NOV
07
2011
Mickey Blue Eyes...
Gates and Everton.
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GATES

By

Mickey Blue Eyes

 

No, not the American Bill Gates, Microsoft or computer software. This is about English Premier League football attendances.

 

Last Saturday the official gate at Newcastle was 50,671, their highest of the season. I must say this figure surprised me, for there were banks of empty seats everywhere - as there is at almost every other televised game this season. In our recent game at Chelsea their corporate level was virtually deserted. As expected, economic reality is biting hard.

 

According to The Guardian issue of Saturday, 5th November, nine of twenty clubs have suffered a fall in gates. By the time you read this opinion the figures may have changed slightly, but likely only slightly. Really, the statistics speak for themselves. In order of descending percentage loss they are:

Aston Villa, -12.82%. (8th)*

Wolves, -10.53%. (13th)

Blackburn, -8.00%. (19th)

Sunderland, -5.71%. (15th)

Newcastle, -3.37%. (3rd)

Everton, -3.26%. (17th)

West Bromwich Albion, -0.74%. (14th)

Fulham, -0.40%. (16th)

Arsenal, -0.16%. (7th)

*League positions in brackets following games on Sunday, 7th November.

 

Seven of these clubs are from three areas hardest hit by the latest capitalist depression: the north east, the north west, and the midlands. Only Fulham and Arsenal are from London. Clearly league position isn't the decisive factor or Everton would head the list with Blackburn, and rock-bottom Wigan would have a substantial loss, not an increase. And Newcastle's elevated league placing would mean they had an increase, not a loss. Thus the paradox.

 

In fact, given our financial circumstances and lousy start to the season, Everton's attendance figures demonstrate the remarkable staying power and loyalty of Evertonians. But this will not go on forever. In the end people are just people; when money problems strike the first things to go are expensive luxury items. And football has become an expensive luxury item in a deluded spiv economy on yet another downturn. The affects on attendances are as predictable as they always have been. There's nothing new under the sun, not even in the chauvinist foolishness and petty hatreds that surround professional sport.

 

These comparative figures are worth remembering next time you hear somebody on an absurd ale house rant. Reality has a way of torpedoing ignorance.

 

 

 

Comments about Gates and Everton.
4
Dont forget we have played the shite, the mancs and villa. 3 big games and we werent even close to selling out. That figure will only go down when we've got Wolves, Stoke, Norwich and Swansea. No chance of a sell out in any of them.
Golly, North Sea, 5:31 PM 9/11/2011
3
The average gate for 2010-11 was 36,039. It has been around the 35-36k figure since the mid nineties, even in the relegation battling years. The Rooney years we got just shy of 39,000 average gates. then back down to 36k when he left. I bet this season we are nowhere near 36k averages. Obviously the big games will sell out, but it's the other games that will be empty. Call it the credit crunch if you will, but Goodisons (lack of) facilities means people are there for one reason and one reason only, to be entertained on the pitch. And it's not happening. You read everywhere even the old timers who have been through the glory years are at the end of their tether. If Everton keep playing drab football, theres only one way the attendances will go. If we start playing beautiful football it'll be a packed house no doubt about it. As the Rooney years shown, even the seats behind pillars were filled week in week out!
Tony B, Was L3...., 5:21 PM 9/11/2011
2
Villa's gates drop is no surprise. Lerner sold half their team to the Manchester clubs. I'm surprised our gates haven't dropped by the same amount. Beckford and Yakubu were no great loss but Arteta was despite his poor showing last season. If we don't get a new signing in January we'll lose more on the pitch and at the gates.
Paul, Warrington, 3:31 PM 9/11/2011
1
It goes to show supply and demand. Empty seats to ST holders are still counted even if the seat is empty. The Arse and Skunks have seen a big decline because whilst their matchday goers have declined so have their ST holders. Our ST holders have probably fallen but to a lesser degree - but if we were succesful then I'd expect they would have held their own. Anyway - it's shit at Arsenal - at last their fans have spoken. If Chelsea had a poor 10 games then their matchday pay fans would fall -but more importantly the ST holders seats would be empty. Most have them as an investment and don't go the match - but sell on to tourists every week. No tourist wants to pay if the team are losing.
Telbee, Down sarf, 8:33 PM 7/11/2011
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