Pompey finished third in the table last season – but it is for the number of fans being banned from football grounds, according to a new report.
The Home Office published its annual report into football-related arrests and banning orders for the 2018/19 season in England and Wales on Thursday.
Figures from the report show that 24 banning orders were issued to Pompey supporters during the 2018/19 season, following a high-profile court case involving hooligan violence in the city centre.
This was the highest number of new orders given in League One and only Championship side Stoke City, 46, and League Two team Port Vale, 31, had more than Pompey last season.
12 of the banning orders were issued in September 2018 to hooligans for their role in the scenes of violent disorder that erupted in Portsmouth city centre before a game with Plymouth Argyle in April 2017.
In the incident thugs ran amok in Guildhall Square and Winston Churchill Avenue and clashed with police as well as Plymouth supporters.
Police body cam footage captured the extent of the chaos as well as the moment a Plymouth fan was booted on the floor – an act that resulted in eight Pompey supporters being jailed.
The Home Office’s data also showed that there were a total of 36 football banning orders in place for Pompey fans, including the 24 new ones, throughout the 2018/19 season – which was the joint 12th highest, together with Bristol City, across the English Football League.
Sunderland were the only other club in League One to have a higher number of banning orders in place last season with 40.
Newcastle had the most in the country with 71.
Figures from the report also showed that there were 13 football-related arrests involving Pompey supporters during the 2018/19 season. Five of these came during home games and the other eight were during away matches.
The arrests included:
- three for violent disorder
- four for public disorder
- one for alcohol offences
- five for possession of pyrotechnics
The News approached Portsmouth FC but the club declined to comment before publication.
According to the Home Office’s report there has been a steady decline in football banning orders in force since 2011 and in the 2018/19 season, there were 1,381 football-related arrests, under Schedule 1 of the Football Spectators Act 1989 which is a 10 per cent decrease on the previous season.