Pompey executive charged

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LONDON, November 17- The chief executive of English Premier League strugglers Portsmouth appeared in court on Monday charged with tax evasion over the payment of a signing-on fee to a midfielder.PETER_STORRIE_Peter Storrie, 57, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth when he appeared before City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London.

The details of his charge allege that, between July 2003 and November 2007, he "cheated the public revenue" over a fee paid to Amdy Faye when he moved to Portsmouth from French club Auxerre.

The charge alleges that Storrie arranged for the fee to Faye to be paid via the bank account of an agent, Willie McKay, in order to "conceal its true nature and purpose".

This led to the club failing to apply the correct procedures for income tax and national insurance contributions on the fee, the charge adds.

Storrie was released on unconditional bail and the case was adjourned until January 20 for a plea and case management hearing at Southwark Crown Court in London.

In a statement issued through his lawyers following the hearing, Storrie protested his innocence.

"No evidence was served by those prosecuting, who did, however, provide an 11-page preliminary summary, the contents of which represent the same flight of fantasy as the earlier disclosure had promised," he said.

"I maintain that these proceedings are a waste of public monies which continue to impact on my life and the lives of those persons close to me," he added, describing the case as an "unwarranted and dishonest attack upon my character".

Storrie was one of nine people questioned by police in a widespread probe into corruption within English football, all of whom strongly deny any wrongdoing.

Portsmouth are currently bottom of the English Premier League with just seven points from 12 matches.

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