Pompey chief lifts lid on failed Rocha return

Ricardo Rocha
Ricardo Rocha
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Pompey chairman Iain McInnes has revealed Ricardo Rocha’s return was scuppered over the Portuguese defender’s desire for a director of football role.

The Blues had been in negotiations over bringing the Fratton favourite back in a playing capacity, with an ambassadorial position.

Rocha had intimated he was keen on the idea after spending the summer agonising.

However, McInnes claims the 34-year-old was also pushing for an off-the-field role on top of a playing deal.

That involved, upon retirement, becoming a director of football, potentially at Pompey.

The Blues had no interest in creating such a position, although offered to help Rocha by sending him on a specialist course.

An agreement could not be reached and last week the club announced the defender would not be returning in any capacity.

McInnes said: ‘We were looking for Ricardo to be a player, an ambassador and to maybe give him some education because he wants to go into a director of football role.

‘We had some great conversations, he is a perfect gentleman, a fabulous guy and I think we are weaker without him than we are with him.

‘But we just couldn’t come to an agreement within the remit we have got and the expectation he has.

‘It was never about finances, Ricky never came back here for money and never left for money.

‘It was a question of the length of the role, without going into too many details because I don’t think Ricky would want me to do that.

‘We had a role for him but he didn’t see it quite that way and that is his prerogative.

‘He is Portuguese and they have a different structure.

‘His idea going forward in football is very simply to be a director of football as opposed to other people who might say they want to be a manager or chairman.

‘The reality of life is that we were prepared to actually look at educating him along that role so it was quite an interesting, but perhaps complex, package of information he had to assimilate.

‘If it wasn’t for Guy and his relationship with Rocha I am not sure he would have been talking to us in the first place.

‘But what we offered and what he wanted was just not compatible.

‘We part the best of friends. I think he is a great player, a great guy, a great ambassador for the football club and would have had a great role here.

‘It’s his last hurrah in football and we wish him well with that.’

It means Rocha’s Pompey career ends on 97 matches.

McInnes does not know where he will go next.

He added: ‘I have got no idea what Ric will do now.

‘We have not spoken since negotiations came to an end – they didn’t break down they just came to an end.

‘Whatever he wants to do we wish him well.’