Catlin: We won’t change Pompey budgets and risk club

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MARK CATLIN stressed Pompey’s budgets will not change after Michael Eisner’s takeover was give the green light.

The Blues chief executive stressed the club do not intend to deviate from their current business plan, after presidents and Pompey Supporters’ Trust shareholders voted in favour of a takeover by Eisner’s Tornante group.

Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey currently have a £3m playing budget in place to mount their assault on League One next term.

Catlin explained there could be some leeway, but it’s critical the Blues don’t take any risks which could harm the club.

He said: ‘It’s important supporters and shareholders realise that, until the final contract is signed, we’ll be proceeding as if we’re with the current model.

‘We have to make it clear we will proceed as if we’re under the current ownership model until the final contract is signed.

Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Plain and simply, we can’t take any risks.

‘We can’t arrive at a situation where, for whatever reason, it doesn’t complete and we’ve committed the club to new contracts we can’t afford.

‘We’re confident that in our existing budget and squad we can be competitive again next season. If Michael comes in and wants to increase the playing budget that’s something we’ll discuss over the next six to eight weeks.

‘Michael has stressed he’s not going to be throwing crazy money at this, though.

‘There are always players who are available up to the close of the window. It’s important we keep tabs on them. Then the decision is for Michael and Tornante whether they take the plunge with those players.

‘We will proceed as we are now within the constraints of the current budget.’

Catlin has put down a ‘six to eight week’ timeframe in which he expects the takeover to be completed.

He said: ‘There’s a period of due diligence which has already commenced.

‘Mr Eisner and his team will go through every aspect of the business. There was some initial due diligence which was put on hold through the voting process.

‘They’ve looked at some of bigger ticket items to see if they are as we said, and they will now go down into the nitty-gritty.

‘That aligned with contract talks and getting everyone to sign on what was agreed on the term sheet will, I’m told, take between six to eight weeks. It’s that sort of timeframe.’

– JORDAN CROSS