Portsmouth transfer budget: Andy Cullen reveals additional cash injection to fund Denver Hume move from Sunderland - and why Fratton Park and Roko projects had no impact on January spend

Andy Cullen has revealed Pompey’s owners once again dipped into their pockets to help facilitate Danny Cowley’s transfer plans.

By Mark McMahon
Friday, 4th February 2022, 12:37 pm

Speaking to the club’s website, the Blues chief executive admitted extra funds were made available in January in order to get a deal for Denver Hume over the line.

The former Sunderland left-back arrived at Fratton Park in the final week of the transfer window, with Pompey forking out £200,000 for the 23-year-old.

He was one of five signings made by Cowley last month.

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But was the only one who arrived for a fee, with Cullen adding that the left-sided player represents the most expensive signing made by the Blues in January since the club came out of administration.

Cowley’s ability to help get some of the club’s highest-earners off the books facilitated subsequent moves for Hume, Hayden Carter, Tyler Walker, Aiden O’Brien and Ollie Webber.

However, Pompey’s CEO explained extra help was needed to land Hume.

And just like Michael Eisner’s intervention to help secure deals for Joe Morrell and Mahlon Romeo in the summer. Cullen said the club’s American owners agreed to increase the budget to land someone who fits the long-term profile of the type of player Pompey want to attract.

Pompey chief executive Andy Cullen. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘Denver represents the type of business we want to do going forward - bringing in young players with pedigree, assets to the football club who are the age of 23 or under,’ said Cullen.

‘Denver fitted that bill, highly recommended, quite a bit of competition for him as there was indeed for Tyler Walker.

‘We got to the stage were we had to negotiate a fee with Sunderland and we ended up paying a fee in this window which represents the highest fee that Portsmouth Football Club has paid in the January transfer window post administration.

‘And that only came about through the owners being prepared to increase the budget even further.

‘We increased the budget in the summer with the signings of Joe Morrell and Mahlon Romeo.

‘That took the budget to a place which was much higher than last year - and they've increased it again in January to enable us to deliver and pay the fee for Denver Hume.

‘So, we're grateful for that and that has enabled us to really get to a stage in the season where we feel we can move forward.’

With Pompey currently working on the North Stand lower section as part of their £11.5m Fratton Park redevelopment plan, many fans would be forgiven for thinking that such an outlay would impact the money available for head coach Cowley to conduct his transfer business.

But Cullen insisted that ongoing project – plus the recent acquisition of Roko and the plans in place for it – were not inter-linked.

He also added that ‘significant losses’ made by the club during the pandemic had been covered by the Eisners.

When asked of the stadium and Roko developments has collided with Cowley’s spending power, Cullen answered: 'Not at all - they are two separate pots of money, so the player budget really comes out of the operating P&L and we put a budget together.

‘We made significant losses last year and I think supporters will be quite shocked when they get to see those figures later in the month as to the scale of those loses, which were funded by the owners.

‘And, again, we're going to have loses this year.

‘But no, the owners are prepared to invest, they're prepared to maintain and then increase the budget and the stadium works come out of a different capital expenditure pot.

‘It's totally different and supporters will have seen the owners put significant equity into the club in terms of new share issues over the last few months, which actually facilitate those works entirely independent of what we do on the playing side.

‘So, no, not impacted.

‘The club has no debt, the club is in a position where the owners are prepared to back the two things quite separately.’