Catlin: Getting our own training ground remains Pompey aim

8/5/13   MO''Mark Catlin Pompey's chief executive speaks to The News at Fratton Park''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (131241-14)

8/5/13 MO''Mark Catlin Pompey's chief executive speaks to The News at Fratton Park''Picture: Paul Jacobs (131241-14)

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Owning a new training ground remains Pompey’s target, despite yesterday agreeing to use the University of Portsmouth’s facilities.

The Blues have signed a one-year deal to use the Langstone Campus as their training base.

As revealed by The News, it will not be ready in time for the return to pre-season so St John’s College will step in.

Regardless, Mark Catlin is delighted to have reached agreement to use the Furze Lane site, which is currently undergoing a £1m revamp.

But the chief executive has reiterated in the future they want to have their own facilities.

He said: ‘It’s great to be re-engaging with the university after years of not being as close as we should be.

‘This has been a moving process, we explored many facilities – overall there were seven or eight we looked at.

‘However, it is still part of our mid-term strategy to own a training ground.

‘This suits both parties at this point and can be ongoing as we both want it to be.

‘I don’t want to be tying us to anything longer than a one or two-year deal really, so this is ideal.

‘They might consider us a hindrance, while we might not like it and decide to look for somewhere else.

‘A key part of club strategy is we want to create a legacy – and part of that is going to have your own training ground and not renting.

‘It is vital we do not shut that door and keep it open.

‘In the meantime, this is a very good deal for us financially.’

Meanwhile, the opening of Pompey’s new club shop has been delayed.

Set in the same building as the Goldsmith Avenue store, Sondico had anticipated it being launched today.

However, a legal wrangle over the shop lease has delayed matters – and put back delivery of home shirts as a result.

Catlin added: ‘We have a meeting at the solicitors to iron it out and hopefully the delay can be as short as possible.

‘It is legal wrangling and I would not want to put a time frame on it.

‘Once it has been sorted, though, Sondico are confident they can get the shop ready in 48 hours.’