London giants muscle in on Pompey youngsters

Pompey’s poaching fears have been realised after Chelsea muscled in on their territory.

It’s been confirmed the Premier League giants have opened a development centre in the city.

Chelsea are using University of Portsmouth’s Langstone sports facilities.

That’s after the university refused to let Pompey set up a training base there when they were in administration.

The news of Chelsea moving into the area arrives as part of the Elite Player Performance Plan, which has shaken up the game’s Academy system.

The scheme allows clubs with a category one-rated Academy to establish a centre wherever they like, rather than within 90 minutes’ travel time of a club.

Blues Academy boss Andy Awford has been vocal in his fears over the move.

Chelsea have been quick to act in the Portsmouth area, and the likes of Spurs are expected to follow suit.

That represents a real fear for the Blues, who have seen a host of youngsters graduate into the first team this season.

The university confirmed they have reached an agreement with Chelsea but stated that doesn’t rule out working with Pompey.

A university statement read: ‘The University of Portsmouth has entered into an informal arrangement with Chelsea Football Club allowing it to rent Langstone sports facilities.

‘CFC is using the facilities for two hours a week, for its local youth and outreach programmes from April to July.

‘The arrangement does not preclude any other club from entering into arrangements to rent the sports facilities, including Portsmouth Football Club.’