Pompey in debt boost

Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Fan-funder Steve McLenaghan cuts the ribbon to officially open the Tifosy pitches at Pompeys Copnor Road training base. Also included are, from left, James Pollock, Tifosy, Blues chief executive Mark Catlin, manager Kenny Jackett, academy boss Mark Kelly and Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Ken Ellcome. Fans were also present at the opening ceremony

Football’s reaping success from Pompey pioneers

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Pompey are months ahead of schedule for clearing their legacy debts.

According to Mark Catlin, off-the-field the Blues are out-performing on almost all their budgeted forecast as the club approaches the first anniversary of community ownership.

That includes leaps in ticket sales, corporate hospitality and commercial activity – in addition to cost savings.

The results ensure the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), who represent 21 ex-Pompey players scheduled to receive payments until July 2016, are being paid quicker than anticipated.

That date has now been brought down by months and is still falling, leaving Pompey’s chief executive delighted with the progress.

Catlin said: ‘We have out-performed on almost every level on the original budgeted forecast.

‘I must admit, when it was first presented it looked difficult, so just to achieve those figures was hard – but not only have we achieved them we have far surpassed them.

‘There are so many different areas where we have outperformed on the figures given to me to work with at the start of the season.

‘We have what we call an accelerator, an unbudgeted income, and 50 per cent of it goes towards paying the debts off quicker.

‘Every month when we report our figures to the Football League, more and more of that goes towards paying the debt down.

‘With the Football League we have extra-stringent controls on us due to what we have gone through in the past and the legalities of the deed signed to come out of administration.

‘But we are paying back more than anticipated and consistently throughout the season the timing has been brought down.

‘I would love to arrive at the situation where we are debt-free as a club and have money in the bank. If we do that, as a board and as a club we will have done fantastically well

‘And I think it’s a very realistic outcome for where we will be in the next year or two.’

There will be an overview of current finances on April 16 at the Pompey Supporters’ Trust One Year On event.

Yet Catlin admits such success is tainted by the present on-pitch failure.

He added: ‘We are delighted with what is happening off the field but in football you get judged by what occurs on it and you can’t shy away from that.

‘It is great what we are doing off the field and rightly so we should be shouting about that but likewise we should be getting it in the neck from fans about what is going on on it.

‘You can’t have it both ways and wash your hands of everything else and take credit for bits you want to.

‘We realise the responsibility we have got to our fans and a huge part of that is to make sure we are performing on the pitch.’