Portsmouth chief reveals personal pain after dismissing 'ultimate gentleman' Kenny Jackett

Mark Catlin has spoken of his pain at having to inform ‘ultimate gentleman’ Kenny Jackett of his Pompey departure.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 6:00 am
Mark Catlin has admitted it was 'difficult' to dismiss Kenny Jackett after almost four years together at Fratton Park. Picture: Dennis Goodwin/ProSportsImages

A strong working relationship of almost four years was severed on Sunday morning when Jackett was dismissed.

The Blues board, advised by Catlin, opted to act following four points from a possible 21 in recent weeks and then Wembley defeat to Salford.

Although the chief executive felt it was a necessary decision to act upon, he admits it was still difficult to deliver to a man he holds a deep respect for.

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He told The News: ‘Kenny was, as always, absolutely professional and dignified (when told). He was a gentleman to the end.

‘He is the ultimate gentleman and has been loyal throughout the four years. I wish him good luck for the future.

‘It wouldn't surprise me at all to see him at a top job in the coming months.

‘What was said between us on that morning is private between me and Kenny, but it was difficult for me.

‘I am sure it’s not just in football, it’s in any walk of life. When you work very closely with someone and share those pressures over that four-year period, the highs and lows, it’s never a nice thing to do.

‘It’s not something you should be proud of doing or take pleasure in. If you did, I don’t think you’ll be the right person for this job.’

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The last Pompey boss to leave through the club’s intervention was Andy Awford in April 2015.

The Blues Hall of Famer departed by mutual consent following a year in charge, including six matches as a caretaker.

Since then, Paul Cook and Jackett have been the managerial appointments, with the former choosing to quit in May 2017 for Wigan.

Catlin added: ‘That’s a positive, not a negative. I did have a CEO text me on Sunday saying “Don’t worry, I’ve sacked 20-plus managers in my time!”.

‘I would much rather be a stable club which doesn’t have that turnover of managers. That says you must be doing something right.

‘Historically, clubs which keep changing their managers are not the successful ones.

‘Successful ones are those who have managers for long periods – and that’s a fact.’

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