Mark Catlin reveals Portsmouth in a position to add 'one good player in January'

Mark Catlin has revealed that Pompey currently have the financial means to bring in ‘one good player in January’.

Sunday, 13th December 2020, 6:00 am

The Blues chief executive also confirmed that Kenny Jackett’s transfer plans could be boosted further by departures during the upcoming transfer window.

Meanwhile, speaking at the latest meeting of the Tony Goodall Fans Conference, Catlin added the club had initiated contract talks with players whose deals expire at the season’s end.

However, he admitted, at this moment in time, that dialogue is unlikely to lead to any player extending his current contract because of salary cap regulations.

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Pompey’s current squad number is at the League One threshold of 22 players.

It was taken to that number with the addition of Jordy Hiwula on a short-term deal until January at the end of October, while Reeco Hackett-Fairchild is also included despite the forward being on loan at non-league Bromley.

Before the summer transfer window closed, the Blues were keen to splash the cash to bring Ben Thompson back to the club on loan – a bid that ultimately failed.

However, it indicated that there was still wiggle room in the £2.5m salary cap that was voted for by third-tier clubs in August.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The departures of fringe players Paul Downing and James Bolton – two players the clubs would be open to moving on in January – could further bolster that figure.

Regardless, Catlin confirmed that the Blues had the capability to strengthen their promotion push if the right player became available.

According to released minutes from the Tony Goodall Fans Conference from Tuesday, December 8, Catlin said: ‘There is enough money available under the salary cap restrictions for one good player in January, or more flexibility if players were to depart.’

That was his response when asked: ‘How does the salary cap affect recruitment in January?’

Catlin also updated the meeting on the ongoing PFA arbitration on the salary cap.

The News understands a decision is expected in the new year, but not in time for the January transfer window.

That means Pompey are unable to offer improved deals to those players out of contract at the end of the season – including Tom Naylor, Jack Whatmough, Andy Cannon and Craig MacGillivray.

And the club CEO confirmed players were ‘unlikely to be interested’ while that remained the case.

Catlin is stated to have said: ‘Portsmouth have initiated talks with players who are out of contract in June 2021, but this is on the basis of what can be offered under the constraints of the salary cap, often far less than their current salary.

‘On this basis, players and agents are unlikely to be interested while they could be offered something similar to their current salary by Championship clubs.’

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