Pompey new-boy insists it’s not about the money

Lee Williamson in action at Fratton Park. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Lee Williamson in action at Fratton Park. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Joe Hancott in action for Pompey Reserves against Southend. Picture: Colin Farmery

Harris hails Pompey Reserves’ performance

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Lee Williamson savoured his fresh start and insisted his Pompey arrival had not been motivated by money.

Michael Appleton snapped up the goalscoring midfielder on Thursday in a hectic period of recruitment.

It raised eyebrows among many, the 30-year-old turning down the offer of a new deal at Sheffield United and interest from several clubs to move to Fratton Park.

Inevitably that has led to accusations Pompey are once again offering inflated financial terms to blow their rivals out of the water.

That has been strenuously denied by Williamson, who admits he was tempted by Appleton’s ambition. And after making his debut in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Bournemouth, he is relishing a long stay with the Blues.

He said: ‘It’s not the case I am getting big wages at all.

‘People may think “typical, greedy footballer” but it wasn’t a matter of that.

‘I just wanted to go somewhere that was ambitious, that’s going to play good football and where I was wanted.

‘Wages didn’t come into it at all. It can’t be considering the situation we are in.

‘Obviously I have got my family and need to make sure they are looked after but getting big wages is not the case at all.

‘Actually, what Sheffield United offered me was ridiculous. I did enjoy my time there but I was offered a contract there they knew I was never going to sign.

‘You are talking a 60-65 per cent wage cut.

‘Not blowing my own trumpet, I had a half-decent season, scoring a lot of goals for them, so to be treated the way I was and not having the backing of the gaffer I didn’t feel wanted.

‘After I had the offer I just knew it wasn’t the club for me.

‘Portsmouth are ambitious, I like the way the manager wants to play football and this is the right club for me.’

Williamson lasted 62 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth.

During that time he did more than enough to suggest he is going to be an excellent addition to the squad.

And the midfielder believes the Blues’ new-look side did well against the Cherries.

He added: ‘Despite all the things going on off the pitch and behind the scenes I thought it was a really good performance and I think we had enough to win it.

‘There was probably some fitness missing, which would have been key, but it was still a good start.

‘I couldn’t really continue in that second half, I was lacking a lot match fitness, but I was pleased with how it went.’

– NEIL ALLEN