Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Monday January 7 2008
Yesterday, the attendance for the FA Cup third round tie against Bristol Rovers was a little over 13,000!
That`s some 12,000 short of capacity.
Against Chelsea, in the derby on New Years Day, we broke through the elusive 25,000 for the first time in almost twenty years.
Granted it was a more enticing fixture but there is still no excuse.
Yesterday, Bristol Rovers brought over 7,000 to Craven Cottage to see their side take on Premier League opposition.
I`m sure you can do the mathematics but take 7,000 away from 13,000 and you might see what makes me so ashamed this morning.
That`s right! Bristol Rovers brought more supporters up the M4 than we had in the stadium.
We only had, circa, 6,300 in the ground; heaven knows what the players made of it.
As for the replay, I doubt whether we`ll muster more than four or five hundred for the trip.
Come on! This is the FA Cup, one trophy we could, if luck goes our way, have a good run in.
Unfortunately, we`re not alone in this malaise. Other Premier League clubs also had paltry attendances.
Two last points though, firstly, watch everyone scramble for tickets if us, or indeed any of the other poorly supported teams in the third round, get to Wembley!
Secondly, the paltry attendance on Sunday is a stark reminder of the importance of staying in the Premier League. If we were to lose our top flight status then it`s inevitable the floating support will go elsewhere.
It`s one of life`s harsh realities that, in a climate where consumer cash is a hot commodity, that the punters will chose to spend it on a much more entertaining product than, for example, Fulham v Scunthorpe in a Championship fixture.
Therefore you have to surmise that instead of being a one-off low attendance, 13,000 could be the norm if we fall through that relegation trap door. What a frightening thought!
Date:Monday January 7 2008
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