Fratton faithful praised over Pompey resurgence

Pompey chairman Iain McInnes
Pompey chairman Iain McInnes

Pompey are seven months ahead of schedule as they clear their legacy debts early.

And Iain McInnes has paid tribute to the Fratton faithful who have made the impressive financial in-roads possible.

Under community ownership, the club were required to pay £6.72m to former players from May 2013 until July 2016.

As it stands, it is believed those debts are now on target to be cleared by December 2015.

Pompey’s finances have been boosted by last season’s average home attendances of 15,460 as the fans have turned out in force to back their club in League Two.

With 50 per cent of unbudgeted income used to pay the PFA earlier, those figures have ensured debts have been driven down monthly.

And chairman McInnes has praised Pompey supporters for the crucial role they have played in the resurgence of their club.

He said: ‘Financially we are ahead of the game plan significantly.

‘Mainly that is great thanks to the incredible support we have had.

‘Not just that, it is also down to the good husbandry of all those involved in the financial side and the income generated by the professionals of the commercial side, headed up by Mark Catlin, who has done a really good job.

‘The result is we are paying the debts sooner.

‘Do we want to spend every single penny on the pitch?

‘As a supporter I would love it – but we don’t and clearly we haven’t.

‘We have balanced the budget, spread our money evenly and not spent money we don’t have.

‘We are improving on the (player) compromises and it is important for the club to pay off that one area of debt we have because there are no others.

‘It all starts with income and where does income come from? It comes from the fans.

‘If you are talking about investment, that comes from fans too, the presidents and obviously the Trust as a group.

‘And that money is a capital investment rather than a cash-flow investment.

‘You have got to spend it in the right areas and you have got to beat the budgets you set for yourself – and you can’t do that without customers.

‘Our customers have been phenomenal.

‘Fans make the club, the club becomes for the fans, and they have helped it get where it is today.’

The final instalment of the parachute payments will be received this summer, although they have already been allocated in settling the compromise agreements with the PFA.

Such agreements involve 24 players, including Tal Ben Haim, Dave Kitson, David Norris, Ricardo Rocha and Aruna Dindane.

McInnes added: ‘Football tends to get itself into financial trouble, it doesn’t pay enough attention in my opinion to cash flow, it pays a lot of attention to money itself.

‘In our situation we will go forwards into next season with a balanced budget, a competitive playing budget, a paid for training ground, paid for improvement to the pitch and ground – with money in the bank.’