League reject Pompey seat plea

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Sol Campbell and Svetoslav Todorov attended Pompey's win against Bury. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ex-Pompey captain’s desire to return divides fans

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The Football League have declined Pompey’s request for dispensation over allocation numbers for visiting supporters.

Following the sale of more than 14,500 season tickets, chief executive Mark Catlin approached league chiefs over the problem of away seating.

We have no divine right to change the rule unilaterally, there will be repercussions – so we are sticking with the rules

Mark Catlin

At it stands, an allocation of 2,700 meets requirements, although that can be reduced depending on interest.

The Blues hoped tentative enquiries may have led to a proportion of away seats being permanently redistributed among home supporters.

However, the Football League have declined the suggestion.

Catlin told The News: ‘Following communication with the EFL, there has been no change to the stance.

‘They have offered to assist us, if required, in discussions with other teams.

‘But ultimately it comes down to our relationship with other clubs and what we can negotiate with them in terms of their away following.

‘I can only stress that is what I anticipated – but it was worth asking the question.

‘It will remain on a club-by-club basis. We’ve had these discussions over the previous four seasons with clubs for matches and they will carry on this year.

‘The EFL want to help but they have set principles in regards of foundations of how clubs operate with each other and the 10-per-cent rule is a key cornerstone of their policy.

‘I never once thought they would look to change that because it sets a precedent for others and ultimately, if broken, could affect Pompey and their away fans in future, which we don’t want.

‘We have to be careful for what we wish for because I don’t ever want to arrive at a situation where away clubs don’t allow us the 10 per cent and they say “well, Pompey did it to us”.

‘We have no divine right to change the rule unilaterally, there will be repercussions – so we are sticking with the rules.

‘I think only handful of clubs will take up their 2,700 allocation this season.

‘We have great relationships with other clubs and I have good relationships with other chief executives and you are working via those means.’

All home seats have been snapped up for Saturday’s League One curtain-raiser with Rochdale.

In addition, Pompey have sold their full allocation of 1,794 seats for the League One trip to Oxford on Saturday, August 12.