The Football Supporters’ Federation is extremely disappointed to learn of Portsmouth FCs new ticketing scheme. From the start of next season those supporters wishing to buy tickets to watch their team against the 'big four', as well as Spurs, Newcastle and West Ham, must also buy combined tickets for ‘coupled’ games.
It is clear from reading comments on message boards from Portsmouth fans and dissenting letters in our own postbag, that the feelings of Pompey fans are shared by our membership.
Typical of the comments received are from the man who does shift work, he doesn't care who his team are playing against, he'd turn up regardless, but now he is forced to buy tickets for a fixture he may not be able to attend. Another letter received was from a long standing fan who'd given up his season ticket for financial reasons. He was still planning to on taking his young children to see Portsmouth against Manchester United as a birthday treat but is now reluctantly having to cancel this as he cannot afford the additional tickets he is being forced to buy.
The FSF find it very difficult to justify this exploitative new scheme. What other industry would force its customers to buy two products when they only want one? This is an unfair idea forced on a loyal fan base. We urge Portsmouth FC to reconsider this ill-founded policy which is to the detriment of all football supporters. Once this policy is successfully implemented by one club, it is only a matter of time before others follow.
A spokesperson for Portsmouth Football Club said:
"The reason behind the change was based on data produced to help the Club set theFA Cup semi final and final ticket allocation criteria.
"Last season, over 13,000 members bought a ticket for one match only, predominantly Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool which meant more regular attending fans who werenot able to get one. Indeed there is evidence to suggest that some fans were buying them for the one match and selling them on the black market.
"Coupling of matches should not be an issue to ardent fans as they should want to go to as many matches as possible."