Williams targets more Pompey Ladies progress

Pompey Ladies chairman Mick Williams
Pompey Ladies chairman Mick Williams
Oli Hawkins was on defensive duties against Blackpool on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey fans debate Hawkins’ best position

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Mick Williams believes Pompey Ladies will require significant investment to achieve their dream of reaching the Women’s Super League.

The former club director, who was among a number of figures who played such a pivotal role in the PST’s takeover at Fratton Park, took on the role of chairman at Pompey Ladies last season with the club on the brink of going out of business.

Perry Northeast’s side were without a fixture at the weekend.

But Williams is now chairman and wife Ann is a director – and they are ambitious to bring success.

Even though they receive no funding from the Fratton Park coffers, Williams is keen to establish closer links, which he believes could make all the difference.

He said: ‘We still want to get to the Super League.

‘But it would take significant investment to do it.

‘I think we would need around £20,000 per year.

‘We’ve had all of the players sponsored, which means they don’t have to pay subs any more.

‘Our first-team players were paying for the privilege of playing for us.

‘We can’t pay them anything but at least we aren’t having to charge them and I feel quite proud of that.

‘Funding is the biggest problem for us.

‘We are up against teams like Brighton who put £150,000 per year into it.

‘Pompey unfortunately won’t put anything at all into it. They do help in kind and they give us publicity.

‘But of course, I would like to get better links between the clubs.

‘It’s a difficult decision because everyone wants to put as much as they can into the first team at Pompey.

‘But I think Pompey Ladies are such an asset to the city.

‘Pompey Ladies has overtaken my love for the club, I think.

‘I still love Pompey, I’m still a shareholder and I’m involved with the presidents’ advisory board.

‘But I’ll be here for the long run, unless it kills me!

‘We are very enthusiastic about it and we are ambitious.

‘We don’t do things half-heartedly.’

While Williams is happy to pitch in by operating a turnstile, he insists he takes great satisfaction from his new role.

He added: ‘It’s very, very satisfying. Everything that Ann and I can do for them is worthwhile.

‘Frankly, if we hadn’t stepped in last year, they would have gone bust.

‘It’s completely different.

‘It’s a lot of hard work and I’m supposed to be partly retired now, which is a joke.

‘But I think the love for Pompey Ladies is there from the fans and the players are hugely committed.

‘You can see they have that desire to play for the shirt and you see how much it means to all of them.’