South coast latest: Pompey officially debt free; Targett delighted with league debut

We bring you the latest from Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Portsmouth clear of debt

After years of financial turmoil and agony, today Portsmouth football club has finally announced that they are free of all debt two years ahead of schedule.

Almost £7 million has been paid out to creditors in the last 18 months - a sum which included legacy debts that were inherited when the supporters trust took over last year, and money owed to 24 former players who had agreed early contract settlements.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin told the Portsmouth News of his delight at the achievement, but insists it is 'just the start.'

He said: "Pompey is completely legacy debt free – but that is just the start.

"It is a fantastic achievement and a weight hanging over the club since coming out of administration 18 months ago has been removed.

"We are at ground zero now. This club was in a crater and we are out of that now with foundations built.

"The club has turned itself around and got itself on a level playing field. We are debt-free and keep moving forward and progressing, never taking our eye off the ball.

"It is important we stay under the microscope and cannot allow ourselves to go to that level again."

Saints youngster Matt Targett delighted with debut

Southampton's 20-year-old left-back had a week to remember last week. The youngster started in the League Cup win over Arsenal during the week, and then made his Premier League debut in Saturday's 2-1 win over QPR.

Targett took to Twitter to reveal his delight at the start, and received congratulations from the wonderkid who he has replaced at Southampton, Luke Shaw. 

Targett tweeted: "Buzzing to make my prem debut!! Great way to top of the week!! Great win "

Shaw replied: "well done for your prem debut mate! I'm sure there is many more to come!"

It was Shaw's Premier League debut for new club Manchester United over the weekend too. The Red Devils managed to narrowly scrape to a 2-1 win against West Ham United.

Brighton one of three clubs eyeing Pompey youngster

According to reports, Brighton are one of three Championship clubs watching highly-rated Portsmouth youngster Dan Butler.

Sky Sports understands that Ipswich Town and Millwall are the other two admirers of the 20-year-old full-back.

Butler has been in impressive form for Andy Awford's Pompey, who currently sit in 8th place in the fourth tier of English football.

The youngster is in the last year of his contract at Fratton Park and would be free to leave for a small fee should he decide to renew.

Bournemouth boss delighted with players after Wigan scalp

Eddie Howe has praised the tactical nous of his players after their 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

It was Bournemouth's first win in the Championship since mid-August and Howe was ecstatic at the way his team conducted themselves in the victory.

He told the Bournemouth Echo: "I thought that tactically the players were excellent. As a manager you can do what you want but the players have to deliver and to a man I thought we were disciplined, resolute and showed a lot of quality, especially with the second goal.

“That was really pleasing to see, not just because Simon Francis’s tireless forward runs were rewarded, but the manner in which it was created. When you are a coach, you are delighted to see a goal like that go in."

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