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Interviews

Catlin: Football All About The Fans

Chief executive discusses prospect of games behind closed doors

13 May 2020

Mark Catlin
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Despite plenty of speculation, nobody knows what the current – or following – season holds.

But Mark Catlin is certainly longing for a return to the days when a promotion-chasing Pompey side can perform in front of their faithful fans.

Like everyone else, the chief executive can only sit and hope as we wait to discover how and when football will resume.

And seeing the 2019/20 campaign reach a natural conclusion on the pitch remains his number one goal.

Catlin said: “It seems a long way off now, buy my dream finish for this season would obviously be to have the chance of a promotion push at a packed Fratton Park.

“That is starting to look really difficult to achieve, as is being able to finish things behind closed doors.

"For me, football is the fans and everything we do is geared towards that magic moment of 3pm on a Saturday."

Mark Catlin

“If the chance to make that happen doesn’t materialise then it will be so hard on everyone at the club.

“Beyond that, my greatest hope for the future of football is that it will be in front of fans next season.”

“Without them in the stadium for any lengthy period of time, I would have to question the point of matches.

“Starting next season without supporters would be soul-destroying – for me, football is the fans and everything we do is geared towards that magic moment of 3pm on a Saturday.

“If I were allowed in for games as chief executive and supporters – via any mass gathering rule – were excluded, it would just not be enjoyable for me. The banter, atmosphere and energy is what it’s all about.

“It’s a horrible thought and totally out of our control, but unfortunately a scenario that we have to potentially brace ourselves for.”


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