POMPEY’s season ticket sales are matching stride-for-stride last year’s tally.
And chief executive Mark Catlin has admitted current levels have exceeded his own expectations.
Personally, I am surprised. I genuinely didn’t expect us to get anywhere near last season’s figuresMark Catlin
Last term 11,047 season tickets were snapped up by the Fratton faithful – an increase of 387 on the previous campaign.
But Blues followers were left disappointed as the club recorded its lowest-ever finish in its Football League history.
As a consequence, it had been largely anticipated there would be a fall in numbers for the 2015-16 season.
Catlin himself had been braced for such an outcome.
The Pompey chief declined to reveal the subsequent figures.
However, he insisted, since May 31, the club had been keeping pace with sales from corresponding dates last year.
He said: ‘We launched season ticket sales 12 days earlier this year.
‘However, since May 31 the number of daily sales have been on a par. It is not like we are dropping.
‘It is following that same line, meaning we are currently neck-and-neck with the same period last year.
‘I am absolutely delighted with that.
‘With more new signings coming in to hopefully excite the fans, the brand of football Paul Cook likes to play and all the work going on at the stadium, it would be a massive fillip if we can get above 10,000 season ticket holders.
‘Personally, I am surprised. I genuinely didn’t expect us to get anywhere near last season’s figures.
‘I thought it would be a solid figure, I won’t say what that is, it’s my own private thought.
‘Myself and financial director Tony Brown have expressed to the board what we should be budgeting for – but I am now pretty confident sales will vastly exceed what I believed they would do for this season.
‘The Early Bird is running until July 4, so we are encouraging people to get down and obtain their tickets as quickly as they can.’
Pompey season tickets went on sale on April 27 – more than two weeks before Cook was named manager.
His subsequent appointment has been well-received by supporters, as has his target for winning promotion from League Two during the forthcoming campaign.
Along with last month’s signings of Kyle Bennett and Kal Naismith, it has helped generate a level of encouraging optimism among supporters.
And Catlin believes Pompey’s board should be applauded by making a swift appointment.
He added: ‘The board deserve praise for taking the managerial decision before the season’s end. That gave them a head start on others also looking to change manager.
‘There has been a bit of a managerial merry-go-round this summer and we beat that. It gave us the chance to cherry pick the right manager.’