Pompey cash boost in store

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin
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Mark Catlin is banking on boosting Fratton Park coffers as Pompey seek to fulfil ‘untapped’ potential. 

The Blues today launch their new Anson Road megastore as life beyond Sondico officially starts.

Nike’s retail partner Your Sport will oversee the venture at the former Beneficial Foundation offices.

For Pompey, it represents the prized opportunity to ramp up merchandising revenues following an unpopular five-year relationship with Sondico.

And Catlin is convinced the club can reap the financial benefits.

He said: ‘This type of investment will generate revenue for the club on an ongoing basis, so in the future when we talk about player budgets and other investments there is a money-generating machine moving forward.

‘There is a sense merchandising here is untapped – and all of a sudden there’s a huge vested interest financially for the club to be successful.

‘Sondico was very much what we needed at the time, we needed guaranteed income, so it was more or less a set amount given to the club every year for effectively the licence to open the Pompey club shop.

‘While how they conducted their business affected our fans and, in a lot of cases we know there was a lot of upset about that, it didn’t affect the club financially.

‘Now for every pound taken there is now a significant benefit.

‘The new deal is very, very much a partnership so, as a club, we are directly affected by the revenue that shop takes.

‘If the club shop turnover hits a certain figure – which I am confident it will – then we’ll be doing a lot better than under Sondico.’

And Catlin believes the megastore is indicative of Tornante’s measured long-term strategy.

He added: ‘Considering the money invested into the shop, will we get it back in year one? I very much doubt it.

‘Year two, possibly. Year three, if our projections are correct, yes.

‘By that time it has paid for itself and you are earning loads of money.’