'They should blame us – it's not the owners’ fault': Danny Cowley defends Portsmouth ambition of Michael Eisner

Danny Cowley has urged fans not to blame Pompey’s ‘brilliant’ owners.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 5:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 6:03 pm
Pompey chairman Michael Eisner pictured with former chief executive Mark Catlin and board member Andy Redman. Picture: Joe Pepler

Tornante’s promotion ambition continues to be questioned by some supporters, with the Blues into their fifth successive League One season.

Since Michael Eisner became chairman in August 2017, Pompey have twice reached the play-off semi-finals, while never finished below eighth, yet promotion still eludes.

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The increased playing budget was driven by the recruitment of Wales international Joe Morrell from Luton for an undisclosed fee.

In addition, the loan signings of Miguel Azeez from Arsenal and Mahlon Romeo from Millwall required wage contributions from the Blues.

And Cowley has sprung to the defence of the Blues’ under-fire owners.

He told The News: ‘I am the head coach, so I don’t know the finances so much, but the owners have been really good and really supportive.

‘They are trying to run the club in a sustainable way, which is what they said from the outset.

‘You look at the Championship and how many clubs are in financial ruin because they are being run either by totally relying on one person or run in a way that’s just not financially viable in the long-term.

‘I get it, everyone is looking for someone to blame and they should blame us – it's not the owners’ fault.

‘They are creating a legacy, they bought a training ground, they are spending a huge amount of money on the development of the stadium and have also just navigated us through a pandemic.

‘I am only telling you what I see, it would be easy for me to hide behind them, but it wouldn’t be true – and it’s not fair.

‘They have been brilliant with us, they are good people who have this football club at heart.

‘I get that supporters are frustrated, I do. I feel their pain, I really want to create something which they can believe in and they can trust.

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‘I know if we can get the supporters feeling that then it will be the first – and biggest step – in the right direction of this football club.’

Presently there is no information available to definitively compare club budgets in League One.

Although, in the cases of Ipswich, Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan, they are likely to possess significantly bigger playing budgets than the Blues.

Cowley added: ‘Generally, you get a good idea of other clubs’ budgets when trying to sign players, especially when clubs beat you to someone and haven't got Pompey’s history or stature.

‘Then you look at the teams which have come down from the Championship. Their players’ wages went up significantly after promotion, but won’t go down anywhere near as steeply.

‘MK Dons paid good money last year and this season bought Mo Eisa for £450,000.

‘To be fair to Pompey, we bought Ellis Harrison, John Marquis and Marcus Harness in the summer of 2019, while there’s also Paul Downing (wages).’

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