Awford: Forget a Pompey spending spree

Nigel Atangana was signed for a five-figure fee in the summer Picture: Joe Pepler
Nigel Atangana was signed for a five-figure fee in the summer Picture: Joe Pepler

ANDY AWFORD told Pompey fans: We will not flash the cash.

The Blues boss is adamant he will not be pushing the club to loosen the purse strings following the news they are now debt free.

It’s been a week of positivity off the pitch at Fratton Park, with Pompey paying off their debts nearly two years ahead of schedule.

That news was followed by the Pompey Supporters’ Trust announcing the club’s operating profits of £312,168 for the first year of community ownership.

Some supporters felt those events would give Awford the green light to start regularly shelling out for new faces.

He insisted six-figure fees are out of the question moving forward, however.

The Pompey boss explained he will still work within the framework of the budget he was set in the summer.

Awford said: ‘I still have a budget to work to.

‘My budget hasn’t changed since June when me, Mark (Catlin) and Tony (Brown) sat down in the summer and the budget was set. It hasn’t changed.

‘What we can’t look at now is thinking we’re going to flash the cash. That’s not going to happen. We’re not in a position to do that.

‘We’ll still be strict, prudent and spend the money like it’s our own. That’s what we do. We’ll be sensible. We won’t spend what we can’t afford.

‘There’s a playing budget and that includes buying them. If I buy a player for £500,000, which will never happen, I can do that if it’s in budget.

‘In terms of whether it allows me to spread the net. No, it’s no different. It’s no different whatsoever.

‘We go about our business the way we go about it.

‘If the squad can improve we’ll do that – if it’s in budget. I’ve always said that. It’s no different.

‘£100,000? £150,000 for a player? Forget it. It won’t happen. It will not happen.

‘We can’t put the football club back where it was.

‘That will never, ever happen as long as we have the right people here.’

Pompey paid five-figure fees for two recruits in the summer – Nigel Atangana and James Dunne.

That was made with the blessing of the Football League, as the club operated under their gaze.

This week’s events means that is no longer the case –and Awford stated that will help with recruitment.

He said: ‘All it means is if there is a player out there we like, who is a fee, there’s an easier trail now.

‘It’s not going to be six figures or anything stupid like that.

‘We won’t have the rigmarole we had before now.

‘In terms of budget it hasn’t changed.

‘The Football League gave us dispensation after we applied for it (to sign Dunne and Atangana).

‘It got delayed before and you are always worried someone is going to nip in.

‘We can sign a player now if we can afford a small fee. That’s a positive.’