Eisner speaks over Pompey manager’s future

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey beat Charlton to help get back on track and must continue to push on. Picture: Joe Pepler

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MICHAEL EISNER has pledged his support for Paul Cook.

The American billionaire wants Cook at the helm in League One if he assumes ownership of Pompey.

And Eisner has hinted he will loosen the purse strings for the Blues manager if his takeover bid is successful.

The prospective owner is set to meet Cook tomorrow after a previous discussion on the phone, following promotion being sealed.

The former Walt Disney chief executive feels the Scouser is the right man to take the club forward.

Eisner said: ‘I’ve talked to Paul on the phone.

‘I did understand him, too! I’m getting my ear attuned to correct English.

‘It was interesting. I had a phone call with him and I thought it would be a case of saying congratulations.

‘I thought it would be a case of saying “Paul, congratulations, you’ve won a promotion, and nice to speak on the phone”.

‘I ended up being on the phone with him for 30 minutes! There were a lot of things spoken about.

‘He had ideas about a lot of things and I’m meeting him again tomorrow.

‘He’s obviously done a very good job and Mark (Catlin), who I’ve spoken to, wants to keep him. Of course we support that. He’s had a great year.’

Eisner has a sporting background in America after buying a controlling stake in baseball side LA Angels and forming ice hockey outfit Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

The 75-year-old showed faith in his managers then – and feels continuity is key.

‘I know the way it works. Fans love, they hate and they go up and down,’ added Eisner.

‘We had ups and downs but we won both leagues with the same manager.

‘I’ve not even micro-managed, but they (the coaches) did report to me – even though I had a lot of other things with Disney.

‘We had one manager on both teams for the entire time.

‘You just have to have patience with managers.

‘I was amazed when I learnt the average is a year-and-a-half for a manager in England.

‘That seems to me that’s not straight. The game is strategic, straight and steady. The changing of managers is the opposite. So it seems to me there’s a disconnect there.’

Cook has been handed a £3m wage budget for players next season – a figure Eisner suggested could improve.

He said: ‘I don’t know what his playing budget is, so I can’t answer that question (will the playing budget increase). I’d say it’s possible.

‘This is going to be up to Mark (Catlin).

‘We haven’t done all the due diligence yet. I like it he is restrained (by a budget), but Paul has to be restrained. Maybe when he has Michael Eisner he won’t be so restrained.

‘We plan to run this disciplined but aggressive enough to move and keep moving forward.’