Portsmouth chief's transfer strategy outlook as work accelerates

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Andy Cullen revealed Pompey’s transfer plans are gathering pace as he outlined conviction in the club’s recruitment team to deliver a squad ready to take on the Championship.

And the Blues chief executive sees the football operation having the wisdom to develop a strategy, which has been central to the club’s success under sporting director Rich Hughes.

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Work is now accelerating on bringing in the players to supplement the squad which delivered League One glory at the seventh time of asking.

Cullen feels clarity over where Pompey will be playing next season gives them an advantage over one rival, who will be going to the Championship via the League One play-offs.

It’s clear, however, a huge task lies ahead to make John Mousinho’s side competitive, in a division where average spends on squads are light years away from where things currently stand at Fratton Park.

Pompey’s playing kitty will now sharply increase, with Cullen’s conviction clear the right approach is in place.

He said: ‘We’ve been planning this for some time.

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‘We always have different scenarios with recruitment in terms of how it would look in League One and the Championship.

‘Our recruitment strategy is now clear in what we are trying to achieve.

‘The work has been ongoing in terms of identifying the individuals who will make us competitive, whatever league we’re in next season.

‘We’re now focussed and also don’t have to go through the dramas of the play-offs and not knowing where we’ll be for a few weeks. That gives us the opportunity to get a little bit ahead of ourselves.

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‘There are some real success stories in terms of teams who’ve come up from League One and been successful, because they’ve had a very clear strategy as to what they wanted to achieve.

‘It’s not just how much money you spend, but how you spend it - and we believe we have a good team in place to do that wisely.’

Pompey’s return to the Championship after a 12-year absence, will see them operating in very different terrain to the one they left amid turmoil in 2012.

Cullen himself has called the levels of unsustainable spending in the second tier ‘insane’, though the introduction of the new independent football regulator should see a shift in the financial landscape.

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The football governance bill is currently going through parliament, with it anticipated to receive Royal Assent and become law at the start of next year.

Cullen feels that will help make for a more even playing field at the level Pompey are going to be operating in.

He added: ‘Yes, there’s the insanity of the Championship and the average club losing £16m per year, which is not sustainable.

‘But we’re going to see that change a bit in terms of profit and sustainability rules coming into play very shortly. That will be incredibly important as well, in terms of stabilising.’

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