Sustainable vision is key for Pompey skipper

npower League One - 06/04/2013 - Portsmouth vs Stevenage'Portsmouth's Johnny Ertl
npower League One - 06/04/2013 - Portsmouth vs Stevenage'Portsmouth's Johnny Ertl
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Johnny Ertl has demanded Pompey’s owners deliver a ‘sustainable’ future for their football club.

The Blues captain believes the Pompey Supporters’ Trust need to create a five-year plan to see their long-suffering outfit get back on track.

And Ertl has called on a bumper crowd to turn out for the first competitive home game of the Trust era tomorrow against Sheffield United.

The 30-year-old has joined supporters in celebrating their imminent arrival as the United Kingdom’s biggest fan-owned club.

Ertl believes the time is now for them to invoke a methodical long-term view to getting Pompey back on an even keel.

That means avoiding the inevitable shouts to spend on player recruitment moving forward.

Ertl explained he has long been focusing on affairs off-the-pitch at Fratton Park, as part of his academic development.

The midfielder has picked up a masters degree in business administration, where he focused on Pompey as a case study.

His conclusions there tell him the focus has to lie with youth for the future on the pitch.

And a long-term vision being in place is critical to achieving the stability his club craves.

Ertl said: ‘It’s down to us players to deal with the situation on the pitch and then members of the board can deal with it off it.

‘Patience is the key right now. We need to do our stuff on the pitch and the people on the board have to make sure, in my opinion, there’s a five-year plan.

‘There has to be a business plan where we rebuild Portsmouth.

‘We need building up step by step. And there needs to be some money so we can do that.

‘But there are a lot of youngsters coming through the youth ranks and a lot of positive signs.

‘This is the most important thing. It needs to be sustainable.

‘I did a masters degree in business administration.

‘I wrote about sustainability at football clubs. This is a key area.

‘I did something about Portsmouth as well.

‘I talked about how you involve the youth team and how you balance your books.

‘I did this in Austria over two months.The PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) were really good and supportive and enabled me to study.

‘Sustainability is the key.’

Tomorrow marks the final home game of the season at Fratton Park against high-flying Sheffield United.

It’s heading towards being a bumper crowd for the game, as fans turn out in their numbers and look to create a carnival atmosphere.

Ertl said: ‘We need as many people as possible to show up at games.

‘The more that happens the more money there is for the club.

‘We want to end the season on a high and win as many games as possible and keep up the good feeling.

‘So it would be good to win some games with the style of play we have developed over the last few weeks.’