The stadium mission ‘consuming’ Pompey owners

Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler
Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler
Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pitch being relayed at Pompey ahead of new season

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POMPEY’s owners are being consumed by their stadium fact-finding mission.

The Blues hierarchy are spending 20-hour days undertaking a Europe-wide tour to ensure they get Fratton Park’s redevelopment spot on.

Andy Redman

Andy Redman

And director and Tornante president, Andy Redman, believes they can learn from the mistakes of some of the biggest clubs in the game as they continue their stadia due diligence.

A core group have visited a varied and vast amount of clubs, including Manchester United, Schalke, Liverpool, Everton, Bristol City, Aston Villa, MK Dons, Bristol City, Union Berlin and both Gloucester and Glasgow rugby clubs.

That has helped create a huge amount of intelligence which Redman feels will be beneficial to Pompey.

He said: ‘The reason it’s important is, before we show up, we don’t know what we don’t know.

‘The interesting thing, though, is getting the inside story. What did you do wrong?

‘Everyone makes a mistake, but if we can cut out the errors which I’m sure we would’ve made, that’s what we’re really looking to do.

‘I, Mark (Catlin), Michael (Eisner) and our architects have been to a variety of clubs. The ideas get super diverse. It is consuming. I’ve been doing 16-hour days of the core trip and there’s your work when you get home. They are 20-hour days.

‘But we’re so consumed by it in terms of it getting us all to see the angles to solutions that one of us have seen and six of us have not.

‘When you look at Pompey, anyone who’s been to Fratton Park knows there’s effectively due diligence on four different sides. They all have their own complexity, all have their own fantastic history and all have their own opportunities.

‘One of the reasons we wanted to do such a diverse look at what everyone else is doing is when you go to Anfield you can look at a brilliant solution to six problems.

‘But, really, when you go to different stadiums, you see the Anfield solution is great for three of those six problems. Then you can go to Gloucester Rugby Club and see they are better for how they deal with wi-fi or whatever.

‘Really studying best practice is a long, annoying process. But, at the other end of it, you have a total alignment of thinking and why A is better than B.’

Redman explained the touring party have been blown away by how they’ve been received by clubs.

He added: ‘It’s a testament to the management team and history of this club that everyone opens their doors to us.

‘Even recognising they are creating a better competitor for themselves, they love what we have here. So they open the door and don’t just show you this is how we serve beer, but this is the system we have in place in our basement.

‘The reason that’s important and the reason we travel with so many people is the different things in a stadium have to tie together. It’s really been very encouraging.’