MARK MY WORDS #2; A blog by Mark Catlin
By Mark Catlin
Friday 28 Mar 2014 18:00:00
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First of all apologies for the slight delay in writing this month's blog. Events over the past few days and weeks have taken up a huge amount of time as I am sure you can appreciate!


A manager leaving any business is always a stressful destabilising period. However the decision that Richie Barker would leave was agreed by all parties on the basis of achieving exactly the opposite. In consequence the club now has, I believe, stability for the remaining seven games this season.

There will be enough time to dwell on our 'on field' performances at the end of the season. Of course we can learn from the past, but at this moment in time we must look to the immediate future.

The key to achieving our short-term aim must be to unite behind Andy Awford and the team for our remaining fixtures. I honestly do not know why I need to write that, this is Portsmouth and its a 'given'.

When Colin Farmery suggested to me a few months ago that another part of our communication with fans should be for me to write a monthly blog, I immediately flagged up that it was potentially a banana skin for us.

It's great writing when things are going well, but when they are not going so well whatever you say sometimes just gets shot to pieces. You are damned if you do, and damned if you don't! Also, when things are not going so well, I can sympathise with some supporters who think that we need to just 'shut up' and get on with winning games of football!

However I also appreciate that supporters have a right to express their views, but also to be kept informed and at times like this I personally believe that the worst thing any business or club can do is adopt a bunker mentality.

I know its an old cliché, but football really is a results based business. For years and years the club financially has got it so spectacularly wrong, and yet since we moved out of administration and into fan ownership, due the restructuring and work being done off the field, we have got it so right.

The infrastructure and building blocks for a successful PFC future has, through the hard work of so many people associated with the club - Chairman, Directors, PST, Presidents and most importantly the fans that come and watch us week in week out - enabled the club to outperform on almost all areas over the amount originally budgeted for.

As the club's debt continues to decline, our future power to turn our incredible support into a playing budget that befits a club of our size continues to increase.

We can continue to dwell forever about the errors of the past, we can continue to be positive about what we have achieved to ensure future growth and stability, BUT at this moment in time only one thing matters and that's EVERYONE pulling in the same direction over what is effectively a seven-game season for us.

Pompey fans consistently tell me that there is no better city or club that unites in the face of adversity and with its back against the wall. Having witnessed this myself, week in week out during last season, I have no doubt whatsoever that the 12th man will once again become an important part of what will undoubtedly become another key moment in the clubs' history.

Play up Pompey!

Mark Catlin

Click here to read Mark's February 2014 blog on Pompey Online

Mark Catlin is Chief Executive of Portsmouth FC. The views expressed in Mark My Words are his and his alone. The blog is published on a monthly basis on a rota by the following Pompey fan sites:, and Fratton Faithful. If you would like your site to be considered to join this rota e-mail:

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