Pompey chief plays down director of football reports

Michael Eisner. Picture: Neil Marshall
Michael Eisner. Picture: Neil Marshall
Joe Pigott celebrates Southend's winner against Pompey in League Two. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Mark Catlin has played down reports that Pompey’s prospective owner is considering appointing a director of football.

Shareholders of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust are currently voting on whether to approve Michael Eisner’s £5.67m bid.

Mark Catlin.  Picture: Joe Pepler

Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

In the meantime, the billionaire this week returned to America having attended a substantial number of meetings in the city, including manager Paul Cook.

It has been claimed should his approach be successful then he would be interested in installing a director of football above Pompey’s boss.

With the takeover process ongoing and their ownership interest not yet settled, Eisner’s camp have politely declined to comment on the reports.

Meanwhile, Catlin admitted a substantial number of improvements to the club are being looked by the potential new regime.

I am assuming he has 1,000-plus ways to improve the club, but there is a world of difference between considering and actually doing it

Mark Catlin

However, he insists there is still a long way before anything firm can be implemented into the Fratton Park set-up.

Pompey’s chief executive said: ‘I don’t think it is fair for me to comment on any aspect of the potential Michael Eisner investment and his thoughts thereafter.

‘However, I would find it bizarre knowing the highly-successful businessman he is if he wasn’t considering a whole range of ways to improve the club, whether it be commercially-related on or off the pitch.

‘I am assuming he has 1,000-plus ways to improve the club, but there is a world of difference between considering and actually doing it.

‘I would be amazed if he is not looking at every aspect of the business from top to bottom. It would be foolhardy if he wasn’t examining a whole range of options across the business in regards of improving Academy status, the player budget, a development squad, and so on.

‘Knowing Michael’s exceptional record of developing successful enterprises, changes have always been carried out – successfully I might add – following consultation with the professionals in that relevant field.’

Shareholders have until May 19 to register their vote on whether they want Eisner to take over the Blues.

The 75-year-old undertook an exhaustive schedule during his recent trip to England as he faced the fans as well as those directly involved in running the club.

It proved a perfectly-timed visit as he witnessed Pompey clinch the League Two title at Fratton Park.

Flanked by his sons, Eric and Breck, Eisner also watched the Pompey Ladies’ 3-2 win over QPR on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Eric and Tornante president Andy Redman attended Monday night’s end of season Pompey gala dinner, where Neil Ruddock was the guest speaker.

The duo mixed with supporters during the Victory Lounge event which brought the curtain down on Pompey’s superb campaign.