Portsmouth charged with illegal approach


The strained relationship between Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric and his Southampton counterpart Rupert Lowe could deteriorate further after the Premier League charged Pompey with an illegal approach for Harry Redknapp.

Mandaric is set for a potentially tense meeting with Lowe, with Pompey facing punishment after being charged for breaching rules in their approach to bring manager Redknapp back to Fratton Park after a year at St Mary's.

While at Southampton, Redknapp was initially refused permission to speak to Pompey about filling their managerial vacancy; then he left St Mary's after feeling his position was untenable.

Lowe immediately questioned Portsmouth's conduct after Redknapp's departure, with Mandaric denying any wrongdoing and also sending his counterpart a duck as a Christmas present.

Mandaric was annoyed when Lowe apparently spent a day duck shooting when the Pompey chairman was desperate to conclude negotiations over the compensation package for Redknapp's services.

A club statement read: "Portsmouth Football Club is disappointed at the lack of support for a fellow member of the Premiership given by certain officials of the League and looks forward to clearing the club's name.

"It appears this is entirely led by a man called Lowe and Milan Mandaric looks forward to seeing him at the hearing when he can ask him how he found the duck stuffing."

The statement added: "Portsmouth Football Club and Southampton Football Club agreed a compensation amount for Harry Redknapp and furthermore Harry Redknapp and Southampton Football Club signed a formal compromise agreement, therefore the club is surprised that the approach can now be considered illegal."

Pompey also expressed their disappointment at not being told of the charge before the Premier League made an announcement, although it is understood they were informed verbally.