First and foremost, our thoughts and wishes are with you all during these unprecedented times.
There is plenty that is outside of our control in this period of uncertainty, but we can control our communication to supporters and will endeavour to keep you updated in the coming weeks.
As everyone is aware, football has been suspended by our governing bodies until April 30 at the earliest. Will it recommence from this date and, if so, will this be with or without fans? At this moment, anyone suggesting yes or no is simply guessing.
Until the country as a whole know how the Covid-19 virus is going to evolve, any comments on this remain pure speculation. It’s not a decision that can be taken by Portsmouth Football Club – or even, to a degree, by football’s governing bodies. Ultimately, we are all adhering to recommendations from the government and their advisors.
While much of the current situation is open to conjecture, rumour and opinion, we will continue to update and advise supporters with the facts when we receive them. In the current climate, this is very fluid and circumstances can change on a daily basis.
The club are acting responsibly and adhering to government advice, with the majority of staff now working from home, utilising the technology at our disposal. Staff will only come into the office or attend face-to-face meetings when essential.
Players and first team staff attended the training ground on Monday to submit samples for a Covid-19 test. We are still waiting for the results of some of these, but those already returned have been negative. Meanwhile, the players have been given a home training schedule and asked to refrain from any unnecessary contact.
The plan remains, as far as possible, to isolate players in an attempt to create a ‘clean’ environment for them, using social distancing recommendations so that hopefully they are free of the virus when training resumes.
Football is important, but secondary to the health and wellbeing of not only our staff and supporters, but also those in the wider community – particularly the most vulnerable.
Working with Clare Martin and her amazing team at Pompey in the Community, we are throwing the available resources of the club behind an initiative – that has also been agreed with Portsmouth City Council – to establish a distribution/support hub to assist in the delivery of key essentials to those most vulnerable during this time. Further details on this will be made available soon.
We are here to help where possible, so if you – or someone you know – requires assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Portsmouth Football Club, Pompey in the Community and Portsmouth City Council can – along with our fantastic supporters – mobilise a large ‘community army’ who are ready, willing and able to help those in society who need it the most.
Along with the rest of the board and all our staff, I am always proud to represent this great football club and city. That is especially the case when our backs are against the wall, as that is when we are at our best.
We will continue to update supporters as often as possible and urge everyone to continue following government guidelines.
Stay safe and, as always, PUP!
Mark Catlin, on behalf of the board of directors, players and staff of Portsmouth Football Club