RELEGATION is often a big blow to clubs in Europe’s top leagues, mostly because it comes with financial implications, despite parachute payments. TV money and legacy wage bills are the biggest issue, but income at most clubs is affected by lower attendances. Or is it? Football fans are known for their undying loyalty and a major setback often brings out the best in them, particularly … Continue reading Crowd reaction – why English and German fans are more loyal
FOOTBALL’s principal emerging nations, the US and China, have almost arrived, with the top divisions of their leagues in the top 10 in terms of spectator interest. According to CIES Football Observatory’s latest report, China and the US are sixth and eighth respectively over the past five years by average crowds. The German Bundesliga has an average of 43,302 with the English Premier second-placed on … Continue reading Stable gates, but study underlines systemic clubs
TIME after time, tickets are sold-out at matches but there are still empty seats in the stand at Arsenal, Chelsea and other clubs. Somebody, somewhere, is sitting on tickets that have not been sold. Similarly, they may belong to fans that have failed to turn up. What bemused me at the recent Chelsea v Atletico Madrid game there were plenty of empties but the gate … Continue reading Commentary Box: New fans for old?
THERE were some encouraging signs on the first day of the new season, with Brighton and Newcastle United fans providing a noisy backdrop to their first games in the Premier League after winning promotion. Could this be the start of something interesting? For a while now, it has become clear that English crowds are somewhat muted compared to their foreign counterparts. In the long and … Continue reading 25 years on, why English crowds are subdued
HOW do you get youngsters interested in non-league football? One way could be to embed the idea in their minds that the local football club is naturally theirs to belong to and the most important gig in town. In Germany, and I am sure in other European countries, every new-born child is registered as a potential fan of the town’s football club. For example, in … Continue reading Non-league could take advantage of a baby boom
I WAS sitting high in the north side of Stamford Bridge when a bald, burly and Stone Islanded middle-aged man came bursting his way through row 24. He sat two seats away from me and said, “’aint seen you here before. Are you new?”, I smiled and responded, “about 45 years new.” It was true, I looked out of place – firstly, I had not been … Continue reading Die Hard 2 Tourist 1
There’s nothing more irritating – a game kicks off, you’re craning your neck to see the action and then the first batch of stragglers come marching in. You have to get out of your seat while the late-comers shuffle their way to their seats. It disrupts the spectator experience and is downright inconvenient. And it will invariably happen a couple of times each time the … Continue reading Take the theatre approach for late-comers