Appleton: Blues bubble has not burst – yet

Pompey manager Michael Appleton. Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey manager Michael Appleton. Picture: Robin Jones
Former Pompey player Eoin Hand, right

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Michael Appleton insists Pompey’s pay woes have yet to impact on the players.

But he warned that could change if the problem is not rectified soon.

Players and staff are still waiting to receive January’s wages.

The Blues have yet to receive a validation order from the courts to allow them access to their frozen bank account.

That means all pay continues to be withheld.

It’s a problem which affects everybody at the football club from top to bottom, with staff effectively working for nothing at present.

In the meantime, Pompey missed out on a timely financial boost when Saturday’s home clash with Hull City was postponed.

Staff behind the scenes are continuing to work out of loyalty to the club. But, from a footballing point of view, Appleton is concerned his players’ spirits could wane.

He said: ‘You wouldn’t have thought it was a problem if you watched training on Saturday.

‘The way things are, you would think everything was normal.

‘I think that is testament to the players and the staff that they do get on with it.

‘If it continues, then it’s only natural that eventually it is going to start getting people down.

‘So, from my point of view, the job is only going to get more difficult.

‘I think some days are better than others.

‘But if I see someone is having a bad day, I just make sure I do my little bit to perk them up and make them feel better about themselves.

‘I think I am wise enough and clever enough to recognise who is having a bad day and when they need an arm round them or a cuddle.

‘Obviously some of them are a little bit tetchy at times.

‘But the longer it goes on, the more difficult it is going to get.

‘So the sooner it is sorted out the better.’

The Hull fixture was expected to generate much-needed income for the club with help from the Pack the Park campaign.

It was also set to be the first Fratton Park fixture for three weeks.

As it was, the game was called off early on Saturday morning due to a frozen pitch.

Programmes had already been printed, while the loss of potential ticket revenue from pay-on-the-day fans means the club have been left counting the cost.

However, the exact figures remain unclear, with chief executive David Lampitt unavailable for comment over the weekend.

In the meantime, Balram Chainrai has announced to press in China he and Levi Kushnir have covered January’s wages.

However, none of Pompey’s staff have yet to receive such monies.

The former Blues owner claims he will be back in the country this week seeking a resolution.