Portsmouth: Mark Catlin says public money is needed for Fratton Park redevelopment

Fratton Park
Fratton Park has been Portsmouth's home ground since 1899

Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin says the club cannot progress with plans to redevelop Fratton Park unless public money can be used.

Pompey are seeking financial help from both the city council and Network Rail.

The League One club are keen to increase capacity towards 30,000 from just under 20,000.

"We're saying 'meet us halfway'," Catlin said. "We're willing to invest money in the ground, but the transport infrastructure also has to improve."

The first phase of that redevelopment would involve Fratton Park's Milton End, half of which is currently used by away fans.

"That's just the start, which unlocks a whole wider development involving the North Stand too," Catlin told BBC Radio Solent as he also revealed that artists' impressions will soon be released.

"We would want to put that straight into a planning application after consultation with the fans," he added.

"It's a very, very big project and until we get some real help from elsewhere, we're not really going to commit to starting it, so we can't put a timescale on it.

"We're a football club with a stadium that we want to do a wider development of. We hope it will create a lot of employment opportunities for the potential regeneration of the whole Fratton area, which needs a lot of investment."

Catlin also emphasised the club would reluctantly leave the city's Portsea Island if they could not develop the area around Fratton Park.

"It's a moving feast," he said. "There are sites elsewhere that we're really, really loathed to explore.

"But if that's the future of the football club and what's in the best interests of giving these fans what they deserve - a 21st-century stadium - then we have to look at it.

"We really want to stay at Fratton Park and hopefully we can galvanise support with our plans and build for the future."