Pompey presidents step in to fund ground improvements

Pompey chairman Iain McInnes
Pompey chairman Iain McInnes
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Pompey’s presidents have dipped into their pockets to stump up more than £450,000 for improvements to Fratton Park.

The 11 members have stepped forward to fund essential safety work required to restore the ground to its 20,000-plus capacity.

Fratton Park was reduced to a 18,200 attendance in August as a result of the ongoing lack of maintenance and investment into the club’s infrastructure.

Now the six-figure sum has been raised between the presidents to complete the improvements required to satisfy Portsmouth City Council and the licensing authority.

Work includes the installation of a sprinkler system in the north and south stands, upgraded electrical systems around the stadium and a new disabled viewing facility in the north-east corner.

In addition, there will be improved stairwell access to the North Stand G section and the fixing of the long-standing problems of leaks in the South Stand roofs.

Previously, the presidents, which include board members Iain McInnes, Chris Moth, John Kirk and Mick Williams, each contributed more than £50,000 to the club.

The others involved are Eric Coleborn, Martin Moyse, Martin Price, Ian Silvester, John Crossley, John Partridge, Ken Terry and Stuart Robinson.

The money required to fund the essential work was not in the current budget, prompting the presidents to intervene.

A rolling programme of Fratton Park improvements will start this month, with the aim of achieving a 20,000-plus capacity for the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

The investment will also see the presidents’ percentage ownership in the club increased, although the Trust retains the majority shareholder with 52.7 per cent of the shares.