Mark Catlin urges ‘big’ club Portsmouth to maintain superb Wembley support

Mark Catlin believes the Checkatrade Trophy final will validate Pompey’s stature as a ‘big club’.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 5:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 5:31 pm
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin is convinced the Checkatrade Trophy will demonstrate the size of Portsmouth Football Club. Picture: Joe Pepler

But the Blues’ chief executive has urged supporters not to get carried away by a 40,300 presence for a one-off Wembley event.

And selling out Fratton Park on a more regular basis remains pivotal to club ambition.

Catlin said: ‘There’s potential in anything, but I wouldn’t say our Wembley attendance is potential. I would say that’s a realisation of just how big the club is.

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‘The definition of a large club isn’t selling 40,000 or 50,000 or 60,000 at Wembley, because there are plenty of clubs averaging home gates of 7-8,000 who sell 30-40,000 at Wembley.

‘It’s a completely different animal compared to whether we could sell that amount week in, week out. There have been plenty of games this season which haven't sold out.

‘It’s about whether you can sell 20,000 against teams maybe not as attractive as a Sunderland.

‘If we got to the Championship, with the away support as well as our home fans, we could easily sell 25-30,000 for games against your Aston Villas or Leeds. Of that I am sure.

‘However, with no disrespect, but there are other Championship clubs you look at and think “Would we be able to sell 25,000 against those?”.

‘So you have to be careful we don’t get carried away by Wembley.

‘But it shows how big a club we are. Let’s keep improving where we can on the capacity and then see where it takes us.’