Mark Catlin has expressed satisfaction with the rate of Pompey season-ticket sales.

Saturday, 1st June 2019, 2:00 pm
Updated Friday, 7th June 2019, 3:30 am

The Blues chief executive admitted he was pleased with early uptake figures – despite an increase in prices ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

Last week, the club announced that it was increasing its costs for a Fratton Park season ticket across the board, apart from those available to special concessions.

The decision represents just the second raise in seven years for loyal Pompey fans.

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16/5/19 Pompey vs Sunderland at Fratton Park Picture: Habibur Rahman

And on Friday, the Blues reported sales had already surpassed the 2,500 mark.

The current early-bird scheme runs until the close of business on Tuesday, July 2, with any ticket purchased after that date be fully priced.

Catlin said the club went through a thorough consultation process to determine the new figures.

He added he was grateful that fans appeared to be responding well to news of the price increases.

Speaking to The News, the chief executive said: ‘Season ticket sales have progressed really well over the first few days.

‘We’re all very pleased about that - it was up around 2,000 after the first couple of days, which is in advance of most other times in which we've launched. I think we launched later this year because of the play-offs.‘But I think the way we’ve managed it in regards to the consultation we went through – and obviously we had two scenarios, with potential Championship prices and League One prices – has gone down relatively well.

‘We went back and revisited (the prices) after the Sunderland game, had a look, had some more consultation, and came out with the figures which I believe have gone down relatively well.’

Catlin admitted UK national minimal wage laws contributed to the price increases, along with the need to keep pace with their rivals’ budgets.

And while he admitted ticket sales still contributed to a big percentage of the club’s overall finances, it was stressed they aren’t the only revenue stream of value.

‘This will be our seventh year (since the club was in administration in 2013) and it will be our second price increase,’ continued Catlin.

‘So I think we’ve done well if you spread that out as a percentage over the seven years - I think it will come down to maybe one or two percent per year.

‘But it’s at a time, as the football club, that national minimal wage is a big hit for us and as that keeps increasing it effects us.

‘Players and our competitors’ budgets keep going up as well, so we keep pace as best we can with that.

‘Although, if you look at the price rises and do the maths, in the scheme of things, what they bring in as a percentage of your total revenue is negligible.

‘It’s just where your gate receipts were everything to where it is now, it's a whole new world.

‘With the money we are now generating from our digital content, both domestically and internationally, it’s becoming a great revenue source for us – along with the commercial nous in regards of the club shop and the revenues that’s bringing in, in regards of the sponsorship deals that we're doing generally, and the big screen.

'The balance between what was the season-ticket revenues as a percentage of our overall revenue is gradually decreasing year on year.’