Catlin adamant Portsmouth players’ contract stance can change

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Mark Catlin insists Pompey’s approach towards player contracts is not set in stone.

Kenny Jackett has told The News there will be no fresh deals for his table-topping squad until beyond Christmas.

Mark Catlin insists contract stance on Pompey's players could alter. Picture: Joe Pepler

Mark Catlin insists contract stance on Pompey's players could alter. Picture: Joe Pepler

Instead focus is fixed on maintaining the Blues’ impressive start to a campaign which sees them sit at the summit of League One.

Jack Whatmough, Gareth Evans, Nathan Thompson and Dion Donohue – who all started last weekend’s victory at AFC Wimbledon – are out of contract at the season’s end.

Danny Rose completes the first-team squad quintet, while loan agreements for three players will also expire next summer.

It’s in contrast to Christian Burgess, Jamal Lowe and Ben Close, who were handed new deals during the first half of last season.

Jack Whatmough is out of contract at Pompey this summer. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jack Whatmough is out of contract at Pompey this summer. Picture: Joe Pepler

But Catlin conceded there remains flexibility to change the stance during the current campaign.

Pompey’s chief executive said: ‘Every player is under constant review.

‘Based on discussions with the board and Kenny, we are very relaxed in the current contract situation with each individual player, but it is a fluid situation – it can change.

‘If you look at the season we went up from League Two, we also didn’t hand out contracts at this time of year.

‘Our current thinking is that nothing is going to be discussed until the new year but, as with all things in business, it is fluid.

‘You have to be pragmatic and, if the situation arises, we’ll look at each case individually.

‘I don’t want to talk about individual players, but overall we are comfortable where we are contract-wise with each individual player.’

Of the five senior players out of contract, Evans has made 14 appearances and scored four times this season, wearing the captaincy on many occasions.

Thompson last weekend completed his 50th outing since becoming Jackett’s first signing as boss, while Donohue has recently returned to the first-team frame following illness and injury.

Whatmough has made 76 appearances since emerging through Pompey’s Academy yet, being a home-grown player, would earn the club compensation if he left of his own accord.

Finally, Rose has been handed just three outings this season after falling behind in the midfield pecking order.

In addition, the loans of David Wheeler, Ben Thompson and Andre Green will expire next summer.

But Catlin remains relaxed.

He added: ‘You also have to consider we don’t know what division we’ll be in.

‘Back in League Two, there were players you might want in League Two which you might not in League One.

‘By offering some and not others, you are sending out a really bad message and creating disharmony.

‘If you treat everyone the same then you are going to get the rough with the smooth.’