The Pompey Supporters’ Trust, the club’s likely new owners, want to play a key role in identifying a replacement for Appleton, who yesterday became Blackpool’s new manager – as first revealed on portsmouth.co.uk
Yet the likelihood is there will be no permanent appointment while the Blues remain in administration.
As administrator, Trevor Birch yesterday took the decision to appoint Guy Whittingham in a caretaker capacity.
Pompey’s development group manager will oversee today’s training following the departures of both Appleton and first-team coach Ashley Westwood for Championship club Blackpool last night.
The role is not new for Whittingham after he served as caretaker boss alongside Stuart Gray following Steve Cotterill’s departure in October last year.
However, the Trust will be seeking to be consulted over who will manage Pompey in the long-term.
As likely owners, they believe they deserve the right to influence any future managerial decision by Birch and The News understands they will play a part in the search.
The most realistic solution would be no full-time appointment before the club come out of administration, which is not expected to be until next month at the earliest.
That will ensure Whittingham would remain in charge for considerably longer than Saturday’s trip to Bury.
It would also allow the Trust the opportunity to bring in their own man once the sale of the club is completed.
In addition, they would not be inheriting the wage of Appleton, believed to be more than £200,000 a year – a high level for League One.
Pompey have received compensation from Blackpool for Appleton, who had two-and-a-half years to run on his deal, yet they have declined to reveal the amount.
They are not entitled for a pay out over Westwood, who has joined Appleton at Bloomfield Road.
The ex-Sheffield Wednesday player, who joined Pompey in the summer, could not be given a contract during administration and, as a result, can walk away for nothing.
Director of recruitment, Luke Dowling, is presently still at Fratton Park. However, he is another who could leave for no compensation.
Dowling, like Westwood, has a three-year deal waiting to be signed once the club come out of administration.
In the meantime, it is Whittingham in charge for the foreseeable future.
He and Gray steadied the ship ahead of Appleton coming to Fratton Park from West Bromwich Albion this time last year.
The duo spent 28 days in charge, overseeing six matches and amassing 10 points in the process.
Under their stewardship, Pompey won three, drew one and lost two during their time in charge.