New CEO's budget belief as Portsmouth go up against financial muscle of Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton Athletic, Sunderland and Co in League One

Pompey can come out on top next season against their rivals splashing the cash.

Saturday, 19th June 2021, 4:55 am

That’s the conviction of new Blues chief executive, Andy Cullen, who believes his new club’s big-spending rivals are playing a high-stakes game as they chase League One promotion.

But the man who arrived as Mark Catlin’s successor this week believes it’s imperative a clear identity and football philosophy is created under Danny Cowley to achieve success.

It’s been a relatively stagnant summer in the transfer market to date, but it’s clear that Ipswich Town has substantial funds to reach the Championship after their American takeover.

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Meanwhile, Wigan have been busy following their Arabian-backed buyout recruiting four players with proven League One experience - including Jack Whatmough and Tom Naylor.

Sheffield Wednesday are under a transfer embargo following their relegation from the second tier, but are known to be offering wages for players few League One sides can compete with.

Charlton this week landed Jayden Stockely, offering a better package for the 27-year-old after Pompey had tabled wages believed to be in the region of £5,500 per week.

Meanwhile, Sunderland will again be in League One next season after consistently having the division’s biggest playing budget.

New Pompey chief executive Andrew Cullen
New Pompey chief executive Andrew Cullen

It shows the financial strength of the sides the Blues are going up against - but Cullen is adamant his new club can stand up to their muscle.

He said: ‘I think we can be competitive.

‘If you look back over many seasons in League One, you will find clubs are able to compete against those with all the money.

‘It took Sheffield United, with a big budget, several years to get out of League One.

Sunderland, with far and away the biggest budget, have been in the division for three seasons.

‘What’s important is you have an identity, you have a philosophy and you have players who are committed to the football club.

‘The manager has chosen those players to fit with the philosophy and identity he has.

‘So that’s what we have to work towards - supporting the manager in creating an identity and philosophy which will take the football club forward.

‘That’s what we’re trying to do.’

Cullen has made it clear this week he would not have left MK Dons after 12 years to arrive at Pompey, if he’d not been convinced over the manner in which the Eisners want to run the club.

The club’s own troubled financial history has been well documented, but the former Norwich director believes the signs are the lessons of the past haven’t necessarily been learnt by others.

He added: ‘It’s important has been particularly underlined in the last 12 months, and to operate a sustainable model is something each football club I’ve been involved in has tried to deliver.

‘Sometimes people may think it’s great to come in with owners who just want to splash the cash and succeed at any cost.

‘But you’re just storing up long-term problems for your football club if things do go pear-shaped.

‘We’ve got some in League One clubs who are doing it this season with new owners.

‘But there will only be three teams who get promoted. Will it be those teams who go up?

‘What does that then store up in terms of long-term issues for the football club?

‘I think that has a resonance with supporters of Portsmouth Football Club and the community in terms of the problems which took place after those Premier League years here.’

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