Life's about to become more uncomfortable for opposition managers at Portsmouth's Fratton Park following South Stand work

The Fratton faithful will be positioned closer than ever to the opposition – and their own manager and players – in the redeveloped South Stand.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 5:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 5:44 pm

Among improvements will be new seating in the lower section of the South Stand, moving supporters closer to both dug-out areas.

Previously a stairway positioned beside both ends of the open-plan area provided a clear distance between supporters and the management teams.

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Unlike many grounds, Fratton Park does not possess a conventional perspex shelter located on the side of the pitch.

As a consequence of ongoing stadium work, visiting clubs can perhaps now be handed a more intense reception during matches on the south coast.

Steve Cripps, managing director of PMC Construction and Development Services, told The News: ‘Home fans will now be a lot closer to the dug-out area.

‘The dug-outs will remain open (planned), with the same number of seats, which will continue to be padded, but what will change is the close proximity of fans to managers and playing staff.

Work on transforming the South Stand dug-outs are well underway and can be seen in the middle of this photo. Picture: Michael Woods / Solent Sky Services

‘The modern stand sees the managers and dugouts interacting with the fans, take Old Trafford, for instance, where there is seating all around.

‘At Wembley seats are also wrapped around, most fans are in modern football – and we have followed that model.

‘The areas at Fratton Park are quite highly stewarded, so if fans misbehave then they’ll be removed, but you’d like to think they would respect these unique positions.’

Another alteration to the dug-out area will be the introduction of six seats positioned over the start of the players’ tunnel.

A completed South Stand is set for its unveiling against Coventry on July 23. Picture: Michael Woods/Solent Sky Services

Previously a plastic roof covered the majority of the area which serves as the dressing room’s entrance to the Fratton Park pitch.

Cripps added: ‘Over the tunnel there will be some seating, which we have never had before.

‘There will be six seats coming right over the start of the tunnel and overlooking the players as they come out.

‘We’ll also need to put some sort of perspex board over the top, what we don’t want is fans spilling coffee on the players as they are running out.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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