‘The Disney experience? It has been a disaster’: Portsmouth fan blasts ticketing chaos after Crewe attendance low
Pompey’s ticketing system has been branded a ‘total disaster’ by a Blues supporter.
Graham Berry, a Fratton end season ticket holder and Pompey Supporters’ Trust board member, has blasted the club’s handling of fan demand for the long-awaited return to Fratton Park.
A crowd of 11,470 for Saturday’s visit of Crewe represented the lowest for a home league game since February 2013.
And Berry, from Clanfield, has called on the club to ‘step up’ ahead of Tuesday night’s visit of Shrewsbury, which again threatens to be hit by an attendance drop.
He told The News: ‘I don’t ever remember a Pompey opening game having 6,000 empty seats, it’s always a full house.
‘I’ve had post after post on Facebook, from friends, from people contacting me because I’m now a PST board member - and they’re saying “Can you get me tickets?”.
‘On Friday, one of our members, who’s a disabled fan, contacted me while I was on holiday in Rhodes. He had been on hold for four days and was trying to get tickets for the next two home games. He asked if I could help.
‘I reached out to Andy Cullen and Phillip Russell, the ticketing executive, and, to be fair, they were brilliant. They came back straight away. Someone phoned our member and a ticket was arranged.
‘But there are so many fans struggling to get tickets and have given up. I’ve had so many messages saying that.
‘This is a club which has lost so much money from Covid. Well, basic maths tells you they probably lost potentially more than £100,000 on Saturday.
‘To talk about Covid and holidays affecting the attendance is a cop out and an excuse. This new hub system they’ve released is a total disaster, I can’t even register on it.
‘It’s almost like that typical old adage in football - you are football fans, you will buy tickets regardless, no matter what dross we serve up.
‘Considering we are now run by people that talk about the Disney experience, this summer has been a disaster. They need to step up.’
Fratton Park hosted just 9,815 supporters for MK Dons’ visit in February 2013.
On Saturday, with supporter restrictions lifted for the first time in 18 months following coronavirus, 11,470 were present, including 306 Crewe followers.
That is 36 per cent down on an average home attendance of 17,804 in 2019-20 – the biggest drop in League One.
Berry added: ‘I honestly think what has really annoyed a lot of people is that they know our budget has been reduced this season and one of the reasons is Covid and a loss of revenue.
‘So when you hear that and – and then see we have chucked away £100,000 on Saturday – it is quite hard to take.’
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