Last updated : 19 March 2002 By
Sam Matterface from The Quay asked me this question this afternoon: Savage or salvage? My answer was both, but it was definitely an act of salvage more than a savage swipe at the playing staff.

There is no doubt that a drastic move was needed with regard to Pompey's squad but few, if any, predicted that the clubs response would be so thorough. There are two notable absentees from the list: Kawaguchi and Luke Nightingale. Nightingale should be released with Yoshi staying. It looks like the door could of been once again opened for the Japanese number one - especially with Petterson and Tardiff being released on frees.

There are only three players who Pompey are asking for a fee for: Mladen Rudonja, Steve Lovell, Tom Curtis. Both Lovell and Curtis could be snapped up before Thursday, with Sheffield United thinking of splashing out £100,000 for Lovell and Exeter looking at Curtis. (Click the links on the right, to see our earlier stories on this)

The other 13 are all being released on free transfers: Ulliano Courville, Scott Hiley, Ceri Hughes, Carl Tiler, Chris Tardif, Thomas Thogersen, Garry Brady, Ben Griffiths, Stefani Miglioranzi, Mike Panopoulos, Andy Petterson, Dave Waterman, Tom White. The most surprising out of these are Courville, Hiley and Tiler.

Courville arrived last season and has looked highly promising in the reserves since his move from Monaco. Tiler is a Rix buy and it is likely that the player himself asked to move - Bradford being a possible club for the Yorkshireman. Scott Hiley is the bravest decision with the former captain being off form all season.

Peter Storrie, told the official site: "In order to bring in some quality players capable of taking us where we want to be next season, particularly in the defensive area, we have to drastically reduce the current wage bill.

"It is quite simple. We have a top heavy squad and something has to be done about that in order for us to replace quantity with quality and thereby produce a better but slimmer squad.

"These players are mostly not regulars in our first team and therefore we are trying to assist them in their careers as much as anything else"

The club were sure that they added the final line: "All those concerned have been informed of the club's decision to release them." after the local paper informed the previous nine players who were placed on the transfer list under Rix.

A brave move, a much needed move and looking promising for the new season.