Pompey's engagement manager answers some frequently asked questions
Q. Why the Q&A?
A. I've been asked the same questions so many times and it’s really hard to answer everyone!
Q. What's happening with the away shirts?
A. They will be launched on Saturday, but won't be for sale unfortunately. It's a simple question of production times. I would imagine that we were the last team in football to order their kit. Sondico use the same factory as Kappa for late orders in Poland, but instead of 13-week turnaround times they got four weeks for the home kit. That means instead of our home kit arriving in October, it was on sale in the first week of July. The success of the home shirts has meant that they have been struggling to keep up with demand. If they stop producing home shirts to produce away shirts you lose time with setting up the different processes. So it is delayed until the weekend of the Oxford United match on August 3.
Q. Are the home shirts selling well then?
A. Phenomenally well, particularly given the lack of a shop! We have probably sold more than 3,000 now and that's with many popular sizes running out – which is obviously another reason we needed to keep producing the home shirts. The order for away shirts has been massively increased by Sports Direct’s prediction software as a result of how successful it has been.
Q. Can fans buy shirts at Fans’ Day on Saturday?
A. Yes, there will be a Sondico merchandise stall which takes cash and cards selling replica shirts, training wear, etc.
Q. When will the new store be open?
A. We are aiming to be up and running before the first home league match!
Q. How many tickets have we sold for Saturday’s friendly against Charlton?
A. More than 4,000 already, which is brilliant for a friendly. We hope that this could almost double on the day.
Q. Do fans need to buy tickets or is it a bucket collection?
A. Yes they need to buy a ticket as normal. It's a necessary part of our safety certificate to be able to issue tickets and this is tied in with the security software.
Q. Can fans still pay what they want?
A. They certainly can. There will be a £5 minimum for card payments on the day, but cash can be anything from £100 down to £1, although most fans are paying around £6.
Q. What about season ticket sales?
A. Now on 10,200. There is still an enormous saving to be had, of up to eight free games or £300, which is £160 saving for adults, £120 for Seniors and Young Persons and £40 for juniors.
Q. Can juniors who are 10 or under still get a season ticket free in the family section?
A. Yes, any adult, young person or senior can get a season ticket for a child aged 10 or under for free in the family section! Free – you simply cannot say fairer than that.
Q. When do Oxford and Accrington tickets go on sale?
A. See our website article.
Q. What is happening with the 'capacity issue'?
A. We are still working with the local authority to get a clear picture of the repairs that need to be done – but work is going on everywhere around the stadium. The safety certificate can be reviewed on a match-by-match basis, so it's simply a question of us fixing the problems and getting on with it. It's no shock. Fratton Park is old and repairs need to be made, something that hasn’t happened in the past. It's routine stuff and we think that any problems will be overcome with enough speed to avoid major issues.
Q. So there is no danger of people not getting into Fratton Park?
A. Well I didn't say that! The capacity of Fratton Park is limited anyway. The issues we face won't change it drastically, but the best way to be sure of seeing every game is to buy a season ticket. They are affordable and guarantee you will get in for what looks like an exciting season. I'll be amazed if we don't get two or three sell outs this season and if we do, well all bets are off.
Q. Is the big screen working this season?
A. We hope to have it working for the home game with Oxford.
Q. How is the ground looking?
A. Awesome. It's wonderful seeing the new sponsors boards going up everywhere and the new flags look fantastic – we are very grateful to our sponsors at Jobsite, Ridgeway, IMS and L&S. There is a lot of work going on with the kiosks being refurbished and toilets being upgraded. We hope that by the time of the Oxford game Fratton Park will look better and have better facilities than it has for a long time.
Q. Will season cards be out soon?
A. Yes, next week.
Q. What's happening with the programme this season?
A. It will be a fantastic programme this year, with 84 pages, a souvenir poster, collectable cards and perfect binding so it has a spine. There is a kids zone and you can red the first Nelson and Mary Rose superheroes cartoon strip in the Charlton/Rayo programme.
Q. I bought the programme season ticket, how do I redeem my programme?
A. We will send you 23 tickets, simply present the relevant ticket to any programme seller in return for your ticket.
Q, And are matchday meals the same?
A. Yes, exactly the same.
Q. What colours are the second and third strips?
A. I'm not telling you!
Q. Are you looking forward to your Fans’ Day dunking?
A. Of course! Get down here on Saturday from 11am and enjoy the food, the fun, the bouncy castles, see the new away kit and most of all, dunk me in the tank for charity. I'll be wearing my Superman ‘onesie’ for the occasion. It's going to be an absolutely amazing day.
Q. Many thanks for your time.
A. No problem, always happy to help!