Focus should move to football now we’re debt free

Joe Hancott in action for Pompey Reserves against Southend. Picture: Colin Farmery

Harris hails Pompey Reserves’ performance

  • Fans laud debt-free effort in Great Pompey Survey
  • Getting it right on pitch is key now
  • Focus on Trust in latest round of questions
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THE POMPEY board have emphatically delivered in making the Blues a debt-free football club.

Now, the challenge is for them to get things right on the pitch at Fratton Park.

And you, the fans, have faith in them to deliver on that front.

That’s exactly what you’ve said in week three of the Great Pompey Survey.

We’ve been asking you for your views on all things royal blue in our all-encompassing feature – and you have spoken in your thousands.

Last week, the focus moved on to ownership after looking at affairs on the pitch and matchday experience.

We had 672 responses from you, slightly down on previous weeks but still emphatically a large enough cross-section of fans to get an accurate reflection of your thoughts.

And a whopping 88.8 per cent of you have lauded the achievement of reaching ground zero when it comes to clearing the legacy debt inherited in April 2013.

A figure of 7.6 per cent believed it to be a good achievement with 2.1 per cent saying it was okay and 1.5 per cent nothing special.

Now, the focus has to be on Pompey moving forward in League Two under Paul Cook, as we begin our third season in League Two.

A huge 62.9 per cent of fans believe that to be the most important thing now with 16.7 per cent saying attracting investment matters most, 13.2 improving the stadium and 7.2 per cent another area.

There is clear support for the board, in its current guise, to deliver on that front, too.

When asked if you have faith in them to move Pompey forward, nearly 80 per cent of fans had either total faith (21.3 per cent) or confidence (58.1 per cent) in those running the club.

A figure of 18 per cent felt the jury was still out with 2.6 per cent stating they’d lost faith in the board.

When it comes to chief executive Mark Catlin, there is widespread appreciation for the work he is delivering in his role.

Well over three quarters of you believed Catlin’s performance to have been either excellent or very good.

A figure of 28.7 per cent rated it excellent, with 51.4 saying very good, 17.5 per cent average and just 2.4 per cent saying poor.

The role of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust in Pompey’s ownership provided some interesting views.

After fighting to take the club out of administration, a massive 86 per cent of supporters said it was either very important (61.3 per cent) or important for the Trust to maintain a share in the club.

But, interestingly, a massive 73.1 per cent of supporters would be happy to see the Trust share lowered if new investment was found.

A pretty even spread of views felt the share was best formed through majority ownership (30.1 per cent), the current stake (33 per cent) or the right to veto (24.8 per cent).

And just over half of you believed the current ownership model to be sustainable until Championship level is reached.

A figure of 51.1 per cent said that was the case with 36.7 per cent stating League One was the level, 6.7 per cent League Two and 5.4 per cent Premier League.