Barker has final say on Pompey recruits

Richie Barker. Picture: Joe Pepler

Richie Barker. Picture: Joe Pepler

Liam O'Brien. Picture: Joe Pepler

O’Brien targeting regular football after Pompey exit

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MARK CATLIN today promised: Richie Barker calls the shots.

The Pompey chief executive has vowed the final verdict over signing players rests with the Blues boss.

That comes with Wes Fogden set to arrive in a busy flurry of transfer activity.

The former Hawks midffielder is cancelling his contract with the Cherries to smooth the way for the move.

He will follow Nicky Shorey, Ryan Taylor and Jake Jervis as January arrivals.

Catlin insisted the decisions on those signings rested with Barker.

That’s in the wake of questions in some sections about who has the ultimate say when it comes to recruits at Fratton Park.

With Barker taking responsibility for results, Catlin stressed only one person can make the call on players.

And he insisted that was also the case under Barker’s predecessor, Guy Whittingham.

Catlin said: ‘Transfer decisions are made by the manager.

‘The board, chief exec and backroom staff can all have an opinion about a player.

‘Everyone in the world can have an opinion – it’s the manager’s decision.

‘He lives or dies by those decisions. I can’t make that clearer.

‘The first time you have someone else turning down a player who is in budget and the manager loses on the Saturday, his reaction will be he wouldn’t have lost with that player in the teem.

‘He has an excuse. You can’t give managers excuses.

‘The lines of demarcation are opinions are not decisions.

‘We can all give feedback but the final decision is down to the manager.

‘That has always been the case and will continue to be.

‘I can categorically state there has not been, and will not be, interference to do with the playing squad.

‘That is the manager’s squad and what he is employed to do.

‘You get the manager, you appoint the right man for the job and you then back him with everything you’ve got.

‘There is no other way of managing a club.’

Barker can call on the experience and advice of Steve Coppell as he eyes targets.

Player recruitment consultant Darren Simmons is lending his support in the hunt for recruits.

The Pompey boss’s assistant, Anthony Williams, also offers contacts and a sounding board for Barker.

Catlin feels there are vast resources for the Blues boss to call on.

He said: ‘There are so many people out there working for us on a daily basis.

‘The network is huge. We put that at the disposal of the manager.

‘But I stress again it’s the manager’s choice.’

Meanwhile, Barker has dismissed links with Fulham left-back Sean Kavanagh.

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