'Really important for the next stage of Portsmouth's development': Andy Cullen update on progress of crucial Fratton Park appointment - and when it could happen

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Andy Cullen has drawn up his photofit of the perfect candidate to fill Pompey’s head of football operations vacancy.

And he is pinpointing a Fratton Park unveiling this month,

The remit of Gagliardi’s job was already under review, with Cullen keen to implement a more beefed-up role with greater responsibilities.

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As a consequence, the Blues chief executive is adamant the position will be ‘bigger’ than previously employed.

And he wants to make an appointment before the end of the season.

Cullen told The News: ‘We are looking for somebody who has a really good, strong track record in recruitment, strategic thinking and alignment across football operations.

‘This is a bigger role than what we’ve had before, bigger than when Roberto (Gagliardi) was here.

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Andy Cullen is hoping to fill Pompey's head of football operations vacancy this month. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages/PinPAndy Cullen is hoping to fill Pompey's head of football operations vacancy this month. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages/PinP
Andy Cullen is hoping to fill Pompey's head of football operations vacancy this month. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages/PinP

‘This is really important for the next stage of the club’s development. The (recruitment) process is well underway and we have spoken to a number of people.

‘There have been some good highly-talented individuals to have expressed an interest in the role. We’ve been speaking to them and still have a few more to meet next week.

‘That's at the first stage, then we'll move pretty quickly onto the next stage, which is about drawing up the shortlist.

‘Ideally, we’d like to appoint someone as soon as we possibly can and are certainly looking to make an offer before the end of the season.

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‘Although that will also come down to people’s individual availability, in terms of what their current commitments are, notice periods and everything else.

‘What has become clear to me over my 8-9 months at the football club is it would really benefit from somebody who can release some of the pressure by taking that big day-to-day involvement.

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‘That person will have a big influence on recruitment, will support the manager, and have a big influence on supporting what Greg (Miller) is trying to do, in particular that big strategic overhaul of the Academy he has been undertaking over the last nine months.

‘It’s a long-term appointment as well, independent of the first-team manager, independent of the Academy manager.

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‘What we are looking for is someone who wants to commit long-term and not necessarily be inextricably linked to the success of the first-team manager’.

But Cullen is open-minded on the precise title adopted by the next appointment.

He added: ‘I don’t yet know what the title will be – and I don’t want to put anything out there .

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‘It could be head of football operations, sporting director, director of football, technical director, they all mean things to different people and are completely different things at different football clubs.

‘You look at somebody in the role at Liverpool and somebody in a role somewhere else and they will be two absolutely different jobs.

‘That’s why you have to get the role right – and then worry about titles later.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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