Saints have ended years of tradition after axing some of their programme sellers ahead of Sunday's game with Fulham.

The club have written to sellers to tell them that they will not be required with immediate effect.

Some of the sellers have given more than 25 years of service to the club, and are only paid a nominal fee of 6p from each sale.

Most are positioned outside the ground and would also gain free entry to St Mary’s after cashing up, generally some 15-30 minutes into the game.

After just a few home games of the campaign and with only a couple of day’s notice they now find themselves without their job or their ticket.

The club explained in their letter that they were making the changes to increase revenue and for unique customer service but later said on their website it was to alleviate congestion in and around the stadium.

In a letter to the sellers the club wrote: “Following the club’s promotion to the Premier League we are looking at improving every element of the business to ensure we can compete with the best and break new ground in delivering a customer experience which is unique to Southampton Football Club.

“With this in mind, a review of the match day operation has been undertaken and the decision has been made to change the way we sell match day programmes to enable us to increase revenue and deliver this service in a different and unique way.

“However, unfortunately this does mean we no longer require the services of our current programme sellers. This change will come into immediate effect and therefore you will not be required for the Fulham game.

“We appreciate your loyalty and contribution over the course of your time with the club and we would like to highlight this change was not an easy decision but a necessary change for the development of the operation going forward.”

Programmes will now be sold from ten fixed positions around the outside of St Mary’s, in the megastore and at stadium catering outlets, as well as roaming sellers.

The club explained on their official website: “Saints are always striving to improve your matchday experience, and the redeployment of our sellers is an essential part of making it an easier and quicker transaction to alleviate congestion both in and around the stadium.”

The club failed to respond to the Daily Echo’s request for a comment.