Missing ! Four Thousand Saints Fans
Monday, 20th Sep 2010 10:42
Just under a month ago Saints V Orient attracted 21, 468 to St Mary's, just four weeks later and the visit of Colchester saw 17,857 as the official attendance, for those that want to be pedantic thats a deficit of 3,611 and to be blunt thats a hell of a drop in attendance.
Of course the situation at Saints is a major factor in this decrease but the worrying trend is that the crowd has decreased in each of the four home games so far.
At the end of last season optimism was high and Saints were in an ideal position to capitalise on the wave of support generated by Wembley, however the fact of the matter is we havent done that, but even worse we have actually moved backwards and alienated supporters.
A look at last seasons fixtures showed that Colchester also visited in September last year, back then 17,070 saw the game, yes this years attendance is slightly up on that, but to balance things out, this time last year we had approximately 2,000 season ticket holders less than we have now.
The gate on Saturday would have seen only around 3,500 - 4000 Saints fans buy a ticket for the game after taking into account season ticket holders and away fans and this is a low figure, in life many things are about perception and i feel that in this case the fans are percieving that the extra fees imposed on supporters buying individual tickets for games either on the internet, by phone or indeed on the day are putting fans off.
Whilst I accept that three of the opening four league games have not been attractive fixtures, our average is 19,805 already nearly 1,200 down on last season, to be blunt we have not capitalised on the roll after Wembley and due to ticketing policies both for season tickets and individual sales we are now on a downward curve thats compounded by our lack of corporate seating sales and this cant be good.
The club seem to have looked into trying to arrest this by offering season ticket holders the chance to buy tickets for the Dagenham & Redbridge game for £7.50, we have been down this road before and whilst anything to attract supporters back has to be considered, is it not just turning our season ticket holders into ticket touts ? anmd is it not actually unfair on that season ticket holder to be asked to pay more than the friend he is asking to come along, after all its the season ticket holder that he to buy the ticket so there is issue of time and cost of said ST holder getting the ticket.
Of course if we start winning the crowds will start to return, in football there is for the average fan rarely nothing wrong with his/her club that six straight wins wouldnt put right.
But if we dont win then the trend is downwards and in football once people stop coming on a regular basis, then its difficult to get them to return.
I want to see St Mary's full or at least as full as it can be, sadly I no longer see the buoyant mood of last season in place, in just under two weeks we play Bournemouth, Im sure the crowd will top 20k aided by 3,000 Bournemouth fans, but if we still havent won by that game, I dread to think what the crowd will be for the visit of Tranmere on the 9th October
Photo: Action Images
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