GUY MUST WAIT ON POMPEY FUTURE
PORTSMOUTH’S long-term future may now be a little clearer but manager Guy Whittingham will have to wait at least another week to discover his fate as the club look to finally exit administration.
As caretaker boss, Whittingham has steadied what seemed at one stage to be a sinking ship both on and the field – only losing once since ending a 23-game winless streak at the start of March.
Off the pitch, Pompey Supporters Trust (PST) are now free to complete their takeover after securing a deal to purchase Fratton Park from Portpin, Pompey’s major creditor, ending a saga that had threatened to see Portsmouth expelled from the Football League.
Now PST must finalise Pompey’s exit from a 14month spell in administration, something Trust spokesman Colin Farmery is confident will occur by next Friday April 19 – just in time for their last home game of the season against Sheffield United.
But until such a deal is finalised between administrators BDO and the Football League, Farmery insists no decision over the managerial team will be made.
“The result we got in the High Court was the biggest result of the season because it means we are in control of our own destiny and we are now making the decisions about who runs and owns our club,” said Farmery.
“It was tense on Wednesday but the ending was the right one and we are now in a position to start rebuilding our club. Now the real work starts. There are practical processes to go through still but we are keen to come out of administration as soon as possible and in an ideal world that will be by the end of next week.
“Our target date is April 19 which would be in time for the final home game of the season which would be quite a celebration. We hope to announce the management team when we come out of administration and we are obviously keen to sort out Guy’s future. It will be a decision for the new board to make.
“The biggest advantage with a community-based model is that we will have transparency. That doesn’t mean we’ll tell the supporters every single detail because we won’t want to lose our competitive edge.
“But what it does mean is that the Pompey Supporters Trust own the majority stake and will have three members on the board who will hold the directors accountable, which is a good process.”
Iain McInnes is poised to become Portsmouth’s chairman while the three PST representatives filling seats on the board will be PST chairman Ashley Brown, Mark Trapani and Mick Williams. And now in possession of what is the biggest community-owned club in the country, PST intends to set an example that other will want to follow.
“We want to show the way for other clubs that aspire to play in the top flight and we feel we can do that using a community club model,” added Farmery.
“We are working on a strategic plan for the next four to five years but we can’t run before we can walk. The deal is still going on but we are ambitious. Our aim is to get back into the Championship as quickly as is practical given the state of the club we are inheriting.”
IN WITH A SHOUT: Pompey caretaker boss Guy Whittingham