ATTENDANCES

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ATTENDANCES

Postby LEATHERSTOCKING » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:17 pm

Responded to a post on another website where a member was sneering @ a recent 5,000 crowd @ Dundee being third largest that day in Scotland saying that Blue Square League gets 3x that number. Fleetwood Town, top of the BS, has a population of 26,000 & gets, on average, 2,000. Bath BOTTOM has a population of 84,000 & gets on average 1,070, Dingwall has a population of 5,000 and there were 2,578 @ Victoria Park vs. QOS yesterday so they attracted half the town`s population while Fleetwood attracts 7.5% and Bath a fraction over 1%. I`d say Ross are doing rather well.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby scottish » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:52 pm

Ross County have drawn great crowds ever since they came into the league, relative to their population but then everything is relative. Inverness is the only other option for a fan to watch league football whereas of the English examples you use, Fleetwood are probably doing the best they have for a long while. Bath City OTOH not only have the Bristol clubs in close proximity they are also in a rugby heartland. Bath RFC, despite being only a mid-table side, play to five-figure gates and are at capacity or close to capacity almost every match. For instance two weeks ago at the same time as the football club were playing in front of just under 700 the rugby team had over 12,000.

But I think anyone suggesting the Blue Square draws three times Dundee's crowds needs to check their facts. The biggest crowd I can find this season is 7,270 at Luton Town - a top flight club not that long ago.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby LEATHERSTOCKING » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:21 pm

On a purely football basis, Ross does phenominally well even accepting English towns/cities have much more in the way of alternative attractions and demography. Almost 12,000 @ my local derby Oxford vs. Swindon which is 94.5% of capacity but still only about 7% of the city`s population. There may not be a huge soccer following in this city, however. Wasps, for example, moved out to High Wycombe and are now classed as the local senior Rugby club and they attract good four figure crowds.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby scottish » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:29 pm

LEATHERSTOCKING wrote:Almost 12,000 @ my local derby Oxford vs. Swindon


That you following the big team now? Glory hunter. What's wrong with the local hoops ?
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby LEATHERSTOCKING » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:57 pm

City actually reached the 1st Round proper of the English Cup this season which is pretty good for a 7th tier club. It got the local BBC sports department quite excited. Have they been borrowing old Killie strips?
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby scottish » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:12 pm

Judging by the look of some of their players I'd say it was more reminiscent of Morton and Andy Ritchie in his, er, prime.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby Skyline Drifter » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:40 pm

LEATHERSTOCKING wrote:Dingwall has a population of 5,000 and there were 2,578 @ Victoria Park vs. QOS yesterday so they attracted half the town`s population while Fleetwood attracts 7.5% and Bath a fraction over 1%. I`d say Ross are doing rather well.

That's a lazy and overused statistic. As County themselves are always keen to stress, the name deliberately implies they represent the whole of Ross-shire and not just Dingwall. I very much doubt half the town's population were actually inside the ground yesterday (in fact as any regular attendee at Dingwall would no doubt agree, I very much doubt 2,578 people were either but that's a whole different story).

I actually think going by past years "official" crowds for County and given their current league position and how close we are to the end of the season, it's quite a disappointing crowd for County and is a pretty good indicator that even in the Highlands the recession is biting.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby LEATHERSTOCKING » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:46 pm

Sorry if you consider I`m "lazy" but I DO realise that 100% of the male population of Dingwall were not inside Ross`s ground yesterday and I DO realise that every club attracts people from its home town hinterland(Celtic & Rangers actually attract a very small percentage of their home town`s population) but I`ve still noted a valid set of percentage figures relating to clubs based in towns with larger populations that Ross`s.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby scottish » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:33 pm

Skyline Drifter wrote:, I very much doubt 2,578 people were either but that's a whole different story).


Having only ever visited once - and that was in the close season - I don't know what it looks like during a game but am intrigued by this point. For decades clubs have routinely been accused of massaging crowd figures down for tax purposes. In more recent times they have been accused of inflating them for reasons of sponsorship. But is that the case here? What reason would they have for submitting false returns?

On the general theme, places like Forfar and Brechin have been lauded in the past for having X% of the local population in attendance and of course this ignores catchment areas which in themselves are indeterminable as there is no magical border where one club's catchment area ends and another's begins but by and large people in the Highlands don't find it as easy to travel to Old Firm games as those in the West of Scotland. Nor is there the same proliferation of lower league and junior clubs.

To give a good example of club boasts about attendances. During their big spending period in the 1990s Middlesbrough were one of the ten best supported clubs in England with average crowds nudging the 30,000 mark. For a town with a population of under 150,000 this was said to be superb. For a conurbation of almost half a million it was less impressive and for a team where the nearest major opponents were 30 miles to the north (Sunderland), 70 miles to the south (Leeds), nothing at all to the east and west and with only three 'minor' clubs in Darlington, Hartlepool and York anywhere closer in between it seemed no great achievement at all.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby Skyline Drifter » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:36 pm

LEATHERSTOCKING wrote:Sorry if you consider I`m "lazy" but I DO realise that 100% of the male population of Dingwall were not inside Ross`s ground yesterday and I DO realise that every club attracts people from its home town hinterland(Celtic & Rangers actually attract a very small percentage of their home town`s population) but I`ve still noted a valid set of percentage figures relating to clubs based in towns with larger populations that Ross`s.

I didn't say you were lazy, I said it's a lazy stat. And it is, it's rolled out time after time after time and no more relevant every time it is. It may not have been your intent on this occasion but if I read once more in a football magazine or newspaper that "half the population of Dingwall regularly attend Ross County games" I think I may scream out loud.
Last edited by Skyline Drifter on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby Skyline Drifter » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:47 pm

scottish wrote:
Skyline Drifter wrote:, I very much doubt 2,578 people were either but that's a whole different story).


Having only ever visited once - and that was in the close season - I don't know what it looks like during a game but am intrigued by this point. For decades clubs have routinely been accused of massaging crowd figures down for tax purposes. In more recent times they have been accused of inflating them for reasons of sponsorship. But is that the case here? What reason would they have for submitting false returns?

County have long been keen to publicly imply themselves a far bigger club in catchment terms than they actually have been. It's something most lower league fans are very conscious of and even their own fans laugh about it usually. I wasn't there on Saturday for family reasons and cannot comment on that gate specifically but generally speaking I'd take declared County league gates (where they don't have to share the take) with a whole salt cellar. That said, by all accounts over the last two or three seasons the over-statement has been far less obvious so it may have been genuine. Certainly given their league position you'd think it may have been.

A small anecdote: I had my stag weekend around a Ross County game back in 2004. As part of that we had a "guess the crowd" competition during the first half. A dozen guests and guesses ranged from 1,600 to 2,000 across them all. I guessed 2,750 and was roundly scoffed at. The official crowd duly announced was 2,842. No surprise I was the only one in the group who had attended games at Dingwall more than once before.

Tax purposes are irrelevant of course, I'm quite sure the income will be declared correctly. You just claim you let a pile of complimentaries access the ground (as they are quite entitled to do) and that squares that up. The club has in the past claimed that inflated figures come about by including all season ticket holders in the crowd regardless of whether they actually attend or not which may well be the case but if it is then they are or were having more than 500 people not attend every time I went there despite having a ticket for it. Seems unlikely. As an exercise it might be worth having a look at County's declared cup crowds for matches against the same or similar level opposition. I think you'll see a notable difference.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby scottish » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:08 am

Skyline Drifter wrote: The club has in the past claimed that inflated figures come about by including all season ticket holders in the crowd regardless of whether they actually attend or not which may well be the case but if it is then they are or were having more than 500 people not attend every time I went there despite having a ticket for it. Seems unlikely. As an exercise it might be worth having a look at County's declared cup crowds for matches against the same or similar level opposition. I think you'll see a notable difference.


Two issues here. Counting all season ticket holders as being in attendance is common practice at several clubs - notably the OF. It goes back a long way. For instance the much cited 'lowest ever' Premier Division crowd of 430 between Clydebank and Dundee United in May 1978 was actually submitted to the SFL as 1,030 as Clydebank counted 600 season ticket holders for that game. The same club's reported figure of 29 v East Stirling in the League Cup in July 1999 was submitted as 69 with forty season ticket holders added. It's not just smaller clubs that do this. In the days before the season ticket culture took hold, claiming the presence of every season ticket could have quite a dramatic effect on attendance figures. In 1971-72 for instance Rangers had 3,390 season ticket holders - easily the biggest in Scotland yet less than 10% of what they have today. Those 3,390 were added to every match, including league games v Ayr United and Dunfermline Athletic in which only 1,485 adults and 994 children and 1,632 adults and 999 children respectively paid to get in. Of course many season book holders undoubtedly were present but there's no way they all were.

In 1977-78 Berwick Rangers added between 20-30 to each of their first nine league games then for some reason 200 to the remainder. They upped that to over 300 the following season. That season (78-79) also saw a league match between East Stirling and Meadowbank Thistle which drew a grand total of 120 spectators. These consisted of 66 seasons/comps, 44 juveniles and just ten paying adults.

Regarding cup ties, I take your point but EVERY club sees reduced crowds at cup ties these days now that the season ticket culture has become entrenched. In Ross County's case I'd say the evidence is inconclusive. In the past ten years these are the matches they've played in the Scottish Cup against sides from the same division. Home league gates first, cup in brackets.

2002-03 & 2003-04
None
2004-05
Airdrie United 2345, 2032 (1302)
Clyde 1953, 1230 (1629)
2005-06
None
2006-07
Partick Thistle 2381, 1880 (1553)
Since 2007 - none

On the whole, lower crowds but considering the season ticket effect not a great deal lower. By comparison here's this season's all-SPL Scottish Cup clashes. With a couple of exceptions they are lower than in the league and in some instances substantially so.

Inverness v Dunfermline 3241 (1601)
Dunfermline v Inverness 3378, 2881 (1594)
Hibernian v Kilmarnock 8169 (8198)
Inverness v Celtic 6435 (5743)
Hearts v St Johnstone 12815 (9185)
St Johnstone v Hearts 2770 (3404)
Rangers v Dundee United 45600 (17822)
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby Skyline Drifter » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:36 am

I'm aware some clubs routinely add season ticket holders in non-attendance. I accept it happens even if I think personally it's the wrong approach (Queen of the South don't for what it's worth, all published attendances are those actually in the ground. In fact for league games it's those who go through a turnstile so it doesn't include the press or anyone in hospitality either). My doubt is that County actually have (or had) somewhere in the region of 500 - 1000 regular non-attendees who have season tickets.

Not EVERY club sees reduced cup tie gates these days. As an example: Partick Thistle v QoS 26/12/11 League match Attendance 2,261, 07/01/12 Scottish Cup Attendance 2,454. Although lower adult prices were in operation for the cup tie, children had to pay when they get in free at Firhill in League matches so the effect possibly offset.

Anyway, I already conceded that the issue has been much reduced in recent seasons. As an extreme comparison try, Ross County v QoS CIS Cup 23/09/03 Att 959, League Match 18/10/03 Att 2,962. The former was midweek which certainly suppressed the crowd a little but I was at both matches and never in a million years was there a difference of 2,000 between the attendances. 500 - 1,000 maybe charitably.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby scottish » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:06 pm

True, there is the odd rise here and there but by and large what was the standard position in the game - cup ties drawing bigger crowds than league games - has been reversed over the past 20 years. And no wonder if the tie is between sides in the same division who already meet four times. I understand perfectly why the OF inflate attendances - they can turn round to sponsors and advertisers and say we have a captive audience of 50,000 or 60,000 every home game but the benefits of adding a few hundred escape me.

Regarding the addition of season book holders. They have actually paid their admission money same as those who pay cash at the turnstile. Though I prefer it to be delineated as to how many actually turn up. SFL records became computerised in 1989 and now record only totals for games. Before then it was broken down into paid at the gate, juveniles & oaps, seasons/comps. What I don't like is when clubs (a minority admittedly) routinely added all their season ticket holders for every match.
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Re: ATTENDANCES

Postby Sat31March1928 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:24 am

Hearts 2nd lowest home Scottish Cup QF crowd ever. The lowest being the first back in 1895.

1895-01-12 Sat Hearts 4-2 Kings Park SC 3000 QF Michael Willie;Michael Willie;McLaren;Michael Willie; [Marshall;Marshall;] link--->

1902-02-15 Sat Hearts 1-1 Celtic SC 14000 QF Thomson; [Quinn;] link--->
1903-02-21 Sat Hearts 2-1 Third Lanark SC 12000 QF Baird Davie;Walker Bobby; [Lean;] link--->
1907-03-09 Sat Hearts 2-2 Raith Rovers SC 15000 QF Thomson pen;Walker Bobby; [McNicol;Mitchell;] link--->

1924-03-08 Sat Hearts 1-2 Falkirk SC 34500 QF White J; [Puddefoot;Puddefoot;] link--->
1930-03-05 Wed Hearts 4-0 Dundee SC 32000 QFR Battles;Battles;Murray;Johnstone R; link--->
1933-03-08 Wed Hearts 2-0 Hibernian SC 41034 QFR Johnstone R;Murray; link--->

1949-03-05 Sat Hearts 2-4 Dundee SC 37356 QF Sloan;Cox; [Alistair Robert Gunn;George R Hill;Sydney Gerrie;John Y Pattillo;] link--->

1952-03-12 Wed Hearts 6-4 Airdrieonians SC 41966 QFR Bauld;Rutherford;Bauld;Wardhaugh;Bauld;Rutherford; [John Livingstone (Ian) McMillan;John Livingstone (Ian) McMillan;Gavin Alec S (Guy) Lennox;Gavin Alec S (Guy) Lennox;] link--->
1953-03-14 Sat Hearts 2-1 Queen Of The South SC 30477 QF Blackwood;Blackwood; [Bobby Black;] link--->
1955-03-05 Sat Hearts 1-1 Aberdeen SC 48723 QF Bauld; [John Grandison Allister;] link--->
1956-03-03 Sat Hearts 4-0 Rangers SC 47258 QF Crawford;Bauld;Conn;Bauld; link--->
1958-03-01 Sat Hearts 3-4 Hibernian SC 41666 QF Hamilton;Wardhaugh;Murray; [Joseph Henry Baker;Joseph Henry Baker;Joseph Henry Baker;Joseph Henry Baker;] link--->

1961-03-11 Sat Hearts 0-1 St Mirren SC 34325 QF [Donald McDonald Kerrigan;] link--->
1966-03-05 Sat Hearts 3-3 Celtic SC 46965 QF Wallace;Anderson;Hamilton; [Bertie Auld;Joe McBride;Thomas Steven Chalmers;] link--->
1968-03-13 Wed Hearts 1-0 Rangers SC 44094 QFR Ford; link--->

1972-03-27 Mon Hearts 0-1 Celtic SC 40354 QFR [Luigi Macari;] link--->
1974-03-09 Sat Hearts 1-1 Ayr United SC 17291 QF Anderson; [John Ramsay Graham pen;] link--->
1975-03-08 Sat Hearts 1-1 Dundee SC 27315 QF Murray T; [George Gordon Wallace;] link--->
1976-03-09 Tue Hearts 2-2 Montrose SC 16228 QFR1 Shaw;Gibson; [Harry Grant Forsyth Johnston;Leslie Barr pen;] link--->
1977-03-12 Sat Hearts 0-0 East Fife SC 13350 QF link--->

1985-03-09 Sat Hearts 1-1 Aberdeen SC 23896 QF Clark; [John Eric Black;] link--->
1986-03-09 Sun Hearts 4-1 St Mirren SC 20655 QF Colquhoun;Robertson;Black;Robertson pen; [Francis Peter McGarvey;] link--->
1987-03-14 Sat Hearts 1-1 Motherwell SC 22045 QF Robertson; [Andrew Francis Walker;] link--->
1988-03-12 Sat Hearts 3-0 Dunfermline Athletic SC 21969 QF Colquhoun;Foster;Mackay; link--->

1992-03-08 Sun Hearts 3-1 Falkirk SC 11227 QF Ferguson I;Robertson;Mackay; [Samuel Walker McGivern;] link--->
1993-03-06 Sat Hearts 2-0 Falkirk SC 12721 QF Preston;Robertson pen; link--->
1995-03-12 Sun Hearts 2-1 Dundee United SC 12515 QF Millar J;Millar J; [Sergio Henrique Gomes;] link--->
1998-03-07 Sat Hearts 4-1 Ayr United SC 15761 QF Ritchie;Flogel;Fulton;Hamilton; [Ian [1] Ferguson;] link--->

2005-02-27 Sun Hearts 2-1 Livingston SC 9796 QF Miller;McAllister; [Craig Easton;] link--->
2006-02-25 Sat Hearts 2-1 Partick Thistle SC 16698 QF Jankauskas;Cesnauskis; [Mark Kingsley Roberts;] link--->

2012-03-10 Sat Hearts 2-2 St Mirren SC 8859 QF Beattie;Skacel; [Graham Carey;Zaliukas og;] link--->
Jackson; James; Jackson; James; Jackson
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