Catlin lauds perfect storm behind Pompey season-ticket explosion

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey hero Svetoslav Todorov returns to Fratton Park on Saturday

Pompey favourite back at Fratton Park

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Mark Catlin has rationalised it as Pompey’s positive ‘perfect storm’.

And he believes season-ticket sales still possess the potential to reach the 14,200 mark.

This is not a target or an aim, it is based on what has occurred in previous seasons. There is definitely that possibility

Mark Catlin

The Blues crashed through the 14,000 barrier on Tuesday once Early Bird dealings had been totted up.

It represents a stunning leap in Fratton Park season-ticket holders, emphatically beating last term’s tally of 12,400.

The last time Pompey were limbering up for a League One campaign it was 2012-13, with Balram Chainrai and Portpin involved in the ownership and Michael Appleton serving as manager.

On that occasion the total reached 8,080.

Granted, differing circumstances to the present scenario of League Two title-winners equipped with a new manager at the helm and incoming fresh ownership.

And for chief executive Catlin, the feel-good factor is bankrolling bumper season tickets sales not witnessed since the Premier League existence.

He said: ‘This summer has been a perfect storm – but in a good way!

‘There are three exciting prospects for next season and clearly that has had a positive impact on season-ticket sales.

‘For a start, the appointment of any new manager tends to generate a lot of enthusiasm and support, while there is also the fact that promotion to a higher league appeals to supporters.

‘Lastly, there’s the general feeling of optimism surrounding incoming new owners in Michael Eisner and Tornante.

‘This has all combined to lead us to the massive increase in season-ticket sales we have all seen.

‘Clearly, we have completely demolished previous figures – and could end up reaching around 14,200.’

The Early Bird offer expired on Sunday evening, having surpassed the 14,000 figure.

Season tickets will go back on sale on Monday, July 10, albeit without the tempting discounts previously enjoyed by the Fratton faithful.

It remains difficult to compare season-ticket tallies with the Premier League years due to the sketchy availability of such information.

However, for the opening season in League Two in 2013-14, under Guy Whittingham, the total was 10,600.

That had risen to 11,047 the following campaign after Andy Awford’s appointment as boss, having led the Blues to Football League safety.

The forthcoming campaign represents Catlin’s fifth at the club – and experience tells him there are still plenty more season-ticket sales in the pipeline.

He added: ‘Traditionally, once the Early Bird offer closes, the applications for season tickets do slow down.

‘However, you still tend to pick up a few hundred in the build up to the first game of the season when people realise their circumstances have changed and they can, for whatever reason, get a season ticket.

‘So I am expecting some more additions to the total. We could end up with 14,200.

‘This is not a target or an aim, it is based on what has occurred in previous seasons. There is definitely that possibility.’