Roman to be a Fratton Park fixture

112523-497_POMPEY_CHELSEA_SR_16/7/11'Pre-Season friendly between Pompey and Chelsea at Fratton Park.'David Lampitt with Roman Dubov and Vladimir Antonov.''Picture:Steve Reid 112523-497
112523-497_POMPEY_CHELSEA_SR_16/7/11'Pre-Season friendly between Pompey and Chelsea at Fratton Park.'David Lampitt with Roman Dubov and Vladimir Antonov.''Picture:Steve Reid 112523-497
Pompey's Brett Pitman scores a penalty in the Blues' 1-1 draw against Walsall at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

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For a few jet-setting fans and ex-pats it was a fleeting glimpse.

Except, sightings of new Blues joint-owner Roman Dubov at Pompey matches are set to become commonplace this season.

That is the verdict of David Lampitt, who believes Dubov’s surprise appearance at Charleston Battery’s Blackbaud Stadium wasn’t merely a one-off.

The Blues chief executive accompanied Dubov to South Carolina, America, for the pre-season friendly.

The duo spent two days Stateside, staying in the same Holiday Inn venue as the squad.

At this moment in time, Lampitt also expects Dubov to be in the directors’ box at Middlesbrough on Saturday for Pompey’s season opener.

Although, that is dependant on the Hungarian’s business commitments.

Regardless, for too long Blues owners have been conspicuous by their absence from the matches of the club they owned.

Sacha Gaydamak, Sulaiman Al Fahim, Ali Al Faraj and Balram Chainrai were hardly regulars at home or away fixtures.

The majority barely attended a match at all.

Now Dubov has joined forces with Vladimir Antonov and Chris Akers to become the latest Fratton Park owners.

Lampitt is confident fans will see them often at Fratton Park during the coming season.

And, encouragingly, he insists it reflects greater interest all-round from those currently in charge of the club.

He said: ‘Roman is definitely interested in football.

‘He played sport at the highest level and fully appreciates that sporting team environment.

‘He is a big football fan who has a good understanding of the game and it is excellent for any owner to have that.

‘I believe fans might just see him at Middlesbrough, as well.

‘That is the plan at this moment in time.

‘In fact, Roman will be at virtually every home game. Chris (Akers) will also be attending, while Vladimir (Antonov) will be at as many home games as he can manage.

‘These owners are in it because they want to be in it. Roman didn’t have to go to America but I believe it was a signal of his intent.

‘Mainly, he wanted to see the team in action and spend time with Steve (Cotterill) and his coaching staff.

‘Roman hadn’t met quite a few of them so this was a very good opportunity to learn how everything is operating.

‘It was also an opportunity for us to thank Charleston Battery for their hospitality.

‘They looked after the team incredibly well and everyone commented on that.

‘As a small gesture of our gratitude, we gave them a small presentation.

‘We handed over a cup with engraved details of the match we had played.

‘Mind you, that was not knowing about their most extraordinary collection of memorabilia!

‘Still, it was an excellent trip and I think Roman will go to a very good number of games, as I do.

‘It is extremely important for fans, players, Steve and his coaching staff to know they have our support.’

Despite having held power since June 1, Dubov & Co have yet to speak publicly.

The News have continued to ask for the opportunity to quiz the trio but so far the requests have been denied.

However, their actions are certainly speaking louder than any words, with five signings so far this summer.

Work has also been funded at the training ground and Fratton Park.

After years of craving investment, Pompey finally has it.

And Lampitt is adamant Convers Sports Initiatives have been involved every step of the way.

He added: ‘They are reasonably heavily involved. It is important to remember these are extremely busy people with a very diverse range of business interests, both here and overseas.

‘They are juggling an awful lot of opportunities but have been very regularly involved.

‘I speak to Roman or have contact with him on a daily basis, while I’m in touch with Chris a few times a week.

‘They are the main two contacts, while Vladimir is so tied up in so many other areas.

‘But they have a lot of interest in the club and will be at plenty of matches this season.’