Coppell will have big role to play

New Pompey director of football Steve Coppell Picture: John Rigby
New Pompey director of football Steve Coppell Picture: John Rigby

Steve Coppell will have a meaningful role at Pompey.

Mark Catlin insisted the former Manchester City and Reading boss will have a far-reaching impact at Fratton Park, after taking on a director of football position at the club.

And the Blues chief executive promised the former England international still has the hunger to make a success of the position.

Catlin laid down the details of what Coppell’s job will entail, as he joined the Blues after leaving Crawley last week.

Coppell will again link up with Richie Barker, and take on scouting duties, watching forthcoming opposition and potential signings.

On top of that, the 58-year-old will be Barker’s eyes in the stand on match days and liaise with the new Pompey manager.

And, importantly, Coppell will be tasked with overhauling the non-football side of the business.

Catlin said: ‘Steve’s here because he wants to be here, and he’s really excited by this.

‘He made it clear from the start he doesn’t need the work or the pressure of it.

‘But he’s here because it still floats his boat.

‘He will help completely restructure the non-playing football side of the club.

‘It’s a great foundation for our future. How things are divided up are is pretty clear.

‘Steve said at the interview he doesn’t want to be called a director of football, he wants to be called a helper.

‘I don’t think you can easily stick a label on him.

‘Steve was very clear that he saw his position as assisting Richie.

‘He will watch games, the next team we are playing, and scout players, generally.

‘On match days he will be sat in the directors’ box, but have an input at half-time.’

Catlin, who worked with Barker when the pair were together at Bury, admitted he himself is enthused at the prospect of working closely with Coppell.

‘Steve will be at board meetings and will take part in what I do, as part of a five-year plan, to get the club right. He wants to lay foundations that are so important to take this club forward,’ he said.

‘If the board speak to me, they will take it on board.

‘But when Steve Coppell does the same thing, it has more gravitas. That’s the reality of it! So I’m really looking forward to working with Steve and learning from him.’

Catlin also knows exactly the type of character Pompey are getting in Barker.

He added: ‘Richie will work tirelessly to get the club to back to where it should be.

‘He will be the first in to work in the morning and the last one home at night.

‘On top of that, there is enthusiasm and ambition.

‘He has the determination to be a success.’