Why some Pompey fans need more than just a price cut
By Site reporter
Tuesday 27 Apr 2010 22:08:00
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Pompey have significantly reduced season ticket prices for 2010-11 and probably would have struggled to cut them even further. But whether the move will be enough to get Fratton Park rocking again, as the club hope remains to be seen.

Many existing seat holders will doubtless renew, encouraged by big percentage decreases in the cost of watching the Blues in the Championship next season. But all that’s happened in the past nine months might just put some off – for now, or for much longer..


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Pompey will sell next year's season tickets from as low as £99 for youngsters while adult prices in the Fratton End, south and north Stands for existing holders will be £399 if fans beat the early-bird deadline in June.

The £399 tickets – less, incidentally, than the cost of five ‘average’ seats at the FA Cup final - were nearly £200 more expensive for the current season.

Pompey say they hope the price drop will encourage as many as 16,000 fans to buy a season ticket.

But equally, they must know that the long and drawn-out saga over ownership that has seen the club dragged through the mud, put into administration, relegated and now at the centre of anger over missing charity thousands has done harm that many will deem too strong to be undone by cheap tickets.

Lucius Peart, head of operations at the club, said: 'We need to rebuild our relationship with the fans who've stuck by us through so much. We know there has been a lot of unhappiness about what has been going on at the club.

'Now we can make a fresh start. "Come back" is the message to fans. This is going to be a very important year for us and we've got to get Fratton Park rocking again.

'This year we have 11,800 season ticket holders, we would love to get back up to the 16,000 mark. That will mean the ground is packed for every home match as we push for promotion and make for a great atmosphere next season.

'All the season ticket money will be put in a special account.It is an isolated safe account and if anything went wrong with the business for whatever reason we'd be able to pay them back what they are owed.'

It says much about recent events that Pompey need to talk about money being put in a ‘special account’ and kept safe. Safe from what or whom was not fully explained, but it is a question that would certainly have been asked had it not been answered anyway.

Fans have given mixed views about the reduction.

Some believe the prices represent good value for money – it’s four more league games for a lot less money, with all the usual benefits of priority for big games thrown in.

And, as Pompey fans now know better than most, if you do want a decent team to watch, it’s probably better that team is paid for up front, not by money which isn’t there.

The other view is that the jury is still out. There are many fans who won’t shell out for a new season ticket, however cheap tickets may be, while the club’s future is still so uncertain.

Plenty of fans will wait until they know who the new owner is; until they are sure Balram Chainrai is not going to be that new owner.

Only when a new broom is in place, not an old recycled one, will some be prepared to invest. And you can’t really blame them.

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