Awfs calls shots over signings

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
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MARK CATLIN promised Andy Awford will have sole say on recruitment this summer.

The Pompey chief executive vowed Awford will be given the freedom to set about rebuilding the Blues as he sees fit.

Catlin reiterated his view that the buck has to solely stop with the manager when it comes to his judgement on players.

This season has seen the influence of owners on first-team affairs again to the fore.

Forest owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi’s meddling in team selection was levelled as the reason Neil Warnock didn’t move to the City Ground in March.

And the antics of Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan constantly grabbed headlines as his side were eventually relegated from the Premier League.

Catlin is adamant that will never happen at Fratton Park.

He said: ‘Myself, (finance director) Tony Brown, the chairman and the board have done our utmost to ensure the manager runs his team.

‘Everyone can have an opinion but the manager has to pick his players how he sees fit within the budget.

‘The last thing you want is the manager losing a game and saying it wouldn’t have happened if he’d not had to play that player he was told to play.

‘Why should he lose his job on the decisions of others? You should never have that.

‘The fans, myself, the board, Trust or chairman can disagree with a purchase or sale of a player but it has to be Andy’s say.

‘Andy keeps myself and the chairman and the finance director informed of his thoughts.

‘That is then fed down to the board. Andy may ask something and you may have an opinion but it always has to remain an opinion.

‘The manager has to make the decision.

‘We work with him to implement what he wants.’

Catlin underlined the manager calling the shots with players is not a new policy at Pompey.

He said: ‘People said the fans will get involved, interfere and it will never work. That has happened with other models.

‘But, with the departures of Guy (Whittingham) and Richie (Barker), they never mentioned interference.’