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Where have all the fans gone?

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November 24, 2014, 1:45pm
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It's a very complex issue.
I would say, I used to go with a lot of my mates, when I was in my early twenties. Now in my sixties, I don,t see many twenty something's there. Why? I'm not sure, maybe Sky, maybe not. The town no longer has many of that age due to lack of good jobs as kids now go to Uni and never come back. I think this is crucial.

Back when we had big crowds, we had an exciting team and a carismatic manager like Macmenemy, who played the media and got people interested and the team did the rest.

Personnaly I didn't find Bucley's team exciting, they passed the ball to death for me and I think that's why we didn't get larger crowds then.

Back to today. Well e play very defencively and the manager doesn't talk the team up. For me that's a failing. We are in a poor league playing teams we would have been embarrassed to be playing a few years ago and we often struggle to beat. Eventually people say " I've had enough of being frustrated watching town and being depressed on a Saturday night. So stay away and find they don't miss it.
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devon mariner
November 24, 2014, 2:37pm

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It could also include the fact that away teams only bring minimal support in this god awful league

Forever Black and White
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November 24, 2014, 3:21pm
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Cost and league position probably are factors.  People will make the calculation that £18 to watch Grimsby v Dover Athletic isn't value for money. Blundell Park is also an awful place to watch football that probably struggles to attract families, especially when there are other things to do on a Saturday afternoon.

Having said that, I think the crowds have held up pretty well given it's the fifth year of conference football.  Many clubs in Leages 2 and 1 struggle to get 3,500 and lots of others only do so because of the numbers of away fans.  If you look at the crowds that come in for the big games (Scunny last season could easily have drawn 10-14,000 had there been the space) and the fact that in the last 15 years we've taken 30,20 and 15 thousand fans to Wembley, it suggests that if all the factors come together (better league position with more "big games", a better ground that attracts families, terracing with reasonable prices, creation of a stronger bond between club and community), then the club is quite capable of getting 5,500-7,000 on a regular basis, with 12-14,000 for big games or opening/closing days of the season.

The problem is about more than the gates though, as even if BP had 7,000 people in it, it only makes any money out of the ticket sale because the ground isn't set up to take any more money off people through food and drink sales.  Take the Pontoon, which in marketing speak, holds at each home game, 900-1200 customers who are overwhelmingly BC1C2 Males between 16 and 60, yet there isn't even a bar where they can get a drink and lunch and sit down with it in front of a TV with it.  This can only be rectified with a new ground.
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