McInnes: We are financially backing Cook

Paul Cook. Picture: Sarah Standing
Paul Cook. Picture: Sarah Standing
  • Cook has option to buy players using his budget
  • McInnes credits encouraging club finances for meeting Chesterfield buy-out clause

Iain McInnes has reiterated Pompey’s promotion ambition.

And the Blues chairman revealed Paul Cook has been handed a ‘similar’ budget to Andy Awford to achieve it.

It is very similar to this season’s. Like all budgets it is flexible, only ours tend to go up, not down, and that is great credit to the fanbase

Iain McInnes

Presently 14 first-team players remain at Fratton Park following Monday’s cull of those out-of-contract next month.

Cook’s removal of the nine has helped clear room in a playing budget long regarded as one of the best in League Two.

And McInnes is hoping Cook can get winning results from the kitty handed to him.

He said: ‘The aim is promotion and let’s not be frightened of it.

‘We want promotion – and Paul (Cook) made that comment before I did.

‘The budgets have already been discussed between the executives and Paul and he is more than happy with what he has got, which is well within the capability of the club to finance.

‘It is very similar to this season’s. Like all budgets it is flexible, only ours tend to go up, not down, and that is great credit to the fanbase.

‘Andy’s budget was increased around January for Matt Tubbs and one or two other players based on the fact we felt at that stage we needed some strengthening and that cannot happen without some financial clout to go with it.

‘Paul is starting with a budget he is more than happy with.

‘If and when that budget proves inadequate for the right reasons – such as we need just a bit more to do something extra or something special – as always we will sit down as a board and discuss it.

‘There is the ability to sign players for transfer fees. Again that will be Paul’s decision and the budget includes transfer fees, not just salaries.

‘If Paul wants to allocate some of that money to transfer fees as opposed to just salary then it is up to him.

‘Last summer we paid small fees for Nigel Atangana and James Dunne and if he decides that is what he wants to do then he is well within his remit to do it.

‘And that can only be done thanks to the financial foundations in place.’

Pompey paid around £150,000 to activate a buy-out clause in Cook’s contract to bring him from Chesterfield.

That figure will be settled over a number of instalments and McInnes is delighted the club can finance it.

He added: ‘The club have adequate finances to pay the compensation over a period of time for Paul, without going into debt.

‘It is about good, sound financial management.

‘How we have managed to do it has been made easier by the fact we have unprecedented levels of crowd attendances in this division, an executive team in Tony (Brown) and Mark (Catlin) who run a very tight ship, and increased commercial revenue thanks to Anna (Mitchell).

‘Therefore we run a budget in surplus.’