The Blues chief executive explained how the ceiling was raised on the head coach’s spending, to make the 14 additions brought in across the summer transfer window.
And Cullen anticipates that will place the club in or around the top six at third-tier level, when it comes to their outlay to assemble a squad for the campaign ahead.
The transfer window slammed shut on Tuesday night, with Mahlon Romeo the final of the summer deals across the line at the 11pm deadline.
There’s been plenty of talk about Pompey’s spending under the Eisners, but Cullen confirmed the reality is the boundaries were pushed.
He said: ‘One thing to recognise is we started off with a budget, but have ended up over-spending.
‘We’ve over-spent because the owners gave us the latitude in terms of not only player salaries, but also transfer fees.
‘We put quite a bit into the signing of Joe Morrell. We pushed the boat out for him.
‘It was quite a good one to do, because it was almost the reverse of Jayden Stockley where he was set to go somewhere else, but we worked hard at it to the very end.
‘That’s where we saw a bit of a glimmer and Joe’s desire to come here, which we were able to capitalise on - but it required extra investment from the owners for us to do that.
‘There’s been a lot of talk about budgets, but we have gone through the ceiling with that one.
‘That’s brilliant with the owners going through a pandemic with no revenue coming into the football club.
‘I’ve got a responsibility to work within the budget, but whenever there’s been a special case, they’ve said yes.
‘They’ve given more backing than would reasonably be expected - and both Danny and myself are grateful for that.’
One of the focusses of summer business has been the money spent by some of Pompey’s key rivals in pursuit of Championship football.
Ipswich Town have raised the bar when it comes to previous spends at this level, with Sunderland shelling out some decent cash along with the likes of Wigan.
Cowley has spoken about the difficulty of being blown out of the water by those rivals, as he’s chased certain targets.
Cullen believes Pompey’s spending strength stands up well, however, against a division which is much deeper in strength than in most recent seasons.
He added: ‘I think you’ve got one club who’ve skewed the market this summer.
‘But if you then distill it down, you can almost feel where it is.
‘We will get benchmarking reports around October time for the summer window.
‘When we get that I think you will see, if you take one club out, Portsmouth have a very competitive budget compared to the rest.
‘There are a lot of clubs aligned with Portsmouth around the top six/top eight mark.
‘There’s more of a concentration this season which makes the division very competitive.
‘But I know the type of budget Portsmouth have compared to previous years, and what other clubs have this year.
‘It’s going to be right up there, and with that budget you’d expect to be challenging and competing around the top six.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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