Mark Catlin To Step Down As Portsmouth CEO

Portsmouth Football Club have announced the resignation of Mark Catlin as its chief executive.



Catlin, a winner of the fcbusiness CEO of the Year Award at the Football Business Awards 2016, is stepping down to take up a position with The Topps Company, but will remain as a director of the club.


He arrived at Fratton Park in October 2012 to work voluntarily with the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and Presidents in helping save the club from extinction.


Catlin was then appointed CEO as liquidation was avoided and, over the next few years, existing debts of more than £8 million and annual losses of more than £1 million were erased during the recovery from administration.


As a club built on a self-sustaining business model, Pompey have consistently – and proudly – posted EBITDA profits during Mark’s time as CEO and in 2016/17, achieved promotion as champions of League Two.


Additionally, during this period, a figure approaching £10 million has been spent on various works and strategic acquisitions around the Fratton Park stadium.


The club successfully completed a move to a new training facility in the city in 2015, while Mark remained as chief executive during the transition from fan to Tornante ownership during the summer of 2017.


Portsmouth Chairman Michael Eisner, said of the news: “Mark is one of the best businessmen I have known throughout my career and he has led Portsmouth Football Club with courage and tenacity from the dark days of administration to the bright and hopeful place we are today.”


Catlin, added: “It has been an absolute honour and privilege to have been CEO of Portsmouth Football Club. To represent this club and our supporters – I would argue some of the most loyal and passionate in the world – has genuinely been the greatest experience of my life.


“I have been extremely fortunate to work as part of a larger team throughout this period, with people who care passionately about Pompey.


 “Football isn’t an exact science and the ups and downs are all part of the emotional rollercoaster of caring so much about the club. If you don’t hurt with the lows, you can’t experience the joy and emotional feelings of the highs – the two are entwined.


“In Michael Eisner and the board we have incredible owners.


“Along with the rest of the off-field team, who so much credit goes to, we are lucky to have an array of individuals who are some of the best – if not the best – in their relative areas of expertise, across all divisions.


“We are perfectly positioned to continue to build on the progress made, on and off the pitch, during my time as CEO.”


Following Catlin’s decision the club have announced the appointment of Andrew Cullen as its new CEO. The MK Dons Executive Director will take up the post at Fratton Park from Tuesday, June 1.


Speaking of Cullen’s appointment Eisner, said: “Andy has done a terrific job at MK Dons and his extensive experience in football, business and marketing will help us at Pompey in our relentless pursuit of success on and off the pitch.”


“He has huge shoes to fill in Mark’s absence, but I know he can do it – especially with Mark’s help in the transition and beyond.”


Cullen added: “I feel extremely privileged and incredibly excited to be given the opportunity by Michael Eisner and the Portsmouth FC board to succeed Mark Catlin as the club’s new CEO.


“The role comes with a massive responsibility to both the city of Portsmouth and to the football club.


“I do very much recognise the club’s rich heritage, strong traditions and, most critically, the dynamic connection with its passionate supporters and the local community, who all too recently came together, in remarkable fashion, to save their football club from going out of existence.


“Mark and his excellent team of colleagues, along with the support of so many others, have from these foundations, delivered a sustainable and vibrant football club and importantly, one which remains very much in touch with its community.


Cullen joined MK Dons in November 2008 – having previously spent more than 10 years at Norwich City – and has also served as both a League One and Championship club representative on the board of the EFL.