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Old 06-05-2003, 12:01 AM   #1
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holland for 750k

Ipswich accept 750k bid for Holland

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie claims there is still some way to go before a deal for Ipswich midfielder Matt Holland can be completed.

First Division Town today 'reluctantly' accepted a 750,000 bid from Premiership new boys Pompey for their prized Republic of Ireland international.

Ipswich, who were prepared to sell the player to Aston Villa for 4million last summer, had hoped to keep Holland but financial reasons forced them to accept the cut-price offer.

Storrie however insists the deal is far from done and told his club's official website: 'We have spoken to Ipswich about Matt.

'Unfortunately though we would ideally like to keep wraps on these sort of things till it's a done deal the news can leak from various other sources.

'So yes we have enquired but to be fair to Matt we still have to talk and agree terms with him and nothing is going to happen for at least 10 days.'

Holland has won 31 caps for Ireland and made a big impression during last year's World Cup campaign.

He joined Ipswich in 1997 after being released by West Ham, who were then managed by current Pompey boss Harry Redknapp.

Ipswich did not want to sell Holland but chairman David Sheepshanks told the club's official website: 'Regrettably and reluctantly we have been obliged to consider the transfer opportunities for our much admired and outstanding captain Matt Holland.

'For any club outside the Premiership, it is not just about transfer fees but also the size of wage commitments.

'Matt Holland was not on huge money by Premier League standards but nevertheless on a level that is simply unaffordable in the First Division.

'The state of the transfer market is such that while there is interest in a player of Matt's pedigree, the very best fee that we have been able to obtain is 750,000 from Portsmouth.

'This is particularly tough to digest when a year ago much higher values were being spoken of and indeed in August 2002 we agreed a sale to Aston Villa of 4million.

'It is now up to Matt to discuss personal terms with Portsmouth. Clearly if he decides to go he will be a huge loss but by the same token we have every confidence in Joe Royle being able to replace Matt in the team and build his Ipswich Town side for the future.'

Holland is currently on international duty with the Republic of Ireland preparing for the Euro 2004 qualifiers against Albania and Georgia.

I guess it's a necessary sale, but a player like Matty shouldn't be going for 750K. And Bournemouth are getting some of that fee, too.
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