Concerns as wave of wage cuts hits Pompey workers

Fratton Park
Fratton Park
Conor Chaplin in action against Northampton. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s Checkatrade kick-off time rescheduled

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THE future of Pompey remains uncertain after the club’s administrators announced a fresh wave of wage cuts.

PKF told employees their salaries will be slashed by 10 per cent.

The cuts will affect employees who work behind the scenes at the club and not the players because they are secured creditors.

PKF officials say the move is necessary because the state of affairs at Pompey is still in a ‘critical condition’.

Bob Beech, who runs fans’ campaign group SOS Pompey, said that while the news came as a blow, sacrifices had to be made to ensure the club’s survival.

‘Though I don’t want to see people losing money or their jobs the club has to be saved,’ he said. ‘The cutbacks have been going on for what seems like forever now.

‘I speak to people who work at the club from time to time and they are worried.

‘Pompey used to have a huge amount of staff and I think that’s part of the problem.’

In February last year, more than 30 people lost their jobs and remaining staff were asked to defer wages after The Blues went into administration.

‘Touchline’ Tony Male, who is a compere at Fratton Park on match days, fears sponsors who pay his wages could pull out if the situation gets worse.

‘I really feel for the full-time staff at the club,’ Mr Male said.

‘Some have gone through two or three rounds of wage cuts already. Things are bad at the moment. I can see this leading to more redundancies and sponsors could end up pulling out of their deals.’

‘The club is already trying to find a new training ground because it’s costing too much to stay at Eastleigh every year.’

Trevor Birch, PKF partner and joint-administrator of Portsmouth Football Club, said: ‘As part of our ongoing efforts to restructure the club’s costs, we have asked staff to take a further pay cut.

‘We appreciate that these measures are very painful for those involved, but we are still in a critical condition and wouldn’t be undertaking them if they weren’t necessary.

‘We thank the staff for their continuing loyalty and commitment in what is a stressful time for all concerned.’

Pompey fans seeking ownership of the club say the latest round of cuts will not affect their bid to take it over.

The Pompey Supporters’ Trust believes PKF is doing what it can to help balance the books. Trust spokesman Colin Farmery said: ‘We feel for the staff who are affected by this because they have been through a difficult time in the last few years. However, this does not affect our bid. It will just affect what we end up inheriting. PKF has always informed us about decisions it has made.’ A high court case over the valuation of Fratton Park has been adjourned until January 31.