Michael Eisner explains why Portsmouth will be serious League One promotion challengers next season as he reaffirms his commitment to the club

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Michael Eisner has admitted he’s ‘pretty confident’ Pompey’s seventh successive season in League One will be their last.

The Blues chairman outlined his positive approach to the forthcoming 2023-24 season in a 21-minute interview with the club that can be watched in full on YouTube.

There, the American reiterated his desire to win promotion to the Championship – and to remain there, at the very least – after conceding again that goal had taken longer than expected. Eisner also pledged once more that he and his family were long-term owners of the Fratton Park outfit, insisting ‘we’re not looking to get out, we looking to get up’.

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The 81-year-old based his confidence on the work that has been carried out, both on and off the pitch, during his six years at the club.

That includes the decision to bring in Rich Hughes as sporting director last autumn in a restructuring of Pompey’s football operations.

And it also relates to the level of investment the Blues will use during this summer’s transfer window, with Hughes and head coach John Mousinho seeing their budget increase ahead of a defining period in the Eisners’ ownership.

That was the last point Pompey’s billionaire owner made when asked: How next season do you best achieve an all-out serious challenge for either automatic promotion or at the very least the play-offs?

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‘The way we react to this transfer window,’ was how Eisner rounded off his response, which will give fans hope ahead of Wednesday’s official opening of the window.

Pompey chairman Michael EisnerPompey chairman Michael Eisner
Pompey chairman Michael Eisner

Here’s the chairman’s full response to the first question put to him as he outlined why the Fratton faithful have reasons to be optimistic next season.

‘Of course, we’d love automatic promotion. If that’s not to be, we definitely want to be in the play-offs.

‘I think we’ve demonstrated that desire, whether it’s Eric (Eisner – director) who has talked about it or Andrew (Cullen – CEO) or the coaches.

‘Everybody knows that we definitely want to move up.

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‘(I’m) a little frustrated that it’s taken this long. We are happy with the infrastructure improvements – more than improvements at Fratton Park – the acquisition of the training facility, and of course the restructuring under Rich Hughes as the person with our new coach, John, to proceed very well in the transfer windows.

‘I think we proved that to a degree in January with two really excellent young players. I think as everybody knows, we’re looking to have a lesser reliance on loan players, much less actually, and to develop our young permanent players.

‘We’ve started that with Paddy (Lane) and Ryley (Towler). I think they’ve proven that we can do it. We want to do it, we want to be promoted, we want to be sustainable at the same time and I’m pretty confident that we will get there in this seventh season.

‘Too long – granted. But when we get there we will be prepared because there was a lot to do in the last six years – a lot to do in infrastructure, in management, in marketing, in ticketing and figuring it all out.

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‘We made a substantial investment, much more than we thought was required. There’s no complaints there. We’re long-term owners, we’re not looking to get out, we looking to get up and we will get there and when we get there, we’ll stay there. And that will be demonstrated by the way we react to this transfer window.’