Barker given financial green light to strengthen Pompey

Richie Barker. Picture: Joe Pepler
Richie Barker. Picture: Joe Pepler

Mark Catlin has revealed Richie Barker has funds to strengthen Pompey.

The transfer window opens on January 1, although it is the loan market the new manager will largely be focusing on with the club unable to buy.

Free agents are the other alternative as Barker seeks to fine-tune his playing squad to spark a climb up the table.

He will be able to do so in the knowledge there remains space in the playing budget, with Whittingham having not spent it all during his time.

In addition, the contracts of Shaun Cooper, Marcos Painter, Thery Racon and Trevor Carson also expire over the course of January, providing a little flexibility.

It remains to be seen how the quartet fit in Barker’s plans, yet clearly there is the chance to alter the make-up of the squad in his attempts to spark a revival.

Chief executive Catlin said: ‘Richie has inherited the same budget as Guy Whittingham.

‘As we have said before, Guy never completely used it all up so there is still a little bit of flexibility for a new manager.

‘We have increased the budget several times since the start of the season, we backed Guy all the way, and there are some funds left in there.

‘If Richie wants to also create additional funds with people going out and coming in for the rest of the season that is entirely up to him and his evaluation of the squad.

‘All decisions on players are 100 per cent with the management.

‘The budget is, as ever, a moveable feast based on the support and success of the club off the field, while decisions on finances will be made by the board at monthly meetings.

‘Obviously we are always looking to work within the budgetary restraints, which Guy did and I am sure Richie will do.

‘And at the moment there is space and flexibility in the budget for him to utilise.’

Carson will be the first player’s deal to expire, his emergency loan arrangement ending on January 2.

The keeper has made 13 appearances since arriving from Bury, establishing himself as first-choice.

He also played under Barker during their Bury days together.

Cooper’s contract ends on January 4 and is another player to have worked with Barker previously.

They were at Crawley together last season, although his time was hampered by injury before being allowed to go on loan to Pompey.

Racon’s stay runs out on January 8, but there is an option to extend that until the end of the season.

Injury has restricted him to just two appearances in the last eight matches, although he was named in Barker’s first line-up.

Finally, Painter’s deal finishes on January 14, however he has not featured since October.

Meanwhile, Pompey are hoping to extend Dan Potts’ loan spell.