Catlin explains Pompey pitch renovation
Fratton Park's pitch has undergone a summer renovation ahead of the forthcoming campaign.
The Blues have spent a five-figure sum on the playing surface in orderÂ to maintain its quality.
According to chief executive Mark Catlin, the close-season process involves removing the pitch's top and reseeding, thereby ridding the threat of weeds.
It represents aÂ second Â successive summer thatÂ Â Â such work has been carried out at Fratton Park.
And Catlin insists it'sÂ a standard procedure used by many clubs on an annual basis to retain high standards.
He said: '˜In the football world, a growing number of groundsmen at pretty much every club takeÂ Â off the top of the pitch and reseeds every summer.
'˜In layman's terms that can be seen as relaying, but the groundsman would see it as standard refurbishment.
'˜From what I am told, it's best practice now to take the top off and reseedÂ because in the second year of a pitch various infections such as weeds begin to become more and moreÂ prevalent.
'˜So the new thinking among groundsmen is to take the top off and start again.
'˜Pitches are generally becoming, percentage-Â wise, a larger and larger part of club budgets, but we listen to our groundsman, who is a geniusÂ .'
Pompey's pitch still has plenty of time to settle ahead of the new season.
The sole Fratton Park pre-season friendly will take place on Saturday, July 28, against an opposition still to be unveiled.
The League One campaign then opensÂ Â at home to Luton on August 4.
And Catlin believes playing surfaces continue to improve within the top-four divisions.
He added: '˜It has become such a specialist area,Â you only have to look at pitches to see the improvements.
'˜I watchÂ games on the Premier League Years on Sky and some of the early 2000 pitches look like ploughed fields.
'˜Apart from six or seven examplesÂ in League One last year, generally the standard of pitches were quite good.'