Catlin: Jackett fits Pompey owners’ vision

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Theo Widdrington. Picture: Joe Pepler

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The Tornante era has repeatedly stressed the importance of long-term strategy and stability.

Now Kenny Jackett has signed up to the Pompey owners’ vision with a deal until 2021.

Michael Eisner, left, with Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Michael Eisner, left, with Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Habibur Rahman

According to Mark Catlin, the move to tie down their manager to a two-year extension was not a knee-jerk response initiated by results or fear of prospective suitors.

Instead, the contract has been in the pipeline since completion of Michael Eisner’s takeover on August 3.

And he believes the surprise announcement following only 23 games as Pompey boss epitomises the owners’ intricate approach to planning the club’s future.

The Blues’ chief executive said: ‘The Tornante Group, Michael Eisner and our board are not just fixated on short to mid-term, everything they do is with a long-term vision and a long-term plan.

Like the board, Kenny is not going to be obsessed with short-term strategies. Everything will be done with a long-term vision in mind

Mark Catlin

‘When Kenny first came to the club we were in that transition period of fan ownership and Michael hadn’t taken over, so a two-year deal was a sensible period at that time.

‘The two-year deal initially suited the previous ownership model with any financial implications should there be a change of manager.

‘Whereas Michael and Tornante are much more comfortable in giving longer-term contracts to people they feel are key and crucial to the future of the football club.

‘Extending that was something agreed between Michael and Kenny very early on but there was a lot going on during the first month or two of the takeover.

‘Then a month or so ago, Michael said “we have got to get this extension done”.

‘It was agreed verbally so really we just followed it through.

‘The deal was actually agreed during a recent run of bad form, so I can assure everyone this wasn’t done on the back of the three-game winning streak.

‘Everyone is really impressed with Kenny, he shares the club’s vision and strategy moving forward and we are lucky to get him on board for what is effectively three-and-a-half seasons.

‘He initially had a two-year deal but we are getting to the point where it’s halfway through the first season of that – a quarter through his contract already.

‘What we did brilliantly during four years of fan ownership was lay down small foundations which have enabled us to continue with the stability we are now seeing.

‘The new board have come in and have not ripped that up – they are actually enhancing it.’

Pompey are currently 11th in League One, yet patience remains the buzzword at Fratton Park.

Catlin added: ‘We won’t be blown off course by short-term storms or, in this case, results.

‘You can lose a run of games, that’s football, but we are not focused on one game, five games or 10 games. It’s very much where we want to be in four or five years’ time.

‘Kenny is calm, principled, hardworking and very structured in all he does.

‘Like the board, he is not going to be obsessed with short-term strategies.

‘Everything will be done with a long-term vision in mind.’