I was shocked by that headline in the paper.
“I have never been so shocked and disgusted in my life, as I know I have done nothing but good for this football club and to suddenly read that headline was not nice.
“I know it was just a headline, it was not written by the lad who wrote the story, but to say I paid out this money to my special agents, well…
“This shows you that we used 31 different agents in the deals and I could not tell you what a single player earns at this club, let alone what was paid to agents.
“I don’t get involved at all. I identify the players and pass it on to Peter and he rings me and tells me whether we have got the player.
“I felt it was a bit of nonsense-making which needed to be put right.
“When I have looked to sign a player, I find them and talk to them to make sure they want to play for the club. But after that it is up to someone else.
“I did not deserve those headlines, that’s for sure, and that is why we are here.
“I know what I have done here and I did not deserve that at the weekend.”