Pompey poised for new club shop
Pompey are poised to unveil a new club shop for next season.
The News understands the former Beneficial Foundation offices in Anson Road have been earmarked as new premises to supply club merchandise.
Work is currently taking place to convert the industrial unit, which was acquired by Pompey on a long-term lease in April 2017.
The Blues do not presently own a club shop, with rent paid to the Pompey Centre for the current Goldsmith Avenue premises – and run by Sports Direct.
However, in line with unveiling a new kit supplier this summer, the club is seeking to improve how it distributes merchandise.
Pompey are currently tight-lipped about what purpose the Anson Road building will be used for upon its anticipated summer completion.
The extent of renovations have been obvious to supporters using that road to gain access into Fratton Park on match days.
And while chief executive Mark Catlin has admitted the club have ambitions for the Anson Road unit, he’s unwilling to confirm its usage until appropriate contracts have been agreed.
He said: ‘As supporters have noticed, there is a lot of work going on there.
‘That is our property, there has been a huge amount of investment put into that, as people can see when they are walking by.
‘But until various contracts are signed, we don’t want to come out and say what exactly is happening. Although, I cannot wait to get that out to supporters when the time arises.
‘I have seen speculation. In all scenarios we will be looking to use that space proactively next season.
‘It was basically a derelict industrial unit and we are currently struggling for space on-site in the stadium.
‘There is literally no space to do anything office-wise or hospitality-wise, we are at full capacity.
‘That does free up a lot of space for us.
‘An announcement will soon be made, not just on that work but a lot of other work scheduled to take place in the summer when contracts permit.’
Sports Direct have overseen the Goldsmith Avenue club shop for almost five years – a deal which expires in the summer.
Other Anson Road premises previously hosted the club shop during the Sacha Gaydamak era, serving as part of new club offices.
That building is currently used by The Gym, on the opposite side of the road.