Michael Appleton calls Balram Chainrai 'unprofessional'

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Fans are keeping me at Pompey - Appleton

Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton has called the potential new owners of the club "unprofessional" after being told his transfer budget has been slashed.

Appleton was believed to have been promised a budget of £4m for new player acquisitions in May, but that figure has now changed to around £1.5m.

"It's slightly unprofessional," Appleton told BBC Radio Solent.

"I'm not pleased about it but what can I do about it? I can't do anything about it but get on with it."

Portsmouth are currently in administration with Balram Chainrai in the process of taking control of the League One club.

On Friday, Liam Lawrence became the last senior player to leave the club and Appleton has been waiting patiently to start bringing new faces in.

He says he already has several players lined up having played triallists in pre-season, but believes those plans will now to be scrapped having had his budget cut by around 60%.

"It's not an ideal situation," Appleton continued. "I thought I would have 20 players going on the pre-season tour to Spain so I could get the team organised.

"But here we are with a day to go and I haven't got anyone.

"I have been recruiting all summer, working on the basis that the budget was a certain amount. What you do is get the best 20 players you feel can fit that budget.

"If the budget is what is being reported at the minute then it makes the job very, very difficult. Those players I've recruited, a lot of them I won't be able to sign because we won't be able to afford them.

"The problem you've then got is trying to find players to fit the new budget. All the best players will be gone and all you're left with are players who aren't good enough for that level."

Appleton has urged Chainrai to meet with him and revealed he has not been involved in the decision over the player budget.

"The most important thing in any business is dialogue between the people that count and I'd like to think at some point the manager of a football club will have a say on what happens," he said.

"It's difficult and has made my life 10 times harder. It's not as if I needed it to be any harder."

Pompey travel to Plymouth in the League Cup for their first competitive game of the season on Tuesday and Appleton is set to field a youth team.

Administrator Trevor Birch says everything is being done to ensure they can field a team at Home Park.

"I realise that many supporters are concerned about the size of the squad ahead of the start of the new season," Birch said in a statement.

"I've been working with Michael Appleton and the coaches to ensure that we have enough players to start the campaign, regardless of what happens off the pitch over the next few days.

"If a new owner is not in place shortly, then we will use a combination of players from the development squad and players signed on non-contracts [effectively short-term deals].

"We're also talking to the Football League to see if there's any additional support that they can give us until the ownership situation is resolved."

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