Fratton Park capacity could be reduced

INSPECTION Seats at Fratton Park
INSPECTION Seats at Fratton Park
Pompey midfielder Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

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THE number of seats at Fratton Park could be reduced after an inspection by Portsmouth City Council raised safety concerns.

The club has admitted problems have arisen in relation to parts of the stadium that have aged over the years.

But it’s now up to the council to decide whether or not the club can sell its full allocation of tickets. The council is responsible for issuing the annual Safety Certificate.

Stadium manager Derek Stone said: ‘Come the start of the season, our capacity may be reduced but we don’t know that yet. The council may well say it’s happy with the standards we have got in place.

‘It needs to decide whether or not there are issues and if the capacity should be reduced.

‘The last thing I want is people thinking they aren’t going to get the allocation they want.’

Mr Stone said the council carries out inspections and attends matches regularly throughout the season.

‘This is an old stadium,’ he said.

‘The council is the issuing authority. It has to be satisfied that if it is issuing a safety certificate for X amount of people that X amount of people are safe.

‘It is looking at the physical and the safety aspect of the stadium.

‘It is got no worries in relation to the safety side of it but they do have some concerns about the physical side of the stadium.

‘The Milton End is an old terracing. If you come down to the Milton End you will see that the steps are so irregular it’s unbelievable.’

Mr Stone said he feels the issue has cropped up now because the club has made its intentions clear to stay at Fratton Park.

‘Over the years there has always been a belief that the stadium would be redeveloped. The council has been a little bit lenient,’ he said.

‘Now it knows we are here to stay it needs to get it up to modern day standards which is its duty.

‘It has to protect anybody coming to the stadium.’

Nobody from the city council was available to comment.