Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Fixture News

Andrew Cullen's Charlton Programme Notes

Read the thoughts of Pompey's CEO

11 November 2023

Andrew Cullen
Fixture News

Andrew Cullen's Charlton Programme Notes

Read the thoughts of Pompey's CEO

11 November 2023

A very warm welcome to all our supporters and to everyone from Charlton Athletic for today’s Sky Bet League One fixture, which falls on Armistice Day. It provides a perfect opportunity for us all to come together and pay our respects, reflecting on those who sacrificed their life in service of their country.

We are also delighted to recognise those who continue to protect us, with many serving and former members of the armed forces here today, including those from 16 Regiment Royal Artillery and RAF 617 Squadron. A military band from the Royal Naval Volunteer Band Association will also be performing in the FanZone from around 2.15pm.

Prior to kick-off, both captains and a serving member of the military will lay a poppy wreath on the pitch. A minute’s silence will then be observed by all those inside Fratton Park after The Last Post is played. We will remember them.

After four consecutive away games, it is good to be back on home soil after wins at Reading and Leyton Orient and a draw at Cambridge. We were naturally disappointed to exit the FA Cup at Chesterfield. However, the effort made by so many of you to travel to Derbyshire for such an early Sunday kick-off – and indeed the significant numbers who travelled to those other three matches – is very much appreciated by us all.

The reward for topping our group in the newly sponsored Bristol Street Motors Trophy is a guaranteed home tie in the knockout stages. This will take place in early December and ticket details will be announced once the draw is made by the EFL. Congratulations as well to Sam Folarin, who became the latest academy player this season to make his senior debut after coming on at Brisbane Road.

Last Tuesday also saw another significant announcement, with confirmation in the King’s Speech that the government intends to bring forward legislation for an independent financial regulator for English and Welsh professional football. There has been significant debate within the industry about the need for government regulation. But this is an initiative that we do fully support and one we believe that if correctly implemented, will safeguard individual clubs and the game.

The indication from the football white paper is that the regulator’s primary focus will be financial, to safeguard clubs within their communities through a licencing mechanism. This will seek to deliver greater financial probity and prevent the reckless unsustainable gambling that has affected several clubs over the past few seasons and ultimately led to the demise of Bury FC and Macclesfield. Much of this proposed legislation has emanated from the government’s fan-led review. At its heart, the review sought to prevent clubs from overspending in pursuit of a dream, without the means to sustain it all should owners run into problems or lose interest.

The bill should provide the opportunity for clubs throughout the pyramid to get to a better, more sustainable and competitive place. At Fratton Park, we are fortunate to have an ownership who have taken the bigger picture, investing a significant amount into stadium infrastructure, safeguarding Fratton Park and restoring ground capacity, as well as delivering a club owned training ground. Importantly, this has all been provided for through equity and not debt, creating a strong platform for the club to continue to develop and grow for many years to come.

The EFL have told us that once the bill enters Parliament, the legislative process is expected to take between six and nine months. However, it could take longer if certain aspects of the bill prove to be divisive or attempts are made to amend its content. Portsmouth Football Club will join the EFL in supporting its smooth progress.

Elsewhere, Pompey Women went top of National League South on Sunday with a win over MK Dons and further congratulations are also due, with their victory over the same opponents the previous week securing a spot in the quarter-finals of the League Cup. We wish the team well tomorrow, as they start their FA Cup campaign away at Fulham.

There have been some recent alterations to our forthcoming fixture list, with our match at Oxford, originally scheduled for next Saturday, now postponed due to international call-ups. Our outstanding fixture at Northampton has now been rearranged for Saturday, December 2 (3pm kick-off). The home game against Bolton has also been moved to Monday, December 11 (8pm kick-off) and will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Finally, a big shout out to everyone connected with Pompey in the Community, who last week moved a stage closer to opening the John Jenkins Stadium. It was a fitting update during the EFL’s Community Week of Action, which also saw John Mousinho demonstrate his culinary skills alongside local schoolchildren. You may have enjoyed the cupcake carnage on the club’s social media channels!

Thank you for your attendance today and we look forward to seeing you back here on Saturday, November 25 for the visit of Blackpool. Enjoy the game and PUP!

Andrew Cullen
Chief Executive


Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account