The June 16th meeting of the Heritage and Advisory Board felt like a changing of the guard. Firstly, we were introduced to Danny and Nicky Cowley. Danny gave us an insight into his managerial style, the type of football he wants Pompey to play, and the type of character he looks for in players. He acknowledged the size of the task that the club face, given the sheer volume of players that we need to recruit over the summer, and that it may take two or three transfer windows to get the squad that he wants.
Then, following an introduction by Mark Catlin and Michael Eisner, new CEO Andrew Cullen spoke to us about his career in football and his hopes and expectations for his new role with the club. Much like Danny, Andrew had spent his first few days in the job getting to know people at all levels within the club. It was clear that, much like his predecessor, Andrew is going to be a supporter-facing CEO, as he talked about the importance of maintaining a good dialogue between the club and its fans.
Unsurprisingly, the main topic of conversation was the recently announced intention of a further £10m investment into the club and the plans for redevelopment of the ground. We had prepared a list of questions, which Mark used as the basis for this part of the meeting. We discussed a variety of topics, including the extent and timescale of the project, plans for disabled supporters, and changes to the capacity of the ground. Mark answered all our questions very openly and, with the exception of any confidential information, both he and Andrew made the details public in subsequent press interviews.
With the new season on the horizon, it was a very positive and upbeat meeting. Michael made it very clear that Tornante's commitment to the club was absolute and scotched any rumours that the owners were looking to sell up and move on. With all the recent and upcoming changes, both on and off the pitch, the next couple of years should be very interesting.