Pompey eye Cooper after board budget boost

Shaun Cooper, centre, celebrates scoring against Brentford last season
Shaun Cooper, centre, celebrates scoring against Brentford last season

Shaun Cooper is poised to join Pompey for a third spell after Guy Whittingham received the nod to strengthen his squad.

The Blues boss met the club board on Monday afternoon to discuss his existing player budget.

The outcome was positive, with Whittingham told the finances are there to bring in at least one more signing.

He will now continue his pursuit of Cooper, a player he has wanted to bring back to Fratton Park for a fortnight.

The versatile performer began his career with Pompey and returned last season for a 14-match loan spell from Crawley, scoring two goals.

He remains a free agent and has trained with the Blues, as well as Torquay and Bournemouth, since the summer to maintain his fitness.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin has revealed the board will now allow further recruitment, although would not go into names.

But The News understands Whittingham is set to reunite Cooper with the club once more.

Catlin said: ‘The board meeting went really well and, as per normal with board meetings, finances and the general running of the club were discussed and then decisions have been made based on that.

‘Guy came in and delivered a report about how he thinks things are going and what the board opinion is of him.

‘He likes opinions about his own performance and then the board had a discussion with him about the future, hopes, expectations about the coming season, pretty much the same as any board meeting.

‘As per normal, Guy has identified a player he would like to bring him.

‘It is not a flat “no” from the board if Guy wants to strengthen the squad and the budget allows that every case will be looked at.

‘If he wants to strengthen a position and at the time he comes to us finances allow, then we will look at it and give serious consideration.

‘The important thing was Guy asked the question “is this it now, am I finished until the end of the season?”

‘And the board have said “well let’s look at it by a case-by-case basis, player-by-player”. The door is open.’

Pompey’s finances have been boosted this week following their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Torquay.

The Blues received £5,000 for the victory and the televised draw for round two is on Saturday.

In addition, having budgeted for 13,000 gates, the current Fratton average is 16,257.

Catlin added: ‘The thing with football at the minute is budgets change every day.

‘You have an example in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night.

‘We have another game now that wasn’t budgeted for and are continuing to do sponsorship deals we are not budgeting for.

‘So financially the club is in a relatively healthy position at the minute.’