Appleton criticises lack of Pompey communication

Pompey manager Michael Appleton has discovered even more Pompey woes this week. Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey manager Michael Appleton has discovered even more Pompey woes this week. Picture: Robin Jones
Fan-funder Steve McLenaghan cuts the ribbon to officially open the Tifosy pitches at Pompeys Copnor Road training base. Also included are, from left, James Pollock, Tifosy, Blues chief executive Mark Catlin, manager Kenny Jackett, academy boss Mark Kelly and Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Ken Ellcome. Fans were also present at the opening ceremony

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Michael Appleton believes he was left in the dark by Pompey after the full extent of their transfer embargo became clear.

The Blues boss this week went to war with the Football League.

Yet he emerged having learned administration has not been the sole reason for the current transfer embargo.

The raging Fratton boss intended to speak his mind on the treatment of Pompey when he rang up the League on Tuesday.

He was furious about having to operate a one-out, one-in policy, despite the club’s crippling injury list.

Instead, he received a few home truths as the full extent of the situation was finally explained.

Appleton was told the club have actually been under a long-term transfer embargo due to outstanding payments to other clubs.

The likes of Wolves and Bristol City are just some owed money by Pompey.

It was a situation he knew nothing of – the lack of communication within the club leaving him stunned. Former chief executive David Lampitt had been dealing with the Football League.

And now Appleton finds himself agreeing with their tough stance.

He said: ‘It would have been nice if somebody had told me before.

‘The Football League ignored my phone call a few times but I eventually got hold of them.

‘I am not sure he wanted to get hold of me!

‘It clarified a lot of things and I can move on from it now because I know where I stand.

‘I know exactly what I can and can’t do and get on with it.

‘I was fighting a losing battle, let’s just say that. A losing battle that I didn’t realise at the time.

‘What I wasn’t fully aware was that the Football League are well within their rights under the circumstances.

‘They made me aware administration wasn’t just the reason for the transfer embargo.

‘We have got financial problems and I am guessing payments to other clubs would probably come into that.

‘If you are just in administration then I am sure they would be a little bit more at ease with us.

‘But there are things that have gone on in the past.

‘I empathise with the Football League now.

‘It doesn’t make my life any easier – I am not going to feel sorry for them and I will never feel sorry for them – but I can understand where they are coming from and the protection they have to give to the other teams.

‘I can firmly put my tail between my legs and back off slightly and not put my foot in it.’

Lampitt was made redundant on Wednesday after 19 months with Pompey.

Trevor Birch is now leading the club after all members of the board were let go in a cost-cutting bid.

The administrator has chief executive experience with both Chelsea and Leeds, while he is a former professional footballer.

And Appleton is delighted with the pair’s communication so far.

He added: ‘Communication is the most important thing.

‘You have to have communication with the people above and so far, so good between myself and Trevor.

‘Hopefully that will continue over the next few months.

‘Trevor is a football man. He has got a vast amount of experience.

‘I have been really impressed with the way he has dealt with me and given me the support I am going to need over the last couple of months of the season.

‘He is not exactly wet behind the ears when it comes to dealing with money issues and crises.

‘The courts would not have appointed him if they didn’t think he was the right person to try to sort the mess out that is Portsmouth at the minute.’