Paul Jewell has lifted the lid on the ‘nightmare’ of dealing with Pompey on transfer deadline day.
The Ipswich manager was keen to complete a triple swoop for Joel Ward, Jason Pearce and Stephen Henderson.
Blues boss Michael Appleton admitted he was waiting on phone calls while others at Pompey dealt with the club’s transfer activity.
And Jewell has revealed his attempts at completing the deals became impossible because of the chaotic circumstances, with the Tractor Boys boss unsure over who at Fratton Park was dealing with transfers.
Jewell said: ‘It was a nightmare – were we speaking to the right people, was it the administrator or the chief executive?
‘It was difficult. It was a bit of a unique circumstance.
‘It went on for a few weeks and we had different phone calls saying “you’re not allowed to speak to the chief executive, you have to speak to the administrator”.
‘Then the administrator would come on and say “you have to speak to (me)”.
‘And then an agent would come on and say “I am brokering the deal”.
‘It was really messy. I knew by 4pm on deadline day it wasn’t going to happen as I hadn’t even met or spoken to the players.
‘It was a complete nightmare.’
Jewell’s version of events raises questions as to exactly who was dealing with Pompey’s transfer activity on deadline day and whether negotiations were carried out by CSI administrator Andrew Andronikou, Blues chief executive David Lampitt or an intermediary agent who helped set up Ryan Williams’ move to Fulham.
Despite missing out, though, Jewell has not ruled out returning when the emergency loan window opens on Wednesday, when permanent deals can be put in place for the summer.
‘I don’t think the door is closed,’ he said.
‘We were a bit against the clock as it turned into a saga.
‘The players we wanted to bring in we thought were good players.
‘We were led to believe a deal could be done but we can’t do a deal with the players until you agree a fee.
‘The players’ terms, the agent’s demands, we felt were excessive so I said “no”.
‘We won’t look at it unless the demands change.’
Appleton admitted he was left frustrated by his inactivity on deadline day, despite Pompey hanging on to key men.
He said: ‘I was frustrated because I couldn’t do business like everyone else could.
‘I was relieved I hadn’t lost any of my prized assets but I wanted to pick the phone up to people to see if players were available like every other manager.
‘I was a frustrated figure waiting for someone to pick up the phone to me.
‘You would expect, if people had a serious interest in your players, they would ring you up.
‘I was aware offers were coming in and I was a little bit disappointed none of them were coming to me.’