Big news over Portsmouth’s exciting Championship curtain-raiser ahead of EFL fixture release

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Pompey’s Championship opener is poised to take place on the road.

The News understands the Blues have asked for the opening game of the campaign to be staged away from PO4, amid stadium and pitch work at Fratton Park this summer.

A request has been made to the EFL as builders and groundsmen take on a hectic timetable, with the £15m improvements continuing at PO4.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The move mirrors events at the start of the 2022-23 campaign, when work on the South Stand and lower North Stand led to the opener taking place at Sheffield Wednesday.

On this occasion, however, it may be enough to buy just a few days’ grace for all those working behind the scenes.

This season the campaign will get underway on the weekend of August 10 and 11, as Pompey return to the second tier after a 12-year absence.

The Carabao Cup first round will take place the following week, however, with an away draw needed to afford the Blues some extra breathing room on work.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A plus point is the league getting underway on the second weekend in August, unlike last term.

League and Carabao Cup fixtures will be confirmed next week on June 26, after the Premier League announced their schedule yesterday.

Pompey will not have clarity on whether their request has been successful, until the fixtures drop at 9am on the morning of release.

In the 22-23 season the cup competition was pushed back a week for all clubs, in a convenient change amid Fratton improvements.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now it’s a race against the clock for ground staff, as they face a busy timetable to get the Fratton surface ready amid work on the new South Stand TV gantry.

A 30-tonne crane was brought in on the playing surface to allow that construction to take place, with that removed five days ahead of schedule.

The work means there will also be no pre-season friendly staged at Fratton Park this summer.

John Mousinho’s men face Hawks, Gosport and Bognor locally, along with a trip to MK Dons. A further warm-up game is still to be confirmed.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.