Stadium update

Last updated : 24 January 2005 By Keith Allman
There's been a lot of whinging amongst Pompey fans lately about "more broken promises" regarding the building of the new Fratton Park. And let's be honest, we've never been given any real reasons to be confident - ever since plans were first announced for a new ground about fifteen years ago, it's been set back after set back, moved deadline after moved deadline. There was the ideas for building at Farlington, the possibility of a move to Hilsea, and then the revelation of a ground and village scheme that would be finished for the beginning of season 03/04.

Ok, so we've had our problems and perhaps have reason to be edgy. It is now twelve years since we were meant to be playing our first game in our new ground, but work with me here. People are still getting uppity about current events - "POMPEY SAID WORK WOULD BEGIN IN NOVEMBER!" they cry, and "MILAN LIED! HE SAID DEMOLTION WORK WOULD BEGIN IN JANUARY, BUT I DON'T SEE ANYTHING!" Well, surely that's the idea of demolition work, but you get my point.

To try and persuade the doubters - things ARE happening. Asbestos and other hazardous materials are currently being removed from the North Stand (good luck those of you who have sat there for years) and there was also a minor mishap waiting for the gas man to turn off the supply - yes, even Premiership football clubs have to wait a while for a surly man to draw up in his van. This preparation work will be completed by Wednesday, for demolition to begin on Thursday. And as Milan himself revealed last week, it's then only a minor matter of time before we get that treasured picture of Mr Chairman, a shovel, and the first brick.

Yeah, sometimes it's annoying to think how long this saga has drawn on for, especially seeing the likes of Hull and Swansea building new grounds. But remember what Milan said three years ago; "I have to decide to invest in either the team or the ground". He chose the team, and it paid off in a way we would never have believed. He kept one promise, and now he's keeping another and building work is underway.

Have faith!