Catlin: Pompey Academy future so bright

Dan Butler

Dan Butler

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Pompey’s blossoming youth set-up will continue to possess a bright future under community ownership.

That is the pledge from Mark Catlin following the launch of the Pompey Lottery designed to bolster Academy finances.

The likes of Jack Whatmough, Dan Butler, Jed Wallace, Adam Webster, Ashley Harris and Ryan Williams have in recent times emerged through the system to feature regularly for the first-team.

With such success stories, the Academy is viewed as an essential area to maintain investment.

Now, to aid funding its ongoing operation, the Blues have resurrected the Pompey Lottery, offering a weekly cash rollover of £1,000 and a £12,000 annual jackpot.

Priced at £2 per week, other prizes include a boardroom experience, turning out as a match-day mascot, featuring in the official team photo and assisting the kit man on a home match day.

And with all profits to be ploughed into the youth set-up, Pompey’s chief executive is convinced the cash benefits can be ‘substantial’.

Catlin said: ‘The Trust made a commitment before we came out of administration to do everything they could to preserve the youth system at Pompey.

‘It has been difficult, we have had to work along with Andy Awford at ways of reducing the losses in the Academy and we have got it now – hopefully with the help of the lottery – to what we would class as a sustainable level.

‘Of course, it’s about what it does for us as a community club and hopefully keeps producing local players for the first team.

‘I think it’s a bit unfair to put a figure on how much the Pompey Lottery can bring in but it could be quite a substantial amount of money for the club.

‘In the long-term, however, six figures is something we would aspire to.

‘The Academy is quite an expensive thing to run, while I know Andy is keen on reinventing the development squad and again that costs money.

‘The lottery can fund those and the facilities they use. So overall the money will be ring fenced and used towards supporting the youth across the board at Portsmouth Football Club.

‘This will help assist the future of the Academy, without a shadow of a doubt.’

Catlin saw the concept of a club lottery succeed at former club Bury and pushed for it at Fratton Park.

At Tuesday night’s launch evening, attended by Andy Awford, Whatmough and Butler, 80 fans signed up on the spot while many more have since also joined.

And Catlin is confident it can prove to be a success.

He added: ‘At a lot of other clubs the lottery is a great revenue source, so when I came here I was slightly shocked we didn’t have one for a club of this size.

‘At other clubs it can raise substantial six-figure sums every season so that’s the level of revenue we believe we can actually achieve by taking part in this lottery.

‘As you can see by the offers from recommending a friend, you can also earn enough money to pay for a ticket.’

For more information on the Pompey Lottery, e-mail lottery@pompeyfc.co.uk, call (023) 9277 8532 or visit pompeylottery.co.uk