Portsmouth reveal stance on bringing safe standing to Fratton Park as football prepares to embrace supporter change

Pompey are ‘open-minded’ over the potential introduction of safe standing to a redeveloped Fratton Park.

By Neil Allen
Monday, 4th October 2021, 11:30 am
Fratton Park is currently undergoing a £11.5m redevelopment programme. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Fratton Park is currently undergoing a £11.5m redevelopment programme. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Although the Blues will monitor the outcomes of pilot schemes at Premier League and Championship clubs before declaring their own stance.

Focused extensively on the North Stand, South Stand and Milton End, it is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2024, raising capacity beyond 20,000.

In the meantime, the concept of bringing safe standing to football grounds is gathering pace, with clubs presently being offered the chance to pilot such areas.

Premier League and Championship clubs have until Wednesday (October 6) to declare their interest.

That would enable them to offer safe standing areas from January 1, 2022.

Being a League One club, Pompey cannot apply – yet are watching developments with interest.

Steve Cripps is managing director of PMC Construction and Development Services, who are carrying out the current Fratton Park improvements.

He told The News: ‘With regards to safe standing, the club remain open-minded on this aspect.

‘We’re reviewing the various pilot schemes that are expected to be introduced at some pilot clubs towards the end of this season.

‘There is a willingness to work with the various compliance bodies involved and a review of this aspect will follow, once the outcome of the pilots have been reviewed by the Government.’

Manchester United, Wolves, Manchester City and Tottenham are widely expected to apply for the scheme.

The move to pilot safe standing has been applauded by the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), who have long championed the return of standing to grounds.

Since 1994, first and second-tier grounds in England and Wales have been required to be all-seaters by law.

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