'We want to establish it as one of the premier training sites in south of England' - Andy Cullen on Portsmouth ambition to rival Southampton and Brighton
The purchase of Roko can put Pompey on a ‘level playing field’ with south-coast rivals.
That’s the verdict of chief executive Andy Cullen following acquisition of the Blues’ long-time training home.
Pompey moved to the Hilsea venue in December 2014 when under fan ownership, ending a nomadic existence.
Portsmouth boss' verdict on latest speculation over Leicester City’s George Hirst and reveals likely destination for Ipswich Town, Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool target
LATEST: The future of Portsmouth international starlet becomes clear with offers tabled for exit
League One latest: MK Dons have bid for Portsmouth target rejected by Cambridge as Sheffield Wednesday close in on former Arsenal and Ipswich defender made available by Cardiff
Former Portsmouth and Swansea midfielder George Byers' angry reaction to Sheffield Wednesday substitution now watched more than 320,000 times on Sky Sports Twitter page
LATEST: Development over future of Portsmouth defender linked with Hull City, Swindon Town, Mansfield Town and Leyton Orient this summer
Cullen admits he is still coming to terms with the club’s ambition for the Copnor Road facilities, having himself started work at Fratton Park on Wednesday.
He told The News: ‘Owning the health club, developing it, making it successful is, ultimately, going to help the football budget, that’s what they (Tornante) are here to do.
‘The owners aren’t here to take money out of the health club or money out of the football club, they are here to provide the best possible support they can to enable the football club to realise its aims.
‘For me, it has happened relatively quickly, I am inheriting it from Mark (Catlin). I am sure there are hundreds of ideas of what we can do with it.
‘We want to establish it as one of the premier training sites and training grounds in the south of England and make sure we can compete.
‘There are great sites at Southampton and Brighton, it’s about making sure that Pompey can compete on a level playing field.
‘For any football club that doesn’t own its training ground, you can be a bit of a hostage to fortune, you are not in control, you maybe can’t do things that you want to do.
‘We’ve got ideas about the way we want to develop it – I need to understand from Danny and the board how they see it going forward.’
Pompey will take over operation of the Roko Health Club from June 23.
According to Cullen, members and staff will not be affected as the football club seek to maintain its current level of operation.
The Blues chief executive added: ‘We are committed to the Roko Health Club.
‘It will be part of helping us extend the Pompey brand and I am sure there will be opportunities for our season-ticket holders to enjoy some benefits there as well. It’s one of the things we want to look at.
‘Equally, it’s giving reassurance to the staff who work there at the moment that they are part of the Portsmouth Football Club family as well.
‘Clearly it’s a great site.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.
You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.