Maria Miller praises the work being done at Fratton Park
The community football club model adopted by Pompey has been given high-level Government backing following a fact-finding visit to Fratton Park by the Culture Secretary.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller received an update from Blues CEO Mark Catlin and Pompey Supporters’ Trust chairman and club director Ashley Brown on the progress since Pompey became the biggest community club in the country after a fans’ buy-out in April.
She also met Pompey in the Community CEO Clare Martin and was given a tour of their Anson Road centre, seeing for herself the excellent community work that goes on there with young people.
Maria Miller said: “The Pompey Supporters’ Trust deserve a huge amount of credit for their tireless work to gain control of their beloved football club, taking it out of administration. It shows what can be achieved when fans unite with a common goal.
“I also applaud the work of Pompey in the Community for helping to improve the lives of people in the local area and hope it continues to go from strength to strength.”
And the club was delighted with the recognition.
Mark Catlin said: “The club was delighted when we were asked to give the Secretary of Stat an update on the progress our community club project is making.
“We appreciate the political support this lends to our ambition to rebuild the club in the eyes of the community and the wider football world.”
Ashley Brown added: “Throughout our bid to buy the club, we received some fantastic local and national political backing.
“The fact that the minister wants to be kept informed of our progress is highly encouraging – not only for the future of our club, but also for the wider community-owned football club movement.”
Pompey in the Community is an independent charity with close links to the club and Clare Martin was equally thrilled.
She said: “We were very honoured when we received this request to visit our centre.
“It is a tremendous boost for everyone involved with the vital work we do that our efforts are recognised.”