Pompey have asked the Football League for dispensation to reduce Fratton Park’s away capacity.
Season-ticket sales of 14,500 and the ground’s ongoing decreased capacity have ensured home seats are at a premium for the Blues’ League One return.
In the meantime, visiting clubs must be offered the Milton end’s entire 2,700 seats.
Blues chief executive Mark Catlin has made contact with the Football League over halving the Milton end for the entire campaign, although he’s not confident Pompey will get the green light.
On portsmouth.co.uk the Fratton faithful have reacted to Catlin’s approach.
Here’s what they had to say...
The whole ‘we have to give away fans 2700 seats’ is silly. It was fine in the upper leagues but League One and League Two we won’t get anywhere near that many away fans.
It certainly makes sense to seek a rule change for maybe 17 or 18 matches.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Take the first match with Rochdale. They have been given an allocation of 600 seats and, currently, have sold “over half”.
If, for instance, that equates to, let’s say, 400 then there will be 950 empty seats. Should they sell their full allocation then there will still be 750 seats unused as we are only allowed to have half the capacity. So, although this match is advertised as “sold out”, it would appear that we will struggle to reach an actual attendance of 18,000.
If this situation is repeated for the majority of home games, then Catlin’s concern, over a great deal of potential lost revenue, is understandable. Good luck in your quest Mark.
Perhaps Mr Eisner will be forced to think about a new ground or perhaps rebuild the Milton end sooner rather than later. The fans who can’t attend every home game will suffer if they can’t get tickets and obviously Pompey will suffer through lack of revenue.
If Pompey came up with a sensible health and safety friendly proposal why would the Football League not look favourably on such a scheme?
This would enable more fans to watch football? Is that not part of their aim? Surely even the football authorities in this country wouldn’t be able to justify a set of rules that made sure there are lots of empty seats at a game.
The ground needs properly redeveloping, stating the obvious, and should have been done under previous regimes who took the money and ran instead of investing in infrastructure. That’s why the ground is in the state it’s in.