Portsmouth transfers: Fans express concerns over club's finances as Wigan, Doncaster Rovers and Oxford moves are lined up

Pompey fans on social media have been expressing concern over the Blues’ financial clout this summer.

Saturday, 5th June 2021, 4:55 am

That’s after two of the club’s soon to be out-of-contract players were linked with moves to League One rivals, while a third completed his switch to a third-tier side.

Jack Whatmough’s anticipated free-transfer move to Wigan was completed on Friday evening, despite late interest in his services from Shrewsbury.

Ben Close is poised to complete a move to Doncaster Rovers.

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Meanwhile, Ryan Williams is reportedly interesting Oxford, who leapfrogged Pompey to the last remaining play-off spot on the final day of the season.

All three players were offered fresh deals to remain at Fratton Park and extend their stays.

But the terms on offer were deemed unsuitable – prompting Whatmough, Close, Williams and Tom Naylor to walk away in search of new challenges.

In Pompey’s defence, they have insisted the best possible deals were offered at a time when the club is still counting the costs of the coronavirus pandemic.

From left: Ryan Williams, Jack Whatmough and Ben Close

Yet with the Blues’ league rivals appearing able to lure them away with better deals – despite their own money worries – many of the Fratton faithful are understandably concerned.

Here’s what they’ve been saying on social media as fans worry about their club’s pulling power when a major overhaul of the squad is desperately needed...

@wellsa1970: I have never really rated Ben Close but other supposedly smaller clubs offering better terms is worrying.

Anthony Knight: So Shrewsbury join the growing list of clubs who can offer significantly better terms/wages than us.

I predict a season of struggle with non league freebies and journeymen pros.

So much for the Eisners’ 5-year plan to get to the Championship.

Feel sorry for the Cowleys. What chance have they/we got if the minnows of this league can outbid us on players contracts and terms.

We ARE going backwards

@Michael05023552: What an absolute joke Doncaster can pay better wages than us and they’ve obviously got more drive than us to get out of this league.

Hope @Michael_Eisner can take the heat when we’ve been in this league for another 4 years.

Hugh Skilling: The fact Shrewsbury who average around 4000 fans can pay better wages than Pompey who will have bigger sponsors, 18,000 fans a game is an absolute shambles.

Something is definitely not right at the club.

Players leaving, players wanting out, Catlin going. Something isn’t right that’s for sure.

@darrenbox: Do we really want to lose the homegrown lads and can we really not compete in the salary department with these clubs?

I thought our process was about homegrown talent and their development. Not as if Ben and Jack are in their 30s and chasing one final payday.

Barrie Jenkins: Wigan? Sorry JW your better than that but it’s your choice.

Goodbye and good luck.

As for ourselves, I understand that there has been revenue issues but I get the sense something else is going on in the background.

Championship 22/23: This is an awful strategy, we’re not gonna sign anyone better than the likes of MacGillivray, Whatmough and Close for less than they want especially if we have to pay a transfer fee.

Eisners showing no ambition at all here and in 2 years we’ll regret it.

Steve Wild: How can Shrewsbury offer better terms than Pompey?

I’m probably not alone in getting worried about the next season.

@Alharris_1111: All players being offered a new deal on reduced terms yet they are all moving around the country to earn more money.

Is our wage budget even competitive? What is the club objectives this season?

@fazzer84: Club probably offered Close 100 quid and a nelson the dog scarf!

Dave Bourton: Very worrying when Doncaster & Shrewsbury can out bid us.

@wotnofish: I thought our owner just made a couple of billion from Topps cards. Why are we losing players to similar clubs over wages?

Aaron Grimble: Now a case of replacing them with better quality players, will pass judgement once I see the new squad.

Only thing that concerns me is that our rivals seem to be able to offer wages we can't even though those said clubs are smaller & also suffered the same financial losses as a result of the pandemic.

Are the Eisners lacking ambition, only time will tell.

Gary Hills: Shame we cannot afford to keep Jack because we have to fund wages for the likes of Downing and Marquis.