Mark Catlin insists new Portsmouth floodlights are Championship quality

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The city of Portsmouth’s motto states ‘Heaven’s light our guide’.

And Mark Catlin is delighted with the illumination accompanying Pompey’s on-pitch progress as they seek a Championship return.

Pompey's Carabao Cup game against Birmingham last week was the first game under Fratton Park's new floodlights  Picture: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Pompey's Carabao Cup game against Birmingham last week was the first game under Fratton Park's new floodlights Picture: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

This summer saw the installation of new lighting on the roof of a revamped South Stand.

It subsequently rendered the final two operating floodlight pylons at Fratton Park defunct.

Previously, in September 2015, the initial two floodlights were switched off, with illumination instead provided by lights fixed on the roof-edges of the Fratton End, North Stand and Milton End.

It means Fratton Park is now no longer lit by its iconic floodlight pylons.

And Catlin is adamant such changes have improved the ground's lighting.

He said: ‘Our floodlights are minimum Championship quality now.

‘I’ve read some comments that fans feel it isn’t as light as before, but we have a test called a Lux test, which proves otherwise.

‘Pretty much every area of the ground is covered by a special lighting meter, so we receive the full reports – and in all areas across the pitch it is now brighter.

‘That is factual, the stadium is brighter.

‘There maybe a perception that it’s not as bright, I cannot comment on that, but the actual fact is the opposite.

‘We are very happy how that was handled and managed by our contractors.’

For almost 57 years the 34m-high floodlight pylons have towered over Fratton Park.

They were launched in October 1962, following a fundraising campaign by the old Portsmouth FC Supporters’ Club. 

Fratton Park staged the Football League’s first match under lights in February 22, 1956, against Newcastle.

A crowd of 15,800 were present for the historic occasion, although the Toon beat Eddie Lever’s side 2-0 in the Division One encounter.

At that stage, the floodlights were roof mounted, fixed to the North and South stands, rather than taking the form of stand-alone pylons.

However, the present pylons were erected eight years later.

Presently, three of the floodlights remain inside Fratton Park, with the fourth this summer relocated to the North Stand car park.