Portsmouth’s Chief Executive Andrew Cullen has come out to reassure fans over the south coast side’s summer dealings this summer, following manager Danny Cowley in doing so.
Former Bromley full-back Liam Vincent is the only signing Pompey have made so far this summer, with a number of first-team players leaving the squad.
Andy Cannon has moved to Hull City, Ben Close and Ryan Williams have stayed in League One with Doncaster and Oxford United and Wigan Athletic have poached both Jack Whatmough and Tom Naylor – all on free transfers with more departures likely to come.
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Craig MacGillivray is also out of contract this summer and with numerous clubs including Charlton Athletic hunting for his signature, the 28-year-old is likely to move on in the next week or so.
Despite this, Chief Executive Cullen remains cool on the club’s current situation and speaking to The News about how transfer windows usually work, he said: “It very rarely happens (the squad is together for the first day of training). We’ve seen that over the years. You tend to get a little bit of activity at the end of May and beginning of June. June then tends to be very quiet.
“Then it starts to grow at the end of June when people come back for pre-season. Players then potentially start to see they aren’t going to be popular at their existing clubs, and then start to agitate for moves.
“They then have to make decisions because the ‘beauty parade’ of June, speaking to clubs and what may be best for them then suddenly starts to require some more consideration as to what’s going to happen.”
Portsmouth have already had their fair share of blows in the window so far, losing many first-team players for free and missing out on 27-year-old Jayden Stockley to Charlton Athletic after the forward was seemingly on the verge of moving to the south coast.
But Cullen believes a major event this summer, the European Championships, is also stifling many clubs’ progress in the transfer market and therefore, remains calm about the lack of business the League One side have conducted on the incomings front this summer.
“You’ve got the Euros so the Premier League then start to free up some of their players at the end of June and into July. That’s the case with some top-end Championship clubs as well. The season then kicks off, you get some injuries and that starts to affect the market as well.
“It’s a long window. I know we used to have 12 months to do transfers and it does focus the mind a little bit. But there’s different dynamics and different things to how it works.”
Portsmouth fans have every right to be worried about the lack of signings at the moment, especially with the club needing to improve further after narrowly missing out on the top six last season.
They may not be as concerned if there weren’t so many departures already from the club in the last month or so – and all these players leaving for free. They need to fill this void quickly with pre-season approaching but judging by Cullen’s comments, supporters may have to wait a little longer for signings.
This may not be all bad though, because getting value for money will be important if they want to make the right signings to give themselves a chance of promotion next season.