Pompey’s owners have finally gone public on their aims for the club - three months into their tenure at Fratton Park.
Convers Sports Initiatives’ Vladimir Antonov, Roman Dubov and Chris Akers have today released a statement, explaining the work that has been done since their takeover of the club back in June.
The trio have not previously commented publicly on their plans for Pompey, and acknowledge that they have ‘not sought the media limelight’ since taking over at the helm.
But in a message to fans, the owners give their backing to manager Steve Cotterill and his rebuilding of the Blues squad.
And they also recognise the need for more reinforcements to be brought in.
‘We know there is still some further work to be done to strengthen the squad when the emergency loan window opens, in order to ensure we have what is needed for the next four months of a demanding Championship season,’ the statement reads.
Antonov, Dubov and Akers also explain their work on developing our five-year plan for the club.
‘We are here for the long term and it is vital that we put the building blocks in place for a period of growth and success right across the club,’ they add.
Owners’ statement in full:
We felt it would be appropriate to make a statement to the club’s supporters now that the summer transfer window is closed and we have completed our first three months of ownership.
As many of you will know, we are, by preference, private people and we have not sought the media limelight since we took over back in June. Instead, working alongside the management team and staff, we have focused our time and energy on addressing some of the issues that needed the most urgent attention at the club. The first of these has obviously been the playing squad.
When we took over the ownership of the club there were eight players under contract and this was the number one priority; to rebuild the squad with players that we own. We are pleased with the way in which the squad has been strengthened and built over the summer period and we now have a very good core of permanent players that can take the club forward this season. We also know there is still some further work to be done to strengthen the squad when the emergency loan window opens in order to ensure we have what is needed for the next four months of a demanding Championship season. Given the change in playing personnel, Steve and his team have made a solid start on the pitch – but we know there is more to come as they get used to playing together.
Away from the first team we have spent time with the Academy staff as well. We see the Academy as the lifeblood of the club’s future and we are already looking for ways to ensure that the Academy can flourish under Andy Awford’s supervision. Producing good young footballers who can progress through the club and into the first team is a vital part of regenerating the club from the bottom upwards. Part of the future plans for the Academy will be improved facilities for our young players, as well as a renewed focus on coaching and talent identification which is already under way for this season. We have to give special mention to the Academy’s victory at Manchester United in their first game of the season and we hope that will provide a platform for a strong campaign and the further development of these players towards future first-team squad members.
We have also looked to make some improvements to other parts of the club, in particular with some ongoing work to Fratton Park which we hope will be noticed by all our supporters over the coming months. We want to make the experience of coming to watch Pompey as enjoyable as possible whether a corporate guest, lifelong season ticket holder or first-timer. This should be as much about a good day out and matchday experience as it is about the result on the pitch.
Over the coming months we will be refocusing on many of the commercial challenges with the appointment of a new Commercial Director. The economic climate is tough but we believe in the Pompey brand and we want to bring people back to the club both from the local business community and lifelong supporters.
Beyond that, we are currently working with our senior management team on developing our five- year plan for the club. We are here for the long term and it is vital that we put the building blocks in place for a period of growth and success right across the club. The staff and management have our full backing and commitment in this challenge.
Finally, but very importantly, we want to say thank you to you, the supporters of the club. You have made us feel very welcome in these first three months and we have enjoyed every minute of our experience so far, even in some of the more difficult moments! We need your support at every game, for every kick of the ball and for every difficult management decision – you are the club, and we want to take the club forward for you and the whole city of Portsmouth. We don’t want to make any rash promises at this stage, but we do want to assure you that we are as determined as you are to put the pride back into this great club.
Play Up Pompey!
Vladimir, Roman and Chris