Portsmouth's transfer plans won't be impacted by prolonged search for head of football operations following twists involving Forest Green Rovers and Cambridge United figures

Pompey’s prolonged search for a head of football operations will have little or no impact on Danny Cowley’s summer transfer plans.

By Mark McMahon
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 5:38 pm

That’s the verdict of Pompey writer Jordan Cross, who believes any appointment at this stage would play a ‘peripheral’ role in this summer’s recruitment process.

Yet he warned there’ll be an eagerness to get the position filled so that the Blues can get to work on their long-term transfer strategy.

The Fratton Park outfit have been actively seeking someone to fill the role following Roberto Gagliardi’s departure earlier in the year.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Forest Green Rovers’ director of football, Richard Hughes, looked the prime candidate, only for him to commit his future to the newly-crowned League Two champions.

Meanwhile, shortly after Cambridge United’s Ben Strang emerged as the new front-runner, sources close to the U’s claimed the Abbey Stadium Sporting Director would also be staying put.

This has left those inside and outside the corridors of power at PO4 frustrated as they look to make the key appointment and concentrate in implementing Cowley’s transfer plans ahead of next season, with Matt Butcher and Aaron Collins among those already linked with moves to the south coast.

Another rebuild is on the agenda following Pompey’s 10th-placed finish this term and 12 players’ contracts set to expire.

Pompey boss Danny Cowley will be keen to kick-start his summer recruitment drive amid talk of the Blues' search for a head of football operations

But according to Cross, the head of football operations saga should have no bearing on Pompey’s capabilities when it comes to this summer's transfer window.

Speaking on the latest episode of Pompey Talk, The News man said: ‘It's only natural that this has muddied the waters to a certain degree.

‘But you plan windows in advance and, in reality, if this guy comes in now, is he going to have a short-term impact on this window? Probably not too much.

‘Possibly, he might have a contact. You want the person to be connected and be helpful on that front and be able to get you to this player or this agent, so there could be benefits in that.

‘They can be a help but I think it’s going to be kind of peripheral at the moment.

‘I think Danny has recruited reasonably well, putting his hand up to the odd mistake.

‘The detail he goes to when he goes through his recruitment work, I think, is in advance of what we’ve seen at Pompey for a long time, if not forever.

‘So I think Danny would back himself still.

‘I don’t think it's all going to fall down around Pompey’s ears this summer if the guy doesn’t come in.

‘But to get the process in place, you need to get things moving in terms of the longer-term plan.

‘In terms of structuring and planning, both Andy Cullen and Danny Cowley are very process driven so they’ll have wanted to nail down this moving forward.’