Work to begin immediately on exciting new Fratton Park addition that will make Portsmouth 'Premier League-ready'

Work is expected to be completed before the start of the 2024-25 Championship season
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Pompey chief executive Andy Cullen has confirmed work on a new TV gantry at Fratton Park will begin almost immediately after the final home game of the season against Wigan.

The Blues CEO said the PO4 playing surface will be removed after the Latics fixture to accommodate a 30-tonne crane that will be needed to facilitate planned construction work. He added that the project, which has been in the offing since 2019, represents the most challenging aspect of the redevelopment work that has been taking place at Fratton Park in recent years.

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Pompey owners Tornante have spent circa £12m on the latest phase of redeveloping Pompey’s famous old home, with a new-look Milton End and safe-standing seats in the Fratton End the most recent focus of their attention. Now a new 20-metre gantry on the roof of the South Stand is up next - a fresh addition which Cullen previously said would be Premier League-ready, which once again emphasises the club’s long-term ambitions.

Fans were given an idea of how the construction work will proceed and what the final product will look like via the giant screen at Fratton Park on Saturday. Speaking in his programme notes, Cullen said the gantry represents the last in the current phase of working being carried out on the ground.

He said: ‘After today’s game the pitch will be stripped in preparation for a large 30-tonne crane to start work on the TV gantry. This is the final component of the current phase of the Fratton Park development project and is perhaps the most challenging. The big screen will broadcast a short video showing how the construction will take place and how it will look when completed.’

Pompey have been exploring the possibility of operating their own digital channel. Indeed, the process of creating 'Pompey TV' for the start of the 2024-25 season is well under way and comes as the existing agreement with the current iFollow streaming service for domestic viewers runs out and is replaced by the £935m broadcast deal that was agreed with Sky Sports. The Blues CEO also spelt out other work earmarked by the club during the close season. He said: ‘Other summer project work will see the first team and academy move into new office, gym, analysis and medical facilities at the training ground. Work is also well underway on the new North Stand mezzanines, with new bars and toilets, while additional toilets are being constructed in the home areas of the Milton End.’

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A new North Stand remains a priority for the Blues. On Friday, that moved a major step closer after Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan confirmed vital financing for a study to build a bridge at Fratton Railway Station for Portsmouth supporters has been granted.

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