Pompey Want Community Backing for Fratton Park Development

POMPEY have pleaded for support from the local community as they continue their development plan to upgrade Fratton Park.

The club recently submitted a planning application for alterations to the stadium with the club admitting they have reached a crucial point in whether they remain at PO4 for the foreseeable future.

Work on the south stand will continue this summer with an application to upgrade and improve the floodlighting and expand the existing television gantry submitted to Portsmouth Council – the planning committee unanimously supporting the proposals.

But chief executive Mark Catlin has insisted they need more support to ensure they can remain at their home of 120 years, despite owner Michael Eisner’s desire to stay put.

Speaking to the News, Catlin said: “We are at a stage where we’ve got a lot of the jigsaw puzzle in place – but it’s not just about us.

“There’s local residents, local businesses and the local council.

“There’s so many hoops to jump through to start the work you want to get on with.

“We’ve always said our desire is to remain at Fratton Park but unless we get that help and those assurances we are going to be hemmed in forever.”

The Eisners have been keen to reiterate their desire to build the club back up to its glory days “brick by brick”, but have insisted they must be allowed to develop Fratton Park with the option to move still “very much on the agenda,” according to Catlin.

The club have invested over £1m at the club’s home in the last financial year with the latest plans seeing the ground’s iconic floodlights removed and replaced with more modern lighting.

The plan is to retain one floodlight which would be moved to the north east corner of the club car park to mark the role the club played in the introduction of floodlit football. The first floodlit league game was played at Fratton Park in February 1956 against Newcastle United.