Police Say St Mary's Attendances Were Lower Than The Official Figure
Wednesday, 12th Sep 2018 09:05
The BBC Has been looking at attendances at Premier League games and has found that the figures claimed by clubs is much higher than the figure that the local Police claim.
Alistair Magowan of the BBC has published an article on Premier League attendances and has found that the official attendance given by the club is a lot more than what the local Police force are saying was the number actually in attendance.
Of course we all expected Arsenal to be the main culprit , anyone who was present at our fixture their last season will know that there were thousands of empty seats yet the attendance given was around 60,000, a capacity crowd.
But the big surprise is that Saints are cited as a main culprit as well, but do the Police claims hold water.
Hampshire Police figures say that the gate's at St Mary's over the season were an average of 4,246 fans lower than figures issued by the club.
Club (% of capacity) FOI (% of capacity) Difference (% of capacity)
The biggest discrepancies came towards the end of the campaign, according to Hampshire Police.
The Saints said their attendance for Chelsea's visit on 14 April was 31,764 but police figures show 6,945 fewer fans at St Mary's. There was also a difference of 6,799 (31,778 - 24,979) for the home game against south-coast rivals Bournemouth.
Now this is where I start to doubt the Police figures, whilst there were some games where the attendance was most definitely not near the figure published by the club which included season ticket holders and no shows, the Stoke City home game played on a Sunday lunchtime at the height of the winter snow period, I cannot accept that there were 7,000 empty seats in St Mary's for the visit of Chelsea and Bournemouth especially the latter.
Both of those games were sell outs and looking around St Mary's there were no areas of the ground where empty seats could be spotted, apart from the odd ones dotted around, both teams also sold out their full allocation in the away section so there were none there.
7,000 empty seats is something that you cannot hide, the Chapel End for instance holds about 6,000, so it is the equivalent of that end being empty and add a couple of blocks from the Itchen corner.
If you had taken every fan out of that area for these two games, could you see where they could be squeezed in in another part of the ground, I certainly couldn't !
Of course there were some missing ticket holders, but I would say in the low hundreds not the thousands claimed by the police, 7,000 is almost a quarter of the capacity of the ground.
So why the big difference, there is no financial gain for Saints to over estimate the attendances, in fact the other way round, it would be in their interest to say that less attended and pocket the difference, but they are not doing that.
There will always be those who cannot make a game, no one can deny that we had some unnatractive fixtures at St Mary's last season, some at either bad kick off times or i poor weather, I can see why there would be far less in the ground.
But for the Bournemouth & Chelsea game the evidence was there for all to see, there was no way there were 7,000 empty seats in the ground for what were two crucial games in the run in to the end of the season, at times I have been critical of our home support last season, but it came good in the final weeks and turned up got behind the team.
So what do you think, if you were at both those games, do you think there were 7,000 empty seats, I just cannot see where the Police got those figures from !
For the full article click on the link below.
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