Catlin relaxed over Pompey takeover progress

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

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Mark Catlin has reiterated Pompey’s takeover is still progressing.

It has been almost two months since shareholders voted to sell the club to Tornante.

We are at the higher-end of that eight-week period but, as I have been keen to stress from the start, things have to be right for all parties

Mark Catlin

The timeframe for completion of the £5.67m deal was publicly pinpointed as between six to eight weeks.

Such a period ends on Saturday – although Pompey’s sale has still not been completed.

In the meantime, the Blues are powering ahead with a business-as-usual stance, last week signing Luke McGee and Brett Pitman for undisclosed fees.

The current boardroom make-up remains intact until the deal is signed off by all parties to enable Tornante to take control.

It means Iain McInnes stays as chairman, despite a May announcement he is to stand down following four years in the role.

According to Catlin, the complexity of the purchase has slowed down the anticipated timeframe.

But Pompey’s chief executive is relaxed over how talks are continuing.

He said: ‘When the shareholder vote was taken, the general consensus among people close to it seemed to indicate it would be a period of six to eight weeks.

‘We are at the higher-end of that eight-week period but, as I have been keen to stress from the start, things have to be right for all parties.

‘If it takes another week or so for that to happen then it is surely in the best interests of everyone.

‘However long it takes, it has to be a deal that’s right for everybody – Tornante, Michael (Eisner), the football club, the presidents, the Trust and the current board.

‘Everyone has to be happy with it.

‘I am always loathe to give an exact date because it’s not in my direct control, there are so many different parties involved with different interests in what the outcome of the deal will be.

‘It’s not a straight one-on-one deal, there are a lot of people with vested interests – although, correctly, everyone is looking after the best interests of the football club at heart.’

Eisner has previously announced his intent to be present at Fratton Park for the August 5 curtain-raiser against Rochdale.

There has been no indication such plans will change as the Eisner family seek to fulfil their long-standing ownership interest in Pompey.

In the meantime, the club continues to operate under the guidance of the existing board, who also chose Kenny Jackett as the new manager in June.

Of the board members, Catlin has been at all five of Pompey’s pre-season friendlies, while McInnes and Mike Dyer have also been in attendance on occasions.

Jackett’s side are next in action when they entertain Premier League Bournemouth at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Their final summer fixture takes place at Crawley on Saturday, July 29, ahead of the new League One campaign.