Pompey boss calls for swift conclusion to ownership bid

Pompey manager Michael Appleton. Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey manager Michael Appleton. Picture: Robin Jones

Michael Appleton has called for a swift resolution to Pompey’s ownership problems in a bid to end his transfer frustration.

Today he outlined his plans to fill the void caused by the departures of first-team goalkeepers Stephen Henderson and Jamie Ashdown.

But with the club still in administration – and therefore a registration embargo rigidly applied – none of his targets can be signed.

The only solution would be a takeover, with Portpin and the Pompey Supporters’ Trust both in the running.

Pompey have been told they will not face a points deduction next season.

However, it is likely to be another six weeks before the club comes out of administration.

Meanwhile, Appleton insists the timescale has already cost him several targets, who have since moved elsewhere.

And he fears he will continue to miss out over the summer as he waits for any potential takeover to be concluded.

He said: ‘I have spoken to a lot of players and their representatives but at the minute I am not in a position where I can do anything, which is frustrating.

‘Probably, over the last two days I have met 12 players who I would be interested.

‘But when the conversation turns to “when can we sign” there is not a lot I can say.

‘They are not ones who are going to be waiting forever, either. My hands are tied. I have no idea when the takeover will be sorted and it is costing me players, without a shadow of a doubt.

‘There are a few who have since gone to other clubs but I don’t want to mention them.

‘It is not fair on the players themselves and the clubs they have gone to.

‘I speak to players and give them an idea of what we are able to give them.

‘They have got their concerns, though, which I understand. I cannot control it.

‘If I targeted 100 players, unfortunately by the time I get to do something about it, I will have missed out on 80 of them.

‘The reality is it is going to be a very long summer and a frustrating one.

‘As far as I am concerned, as soon as something gets sorted out the better. Otherwise, it is going to make life very, very difficult and I am going to keep missing out.’

Appleton is seeking to bring 18 new faces to Fratton Park during the summer.

He is also desperate to off-load the majority of his 11-man senior squad in an attempt to drive down the wage bill.

Meanwhile, free agent Kelvin Etuhu has been offered a permanent two-year contract to stay. A new 12-month deal has been tabled to Marko Futacs on reduced terms, too.