Mark Catlin: The truth is I haven't asked a single Portsmouth player to take pay cut

Mark Catlin has dismissed suggestions Pompey players have been asked to take pay cuts to remain at Fratton Park.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 6:00 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 6:34 pm
The long-serving Jack Whatmough is among 11 Pompey players out of contract this summer. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey have 11 members of their first-team squad out of contract at the season’s end.

They are Jordy Hiwula, Tom Naylor, Andy Cannon, Bryn Morris, Craig MacGillivray, Jack Whatmough, Ben Close, Ryan Williams, Haji Mnoga, Duncan Turnbull and Charlie Daniels.

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In the meantime, following the removal of the salary cap, clubs in League One and League Two have reverted back to Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) to control spending.

Catlin has denied social media rumours that Blues players have been told they must reduce their wages to stay – but refuses to sugarcoat the ongoing financial consequences.

He told The News: ‘I speak to the players and there are absolutely no issues whatsoever. This is not even a Pompey-related issue, it’s a football-related issue.

‘And just to be clear, I have not asked a single player to take a pay cut. Not one.

‘Since the falling down of the salary cap, all League One and League Two clubs have gone back to the mechanism known as SCMP, which is based on turnover.

‘This year, because of covid, turnover has crumbled. Overall, it’s probably going to be down 40-50 per cent – and all clubs are in the same position.

‘In regards of new contracts and new players, you are guided by that. We are now governed by SCMP, so all players at all clubs need to be realistic about that.

‘I don’t see why that would be deemed as being controversial, that’s a fact – and we have been honest, open, and transparent with players about that situation.

‘I have spoken to our players, they understand it, the agents understand it, everyone understands it.

‘Hopefully, in the summer, we get clear guidance that fans are going to be returning. Then the turnover goes up, so our capacity to offer an improved contract also increases.

‘That’s life, it’s the economic environment we live in.’

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It is known that Pompey have 12-month options on Close, Cannon, Mnoga and Turnbull.

Although, conceivably, there could be others, whose contract terms have not been made public.

Catlin added: ‘I keep reading about how many players are out of contract.

‘Well, with a good proportion of those, we have options, so we either exercise the option or we don’t.

‘Why would you exercise that option now? You need to wait until the end of the season, which is the agreed date before exercising the option. Then do it.

‘While the EFL are working with clubs on agreeing a formula to SCMP, there’s very little we can say to players because we just don't know, no club knows.

‘And I have not spoken to one player who has said to me they are looking to leave in the summer.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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