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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Attendances

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Is the price right?

Last Saturday was Non-League Day when some non-league clubs let in Premiership supporters for free and at half price.  But often a non-league ticket costs more than one in the Premiership.  On Saturday you can get a Blackburn v. Fulham ticket for £10 whereas it will cost you £12 to watch a Blue Square North match.


At Wigan a family of four can see Wigan play Sunderland for a total of £25.  A season ticket at the DW Stadium costs from £250 which is what you would have to pay at Bradford City in League Two.  You can pay quite a bit more in League One.

How will attendances hold up?

The Riverside stadium saw a record low attendance for a league game yesterday, 14,633 for the televised clash between Middlesbrough and Sheffield United.   There are those who think that a mixture of television overkill and the recession will empty stadiums everywhere. 

What is a big club?

Joe Cole's comment that Liverpool are the biggest club in the country provoked a debate on Radio 5 this morning.   There is no one criterion that determines whether a club is big or not.   Attendances and the size of the stadium are certainly part of the picture and honours are also a criterion.   But supposing most of them were won a long time ago?   Does the fact that Nottingham Forest won the European Cup twice make it a big club?   Is Liverpool's claim based largely on the fact that it has won the European competition five times and can

Fall in World Cup visitors

About 110,000 fewer foreign visitors than forecast are expected to make their way to the World Cup in South Africa.   Recent political turbulence is not thought to be a factor, but the recession and what are seen to be high ticket prices have deterred fans from going.  However, those that do go are likely to stay longer and spend more, giving a welcome boost to the South African economy.

It Was The Computer

After Arsenal drew at Burnley, Arsene Wenger blamed the fixtures computer for the congestion it had produced. This is a new entry in the Big Book of Managers' Excuses, but there is a more serious issue. Football attendances have held up well in the recession, but during these midweek fixtures five Barclays Premier League clubs recorded their lowest league attendances for between two and five seasons in midweek. Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers took a hit at the turnstiles as they staged their second home matches in four or five days.

Ten Per Cent Drop In Premiership Transfers

Transfer spending involving Premiership clubs in the summer transfer window is expected to total £450m, down 10 per cent on last summer's £500. Moreover, Manchester City alone accounted for more than a quarter of the total buying eight players for more than £120m. Another £80m was accounted for by the sale by Manchester United of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. The value of transfers from overseas clubs is about 40 per cent down on each of the past two summers.

Slump In Football Attendances?

Virgin Money are claiming that more fans are planning to ditch football due to cost. One has to be very careful about these analyses based on surveys that pose hypothetical questions. There is a difference between what people say and what they do. Football fans are notorious for saying they won't renew their season ticket or ever go to the ground again unless the manager is sacked, but then turn up as usual for the first game of the season. Nevertheless, the findings are not without interest.

Sheffield Wednesday Top Of Empty Seats League

Sheffield Wednesday are top of the Championship empty seats league with Hillsborough the most under-occupied stadium. Average attendances at home games is 19,005, leaving the 39,814 capacity stadium only 47.7 per cent full in the four games played there. Top of the Championship stadium filling attendance league are Cardiff City, although this shows that a lot depends on how big your ground is. On average Ninian Park is 93.3 per cent full even though their average gate is just 19,031.