Catlin: Why Pompey looked abroad for friendly opponents

FINANCIAL demands from potential opponents have forced Pompey to look abroad for their final pre-season fixture.

Thursday, 21st June 2018, 3:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st June 2018, 4:33 pm
Brett Pitman takes on Bournemouth in last season's Fratton Park friendly with Bournemouth

The Blues will today unveil the identity of the foreign club visiting Fratton Park on Saturday, July 28.

It represents the last outing before the 2018-19 season's August 4 opener against Luton on the south coast.

Mark Catlin revealed a number of possible opponents were explored to fulfil the date, including some outside the Premier League.

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However, after quoted '˜hundreds of thousands' to pay for their visit, the Blues instead looked beyond the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

And he is happy with the outcome.

Pompey's chief executive said: '˜Bournemouth have been great to us over the years and I saw comments from people getting a little bit fed up of that, so we looked at change.

'˜You look at some of your local clubs and they are committed with big-money friendlies elsewhere. They see it now as a big-money revenue generator.

'˜We didn't want a Premier League club XI, we wanted assurances they were going to send a first team and it was either sorry we are in America, sorry we are in China or sorry X team are paying us £100,000.

'˜Then you look at Championship clubs and, with a few exceptions, it's not greatly inspiring '“ so you end up looking abroad.

'˜It's very easy. I could pick the phone up now and for X amount of hundreds of thousands of pounds you could pretty much get any club.

'However, even for not great clubs you are looking at £100,000-plus in many cases.

'˜The way clubs travel now is beyond belief - the hotels, food they eat, the way they travel, they all cost money.

'˜I think fans will be happy with the quality of the opposition when they are announced.It will be a good test.'‹'‹'