Catlin: Soaring season ticket sales have stunned League Two

Blues fans are snapping up season tickets
Blues fans are snapping up season tickets

Pompey are bucking a national trend as they report soaring League Two season ticket sales.

That is the claim of Mark Catlin, who has been stunned by the fact more than 5,300 tickets have been snapped up after going on sale a month ago today.

The Blues’ chief executive attended the Football League AGM in Portugal at the end of last week.

While there he discovered a large amount of fellow League Two clubs are struggling in terms of like-for-like sales this year.

In contrast, Pompey remain 40 per cent up on this stage last summer and have 30 per cent ‘new’ customers.

The club sold 7,250 season tickets ahead of that League One campaign – with half-season tickets taking it to 8,080 after Christmas.

And sales continue to defy the problems experienced by rival clubs so far this summer.

Catlin said: ‘Having chatted with other chairmen and CEOs at the Football League conference, when you tell them our figures they are shocked.

‘And the biggest shock for them is because we became a fans-owned club the perception is we are just giving tickets away – which we are not.

‘It’s incredible, our fans are buying season tickets in their droves.

‘When you discount the half-season tickets last year, we are actually up against a figure of 7,250 tickets.

‘We are fewer than 2,000 short of that figure and have still got some seven weeks to go until the start of the season. I think we’ll smash it.

‘You speak to other clubs and their tickets like-for-like are down, a lot of them are struggling this year.

‘When you go to these conferences you go into your divisional meeting, there are 20 or 30 people there and you have a drink after and get chatting.

‘A lot of clubs in League Two are struggling – we are bucking a trend.

‘What makes our figures even better is that last season’s sales were launched quite late (June) so it was a condensed period to sell tickets.

‘If you have only 30 days to sell them every day will be high sales because you are cramming them in.

‘We actually launched earlier this year (May 13) but even then every day we are consistently trouncing last year’s figures.

‘And 30 per cent of overall sales are new people – and when we class ‘new’ it means didn’t have a ticket last year.

‘That really is the growth.’

Catlin, however, has stopped short of revealing his season ticket target.

Although he remains adamant Pompey will surpass last year’s tally.

He added: ‘We have a private figure we have discussed.

‘It is an ambitious figure and what I don’t want is to put that out in the public domain.

‘Then should we fall a little bit short people will end up disappointed when we should actually be over the moon because we have done incredibly well.

‘But we are going to smash last year’s figure, I am convinced about that.’