Fratton Park revamp revealed

The main entrance to Fratton Park, with its mock-Tudor facade, is in need of repair Picture: Colin Farmery
The main entrance to Fratton Park, with its mock-Tudor facade, is in need of repair Picture: Colin Farmery
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder will relish facing former club

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FRATTON PARK is in the throes of a ‘substantial six-figure’ summer revamp to bring it up to scratch.

And chief executive Mark Catlin is convinced Pompey fans will recognise the difference.
A post-season improvement programme is not merely focused on resolving pitch issues – other aspects of the 117-year-old stadium will also be addressed.
These include the Blues instigating a complete modernisation of all 22 toilets within the ground and overhauling food kiosks. In addition, an entire new floodlight system will be introduced to bring them up to Championship standard.
The famous Frogmore Road mock-Tudor facade will be repaired and repainted, while guttering and damp issues around many of the upper windows are to be resolved.
Other areas to be treated are the water leakage problem in the entrance corridor to the Chimes bar, while signage around the ground is to be updated and given a fresh look.
Finally, a number of seats in the North and South stands are being removed to help with supporter access and drive the club towards satisfying safety criteria.
All are deemed crucial work as Pompey strive to improve Fratton Park facilities.
Speaking to The News in the final part of a three-part interview,
Catlin said: ‘There is a huge amount going on in addition to the general maintenance of the stadium.

The toilets are being completely gutted, back to breeze block, with new toilets, new doors, suspended ceilings with lights and given the Pompey brand

Mark Catlin

‘We go back to the years of lack of investment in the infrastructure. It is not something we can put right overnight, but little-by-little we are confident fans will see the improvements.

‘The pitch is being done, the toilets are going to be done, the floodlights are going to be done, the Frogmore Road facade is going to be done.

‘There are also secondary elements such as hot running water in the stadium. For that issue, the quotes coming in are so high there is a debate to be had.

‘Our floodlighting is just scraping League Two standard so are upgrading it to new Championship standard. For a night-time game we are confident supporters will notice the difference.

‘It will be a completely new system, from the point the electric supply enters the stadium to the point where the lights are shining.

‘We are having all our toilets completely renovated in all stands – and it won’t be just a paint job.

‘The toilets are being completely gutted, back to breeze block, with new toilets, new doors, suspended ceilings with lights, and given the Pompey brand.

‘We’ll be doing all we can to get the majority of this work complete for the start of the season.’

Of course, supporters will also be intrigued how the improvements are to be financed.

Catlin added: ‘Until I know what is going to be approved by the board, it is not correct to quote any figures.

‘Although, for all the work being done, it is fair to say it is going to run into quite substantial six-figure sums.

‘The board will debate where the funds come for this, such as how much is taken out of the running costs of the club and how much comes out of the Tesco money?

‘Regardless, this is essential work.’