OPINION: Portsmouth's Milton End plans signal desire to stay at Fratton Park - but true test of PO4 loyalty still to come for Eisners
I have mixed feelings over the Milton End proposals published last week and the comments from Pompey’s bosses that came with them.
My first feeling was one of relief – because, to me, this seems to signal that Tornante’s No1 option is to stay at Fratton Park rather than moving elsewhere (even, heaven forbid, a site outside the city).
That’s everything to me. Pompey IS Fratton Park. Fratton Park IS Pompey.
I don’t care how restrictive the ground and its location may be to long-term major development, I simply want the Blues to stay at their current home.
Some will claim the Milton End plans and the ‘which city-based authorities are going to help us pay?’ comments from Pompey are part of a wider strategy that will end up with them saying ‘We can’t stay at Fratton, we’ll have to move’.
But I’m really not sure that’s the case.
If they were serious about moving away from Fratton, wouldn’t they just do it? Do they fear a big backlash?
As for the Milton End plans themselves, I’ve seen a wide variety of opinions.
I think the proposals look neat enough with some nice touches, and you can’t deny the club are very restricted in what they can do with that end.
You can’t judge the Eisners’ ambitions with this scheme alone.
The test of how great they want to make Fratton will come when they unveil plans for the north side and Fratton End and we see what capacity is envisaged.
Two other points. I’ve seen someone who was involved in the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust plans for Fratton say the fan-owned club could have come up with a much better plan.
Wonder if any of the 81 per cent wished they'd voted differently?
Finally, one change I’d make to the Milton plan – get rid of the roof and make life uncomfortable for away fans again!