Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin gives Fratton Park development update
Mark Catlin admits there remains ‘a long way to go’ for Pompey to achieve their Fratton Park development vision.
The Blues had planning permission approved by Portsmouth City Council to improve the Milton End in August.
It's part of a wider project to increase the historic ground’s capacity to around 30,000.
However, work has yet to start more than six months later.
Pompey have been pushing for improvements in the transport infrastructure around the stadium.
The club need local stakeholders such as the city council, Network Rail and Highways England to agree they’ll assist with the project.
That hasn’t happened so far, though, and Catlin says it’s been ‘energy-sapping’ for himself and chairman Michael Eisner.
Speaking on his February update with the club, Pompey’s chief executive said: ‘As we've said consistently, our ambition to try to stay at Fratton Park.
‘As pointed out, there are a huge amount of difficulties in doing that.
One of the issues, as we have said all along, if we start the Milton End and spent the millions (of pounds) required to do that, we have lost any bargaining or negotiating power with what I call the local stakeholders in regards to the council, other commercial assets locally, the highways agency, South Western Rail.
‘It's not just us in isolation we can do things without worrying about the knock-on effects of what that's going to have on the wider community.
‘Ultimately, there is no point in building a stadium that can say get to 30,000 or more then the council say: “Well unless you do this work and that work that's outside our control, we are going to limit your capacity to 20,000”.
‘There are a lot of issues outside our control we are continuing to work on but we have got to get the pieces in the jigsaw in the right timeline.
‘You can't put the cart before the horse and to do a largish project such as the Milton End before we've got the pieces of the jigsaw in the right order, it doesn't make commercial sense.
‘If you look at Everton and Tottenham, they have been talked about and worked on for decades.
‘We've only had 3-4 years of it so we have still got a long way to go.
‘It is energy-sapping for me, for Michael and the rest of our board but we will keep doing what we can to achieve it.’