Trust the key to Pompey future

Pompey fans protest against Balram Chainrai outside Fratton Park
Pompey fans protest against Balram Chainrai outside Fratton Park
Dion Donohue Picture: Jason Chadwick

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The first job of Pompey’s new owners is to win the trust of the club’s beleaguered fans.

That’s the view of former Fratton favourite Mick Quinn, who has challenged Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) to deliver action, not words, after becoming the Blues’ fifth owners inside two years.

Quinn feels the club’s supporters have grown tired of the same old rhetoric and empty promises offered by recent owners and has challenged Vladimir Antonov, Roman Dubov and Chris Akers to make building the faith of the doubting Blues fans a priority after assuming control.

But the man who smashed in goals galore for the Blues in his three-year spell at Fratton Park in the late 80s also reckons the Fratton faithful have to give CSI a chance to make their impression.

Quinn said: ‘When you hear new people are coming in at Pompey, your first reaction is to ask what their motives are?

‘Is it an egotistical thing? Do they want to be seen with the scarf around them? Or do they actually want to turn things around?

‘The first thoughts are, “can we trust these people?”

‘They are making the right noises about building the squad up and talking about continuity.

‘But after what has happened at Pompey, the fans want to hear action and not words.

‘We’ve heard it all before, but we have to give them a chance.

‘It’s natural for the fans to be wary but it could turn out to be a good story. I’m hoping that will be the case.

‘We want people who have the club at heart, know a bit about the club and its history.

‘We want to go forward. For me, Pompey are a genuine Premier League club.

‘Hopefully, these people can take the club forward and put a smile on the fans’ faces again.

‘But the shout from me is “action not words”.’

Quinn believes Pompey face a difficult challenge in a tough Championship next season.

With the teams coming down from the Premier League and those promoted from League One looking strong, he reckons it will be a much tougher division than last time around.

Views vary on what the priorities should be as the new owners go to work.

Reports of a possible transfer embargo means Blues boss Steve Cotterill may have his hands tied when it comes to player recruitment this summer.

But with the squad Cotterill has at his disposal numbering eight, it’s obvious to talkSPORT pundit Quinn where the focus needs to be.

Quinn said: ‘It’s a massive league next season.

‘So first off is the need for players. Steve did well with all that happened last season. Pompey got some big results considering.

‘Where the team finished was about as good as could be expected, with the thin squad and all that happened off the field.

‘But he has to be given the chance to build now.

‘We know all about the ground situation. It’s Jurassic Park! I think the stewards have been there for 100 years as well!

‘You can picture Milan Mandaric laying the first brick a few years back, but it hasn’t happened.

‘But they need to build a team before they build a stadium.’

Quinn believes the early sentiments emerging from the new regime are sensible.

Stability is the buzzword at present over any grand statements of intent.

The man who bagged 54 goals in 121 games for the Blues feels that is a sound approach.

‘I don’t think the punters are asking for much,’ added Quinn.

‘It would be nice to have a bit of stability.

‘Hopefully, these people are here for the long term and we actually get to see them.

‘That’d be an improvement on some of the other owners who have been around the club.’