We will stay debt-free pledges Storrie

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POMPEY have vowed not to follow Saints into the type of financial meltdown reaped by relegation.

The Blues have pledged not to go into debt to build their Premiership team or a new stadium.

Saints have plunged into the Championship with reported debts of 23m on their St Mary's ground.

Relegation will cost Saints around 17m in lost Sky revenue, while gates will drop.

Chairman Rupert Lowe has been shrewd by inserting a clause in players' contracts to cut wages upon relegation.

But he still faces pruning the biggest wage bill and squad of the three relegated clubs.

Pompey made a 3m profit last season – and have trimmed an estimated 6m off their annual salaries by releasing 16 players since November.

Work is due to start on a new ground in August – with costs offset by the Pompey Village development, Premiership revenue and prudent housekeeping.

Blues chief executive Peter Storrie said: 'If you chase dreams and let finances get out of control, you go out of business.

'But if you're clever, that doesn't happen. It all boils down to not getting into debt. You can't spend more than the income coming in. That's why we're trying to make prudent decisions.

'Wages and transfer fees are where the money goes. That's the thing you can't let spiral. The wage bill has to be sensible in relation to the income.

'We're getting the balance right. We brought in too many players in the past, but now were remedying that.

'Chelsea operate with a smaller squad of around 25 players, and we have the same ideals. In the past we've had 44 players.'