Portsmouth chief Andy Cullen addresses Portsmouth's long-term future at Fratton Park

Andy Cullen has ruled out Pompey leaving Fratton Park.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 4:55 am

The new Blues chief executive insists Tornante are ‘purely focused’ on remaining at their 121-year home.

Centred on meeting health and safety requirements and boosting ground capacity, work has already started on the three-year project.

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Despite having long refused to comprehensively rule out moving away from their famous old ground, Monday’s announcement clearly points towards remaining.

And that is backed up by Cullen, who started as Blues chief executive on Wednesday.

He told The News: ‘We are purely focused on Fratton Park. That is why we are doing the development.

‘The first thing we have to do is make Fratton Park a safe place to watch football.

Work has begun on a £10m project to redevelop Fratton Park over the next three years. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages/PinP
Work has begun on a £10m project to redevelop Fratton Park over the next three years. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages/PinP

‘Obviously I started off in football from a marketing background and one of the things you quickly understand is that when people come to watch a match, aside from wanting their team to win, the most important fact is for them to feel safe.

‘Their family are going to be safe, they’re going to be safe. They'll arrive and go home safely.

‘That’s a critical, important factor at both football clubs I’ve previously worked out (Norwich and MK Dons) and I’m sure that’s true right across the game.

‘We have got to make these improvements. It’s an aging stadium, it’s an old stadium, and the project will run over three years.

‘We will do it stand by stand. Work has already started on the North stand with the upper tier seats and that will start to take shape.

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‘Ultimately, we will work across the South stand, the Fratton End is in pretty good shape, and, of course, the Milton End will be completely redeveloped.’

Pompey received planning permission for the Milton End development in August 2020.

However, it remains a complex issue, with wrangling continuing with the council, local government and Network Rail over their input.

Crucially, that project will introduce a new disabled section to Fratton Park.

And Cullen is eager to drastically improve such facilities for home and away fans.

He added: ‘One of the good things is we will improve the facilities for disabled supporters.

‘From coming to Fratton Park, the biggest complaint I’ve got from supporters at clubs I've worked for is about the disabled facilities.

‘That’s consistent with an old, aging stadium, so those things can be put right.

‘We are developing a consultation process with those involved to make sure those facilities are put right as well.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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