Portsmouth await outcome of request to open season away from Fratton Park

Pompey have applied to play away from Fratton Park on the opening day of the 2019-20 season to enable ground work to continue
Pompey have applied to play away from Fratton Park on the opening day of the 2019-20 season to enable ground work to continue
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Pompey will learn on Thursday whether their request to play the season curtain-raiser away from Fratton Park has been granted.

The Blues lodged an application to allow extra time for summer stadium development and relaying the existing pitch.

There is also no home friendly during the pre-season schedule in order to allow the new playing surface to bed in.

The Football League will listen to requests from its member clubs to allocate the opening match away from home, an outcome dependent on circumstances.

However, Pompey will not discover whether this has been approved until publication of the 2019-20 season fixtures on Thursday.

Clubs receive these an hour before the scheduled 9am public release.

The Blues’ League One campaign kicks off on Saturday, August 3 – a week before the Premier League season.

In the meantime, there will be no indication ahead of the fixture release whether their request has been successful.

Chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘We won’t know fixtures until we get the fixture list an hour before it goes public, but that’s embargoed.

‘With the request regarding the first game of the season to be away, we also won’t know the outcome of that until those fixtures come out.

‘Nowadays, with groundsmen, pitches and working going on at stadiums, it is pretty commonplace for clubs to request that.

‘There are no issues, it was just to give us a bit more breathing space. We’ll be ready, regardless.

‘We are not having any friendlies at home this year, which also helps.’

Pompey’s last four campaigns have kicked off with a Fratton Park fixture.