Councillors scrap plan to discuss purchase of Fratton Park

UNDER DISCUSSION The future of Fratton Park
UNDER DISCUSSION The future of Fratton Park

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PLANS to discuss the purchase of Fratton Park by Portsmouth City Council have been scrapped.

Councillors were due to discuss a motion put forward by Tory councillor Steve Wemyss.

The item was pulled after the councillors received an email from Pompey administrator Trevor Birch warning that public discussion or any purchase by the council might hamper his efforts to find the football club a new owner.

There is already a clause in the Portsmouth Plan to protect the land for use as a football stadium, but members of the council’s Conservative group had argued this may not be enough if the club went under.

The motion before the council urged the full council to back ‘officers to enter into negotiations with the administrator of Portsmouth Football Club or the owners of Fratton Park’ with a view to acquiring its freehold.

The leader of the city council Gerald Vernon-Jackson said he had already held talks with Pompey’s administrator Trevor Birch about the ownership of the stadium.

Neither Cllr Vernon-Jackson nor Cllr Wemyss were available immediately to comment.

When asked if he thinks the council should ever buy Fratton Park, Mr Birch said: ‘Maybe in the future, just not at the moment. I don’t want to go into those issues because it could deter any sales that are on going at the moment.’