Portsmouth: Guy Whittingham appointed Pompey manager

By Nabil HassanBBC Sport at Fratton Park
Whittingham 'proud' after Pompey appointment

Portsmouth have appointed Guy Whittingham as their permanent manager.

The club ended a 14-month spell in administration on Friday and are now owned by the Pompey Supporters' Trust.

Whittingham, who has signed a one-year rolling contract, has been caretaker manager of the recently-relegated side since taking over from Michael Appleton following his departure in November.

"I'm proud and privileged to be leading the club on the field," Whittingham told BBC Sport.

"I'm looking forward to carrying on the good work that has been done so far. It's something I've wanted to do since taking over as caretaker,

"It's been a rollercoaster ride but with the staff I had with me I was always confident I had the right team to be successful. I'm glad the decision has been made and we can get on and do some planning.

"You've got to aim for promotion but first and foremost we cannot go back to where we've been.

"Teams can go down and come back up, but it has to be done the right way and we need to make sure the infrastructure is right."

Despite Portsmouth's recently-confirmed relegation to League Two, Whittingham's appointment will be popular with supporters because of his long association with the club, having played for Pompey in three different spells.

The former striker originally arrived at Portsmouth in 1989, with the club paying just £450 to buy him out of the army. He went on to score 99 league goals for Pompey in 177 appearances, including a club-record 42 goals in the 1992-93 campaign.

This season's spell as caretaker at Fratton Park was not Whittingham's first - he also filled the role when Steve Cotterill left for Nottingham Forest in 2011.

New Pompey chairman Iain McInnes declared the 48-year-old as the ideal choice for the new community-run club.

"We are delighted to have a character of Guy's calibre in charge," said McInnes.

"He understands the club and what we are trying to achieve and he has shown in the past few months what he can do when he has the opportunity to work with a settled group of players."

Despite working to strict budgetary constraints because of the club's financial plight, he has managed to put together a squad that has won five of its last 10 games.

Whittingham hopes to be assisted by former academy manager Andy Awford, but revealed that the former defender is still deciding whether to return to his former role.

Meanwhile, the club have also confirmed that Pompey's new chief executive officer will be Mark Catlin.

Catlin has previous football experience as commercial director at Bury, where he oversaw growth in revenues and attendances, as well as being part of the club's promotion to League One.

"Mark and I first discussed him wanting to help the PST bid in the autumn of 2012 and he has been working voluntarily since then to support what we are trying to do," added McInnes.

"He gave us the vital football management experience the bid team lacked. He understands our community ethos and we are sure he can drive the club to where we want it to be."

PST chairman Ashley Brown also revealed that since their out-of-court settlement they have been receiving around 50 new pledges a day. In total, they have raised £1.9m in community pledges, while 12 High Net Worth Individuals (now presidents of the club) have put in around £1.6m.


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