Anger as Pompey reveal plans to axe lifetime season ticket deal

LIFETIME season ticket holders at Pompey are in uproar after bosses at the club threatened to axe the scheme.

Thursday, 6th July 2017, 1:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:05 pm
Pompey Chief Executive Mark Catlin PPP-171205-120611001

Blues’ boss Mark Catlin dropped the bombshell announcement in a letter to the 100 dedicated fans earlier this week.

In it, Mr Catlin urged the supporters to ‘voluntarily relinquish’ their £2,000 tickets, purchased during the 2001/02 season.

However, some fans have hit back condemning the club’s move, describing it as ‘disappointing’ and ‘confusing’.

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Keith Mapplebeck, of Fawcett Road, Southsea was among those who will be affected by the proposal.

The 53-year-old said: ‘Life to me means exactly that – life. I never believed that when I paid for the ticket they would one day try and take it back.

‘So when I got the letter it was a bit of a blow. I just don’t understand what the club can gain from something like this.

‘They don’t really explain why they have taken the decision. This is just more bad press for the club.’

Fellow fan and lifetime season ticket holder John Westwood, said: ‘We have had a good run with it but it’s been a long time coming. Obviously it’s disappointing but the most important thing is the club and making sure it keeps going.’

The original deal was agreed by the club in 2001, under Milan Mandaric.

Strapped for cash, they offered a lifetime season tickets for £2,000, with 100 people signing up to the scheme.

But in the letter to the fans this week, Pompey is attempting to back down from the agreement, claiming the club which issued them no longer exists following administration four years ago.

However, in the original letter to fans in 2001, the Pompey clarified the deal would carry on regardless of who was in charge of Fratton Park.

It said: ‘We feel it reasonable to expect that a life season ticket, in a similar way to a “life membership” at any other club or organisation, would be honoured by the company, irrespective of the ownership of the company in the future.’

The club’s most recent letter claims all ‘contractual rights fell away on the change of ownership’.

Mr Catlin wrote: ‘Since our exit from administration as a fan-owned, community club, we have continued honouring this agreement strictly on goodwill terms, but I am sure you can appreciate the ongoing financial difficulties involved in operating a football club outside of the FA Premier League; according the current board of directors have requested that I write to each lifetime season ticket holder requesting that, at this point, they voluntarily relinquish this historic agreement.’