Well folks Toast Summer special reporter, Al Fresco, is back for one last time before the usual Toast crew return for the new season.
This time Al heard that things were afoot at Fratton Park with building work and other things happening too. So he decided to find out more.
With European football coming to the park a number of facilities need to adjusted or enhanced. Firstly there need to be extra commentary boxes erected in the North West corner to cater for foreign TV channels and work will commence soon on these. Next the Dugouts have to extended with extra seating, more cover and this underway.
Another problem the club have to overcome is how to cover the entrance to the tunnel. Any regular will know that the steps drop away from pitch-side and there is no room to erect a permanent structure so a temporary or flexi tunnel is being considered.
It is believed that the first three rows of seats will be out of use for European games because of advertising but as yet this is unclear. It is certainly case in Champions League games and will affect fans whose seats are in this area.
The old control box has been demolished and a new one erected at a cost of some £40,000, hopefully the giant screen can be moved too to allow those in the North terrace and Milton End to view it. On the subject of the Milton End it is to be renamed the Apollo Stand after a new sponsorship deal. The visitor’s toilets have also been demolished and are being extended with separate ladies facilities down by the turnstiles.
At the Fratton End the disabled section is being extended to have space for the visiting fans. They will also be protected by netting to prevent injury to those in wheelchairs and unable to take evasive action. This was a particular problem last season when Pompey used the ‘wrong’ side of the goal from where the existing netting had been erected to practice and a number of incidents occurred.
The much maligned new Security officer fresh back from armed guard duty in Nigeria is intent on the Fratton End staying seated through the entire game and has asked that the drummers be moved to the back row to prevent those behind having to stand to watch the action. The worst standing culprits for standing are of course the visitors and it is to be hoped that that problem will also be tackled.
Those long serving VP members will remember Eastneydave’s MOTD2 interview on the edge of the Fratton hallowed turf. Well to get there he had to pick his way through all manner of cabling. That will be no longer; the shale track has been dug up and conduit about a foot in diameter sunk into the ground to cover all the wires.
Outside the ground things will also change. The fans marquee is to be doubled in size to hold one thousand people. A great facility but if they all leave at ten to three how will they all get in the ground before kick-off? I know that not many games will start at three but you know what I mean.
The club have now recruited extra stewards and indeed have a waiting list! The staff have been given a nice pay rise according to the word on the streets and even holiday pay in line with new legislation. New coats too and even the gate staff have new apparel with sponsors logos from a local company. So things are looking up for the staff.
The best news for them comes when we heard that Stewards will be asked to travel to away games in Europe; on the team plane and get paid – not bad eh!
Now getting into the ground is relatively simple for season ticket holders, just place your card in the slot and in you go. However make sure you have the right ticket – not a child’s if you are an adult as that is to be tightened up on this season.
Members who buy tickets will no longer get a paper tickets. They will have their card will be electronically updated and sent a text message, email or by a chosen message their seat number but their card will NOT have the seat number on it! Toast is worried that fans will be wandering round looking for a seat or sitting in a season ticket holder’s seat and this could lead to confrontation!! VP heroine Elaine Giles is looking to find a solution. (Might be a bottle of something strong we suggest Elaine!).
And then there is the Platinum ticket scheme which while trying to ensure bigger crowds for the ‘lesser’ clubs is full of problems and already upset a large number of VP members.
Lots of news there from Al and a lot of outside work needed to gather that information. One more Toast special before the new season entitled ‘Whatever happened to the European Cup Winners Cup?’
Play up Pompey!
Written by eastneydave.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.