Presidents doing it for love not profit

Mark Catlin. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131241-15)
Mark Catlin. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131241-15)

MARK CATLIN dismissed concerns over the presidents increasing their Pompey stake and promised: It’s for our benefit.

And the Blues chief executive rubbished the suggestion the men pumping money into the club are doing it for financial gain.

The presidents, along with Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST), are currently sinking cash into Pompey to fund crucial work.

That includes the new training ground project at Roko in Hilsea, along with redevelopment work at Fratton Park and improvements to the pitch.

The investment is likely to see the Trust’s shareholding dip below the 50 per cent mark for the first time – but not the crucial 26 per cent mark needed to block share sales.

Catlin believes funding of all kinds is critical if Pompey are to progress as the United Kingdom’s biggest fan-owned club.

He underlined none of the 12 presidents, with the exception of property partner Stuart Robinson, benefit financially from ploughing funds into Pompey.

Catlin said: ‘I’ve been clear from the start.

‘For me as chief executive we have to attract investment if we want to progress as a club.

‘If we want to get the training ground, get the capacity back up and the pitch right that’s what we have to do.

‘There are no returns on it. It’s just pure investment into projects.

‘Stuart Robinson is the only case it could be levelled they are benefiting financially.

‘The presidents may as well have gone and washed the money down the bath. The money is gone.

‘It’s gone for the enhancement of the club. People may like to say otherwise but I’m pointing out the facts.

‘The only president who went into anything on a commercial level is Stuart Robinson.

‘But that was clearly set out and, without him, this club wouldn’t be here today in my opinion.

‘I’ve got no issue whatsoever with it but I can see why elements from PST may have reservations.

‘But I’ve always worked on the premise this club is fan owned. It doesn’t have to be PST owned. We are genuinely a fan-owned football club.

‘As long as no single person has ultimate control over the club via their investment and it’s for the good of the club, I have no issues.’

Catlin also poured scorn on those who dismissed the authenticity of Pompey’s presidents as the club’s supporters

He said: ‘The presidents are Pompey fans.

‘I know a lot is made of one or two not being fans but they are travelling home and away, let me tell you.

‘They are jumping up and down when Pompey score.

‘They are concerned about the club as much as any Pompey fans. To me they are Pompey fans. They care about the club.’