'The sky’s the limit': Portsmouth owners Tornante declare their vision as Blues face sixth season in League One

Tornante insist the ‘sky’s the limit’ for their Pompey ambition.

Sunday, 24th April 2022, 2:20 pm

And the Blues owners are adamant a Championship return remains their priority, albeit to be accomplished sustainably.

Since Michael Eisner headed a takeover of Pompey in August 2017, the club have reached two play-off semi-finals and won the Checkatrade Trophy.

However, they remain in League One and, for successive seasons, are facing missing out on top-seven finishes.

Board members Eric Eisner and Andy Redman are currently back on the south coast for the first time for more than two years following Covid, attending Saturday’s 3-1 win against Gillingham.

As part of their week-long presence, they have today provided a wide-ranging interview with The News.

And they are adamant their target remains Championship promotion.

‘We have always said the sky’s the limit, I think what people have is an issue with is the timetable,’ Eisner told The News.

Eric Eisner (right) was back at Fratton Park on Saturday for the 3-1 win over Gillingham. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘We have talked about the ideal situation to never get relegated. So say you go up to the Championship, don’t come back down.

‘Work your way up to the top of the Championship and then maybe, if you are lucky enough to get to the Premier League in the first year, it’s the same philosophy – don’t get relegated in our tenure.

‘Our ambition is the Championship, no question, because that is what is next in front of us.

‘One kick against Oxford and could have been in the Championship, let’s get real. I would have been nervous, but obviously we are all going for promotion, let’s get real.

‘But in the no-relegation strategy, 50 per cent come back down, we want to be on the 50 per cent on the right side of that.

‘So would that team (at Oxford) have been ready for the next step? It would have been great to find out, but you end up losing a lot of games versus when you are contending for League One you are winning a lot.

‘We want to be up, but not getting killed every game, that is the difference we are going for (to stay there).’

Pompey are presently ninth in League One, two points behind last season’s 72-point tally with two games remaining.

Disappointing, however, they have been unable to challenge for the play-offs, despite taking an encouraging haul of 32 points from their last 17 fixtures.

And next year will be their sixth at League One level.

Redman added: ‘As a percentage of our time, a very, very, very large percentage is spent on focusing on promotion and the players.

‘Sometimes I’ve seen questions and people thinking we don’t want to go to the Championship right now.

‘We would love to have been promoted in our first season or our second season or our third or our fourth.

‘The ambition here is as high as you can possibly imagine. Michael (Eisner) has been as successful with large business as you can possibly be.

‘But, as a general statement, we absolutely have the ambition to go as high as possible – sustainably.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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