Fans wait for Portsmouth stadium plans

Fans are still in the dark about Portsmouth’s plans for their new stadium redevelopment at Fratton Park after officials stayed silent over lack of progress.

Planning permission for the ground and the £90m (€131m) Pompey Village Project was granted in July 2004 but work has been held up.

Last week chief executive Peter Storrie refused to answer further questions about it from the city’s local newspaper.

Nigel Tresidder, chairman of Portsmouth Supporters Club central branch, claimed fans wanted more information from the club about progress – or the lack of it.

He said: “Some fans are wondering whether the stadium will be built if the team is relegated.

“I went to a meeting with Peter Storrie in December and he said then that work would start in January, but we’ve seen nothing.”

A spokeswoman for Portsmouth: “At this time there is nothing more to add. The club is aware that fans are keen to know what the latest is. As soon as we have any more details we will inform the fans.”

Work on transforming Pompey’s shabby old stadium was originally due to begin in October 2004 but was delayed after fans in the North Stand complained they would be 40 yards away from the pitch.

A new plan was drawn up and involved building the new North Stand and parts of the extended Fratton End during this season. At the end of the season, the pitch is due to be turned 90 degrees.

Recently, Portsmouth have spent around £100,000 (€146,000)relaying the playing surface. And new co-owner Alexandre Gaydamak’s arrival with a £15m (€22m) investment looked set to speed up the Pompey Village part of the operation.

Franco-Russian billionaire Gaydamak, 30, has now officially become a director of the club and appointed a business colleague to the Pompey board, but the Premier League say they are still to receive his answers to their standard questions for all new directors.

“We are going through stages but expect Mr Gaydamak will have all the right answers,” said a Premier League spokesman.

Meanwhile, Pompey are ready to let Derby County take French midfielder Franck Songo’o, 18, on loan for the rest of the season. Songo’o, signed by former manager Alain Perrin, has made only three substitute appearances for the club.

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