Vital Football

It`s time for a Delia

It`s time for a Delia

"This is a message for possibly the best supporters in the world. We need a 12th man here. Where are you? Where are you? Let's be having you. Come on.'

Those were the words stuttered through a microphone by none other than Norwich Director and TV chef Delia Smith nearly three years ago.

Although in most quarters she was publicly lambasted for her comments I remember thinking at the time that maybe, just maybe she had a point. Sometimes teams need a 12th man and sometimes that 12th man can make a difference. In fact it's something which unlike a lot of clubs Pompey does recognise. Recognise so much in fact that they've even retired the No.12 shirt in OUR honour.

I mention this only as a reference as having just read the 'official site' I can not believe that we have tickets left unsold for both the Boro and Vitoria SC games.

Now some might argue, and quite rightly, that two matches in the space of a week is a bit of a dent in the old 'sky rocket'. Others might argue that a 6pm kick-off for the UEFA cup tie makes getting to the game a bit of a struggle, again a fair point, but there are around 1,400 seats still unsold for the Boro game and a staggering 7,000 available for our historic first game in the UEFA Cup. Add to this the fact that Pompey have reduced junior prices for the Boro match to £5 and all prices for the Vitoria game, where adults can get in for £20 and I find it hard to accept that a club whose supporters have been banging on for years about deserving a 40,000 capacity stadium can not sell 20,000 against an established premiership side or even 15,000 for our first venture into Europe.

I have no idea why these seats remain unsold but I would like to ask one question.

What has happened to the thousands of supporters who in March and May so desperately wanted or, in some of their own words 'deserved' a semi final or final ticket? Surely Boro are not that unattractive and surely a 6pm kick-off is not that much of a problem for everybody is it?

So I'll use a few of Delia's words and say …
"We reckon we are the best supporters in the Premiership and we are the 12th man. So, where are you? Where are you? Let's be having you. Let's fill the ground and give our team so much support that both Boro and Vitoria will not know what's hit them. Come on!"

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Date:Friday September 12 2008
Time: 12:56AM


I'll be booking tickets for the Vitoria game tomorrow then! Can't believe they're still available.
12/09/2008 02:43:00
Fans are suffering the credit crunch too. Some will have been faced with deciding one game or the other.
Steve C
12/09/2008 06:05:00
Nice one Pompeyscum - that's one I can claim I've added too the attendance ;)... SteveC, completely agree and I too am feeling the pinch but 75% of season ticket holders have claimed their seats (so that's approx. 12,000) Are we saying that out of the other 30,000 who wanted Wembley tickets that only 2,000 of them can afford £20 to go to the Vitoria game?... I don't think the credit crunch has biten that deeply yet has it ?
12/09/2008 08:09:00
Perhaps the reality is that the majority of those who "deserved" a ticket to Wembley are more fair weather supporters than we care to acknowledge.
12/09/2008 08:13:00
Perhaps you're right Tony.. which worries me for the future, as based on that we'd be at around the 18-22,000 mark for most premiership games other than the big four .. I don't fancy watching Pompey in a half empty stadium... although of course I always would.... but surely we don't have that many band-wagon jumpers do we? or is something else wrong ?
12/09/2008 08:22:00
My Vitoria ticket is spare as I am using someones season tickets, and I can't make the Boro game as I am laying my kitchen floor. Your all welcome to come and help do some painting if you want tomorrow by the way! I just hope that come the match I can hear the crowd singing like I used to. Thats what made me start going to Pompey games!
12/09/2008 08:58:00
Nice article Chix. Tony I like the point about fair weather supporters, how many times did I get asked 'can you get me a ticket to Wembley?' Strange that they are not buying tickets to Boro and Vitoria! Perhaps it is because they are not used to going to FP as it is so difficult to get tickets for big games with the small capacity. But that is an excuse I do not support.
12/09/2008 09:12:00
We've had fair weather fans ever since Harry turned us into a winning machine in the Championship. I've lost count of the "life long Pompey fans" that have never stood on the Fratton terrace on a freezing November night to watch the likes of Scunthorpe or some other grim up north team. I do think that to a degree people have been conditioned in to thinking that there's no chance of getting a ticket for a home game so they don't even try. Whilst i see you're point about the number of fans wanting wembley tickets, it's only relevant in the case of individuals, if a family is going we're no longer looking at £20 but probably over £100 by the time you've travelled, had a monster micks, a drink and a program.
Steve C
12/09/2008 09:30:00
There is something else wrong Chix, whilst they've done their best to dress it up a bit FP is still a shabby old ground, As has been proved by many other clubs a nice new ground attracts fans. Don't get me wrong I love FP and in all honesty i wish there was some way we could rebuild it to sensible capacity on the site but it just isn't going to happen. Our club will forever be held back by the ground and facilities until they are sorted out.
Steve C
12/09/2008 09:37:00
Yes as a die hard, I am stagggerd why we can't sell out but I understand some of the 4easons. So get the kids in free with a paying adult on games that don't sell out. Give them to the local schools, they are our future fans.
12/09/2008 10:04:00
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