League One’s biggest spenders on loan players have ‘significantly’ slashed their outlay.
Yet Andy Cullen is adamant the quality remains as the Blues shift focus from temporary signings to permanent arrivals.

According to the chief executive, for successive seasons Pompey have topped the charts in terms of expenditure on loanees.
In the latest set of accounts released in March, the seven loan players recruited by Danny Cowley during the 2021-22 campaign represented an increase of £738,000 on the previous season’s total spend on loanees.

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That consisted of Tyler Walker, Miguel Azeez, Gavin Bazunu, George Hirst, Hayden Carter, Mahlon Romeo and Gassan Ahadme.

Pompey pledged to change their policy in this summer’s transfer window, leaving two loan spots vacant and recruiting three – Abu Kamara, Alex Robertson and Tino Anjorin.

And he’s pleased with the outcome, both financially and player quality.
He told The News: ‘We have got three loan players in, we will always have loan players, but the proportion spent is much different to what we’ve had over the last few years.

‘We receive a benchmarking report from the Football League and you can obviously see how clubs are spending money on loans and on permanent signings.


‘One of the things that came through from the last benchmarking report – and the year before that – was we’re the highest club in terms of loan expenditure.


‘That’s not to necessarily say loans are bad, they allow you to get really good value into your squad and at very good prices, particularly if you are paying small contributions towards a player who has talent.
‘We can look back over the last few years and say we’ve had some very, very successful loans that have come into the team, although also had some ones that haven’t quite delivered for us.

‘Overall, you will see a significant reduction on loan expenditure this year, compared to the last two previous years.

‘There Is still some spend on them, they are not coming to us as favours or as cheap loans in any way, you can see that in the quality of all three that are here, they all have something about them.


‘I am not not decrying that because there were some very, very good loan players, but we have realigned, refocused, and have a sporting director in place, which has been a massive part of this window.’
For the first time in three seasons, Pompey have a permanent goalkeeper rather than a loanee.

And finances have instead been redistributed elsewhere.


Cullen added: ‘You can have a strategy which is all about trying to get the balance right between achieving success at the earliest opportunity, which is what we want to do, versus making sure you can sustain a squad together over the longer term.


‘The route we’ve decided was to pay fees to younger talent coming through that’s available to us, we believe that’s’ the right one to do and the loans can be the icing on the cake.


‘Perhaps before we weren’t able to do that to the same degree because huge investment was going onto those loan players.’

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