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Attendance figures

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:33 am
by Scottish
There have been some inaccurate figures reported this season but I've managed to track down most of them and obtain the correct attendance. There are two outstanding which I find difficult to accept. Yesterday there were supposedly just 2,500 at East End Park. That's at least 1,500 fewer than expected. I've read one match report which says there were just 174 travelling fans but even so that looks like a ridiculously low figure.

Also in Fife, were there really only 266 fans in the ground when East Fife scored seven second half goals against Stenhousemuir on Sep 29th? Again, that looks far too low a figure for a team at the top of their league and is way out of line with other East Fife attendances this season.

Does anyone have reliable figures for these two games?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:14 pm
by Skyline Drifter
I wasn't there and don't know obviously but on "Pie and Bovril" the Dunfemrline fans are suggesting the crowd on Saturday was significantly bigger than that and that the press must have estimated it.

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:32 pm
by Scottish
Dunfermline's lowest league gate before Saturday was 3,921. Even if there were only 174 Hamilton fans there 2,500 is a ridiculous figure. A couple of examples of nonsense figures this season which have gone unquestioned: Dunfermline v Partick is recorded on both soccerbase and football365 as 431 instead of 4351. Both those sites give Dumbarton v East Fife as 192 instead of 692.

In both cases - obvious typos - the figure is so wildly below what it should be that bells should have started ringing immediately when the figures were compiled. Yet they didn't.

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:22 pm
by Skyline Drifter
The correct crowd for Dunfermline v Hamilton was apparently 3,846

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:43 pm
by Scottish
Thanks for that. I see the Accies site is giving the same figure. Dunfermline haven't added any league results to their site since August 19th!

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:25 pm
by Skyline Drifter
scottish wrote:Thanks for that. I see the Accies site is giving the same figure. Dunfermline haven't added any league results to their site since August 19th!
I got the info from Pie & Bovril but it was an Accies fan who posted it there so presumably he got it from their site.

It'll be right though. Scott Struthers has much to do with their site and will have accurate figures for it

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 1:27 pm
by Matt
Coming back to rather strange crowd figures: According to the Sunday Herald of 23 December, the actual attendance for the Celtic vs Hibs League encounter of 22 December was far smaller than officially given (minus at least 10,000).

Generally speaking, are there any reliable sources which give actual crows rather than some kind of sophisticated estimates which include season tickets etc.?

Moreover, the average crowds of a number of e.g. First Division teams as provided in the "League Insider" (by the SPL) seem to be bigger than when re-calculated based on the official individual attendance figures. Has anyone else detected certain differences there?

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:16 pm
by Scottish
Matt, no there are no other sources more reliable. The authorities accept the figure provided by the clubs. See Gretna v Dundee United in the Scottish Cup two years ago which provided the official record attendance for Raydale park even though there were nowhere near the 3,000 claimed inside the ground.

Officially last Saturday - usually one of the worst days for attendances - provided the biggest crowd of the season thus far - Celtic v Hibs - and also the highest aggregate for the SPL. Sunday also provided Aberdeen's highest SPL attendance this season but that at least isn't in doubt.

I'm not aware of this 'League Insider' you mention. Do you have a link?

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 12:46 pm
by Matt
Many thanks. The League Insider is a new weekly review/preview on the official SFL website: ... ageid=1138

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:43 am
by Scottish
Thanks for that, Matt. I wasn't aware of it. I'll have a look when the next one comes out and compare with my figures

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:03 pm
by Scottish
Matt, the SFL appear to be using different figures to calculate the averages than the ones which appear in the match reports. For example Livingston's lowest home gate according to the averages is 1,355. Yet the match against Queen of the South on Oct 27th is given as 721. Similarly when St Johnstone played Dundee on Aug 18th they recorded a season's best of 6,079 according to the match report but the highest according to the averages is 6,279.

The first assumption I made is that the SFL are taking press figures for the match results but using the figures returned to them for compiling the averages.

Unfortunately there is no way of knowing for certain as they only show the average, highest and lowest. There is no link for figures per club other than looking at individual match results.

And there is no guarantee my assumption is correct. I have a figure of 186 for Albion Rovers v Elgin City on Dec 1st taken from the Rovers website. That is the lowest in the SFL so far this season. The SFL have a figure of 268 for the same game.

Comparing their figures with my own only Dundee, Alloa and Forfar are absolutely identical. However a lot of the others are broadly similar. I have no difference greater than thirty in the Third Division or fifty in the Second (barring Queen's Park where the difference is 92).

You are right that it is the First Division where the 'discrepancies' lie. Other than Dundee where the figures are the same the closest difference between their averages and mine is 43 and the biggest is 142 (there are two others at 140). It's too time-consuming for me to go through them all so I looked at the closest - Stirling Albion.

Their website is well maintained and also has a page breaking down home and away support so their own figures can be cross-referenced. Their figures
addup to the same as the home and away fans

They also add up exactly to the figures I have and the individual match tallies are identical. Yet these show an average of 43 less than the SFL.

I considered two other possibilities. First I added Stirling's League Cup game v Hearts into the equation but that put the average above the SFL figure.

Then I noticed that the SFL still had a season low of 945 for Stirling Albion (should be 946 according to the official club website) not the 883 for the game v QOS on Dec 15th. So I took the home games played by Stirling Albion on Dec 15th and Dec 26th out of the equation and- eureka! - the average is identical to that of the SPL.

As the latest Dundee home game before yesterday was Dec 8th it is apparent that the figures in the 'Insider' are running two to three weeks behind the date of publication.

However that doesn't resolve the question of the differing figures mentioned above.

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:56 pm
by exile
Could it be a different treatment of season ticket holders? Your own book points to anomalies in past attendance figures due to this.

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:40 pm
by Scottish
That's one possibility -- though it wouldn't account for the exact 200 difference for St Johnstone v Dundee for instance.

Another is our old friend - rounding up or down to the nearest zero. For example newspaper figures for Clyde show a lot of gates of 1,200 which later turn out to be 11-something.

Regarding seasons, official figures have been computerised since 1989 with only the final figure shown. And before 1971 only the full figures were submitted. So it's only between 1971-1989 that the SFL have records which show the full breakdown of full paying adults, concessions (OAPs & juveniles), season tickets & comps.

Using Clyde just because I've mentioned them above, their 1971-72 average based on the estimated figures shows them at nearly 100 less per game than the figures submitted to the SFL. Whereas their 1970-71 estimates come out at almost 700 more per match than the submitted figures.

Unfortunately I can't say whether that's down to bad estimates or the omission of season ticket holders from the submitted figures as almost half the difference is down to over-estimates v the Old Firm.

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:48 pm
by Skyline Drifter
scottish wrote:Matt, the SFL appear to be using different figures to calculate the averages than the ones which appear in the match reports. For example Livingston's lowest home gate according to the averages is 1,355. Yet the match against Queen of the South on Oct 27th is given as 721.
The official crowd for our visit to Livingston on 29th October was 1,452 with an away support of 211.

No crowd was provided to the press on the day. The figure of 721 appeared in various media reports the next day without ever having been issued by Livingston. It was presumably guessed by some of the press (though having been at the game in question, it was a low crowd but never that low so it would be a surprising guess).

We collect the crowd data for our away games too and Livingston were unable to provide us with a total on the matchday. It was provided in a phone call on the Monday.

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:48 am
by Scottish
Thanks for that but I thought the game was 27th not 29th?

Does anyone know the crowd for Celtic v Aberdeen in the SPL - given as a round 58,000 - and for Dunfermline v Stirling Albion last Saturday? The only figure I've seen for the latter is suspiciously low 2,800.