The ROAR Of The
We've recommended many publications here at scottishleague.net
in the past so we hope you'll forgive us for taking some time out
to promote one of our own. 'The ROAR Of The Crowd'
is written by scottishleague.net's David Ross and will be
published in May by
Argyll Publishing (click on 'forthcoming' then scroll to the
fourth on the page).
This is the first book ever to take a comprehensive look
at Scottish football attendances. It's a 256-page paperback available
for just £7-99 and we thought we'd give you a sneak preview
of the contents.
The first chapter covers the period from 1872-1918, taking in the
first game for which there is evidence money changed hands - the
Scotland v England international of 1872. From there it goes
on to look at the growth of crowds particularly in international
and Scottish Cup matches, the formation of the Scottish League
in 1890, the rise of the Old Firm, the Ibrox disaster
of 1902, the Scottish Cup Final riot of 1909, the world
record attendance being set in Scotland and the effect on the
game of the First World War.
Chapter Two deals with the inter-war period, looking at the post-war
boom in attendances, the reintroduction of the Second Division,
the failed attempt to establish a Third Division, the great
depression and the deaths of many clubs.
The next chapter studies the revival in the late 1930s
and new records created at Hampden, Ibrox and Parkhead
which endure to this day.
From there the fourth chapter takes up the story from the outbreak
of war to the dawn of the Sixties, encompassing wartime closures,
the phenomenal post-war boom with gates of over 100,000 for
friendlies and even B' Division teams topping the 10,000 mark on
average, the setting of many ground records and the first
signs of declining support with just 875 at a Hibs home game
and 172 at Albion Rovers.
The fifth chapter takes in the period up to the reorganisation
of 1975 and looks at the impact of some of the greatest players
ever to grace our game. Law, Baxter, Dalglish, Bremner et
al dominate this era on the pitch while Jock Stein does so
as a manager. It covers the effect of TV on the game as crowds
continued to fall even though big matches still attracted huge gates.
The impact of floodlighting and our clubs success in Europe
also feature and the tragedy of the Ibrox disaster of 1971 is recalled.
The ROAR of the Crowd
In Chapter Six our game reaches rock bottom. Violence
on the terraces, recession and unemployment combine to force
crowds to their lowest levels for eighty years even though domestic
competition is strong, our clubs do well in Europe and the national
team qualifies regularly for the World Cup. There are the
pitched battles of the 1980 Scottish Cup Final, the challenge
from Aberdeen and Dundee United, the arrival of Graeme
Souness at Ibrox and the effect of his signing of Maurice
The final chapter takes the story up to the present
day. Starting with the arrival of Fergus McCann at Celtic,
progressing through the massive modernisation and building programme
which has transformed Scottish grounds, the increasing grip of the
Old Firm, the decline of the national side and both the arrival
and departure of Berti Vogts. There's the creation of the
SPL and the financial crisis which engulfed the game in the
early 21st century. Ross concludes by offering a few suggestions
for the future.
That's followed by a club section with an account
of each and every club's record gate, including all former
members of the Scottish League. From the oldest record - Dundee
Wanderers in 1887 - to the newest - Caley Thistle in March
2005, they're all there. Every single club and ground record
in Scotland is covered including the European record held
by Scotland for nearly 70 years. And the home line-ups
for all the record-breaking matches are also included.
This section throws up a few surprises, shedding new light on club
records like those of Alloa, Berwick, Celtic and Clyde
where Ross challenges some popular misconceptions.
As a bonus the book also includes every club's average league
attendances for the past 100 years and also for the first
three league seasons. This information has NEVER appeared
in print before.
And if that's not enough there's some splendid vintage
photography dotted around the book.
This superb record of the game will shortly
be available for just £7-99 - or just over one-third of the
cost of admission to the average SPL game.
And if anyone needs any further incentive to buy this
book, there's free delivery to UK addresses if you order from the