Portsmouth chief Mark Catlin ecstatic at ticket sales

Mark Catlin

Portsmouth's new chief executive Mark Catlin says he is ecstatic with the club's opening day season ticket sales.

The club, who were last month taken over by Pompey Supporters' Trust, opened their ticket office on Monday for the 2013-14 League Two season.

And following a year of discontent at Fratton Park, Monday saw a significant 61% increase in interest at the recently relegated club.

"Overall I'm absolutely ecstatic," Catlin told BBC Radio Solent.

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The club sold around 500 season tickets on day one last year, but that figure has pushed towards 1,000 as fans queued in the rain at Fratton Park to support their club next term.

And Catlin believes Monday's interest could be the start of something special at Fratton Park next season with local businesses also getting back in touch to get involved with the club.

"What is really encouraging is that the people getting their season tickets are first timers so the renewals haven't yet kicked in yet - which we hope they will," he said.

"In our budgetary figure we've set what we would like our average home attendance to be and within that figure there is a figure for season ticket sales - which is on a par with last season.

"Our online sales don't kick in until the middle of the week so we are doing so much better then we thought and it is all to do with momentum in keeping the club going,

"We've had so many old sponsors coming back to us. Part of my job is to re-engage with local business and explain the vision and where we want to go and everyone is so happy. From a commercial point of view it is so important we get these businesses back on board."

Meanwhile, Pompey left-back Dan Butler has signed a new two-year deal at the club.

The 18-year-old made his senior debut in last season's League Cup defeat at Plymouth and then enjoyed a successful loan spell at Havant & Waterlooville before retuning to Fratton Park and becoming a regular in the side.

"I'm very pleased," he said. "I've been away on holiday otherwise I think it would have been done even sooner.

"I got a taste of playing first team football in the second half of last season and now I'm looking forward to being involved for a whole season at this club."

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