Pompey staff are back under one roof as club finishes making moves

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Fratton Park is now a definite home fixture for Pompey staff, who have moved back to the stadium after a three-year absence.

The move took place during the Christmas period, with some staff settling into their new offices on Christmas Eve, and is almost complete.

Chief executive David Lampitt said the move was a bid to save costs as the club paid rent on its offices in Rodney Road to former club owner Sacha Gaydamak.

He quashed rumours that the move was sparked because of rent increases or Pompey being 'forced out' by Mr Gaydamak, who had a fractious relationship with the club while it was coming out of administration.

He said: 'We barely fill half of the office space at Rodney Road now, and it obviously makes sense for us to save some money and live in premises that we own.'

Now, all the staff are back at Fratton Park, the ticket office has moved as well, and the Megastore is set to follow suit later this year.

And, according to the club's head of communications Mark Storey, the move has proved a real homecoming.

He said: 'It's really nice to be back, it feels really good.

'It is good to be working at the stadium and for everyone to be in the same place, because before we had some staff at the stadium, some in Rodney Road.

'It's quite appropriate, considering what we've been through this year, to be home again - it's just nice to be all together again.'

Pompey moved the ticket offices and megastore to Rodney Road in July 2007, when then-owner Milan Mandaric felt the club's Premier League status justified large purpose-built ticket and merchandise facilities.

The shop, which along with the offices and warehouse was leased to the club for 275,000, was opened by Harry Redknapp.

But after Mr Gaydamak left the club, his firm Miland Developments 2004 Ltd - for which Pompey had guaranteed the mortgage on the Rodney Road land - began to charge rent for the use of the buildings.

And the club's financial troubles of the last 18 months, combined with relegation, have seen the offices at Rodney Road empty of staff.

Mr Storey added: 'The stadium is a lot smaller, but by the end the majority of upstairs offices at Rodney Road were empty.

'Now we all fit in again in the stadium, which was what it was like in 2007.'

Fans are still being urged to buy their tickets for home games well in advance to avoid the huge queues that marred Monday's game against Hull City.

Then, hundreds of fans of both teams queued down Frogmore Road, with the last fan admitted to Fratton Park 40 minutes after kick-off.

Fans need to register for the online ticketing system at portsmouthfc.co.uk and print out their tickets at home for the next match against Leeds.