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Attendances Down!

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Best season for years on many fronts not many people can disagree with that. New stadium to attract more revenue on the way. European football... what more can we ask for? The fans are right behind the team and the club... Well the answer to the last question is a resounding No it seems.

We have the 10th highest average attendance in the Premier League this year, down on last year to below 35,000.

Not exactly the greatest support considering who are ahead of us. Begs the question really ? can we really fill a 55,000 seater every week. I dont think so!!.

A lot of people on this site have continuously give the manager a hard time and the players, so its about time the fans got some back. were where you???

I have my complaints also but I was there at every game. Everton Fans dissapoint me tonight and that has never been the case before. To be honest I was surprised, not really paid to much attention to it, but some have gone missing when at other clubs they have not. I expect some flak for this but hey we have our faults to.

If we can't do it now then we will never do it. Don't blame the type of football or Moyes, blame yourselves for armchair supporting.
Paul Niklas, Up Holland     Posted 15/05/2008 at 22:38:05

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Michael Kenrick
"We have the 10th highest average attendance in the Premier League this year, down on last year to below 35,000."

I don't know where you're getting your numbers from but that is not correct. Average attendance in the Premier League at Goodison Park was 36,955, which is UP buy more than 200, and we are 9th not 10th. Check the numbers here (they are rounding down from 36,954.8 ? do the maths!).

It's been about the same, give or take a couple of hundred, for the last four seasons and it represents the effective capacity of Goodison at around 36,000 due to the ~4,000 obstructed views, so that average is actually quite robust. Before that, we peaked for a couple of seasons... but there was this young local lad playing for the team and he was quite a draw....

Attendances have been good but few people want to watch Wigan from behind a column. It's actually a good reason for moving to a bigger stadium, where more people can came, safe in the knowledge that they won't be stuck behind a big post. Pity that new stadium is planned to be outside of the City, in Kirkby...

Michael Brien
1   Posted 16/05/2008 at 07:09:26

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Not sure of the exact figures but our attendances are usually very good and have been so for the last few seasons - even in seasons when we have struggled in the league the attendances figures at Goodison have been good - we have consistently been one of the best supported clubs in the Premier League.

Re the issue of obstructed views - I travelled from Lincoln to see the Derby County match in April - I was in the lower Bullens - yes behind a post - a restricted view - but hey after a while I didn’t really notice. Yes a new stadium would be nice or an upgraded Goodison - but I always remember a comment from a West Brom fan I read a couple of years ago - He was slagging off Goodison - parts of it are still wooden!! Well I would rather have a stadium that was part wooden - than a team that was part wooden !!!!!!!!!
Erik Dols
2   Posted 16/05/2008 at 07:36:39

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I agree with Michael Kenrick on this one, if our average attendance shows anything, it’s that there really is that bumper of give or take 4000 seats which will get filled against the RS and Man U but for which people won’t pay when playing Derby and the likes. We need a bigger stadium.

And personally I would like Goodison itself to be that bigger stadium, but that’s another argument...
Colin Hold
3   Posted 16/05/2008 at 07:49:41

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I?m just one speccy who wont pay to watch Everton from behind a pillar.I can?t afford a season ticket but my last half dozen visits have resulted only in glimpses of the action. No more for me until the club gets a ground worthy of its status. Anywhere.
Jeremy Inns
4   Posted 16/05/2008 at 08:12:35

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Is this a PR exercise from the yes lobby?

Perhaps some fans are sick to the back teeth with BK and KW fobbing us off with lies more lies and even more dammned lies. The move to Kirkby if it ever happens will be the biggest disaster to hit this club since 39 Italians were murdered in 1985. The only difference this time is that the damage will be self inflicted.

FFS BK borrow £120M. Pay off the existing debt rebuild Goodison (Cost £75M, I believe) and get everyone behind the club.

Greg Murphy
5   Posted 16/05/2008 at 08:53:48

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So you conveniently missed the fact that over 1 million Evertonians supported the Blues home and away last season season, then?

I don?t know where to start in dismantling such a prissy little post, especially considering that it?s factually incorrect.

Do yourself a favour, Paul, before you come on here spouting Walter Smithesque rhetoric about how fellow Blues ?disappoint me tonight? (how?s the weather up there in the lofty moral high ground?): check the club?s all-time attendance stats (yes, every season since the league began seeing as though you?re such a number cruncher) and then tell me that our current figure isn?t an entirely consistent indicator of how stable and predictable our support is and always has been.

Everton?s average support over the last century has been one of the most reliable statistics in world sport.

You may, actually, be surprised to see just where the 2007/08 figure ranks in our all-time attendance league table (for instance it?s better than the championship seasons of 1931/32, 1938/39, 1984/85 and 1986/87 and is only a few hundred short of the 1927/28 ?Dixie?s 60 goals and a Championship? campaign).

As an avowed opponent of all things Kirkby I could use your post as an opportunity to suggest that Wyness is now reaping the dividends of decrying Goodison as a decrepit, crumbling, Health & Safety risking stadium and many fans are maybe giving it the swerve for fear that they?ll take a seat in the Upper Bullens and soon find themselves in the Paddock after the floorboards have given way!

But that would be wholly disingenuous of me, for not only have our attendances not trailed off but it?s highly debatable that the state of Goodison and the 4,000 OB views (as indicated by the stats above relating to five of our nine championship seasons, when we had a capacity ranging from 75,000 to 53,000) has had any effect at all on our 2007/08 figures.

Whilst I?m at least in agreement with you that we can?t - and won?t - fill a 55,000 seater stadium every week, certainly not in Kirkby, I have to say that I found the basic premise of your post (and its English construction) pitifully rank.

Rather than slating Evertonians for their support in 2007/08 you?d be better off recalling how in the midst of rising interest rates , a looming credit crunch and all-round belt-tightening atmosphere (petrol was 79p a litre just three years ago) we shelled out hundreds and thousands of extra pounds to watch the Blues home and away (with our allocations sold out at virtually every gaff from Kharkiv to the frankly extortionate Stamford Bridge).

Why not recall how just 12 days before Christmas - the most economically draining time of the year (but maybe not in your world, hey?) - the Blues took two full allocations down to West Ham within the space of 72 hours and then took another entire crew to Alkmaar on December 20th before heading to Old Trafford on December 23rd before pitching-up back at Goodison twice over the festive season? Or why not focus positively on the fact that over 20,000 season tickets are already secured for next year?

Frankly risible post from top to bottom, Paul, and I think deep-down you know it as you concede readily in advance that you expect flak.

Sadly, for you, I don?t think it?s flak you deserve - just pity, and lots of it.

Think-on, grow-up, check your facts and learn some basic sentence construction while you?re at it.
Gareth Humphreys
6   Posted 16/05/2008 at 09:10:19

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I bet you feel beter now Greg.

I wholeheartedly agree with you.
Paul Niklas
7   Posted 16/05/2008 at 09:12:36

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I am not really one to respond to personel jibes from the likes of Greg Murphy and therefore I wont.

To be clear, I did get the figure wrong following a report on Sky Sports News last night that did show the figures in my post.

So apologies there... as for my own position I do attend every game because I can, I am totally against the move to Kirkby and I dont accept the obstucted view as an excuse.

I watched Everton from them wonderful positions many times as a teenager because I could not afford a season ticket and they were all that was left.

I would never slag off Everton's away support it's the best as far as I am concerned.

I suppose when all said and done my rant is more aimed at why we believe we can fill a 55,000 seater stadium based on today's attendances and the historical ones that Greg Murphy informed me about.

Should have checked my facts; fair enough.
Franny Porter
8   Posted 16/05/2008 at 09:23:00

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Greg,

I couldnt have put it better myself.

I just wish everyone had as much time and money as Paul, so we could all be like him.
Phil Guyers
9   Posted 16/05/2008 at 09:21:48

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To be fair to Paul?s original post, last night Sky Sports News was showing the attendance table and had the figures he quotes for us. Quite honestly at the time I was shocked and disappointed that we had dipped below a 35,000 average.

Only this morning have I checked the figures and found them to be wrong. I suppose it is asking too much for Sky to correct it and perhaps even apologise (especially to Paul!).
Jay Harris
10   Posted 16/05/2008 at 09:29:40

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Greg
Great post from a True Blue. It illustrates why all the "Dreamers" about Kirkby being the panacea to solve all our financial woes need to reflect on "The real world".
Greg Murphy
11   Posted 16/05/2008 at 09:40:56

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Credit to you, at least, for having the balls to come back and hold your hands up, Paul. Many others would have just slunk away and got another user name.

At least I now know where you got the bad stats from and it aptly underlines why Sky Sports sources should be given a wide berth, especially concerning Everton.

Instead why not rely in future on www.evertonresults.com (and absolute gem of a site) or the cracking resources on TW itself.

Quits, then, Blue? No hard feelings and here’s to 08/09 and attendances up, hey?
Paul Niklas
12   Posted 16/05/2008 at 09:52:03

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Thanks Greg, I normally rely on this site for most of my information and yes here is to next year and great things all round.

I am off to the lawyers to prepare my writ to Sky sports for making me look a fool.

Bastards.!!!!!
David Mills
13   Posted 16/05/2008 at 10:28:37

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Do the club charge for the obstructed seats? Surley these 4000 seats would get filled up if every kid in the city knew they could turn up at GP and get in for free?
Must be better to have a full ground for better atmosphere than have lots of empty seats.

It may be that this is already done, I wouldn?t know because the few times I get to come up - average twice a season - I have always bought my ticket on the phone in advance. But if not, why not?
Mark Pendleton
14   Posted 16/05/2008 at 10:48:38

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It wouldn?t surprise me if average attendances were down. I think this would be due to the away fans section. As many games have been moved for TV I think it?s been worse, mainly for away fans to travel to games. The money for appearing on TV is often I think to compensate a little for any adverse affect on attendance levels.
Erik Dols
15   Posted 16/05/2008 at 11:01:06

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Good point Mark Pendleton. There were a few matches that the OS labelled a sell-out but where the attendance was somewhere around 38000. I remember in particular the game against Bolton and I posted something about it in the mailbag. It came down to two conclusions: season ticket holders not showing up (other clubs always include all season ticket holders in their attendances, if they show up or not!) and the away end being far from full.

So if you have a stadium with a max capacity of 40049 (Clattenburg derby) with about 4000 obstructed views and the away end far from full on many occasions, getting an average of above 36000 is pretty decent.
Chris Kelly
16   Posted 16/05/2008 at 11:34:37

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I agree 36k average from a 40,000 capacity minus 4000 obstructed views offers at least a potential for higher crowds should decent seats be available. What it means is that 8 or 9 teams above us regularly earn considerably more revenue each week. take the barcodes, at an average £30 a seat they make an extra £8.2m a year in revenue from 19 league matches. Given the low profitability of football clubs, that is quite significant.

We need to grow our revenue to grow our stature in game and I don?t mean our past laurels but our future potential. I think we have clearly been the team of the season in terms of development given the difficult balance of money in, money spent, wage control and general respect from our peers. However we need to step up again to keep ahead of the rest, we need more quality players and they demand big wages and we are competing with lots of new money. This ultimately means we need a bigger stadium, whether this is Goodison, Kirkby or a new option I don?t know.

As fans we will have to ask ourselves what sacrifice we will make to become a bigger club in the modern game and compete with the Sky 4, our results thsi year say we are somewhat off the pace! Or we stay where we are as a great but lower profile club. New ownership and new money is attractive but look at NUFC ? not worked yet, Liverpool ? crisis, City ? unbelievable. At least Bill is a blue, even Sir Terry is a blue. Whether they have absolutely the best intentions towards our club with the new ground and Bill and potential new investment... now that I do not know!!!

Michael Brien
17   Posted 16/05/2008 at 11:57:48

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Speaking as an exiled Evertonian - I feel sorry for those who say they won’t go to Goodison because of restricted views - It’s a 3 and half hour - 4 hour journey to Goodison for me - and I would rather a restricted view of my team than no view of my team.

Some of you who don’t like the restricted views can’t remember/will be too young to remember the Street End when it was terracing - especially during a Derby match!! Mind you worst terracing I ever stood on - the away end at The Dell - F.A. Cup 5th round 1981.
Goodison may not be as good as it once was - but it’s still better than quite a lot of stadiums in the Premier League. And our avearge attendance is still one of the best in the League - Sky please take note.
To digress slighty - any other Evertonians out here in Lincoln/Lincolnshire ?
Lee Spargo
18   Posted 16/05/2008 at 12:22:19

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Michael, sorry but I have to disagree with you there. In my opinion, it’s the younger fans who would be happier to accept an obstructed view. You see, as you get older, and you have other financial commitments such as a mortgage and children, you simply think twice about paying £30+ for a view of a pillar. Your expectations go up, and you want better value for money. The younger fans aren’t that bothered. With far more free time and money to spend on that sort of thing, anything will do. Even a 15 minute wait in a puddle of piss.
Jay McGrady
19   Posted 16/05/2008 at 12:33:20

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People are forgetting that attendance figures do not just represent home support but also away. Thus when the joke clubs like Fulham and Boro bring up 50-100 (Chelsea would be with these if they were not given free transport) compared to Man Utd, Pompey, Liverpool etc with 2000-2500 fans makes a difference.

Goodison would be full for most games if it were not for televised games and obscured views.

I agree with Greg?s comments on the current fiancial crisis added with the fact that Everton problably players its football and takes its support from the poorest areas in country as compared with other Premier League clubs.
Michael Brien
20   Posted 16/05/2008 at 12:36:42

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Lee - I take your point - but as a 50 year old who isn’t really bothered about restricted views I am more than happy to be put in the same group as " younger fans" !!!!!!! Totally agree with you about the ticket pricing - it’s interesting to compare Premier League prices with those in some of the other European nations e.g. Schalke 04 & Borussia Dortmund in Germany have some seats that are the equivalent of £17.In fact the local league club here - Lincoln City - it’s possible to get a ticket at Real Madrid for less than they charge ( approx £17 or £18).Both those German clubs have good websites - English versions - and the information on their stadia is quite interesting. I can see why the Bundesliga has the best average attendance of any European League.
Boris Berezofski
21   Posted 16/05/2008 at 13:06:19

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"4000 terribly restricted views."

Let's not downplay the fact there are far more restricted views in Goodison than just four thousand.


In terms of average gates, someone has pointed out that we are not maximising the earning potential at Goodison and it is theoretically costing us around £8 million. Perhaps we ought to factor corporate cash into that equation as well.

As for the season just passed, we have to keep in mind that we played a lot of extra games in both the Uefa Cup and League Cup. People that turn up still have to pay.

In response to a larger capacity stadium, could we fill 55k? I believe yes, and it would be better for the club to fill 55k at £20 a spec than 27k at £40 a spec, not least because if it is done properly and everyone can get half time refreshments ? the club will shift a lot more Chang at £3.60 a go.

Paul Gladwell
22   Posted 16/05/2008 at 14:57:34

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So if we had no obstructed views we would sell out each week? What a load of shite. As Greg stated, we have had this similar fanbase for decades ? we actually only averaged 27,000 last time we were Champions if memory serves me right. I have yet to meet any friends of mine turning down a ticket because it is obstructed, if you want to be there, you will.
Jay Harris
23   Posted 16/05/2008 at 14:22:07

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Boris
I'm very interested to know where the extra £8 million came from and the £27k seeing as our average gate was around 36,000.
Rob Adkins
24   Posted 16/05/2008 at 15:18:18

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The simple fact is that 60 to 70% of contributors on this site are armchair supporters, including Michael, end of.
Michael Kenrick
25   Posted 16/05/2008 at 15:52:17

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Rob, I detect an element of one-upmanship in your assessment so let?s ask these questions just to help shed some light:
  1. How many Everton supporters attend every game?
  2. How many Everton supporters attend at least one game every season?
  3. How many Everton supporters rarely attend any games?
And the definition of "Everton supporter" is anyone, wherever they are in the world, who would say (when asked) that they support Everton.
Michael Brien
26   Posted 16/05/2008 at 16:41:40

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Rob - you certainly know how to offend people !!

Some of us have been Evertonians for quite a number of years - I am 50 and have been an Evertonian since I was 7 years old. My first season ticket was when I was 9 and was in the old main stand at Goodison Road and cost my Dad £8.40 ( as we would say in today’s money). Between 1970 and 1976 I didn’t miss a home game, went to several away games and also watched the reserves and youth teams.I have seen some future Everton greats playing in the reserves - e.g. Joe Royle,Jimmy Husband and some bloke called Trebilcock - he wasn’t with us for long but his place in our history is a great one.

Since moving to Lincoln, I don’t get to Goodison as often as I would like - I only managed 3 games this season.But I am as much an Evertonian as anyone who goes to every game.I have seen the good times - Championships,Fa Cups etc and also the bad - I was at the Wimbledon game in ’94 and would have travelled over even if I couldn’t get a ticket, I was also there at the Coventry match in ’98.

If there is one thing that really is guaranteed to annoy me it’s anyone claiming that us "exile Evertonians " are merely armchair fans. I am at my desk at work, which one visitor ( the Local MP) jokingly described as a shrine to Everton and the Beatles - a pretty apt decription.

Everton has fans all over the world - and I mean all over the world ( check out the Australian supporters wbsite) - if you are calling all such people- armchair fans - then you are upsetting quite a lot of people!!!!!!!!We are EVERTONIANS ( got it ?)
Boris Berezofski
27   Posted 16/05/2008 at 18:06:06

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Jay, what £27k?
and the £8 million was in response to chris kelly further up, I alluded to it.
Alan Clarke
28   Posted 16/05/2008 at 18:43:25

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Have our attendances slumped because of the poor brand of football Moyes serves up? The stats look fine in the paper but we are still pretty crap to watch. Just a thought.

I expect it’s more to do with ticket prices. Because of our European and Carling Cup runs, it’s been an expensive season.
Matthew Lovekin
29   Posted 16/05/2008 at 19:09:15

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Paul, where do you live, Liverpool? I live a six-hour drive away, have a wife and four children and currently the only wage earner in the family. Are you suggesting I’m a lesser fan because I don’t go to every game? For me to go to a game, I pay for four tickets (wife and two boys), petrol (ridiculous price at the moment) for a 600 mile round trip. You try paying for that every fortnight. In fact, I’m probably a bigger fan because I have to suffer more to watch my beloved team play.
Dave Wilson
30   Posted 17/05/2008 at 11:16:46

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We do draw large sections of our support from one of the most disadvantaged areas in the country, but Matthews post is a perfect example of the hardships some blues from outside the city face
Imagine doing your brains on 4 tickets, a tank of petrol, then travelling about 4 hrs there and back - with your kids in the car - then find your sitting behind a pillar
You Matthew, are a proper blue, hope you get to a few more games next year mate
Harry Charles
31   Posted 20/05/2008 at 19:36:46

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Tricky one this, in the main stand Mr Whyness, decided to move out the 50 years and over season ticket holders and replace them with drunken louts who get up and down four or five times in the game, and come back late after half time, with us now stuck behind them, but some games there is hardly anyone there, that is why the gates are down.

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