Important Portsmouth stance on search for new head of football operations revealed

Pompey are prepared to be patient in their search for a head of football operations.

By Mark McMahon
Saturday, 21st May 2022, 4:55 am

The Blues are even willing to pause a process they began back in February as they look to appoint a candidate they feel accurately fits the requirements of a key role within the football club structure moving forward.

A step in that particular direction comes with a confidence that it would have no impact on the current recruitment process already under way at Fratton Park.

Pompey’s stance comes amid much talk of their efforts to fill the vacant position created by Roberto Gagliardi’s departure earlier this year.

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Forest Green Rovers’ director of football, Richard Hughes, was a front-runner for the role, before he committed his future to the newly-promoted New Lawn outfit.

Meanwhile, Cambridge United sporting director, Ben Strang, also emerged as a potential candidate.

He is someone the Blues hierarchy definitely hold in high regard following his success at the Abbey Stadium over the past five-and-a-half years.

Strang is also someone – among others – Pompey would be interested in.

Pompey are currently searching for a head of football operations Picture: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

But it’s understood no offer of any description has been made to the former head of academy recruitment at Norwich during this process – despite initial reports that he has turned the Blues down.

With no appointment expected any time soon, club chief executive Andy Cullen and the Blues’ external recruitment partner in the matter remain relaxed with their search progress and determined to find the right candidate for the position.

And part of that focus will centre on identifying someone who will be committed to Pompey for the long-term and be able to strengthen the Fratton Park outfit on multiple fronts – from recruitment and analytics, to sports science and medicine, and aligning the academy with the first team.

There will also be an expectation to help ease some of the pressure on Danny Cowley that will enable him to concentrate more on management and coaching.

Meanwhile, an ability to negotiate on transfers and with agents will also be looked upon favourably.

Up until this point, Pompey have not lost out on anyone on financial grounds, with the position coming with an attractive salary.

And with the role having no bearing on the success of the forthcoming transfer window, the club see no need to rush through an appointment that has a long-term strategic importance.