Club clarify stadium situation
Following various weekend interviews, social media statements, and subsequent requests by a number of club stakeholders; the club would like to confirm the timeline of Health & Safety work, compliance issues at Fratton Park, and its understanding of the resulting financial implications.
The board met last week with the club’s independent property consultant to review a number of recent specialist reports, including a draft Structural Assessment prepared in accordance with the provisions of ‘the Green Guide’, and then specifically to agree a short and medium-term Fratton Park stadium strategy.
As you will be aware, the board – and subsequently stakeholders – have been advised by their specialist stadium H&S consultant of a £5 million ‘order of costs’ required to achieve stadium compliance at Fratton Park.
Currently, there remains circa £900,000 in the escrow account. It is likely that all this sum will be committed to a first phase Works Programme to be undertaken from May 2017 and into the 2017/18 season.
We wish to clarify that no further financial sums are currently available, or budgeted for, beyond what remains in the escrow account. Therefore, it is important for stakeholders to be clear that there is a current stadium compliance ‘order of shortfall’ of circa £4.1 million.
The club agreed a strategy at last week’s board meeting that included speaking (in the coming weeks) to PCC (Portsmouth City Council, our stadium licensing department) and SAG (Safety Advisory Group).
The club’s agreed strategy also included the continuation of further investigatory and precautionary works as required, and the commencement of a programme of works we propose to start in the summer.
We wish to clarify to stakeholders that PCC have not yet been supplied with, or agreed to, our timescales regarding the required works.
Stakeholders should be aware that a continuing lack of full compliance without appropriate agreement from PCC is likely to lead to a reduction in overall stadium capacity. The club are working hard with PCC, and very much appreciate its ongoing support and commitment to the club.
Additionally, and to clarify; investigations, precautionary works and re-inspections by PCC Building and Safety Officers have taken place before our past four home games, and will again take place on Saturday in order to ensure the safety and welfare of all spectators and staff.
STADIUM INFRASTRUCTURE TIMELINE
June 2013-2016: The club’s stadium safety and security team work with the council and SAG (Safety Advisory Group) on an agreed programme of works addressing and upgrading various ‘soft infrastructure’ issues that had been neglected during the previous ownership regimes. The club, working with PCC, have continued during this time to work diligently in trying to maintain the current licensed capacity of 18,931.
July 2016: Club agree at PCFC board meeting to appoint an experienced stadium adviser to review ongoing stadium works and future options, co-ordinating with the Council (PCC) and other specialist consultants and contractors. Property reports/updates received by the board are as follows:
- First Report – 10 August 2016
- Second Report – 5 September 2016
- Third Report – 15 October 2016
- Fourth Report – 5 December 2016
- Fifth Report – 21 February 2017
- Sixth Report – 19 April 2017
August 2016: Council requires full Structural Assessment survey of Fratton Park by independent structural engineer as part of Safety Advisory Group (SAG) annual review of stadium safety, in accordance with Section 5.14 of the ‘Green Guide Fifth Edition’.
October 2016: Council releases its Annual Inspection Report to PCFC identifying a number of non-compliance areas around the stadium where further work will be required. The Inspection Report also highlights a number of more difficult issues, such as disabled access areas and facilities, and terrace re-profiling, to be addressed over a three-season timescale.
January 2017: PCFC board advised that an ‘order of costs’ of £5,000,000 (five million pounds) is likely to be required over a five-year period in order to properly to address a range of various, serious, stadium compliance issues.
February 2017: Club’s consultant engineer releases its first draft Structural Assessment Report of Fratton Park. The report offers a detailed analysis of the various building elements and with indicative prioritised schedules of expected works required to achieve compliance with all current standards. Further investigations continue and precautionary works are put in place in advance of home games to ensure the full safety, security and welfare of all attendees.
February 2017: A draft Report by Withernay on Stadium Disabled Access issues at Fratton Park forms part of the draft Structural Assessment.
April 2017: PCFC board authorises club stadium specialist and project team to agree with Council officers and SAG a multi-year Remedial Works Programme, based on the completed Structural Assessment. The proposed first year’s works will commence as soon as possible in May 2017. We wish to make clear that it has, as yet, not been provided to, or approved by PCC.
PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY FOOTBALL CLUB LIMITED