Mark Catlin speaks - why Portsmouth chief executive has resigned from role

Mark Catlin spoke of his pride at his Pompey achievements and admitted: The time is right to step down.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 1:13 pm
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin

And the Blues chief executive insisted his decision to resign from his position after eight years was a decision which was two years in the making.

Catlin today announced the bombshell news he will leave his role and take up a position with Topps - the Michael Eisner-owned company renowned for sports trading cards - as general manager.

His successor has been named as MK Dons’ executive director, Andrew Cullen, this afternoon.

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Catlin emotionally reflected on his journey since initially arriving in 2012 to help the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and presidents save the club through community ownership - and the rollercoaster journey since.

He said: ‘I feel it’s the right time - for me and the club

‘The club has to move forward and needs some fresh energy from the too.

‘Obviously there’s new people like Danny (Cowley) and (academy manager) Greg Miller who have that.

‘It’s not that I haven’t got that, I still have, I just feel that it was time for a fresh start for everyone.

‘At any professional club you can be there in the same position for too long, so maybe you have to keep reinventing yourself - otherwise you’re not the person who should be in that role anyway.

‘We’ve had highs and lows, but after financially sorting the club out over the first couple of years we’ve consistently challenged at the top end of the table.

‘I can’t stress how disappointed I am that we didn’t achieve my personal aim of getting into the Championship, however.

‘You may not be on the pitch or on the sidelines deciding tactics, but I feel as CEO I should carry that. If you don’t you shouldn’t be in the job.

‘But we’ve had three play-offs, a league title, we’re debt free and had two Wembley finals with a self-sustaining model and a budget which doesn’t blow the league away.

‘The expectation levels of Portsmouth will be different to the finances on the pitch - and that is a decision drilled into me through administration working with the presidents and the Trust. It’s in my DNA that we never let that happen to us again

‘But these are exciting times for the club and I’m looking forward to staying on as a director, which was really nice from Michael.

‘But it’s important the person coming in now has the independence and flexibility to work how they see fit.’

Catlin will remain in his role until the end of the month before taking up a position as Pompey director moving forward.

He was adamant his decision was not based upon the failure to reach the Championship at the fourth attempt this season.

The Blues CEO outlined how this was a called made over a lengthy period and cemented this term.

He added: ‘It’s not something I’ve decided overnight, it’s something that’s crept up on me over the past couple of years.

‘I’d made my mind that this year would be my last year, irrelevant of what happened on Sunday.

‘Once you get yourself in that frame of mind I guess it’s time to go.

‘I was right at the forefront of the salary cap and then there was Covid. It became seeing the club through that period which was always going to be really tough financially.

‘We’ve got there now, though, but we haven’t achieved promotion. Even if we had achieved it, though, it would have been the same outcome.’

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