Blues make pitch promise

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin

POMPEY have allayed fears the Fratton Park pitch will be affected by this summer’s Madness concert.

But the Blues will have to forego their traditional final home pre-season warm-up game to get the surface right.

Pompey have had huge trouble with the quality of their pitch this season.

But chief executive Mark Catlin explained the June 6 music event will not impact on essential repair work this summer.

He said: ‘We were left slightly behind the curve with other venues over announcing the concert.

‘That was because we wanted to be 100-per-cent convinced there would be no detrimental impact on the pitch.

‘We had to get the timings right and do our due diligence.

‘We’re satisfied that it’s the case the pitch will be fine.

‘The only negative is the final pre-season friendly at Fratton Park this year.

‘But we will get the pitch right, that’s for sure.’

Catlin believes the Madness concert can provide a big cash boost for both Pompey and the city’s economy.

He is calling on the community to get behind an event with obvious kudos for the club.

Catlin also explained not having the home pre-season friendly will be offset by warm-up fixtures against local opposition where Pompey fans can see their team.

He said: ‘Financially, we tend to break even with that friendly.

‘What we will do is arrange local friendlies so people get to see the team.

‘This concert could potentially be very lucrative for the club.

‘It’s also a great thing for the city and the community as a whole.

‘Now we need people to come out and support the event.’