Mark Catlin hits back at widespread talk Portsmouth's season's over and talk of vote to void League One

Mark Catlin has rejected the growing sentiment the football season is over.

Monday, 11th May 2020, 7:00 am

And the Pompey chief executive has underlined the club’s determination to explore every possible way of finishing the 2019-20 campaign amid the coronavirus crisis.

It’s been widely reported there will be no resumption to the current season, with a swathe of possible ways in which to decide positions along with promotion and relegation mooted.

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Catlin distanced himself from that talk while stating there has been no contact over an impending decision for what will take place.

He said: ‘It’s news to me, the last I knew this had to go to a vote. We haven’t been given a vote yet.

‘At the moment we can’t train, at the moment we can’t play games behind closed doors or let fans in. Until the situation or timescales change it’s very difficult to say what will happen.

‘As far as I’m aware, unless there’s meetings taking place behind my back and a lot of other clubs’, there’s no defined date on votes being held or papers going out, not to my knowledge.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin

‘Maybe the board decide that, but I’m pretty sure clubs are not aware of any dates at the moment - or what’s going to be on the papers.

‘Clubs are going to need to know what’s on the table before you can vote.

‘At this moment in time, in my mind, there is and still continues to be a determination to finish this season, whenever that may be. That’s the only early information we’ve been getting - there was a clear desire to finish the season. I’m still hoping that will be the case because that’s the camp we’re in.

‘We, along with a number of other clubs I speak to, are still fully intent on exploring every way we can finish this season.

‘Our position is to finish this season before we start the next. When it’s safe to restart we want to explore every avenue possible to do so.’

Pompey are not keen to back voiding the season or any of the models to finish such as variants of points-per-game, with nothing concrete currently on the table.

The club’s first preference would be to safely finish this term before July 31, with a short extension to players’ contracts.

Beyond that, Catlin believes seeing the season finished after clubs have made new signings and handed out deals is fairer than many of the current suggestions.

He said: ‘Ideally we’ve said July 31 (to finish the season) because of the player contracts.

‘But the word integrity is mentioned and the lesser of all evils is to finish.

‘Even if it’s in the new season (the usual time frame for 2020-21) with different players and squad - it’s still the same club.

‘It’s not alien. We have the January window where clubs spin their players.

‘So if we have to extend it and this is effectively another window, then so be it.

‘There’s more integrity in that compared to things like points per game for me.’