We support the club with our hearts and the owners run it with their business brains, the two rarely coexist, but hopefully on joyous occasions their paths cross.
There were two plans put in place which was admitted by the club prior to the end of the last season.
So why two plans?
Simply put the step from league one to premiership is too large to make in one go.
Too put this into terms our head can get around and bypass the heart is simply this, if you are a championship or premier league player with any sort reasonable prospects would you drop down to league One?
I think as much as we hate to admit it, our heads would have to say a resounding no. As much as you may want to live with operational debt, or speculate to accumulate, unlike in the film "Field of Dreams" sadly they will not come!
That is why as much as our owner and a few other League One owners may have the money to buy out of this league. They don’t!
Because they know the quality players, we crave will not drop down to this league no matter how much we offer. The only proven quality players from above us we can hope to attract are ones who are on the fast track to retirement or have serious enough injury or personal issues that the larger clubs are no longer willing to live with and so are cutting them adrift (seeking a fresh challenge I think they call it).
Where does that leave us as a team hoping to get promotion? As throwing money at signing players is pointless.
The options are:
1) Developing your own players
2) Unearthing gems from the teams below us
3) Reshuffling of the Deck regarding current league one players until we get a hand that works
4) Loan market
5) Signing crock quality players hoping they will come good
We can see from those options that Portsmouth favour option 3 trying to sign best league one players such as John Marquis. Wigan are currently looking at this option taking max power and Charlie Wyke.
Blackpool were successful with option 4 the loan market, with 3 or 4 of their promotion team being loan players including our very own Embo.
To do 1 and 2 is more long term and needs a good scouting and development structure in place which seems to be the direction we are going for along with some short-term option 5 as a gamble and the loan market to fill the gaps.
So even though our hearts hate this plan, from a business sense it is a smart and necessary move although options 1 and 2 make take some time to deliver. If the gamble does not pay of we may see more seasons in League One
I predict there will be no money splashed on players until we get promoted, our hope in the short term is an emerging loan talent and some Crock players coming good. In the long term finally letting our academy deliver the goods!
Not to finish on a Doom and Gloom we did have a high performing academy not that long ago so are not starting from scratch, so we may have enough left to make the step into the champ less difficult if given the chance. I’m of course talking about the likes of Embo, Neill and Diamond (why does sweet Caroline keep popping into my head) and you can never discount the ever green McGeady.
It may not be the Summer transfer market we all hoped for, but it will make for an interesting season to come. In fact, the January window maybe the more significant one as by which time any gamble on the youth as well as Pritchard and Evans should be a strong indicator of our direction and the next step!