Where’s the fans? A-League fails to spark

By AAP,

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    A-League chiefs say poor crowds haven’t tempered enthusiasm for expanding the league and they are confident attendances will lift over the summer.

    The first 10 rounds have seen 91,000 fewer fans through turnstiles compared with last season, a drop of 13 per cent.

    The average A-League crowd stands at 11,902 this season, and is likely to drop further given the traditional summer slowdown.

    Past A-League seasons show waning attendances through summer as the sport contends with the popular Big Bash League, other sports and holidays.

    It all means this season is likely to be the worst-attended since 2011-12 – the last year of disaster club Gold Coast United and a year before Western Sydney Wanderers entered the competition.

    The numbers have spurred FFA into creating a crowd focus group, with a number of initiatives to be rolled out over summer.

    That includes kids-go-free offers for at least one match for every club and an advertising drive targeted at young families.

    Clubs have also been given results of fan experience surveys which in some cases make for tough reading – but present areas for improvement.

    Despite the impending crowd-pulling Twenty20 season next week, A-League head Greg O’Rourke said he saw soccer pulling in better numbers soon.

    “I’m confident they’ll lift and for a couple of reasons,” O’Rourke told AAP.

    “We’ve got an excellent understanding of the factors driving the current metrics and we’ve got a number of initiatives that will be launched in December and January which we feel will address the situation.”

    Poor crowds at powerhouse clubs Brisbane and Sydney FC are fuelling the downturn.

    Melbourne Victory’s numbers are up, but inflated by five matches at Etihad Stadium, with Western Sydney also marginally up.

    Perth is seeing a small increase, while crowds at Central Coast and Wellington are slightly up on last year.

    The feel-good story of the season on the pitch – the resurgent Newcastle Jets – are also benefitting off the field, with a jump of more than 10 per cent in crowds.

    Worryingly, Melbourne City’s already small crowds are in free-fall.

    O’Rourke acknowledged that Tim Cahill’s exit won’t help City, which has recorded a five-figure attendance just once this season.

    “He was a really big boost for us in year one. When he travelled he attracted fans. Not only did people go to see him at home, but more particularly they went to see him away,” he said.

    “(His departure) hurts us less now we’re a third of a way through the second year of his contract.”

    In that environment, you might expect the over-timid FFA to back away from a pledge to bring new clubs into the league for the 2019-20 season.

    Not so. O’Rourke said he understood the benefits new clubs would bring.

    “It cements my view that expansion is necessary and sooner rather than later,” he said.

    “We need to finalise our work on the new operating model with the club owners and other stakeholders look to expansion as soon as practical after that.

    “There are interested parties, new geographies and potential bids that are linked to existing grassroots football communities.”

    A-LEAGUE CROWDS AFTER 10 ROUNDS
    This season: 583,179 (49 games) – Average: 11,902
    Last season: 675,037 (50 games) – Average: 13,501
    Crowds up: Newcastle, Adelaide, Perth
    Crowds flat: Western Sydney, Wellington, Central Coast, Melbourne Victory
    Crowds down: Brisbane Roar, Melbourne City, Sydney FC

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (98)

    • December 16th 2017 @ 6:31am
      Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 6:31am | ! Report

      10,688 for SFC v City.

      A top of the table clash, SFC in fine form, a Friday night, school holidays, weather fine.

      Surely in any other season this is a 14k+ crowd?

      • December 16th 2017 @ 7:06am
        AR said | December 16th 2017 @ 7:06am | ! Report

        The season following the Sydney Roosters‘ historic premiership, unbelievably, their crowds fell.

        This season, following SydFC’s historic, record breaking premiership/championship year, their crowds have fallen (for the 5th consecutive year).

        Quick, Sydney, build some brand new stadiums..!!

        • December 16th 2017 @ 11:57am
          Nemesis said | December 16th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

          The season after Hawthorn won its last Premiership, its crowds fell 5%. Despite 90% of home games being Melbourne Derbies where the away team can bring as many fans as they want to watch the best players in the world, playing in the best stadium (allegedly) in the world.

          Often people could bring kids for free.

          But, crowds still fell. Fewer people wanted to see the world’s best AFL players playing in the world’s best stadium.

          Funny that.

          PS: Just noticed crowd for AFL Hawthorn – the most successful AFL team in the world in the past decade – fell another 10% in 2017.

          So, Hawthorn AFL crowds are back below the level they were in 1999. Haven’t grown at all over past 18 years.

          • December 16th 2017 @ 3:50pm
            AR said | December 16th 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

            First, I’d have to check, but I’m pretty sure Hawthorn has averaged around 38k to all games across the past decade.

            Not great, but not bad considering they play a chunk of games on tasmania every year.

            Back on point though…how would you feel if the government announced it was spending $800M on a brand new stadium for Hawthorn (plus 2 other tenants)?

            • December 16th 2017 @ 6:51pm
              Nemesis said | December 16th 2017 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

              “First, I’d have to check”

              Yeah. That would be a good idea, because whenever you provide factually incorrect info, I will expose you again & again.

              In case you’re too thick to discover the data, here is the average season crowds for AFL Hawthorn for the past 90 years:

              https://afltables.com/afl/crowds/hawthorn.html

              Their crowds in 2017 were 15% down on 2015.
              Their crowds in 2017 were lower than 1999.

              Remember, these are the best AFL players in the world, playing in allegedly the world’s best stadium and majority of matches are Melbourne Derbies.

              Is 33k average a game for world’s best players good,

              when the opposition probably contributing 33-40% of the attendence, so the home team is averaging around 20-22k?

              • December 16th 2017 @ 9:38pm
                AR said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:38pm | ! Report

                Hang on, are you saying that Hawthorn *hasnt* averaged about 38k for the past ten years?

                Check again and come back to me.

                I’ll wait.

                And more importantly, again (whether it’s 33 or 38), do you think that warrants the Govt spending $800M on a brand new stadium for them?

                Get back to me when you’ve gathered your thoughts.

          • December 16th 2017 @ 3:51pm
            Matt said | December 16th 2017 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

            World’s best players? Australia is the only country that plays AFL.

          • December 16th 2017 @ 4:24pm
            valhalla said | December 16th 2017 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

            another interesting tell ….. have you renewed your hawthorn membership this year fuzzy???

          • December 16th 2017 @ 10:24pm
            Virgil Starkwell said | December 16th 2017 @ 10:24pm | ! Report

            Richmond’s up tho Nemesis. Averaging 50k+ That’s great news as I’m sure you’d agree. Keep on rocking in the free world!

      • December 16th 2017 @ 9:52pm
        Mark said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:52pm | ! Report

        It really just goes to show that SFC’s complaints about poor scheduling are total rubbish. They can’t pull a crowd no matter when they play.

        SFC’s complaints are just another example of the learned helplessness that is plaguing the clubs in the league. Spend money on advertising? Go into the community to build your brand? No…far easier to blame the FFA.

      • December 17th 2017 @ 11:15am
        AGO74 said | December 17th 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

        Waz – weather was not fine. Big storms rolled through in hour or two beforehand. I had to wipe down rain that was on my seat.

        Week before Xmas and Friday night traffic in Sydney (driving in city on Friday is akin to toot canal) are also negative drivers.

        What I’m really annoyed about is that Every Sydney game this season is at 750. Terrible time for families. My kids love going – but there usual bedtime is 830 and turn to pumpkins if not in bed not long after. Hence they haven’t been to any games this year and unlikely to,

    • December 16th 2017 @ 7:36am
      Daniboi said | December 16th 2017 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      Until they cease that game-destroying VAR I will not go to another game. It has ruined the game as a free-flowing spectacle.

      • December 16th 2017 @ 8:06am
        Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 8:06am | ! Report

        You’re not alone in saying that. Unfortunately I think the VAR is contributing to the problem but I don’t know by how much. It ruins the flow of the game and diminishes the passion – it’s not about individual controversies it creates, it’s every single weekend it’s having a negative impact on the round of games.

        • December 16th 2017 @ 8:20am
          Nemesis said | December 16th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

          Last season the same fixture attracted 14.7k fans.

          So, you reckon if there were no VAR, 4,000 more people would’ve decided to go to the game?

          Without VAR, City’s goal would’ve been denied a perfectly valid goal & Manny Muscat would’ve not been given a Red Card.

          If that’s keeping you a way from watching ALeague, fair enough. Enjoy the BBL.

          • December 16th 2017 @ 8:44am
            Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

            no, no, no … don’t do that. You’re taking my comment out of context.

            The VAR is proving very unpopular with a large number of fans. Not over individual decisions but over the impact on the game. So I think VAR might be deterring a few core fans but most, like me, are still going. But it is clear that the huge fall off in crowds that is underway is being caused by football fans not showing up, not casuals.

            Goal line technology could have awarded that goal without the negative impact VAR brings for some people.

            The evidence is conclusive on crowds though, they are after all a matter of fact, and 10,688 is not good enough and yet it might end up being the biggest crowd of the weekend.

            • December 16th 2017 @ 8:53am
              Nemesis said | December 16th 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

              So, let’s say you were asked by SydFc to provide solutions. They tell you last season this fixture – at similar time of the season, with both teams in similar form, pulled 4k more fans.

              Do you think VAR is responsible for how many of those 4k missing fans?

              500? 1k? 2k? 3k?

              • December 16th 2017 @ 9:32am
                Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

                As I said, you’re taking my comments out of context.

                Do I think it’s unpopular with a large number of fans? Yes I do.

                Do I think it’s enough for some fans to stop watching on tv? Yes.

                And to stop going to games. Yes again.

                In both cases, how many fans are being turned away? I’ve no idea. Judging by the on-line reaction it’s quite a few.

                I don’t think VAR has been around long enough to cause the disaster that is this seasons viewing/attendances but I don’t think it’s long before it turns more fans away.

      • December 16th 2017 @ 6:41pm
        Daniboi said | December 16th 2017 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

        I’m with Waz. I’m a City member and if I had the choice between having the VAR and a goal and no VAR and no goal I would go for option B every time. I accept the refs make mistakes and I can live with that. Some mistakes go for your team, so go against. But it has made the ‘Beautiful Game’ the ‘ugly step sister.

        • December 16th 2017 @ 9:55pm
          Mark said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:55pm | ! Report

          VAR is a great example of how FIFA has a tin near to football fans.

          Despite the fact it has been universally panned in every tournament and every league it has been implemented, FIFA declares it a total success.

          Sadly, I suspect we’re stuck with it.

          • December 17th 2017 @ 7:02am
            Kangajets said | December 17th 2017 @ 7:02am | ! Report

            The var needs to be gone by next weekend. I’m a rusted on fan and it’s got me thinking of why bother anymore.

    • December 16th 2017 @ 7:53am
      TK said | December 16th 2017 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      “We’ve got an excellent understanding of the factors driving the current metrics and we’ve got a number of initiatives that will be launched in December and January which we feel will address the situation.”

      Yeah. Sure. So do we and we’ve been banging on about it for years you tool. Like crap scheduling (thursday games?), no marketing or bizarre marketing (star wars anyone?), no understanding of the dynamic of attendance i.e. it’s fine to have a kids free day, but what about the rest of the demographic that don’t have kids, or don’t take their kids but have mates that might go ? What about trying to tap into that market with a bring a mate campaign?And target the local football clubs with free tix or deals (too late now because the season’s finished) Our group has grown from 3 to 8 members this season after years of sustained efforts by us few of us to bring people in – it is the pre match and post match social factor for a lot of people too not just the football so facilitate that by doing promos with businesses surrounding the grounds. what about cross code promotion ? Tie in a BBL and A league entry together in the same promotion – nothing to say football fans won’t go to BBL or vice versa.

      I’ll give FFA points for trying to do something but after years of failure to promote the game I’ll be really interested to see what these new initiatives born from their ‘deep understanding’ are. My guess will be a kids free day with a free club coloured lollipop for every child. As stated above targeting kids and families is only one component of the crowd and focusing efforts only there is a mistake. I’d say launching initiatives in December/January is also risky because that is the time of the year when most people are committed to other events such as christmas and family get togethers and holidays away – so you’ll be campaigning with the risk of failure anyway – not because people don’t want to go, but because they can’t make the games regardless of the colour of the lollipop.

    • December 16th 2017 @ 8:00am
      jamesb said | December 16th 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

      The FFA and to some extent, the clubs, have done a great job in making the A League invisible from the mainstream public.

      • December 16th 2017 @ 8:10am
        Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 8:10am | ! Report

        Maybe they have, maybe they haven’t.

        But the reason for this seasons poor crowds is not that “mainstream public” aren’t attending, it’s that core football supporters aren’t attending. They don’t need marketing they go anyway. That’s the alarming thing.

        10,688 is a disaster of a crowd given SFCs form and it was a top of the table clash.

        And the sooner we wake up and accept the situation the sooner we can do something about it.

    • December 16th 2017 @ 8:15am
      LuckyEddie said | December 16th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      What is killing HAL crowds – diving, time wasting, cynical half way foul to stop counter, and just when we didn’t need anymore rubbish VAR comes along. In addition we have commentators who even when shown video evidence will not call out the divers, We have high entry prices but people would accept that if the money was going to the clubs but it is not.

      Disgusting food and drink prices for mostly disgusting food and drink and with all profits going to businesses with no link to the clubs or football. In Brisbane we also have the yearly debacle of concerts that wreck the field for the rest of the season.

      The FFA instead of pumping money into local football and promoting HAL waste millions on meaningless junket tours for under something teams and the huge hangers on that go as well.

      We had a knife edge election in QLD that was ripe for FFA to play politics to get the best deal for football but they dogged it. Townsville Cowboys played politics and got a $200 million stadium.

      People can put up with a fair bit but I think VAR has just been the final nail in HAL.

      A lot is easily solved – hit the divers with long suspensions, name and shame the divers, get into and slam coaches turning the last 15 minutes of a game into a time wasting exercise and immediately red card any smarty “taking the yellow for the team’ by fouling players on half way who are trying to counter attack. Get rid if VARS. Call the managers in and explain to them the time wasting, acting, diving and cynical fouls are driving people away. Have a word to the commentators to be honest in their call and not cover for the divers, time wasters etc.

      If that all fails pack it in.

      • December 16th 2017 @ 8:27am
        Nemesis said | December 16th 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

        “What is killing HAL crowds – diving, time wasting, cynical half way foul to stop counter”

        What you’ve described occurs every match in the 5 most-watched football leagues in the world: EPL, Ligue1, SerieA, LaLiga, Bundesliga.

        VAR is currently being trialled in: SerieA & Bundesliga.
        LaLiga will adopt VAR next season.

        • December 16th 2017 @ 8:46am
          Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

          Why do you think crowds are down then?

          • December 16th 2017 @ 9:06am
            Nemesis said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

            After 10 rounds of matches, compared to last season, only BRI & WSW have had significant (more than 10%) drop in crowds YoY.

            BRI is down 43%
            WSW is down 20%.

            No idea why Brisbane is down. You’re a BRI fan, so if you say it’s because of VAR & Governance issues; fine. I’ll accept your view.

            But, don’t project that on other markets.

            CCM, PER, SYD crowds are UP (7%, 5%, 4%)
            Jets are same as last season.
            AU, City, NIX, MV are slightly down (-6%, -5%, -5%, -2%)

            If I’m asked by the ALeague to analyse that customer data the only thing that stands out is:

            There is no trend across the league – up, flat, or down – after 10 rounds.

            Of course, the fixture changes from Yr to Yr, so we need to wait for the full season data to fully assess. But, at this stage, only 2 clubs are significantly under-performing in the stands. It’s not an ALeague problem. It’s a 2 club problem

            • December 16th 2017 @ 9:42am
              Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

              Average crowds are part of the equation, heading for a season average of under 10,500

              If the decline is caused by 2-3 clubs only as the apologists would have us believe, then why did SFC only attract 10,668 last night for a 1v3 clash? Are we blaming that on WSW and Brisbane?

              And why then has tv viewing crashed across the board?

              Why are fans deserting the game?

              We have had years of an Administration saying there’s nothing wrong with the game, crowds are now down for the FIFTH consecutive season with a massive fall off this season which may see us test the 2010/11 levels.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 10:00am
                Nemesis said | December 16th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

                You do yourself a disservice with exaggerated (& factually incorrect) comments like: “massive fall off this season which may see us test the 2010/11 levels”

                The facts are: last season the average season crowd was down a massive …. 0.1%

                AVE CROWDS
                2015/16 = 12,309
                2016/17 = 12,295

                So, over 135 matches last season we had 14 fewer people attending each ALeague match over 7 months.

                Now, I don’t know if you were ignorant of these facts (which is inexcusable if you’re analysing crowd data), or you really think 14 fewer people per match equates to “massive fall”?

                2010-11 we had average season crowds of 7.7k.

                Based on pure mathematics, we would need to have an average of 5.2k people for the remaining 85 ALeague matches to achieve a season average of 2010/11 levels.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 10:24am
                Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

                We know that average crowds, over every season of the A League so far follow a pattern:

                – the first 9 rounds produce the highest average crowds.

                – there is a fall off in the next 9 rounds.

                – and finally, there is another fall off in the final 9 rounds.

                So if you’re saying that the average crowd over the first 9 rounds this season is lower than the entire season last year we have a problem – because the trend is average crowds will fall over the next 9 rounds, and again over the final 9 rounds.

                How far this will fall is debatable, it might help if we knew the average attendance for the first 9 rounds of last season and compared that?

                Total attendance for the first 10 rounds of the season are down 92,167 on the same period last season — a 12 per cent drop. The average is down from 13,507 to 11,902.

                Someone did do a calculation on these pages and if the trend continues it predicted a final season average of under 10.5k.

                And tv viewing is getting smashed. Broadcast figures for free-to-air television show they are down some 18 per cent on last season while the pay-TV figures are down a whopping 762,000 or 76,000 each weekend or 15,200 per game.

                So if the factors driving this seasons decline are not understood, or people deny them, then we are in for a world of hurt.

                Greg O’Rourke was quoted yesterday as saying he “has concerns” but these factors were understood by the ffa.

                He also says the ffa/clubs has surveyed fans to find out why crowds are down – so even the ffa thinks we have a problem.

                Tbe facts speak for themselves – we have a problem. It’s time we started to address the cause of our problems not deny them.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 11:40am
                j,binnie said | December 16th 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

                Nem – In calculating your singular attendance figures for last year you have obviously forgotten something from season 16/17, that being the record crowd attracted to the opening derby game , 61,880 between WSW and Sydney FC .
                You do appreciate that that figure is almost 50,000 higher than the HAL average and so represents, across the HAL average attendance. around 370 attendees.
                So if we want to be pedantic we could say that the 2016/17 figure you used should be nearer 11,925, for it is highly unlikely that that record figure will be surpassed in the immediate future. Cheers jb.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 11:49am
                Nemesis said | December 16th 2017 @ 11:49am | ! Report

                @jb

                And, while you’re cherry picking data to ignore… maybe we can ignore the big crowd at Adelaide Oval a few seasons ago for AU vs MVFC.

                We should ignore the big crowd at Docklands for MV vs SydFC many yrs ago.

                When analysing data I happy to eliminate abnormal, or extraordinary items, but I don’t just do it for a particular year to suit my narrative. I have to do it for every year that abnormal events occur.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 11:56am
                j,binnie said | December 16th 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                Waz – You pose a question ,why are fans staying away.?
                Just a few weeks ago I was, for the first time in my football life, sorely tempted to switch off the game I was watching on TV, such was the standard of football being offered by both teams. I refer of course to the Roar’s victory over WSW when it was only the double “spur” of two well taken goals that “stayed” my finger on the button. I suffered till the end.
                That my friend is reason enough to start and look at what is being provided for the fans at a cost of their hard earned money.
                As I have said before , AP has strung us along by picking 30 and 40 man squads for the World Cup preparation (including many young men from the HAL) but when it came to the crunch we have only haD 2 current HAL players making the “run on” teams.
                What does that say about the standard of our top football. Every week we hear commentators waxing lyrical about the skills and talents of players brought in to boost our standard,but after 12 years of competition we appear no further forward in 2 areas, (1) not having to import these skilled players, and (2) just scraping through to the WC finals even with our huge overseas contingent.
                If that doesn’t get you thinking then I don’t know what will. Cheers jb.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 12:34pm
                Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

                jb.

                Roar v CCM
                WSW v Roar
                Roar v Nix

                Three of the worst games of football I can recall watching. From all sides involved although the common denominator is Roar.

                As you might guess, I’m enduring these performances along with fellow supporters but I wouldn’t blame anyone for switching off.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 12:53pm
                Fadida said | December 16th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

                Agree, terrible games. It’s a challenge to keep going to games that are a) dull b) poor quality, c) your team is losing. This was the Jets for the first 4 years I lived in Newcastle.

                This is why I believe Roar crowds are down. Nothing to do with “governance”

              • December 16th 2017 @ 1:02pm
                Fadida said | December 16th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

                Refer to the Australian article that Grobelaar cites below.

                No mention of “governance”

              • December 16th 2017 @ 1:03pm
                Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

                The better judge of Brisbane’s crowds will come tomorrow.

                Ignoring the Coast game they’re averaging 10.5k which is not too far south for their respective opponents.

                Typically we’d get 14-15k for Victory, more with favourable conditions so let’s see, membership sales are healthy at nearly 8,700 so??

                But despite any one set of stats; the overall competition crowds are down by 12%, viewing is down 18%, crowds are down 5 seasons running, and the reigning champions just pulled 10.5k to a home top of the table clash in perfect weather and only 68k bothered to watch on Fox.

                Something is not right.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 3:43pm
                kevin said | December 16th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

                Agree and i said as much on another article…they were dire to say the least…

                My query is, even if we don’t have the cattle, can there at least be an effort to play a more open entertaining brand of football?

              • December 16th 2017 @ 3:30pm
                j,binnie said | December 16th 2017 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

                Nem – I was not “cherry picking ” attendances to denigrate your calculation for I know that you know that to arrive at a true average figure over 135 games then any exceptionally high,or low figure (for whatever reason) should be removed from the 135 match aggregate to arrive at a + or – forecast for the future.
                Lets take the season we are discussing 2016/17
                The aggregate attendance figure for 135 games was 1,659,538.
                There were 6 derby’s played drawing 250,176
                Take that away from that aggregate and we are left with 1,409,362
                The 6 lowest attendances in the season amounted to 30,404
                That leaves us with an aggregate crowd over 123 matches of. 1,378,958
                So ,abiding by the rules of stat analysis the HAL aggregate average is probably nearer 11,211. Agree ?
                Now, if we do the same exercise for the last 50 games we find:
                The aggregate attendance for 50 games is 592,615.
                There have been 3 derby’s played pulling in 107,035.
                The 3 worst attendances have amounted to 15,784
                That leaves an aggregate figure for 44 games at 469,796,
                That gives a match average for the season so far at 10,677

                These figures register around a 5% reduction on last season.

                So endeth this lesson. Cheers jb.

            • December 16th 2017 @ 10:45am
              j,binnie said | December 16th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report

              Nem – There is a means of measuring “trends”, that is to take the average attendance figure at game 50 and compare it with the average figure after 135 games.
              Since season 10/11 this figure has shown a “downward trend” in 5 out of the seven figures sampled, so it is within the realms of possibility that this majority of “downward trends” could continue this season.
              Just for your interest the “down trends” over all games in those 7 seasons measured 43%, or averaging 6% per season.
              The upward trends in those 7 seasons measured 5.5% showing an average increase of 2,25% per season.

              To get back to this article, Your figures are a tad more accurate than the authors and to hear reported that the head of football expounded the arrival of Tim Cahill as a huge “jump” for the HAL and Melb.City is not borne out by the figures.
              In games unaffected by their “derby gate” last season City averaged 9,416 to their home games.This season to date their average (no derby yet) is sitting on 8,577.
              Now as you correctly point out last year the HAL gate fell by around 9% so where does he get his figures from when claiming that Timmy increased the gates everywhere he played.
              Now compare that statement with the arrival and participation of Del Pierro to the HAL
              That is one of the two years, 2012/13 when the HAL actually increased it’s attendances for a season ,up 3%.
              An old saying – There is no fool like the fool who fools himself. jb

              • December 16th 2017 @ 11:01am
                Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

                jb. You tend to be one of the better sources of statistics when it comes to crowds; not that statistics tell the whole story mind as even a like-for-like comparison from one year to the next will vary according to the day and time a fixture kicked off, the weather, and of course the form of the teams playing.

                A Saturday fixture with a 7 PM kick off in perfect weather will not get the same attendance as a wet Thursday night.

                However, the long term average over five years is flat/down with this season crowds down 12% on the same period last year and tv viewing down 18% on the same period.

                So there’s cause for real concern. Especially if Star Wars Round and Yoshi are as good as it gets.

            • December 16th 2017 @ 12:20pm
              valhalla said | December 16th 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

              sooooooooooooo …… apropros of your comment to me yesterday on a related matter …. 4 other teams crowds are down on the previous season ….. we finally got there ….. well done you

              your use of language is interesting here – you chose to use the colour your comment on the 4 teams with lower avgs with the use of the adverb ‘slightly’ ….. yet you simply described CCM PER and SYD crowds as ” up” (albeit in capital letters so as to …. you know …. emphasise your point) …. the interesting thing is that the avgs for both up and down appear to mirror each other ….. interesting

          • December 16th 2017 @ 10:31am
            Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | December 16th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

            Football fans are just p***ed off with the governance of the game.

            • Roar Rookie

              December 16th 2017 @ 11:54am
              Grobbelaar said | December 16th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

              One can imagine football fans all over the country, a few hours before a football game, deciding that they weren’t going because the governance of the greater game is getting them down.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 12:37pm
                valhalla said | December 16th 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

                cannot even begin to imagine the pained conversations fans are having prior to games when the question is posed – “you goin’ to da game bro”

              • December 16th 2017 @ 1:03pm
                Fadida said | December 16th 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

                That’s right. The team are doing well, is a beautiful afternoon, your friends are going, a few beers. You’re staying home because of “governance” issues

            • December 16th 2017 @ 12:56pm
              Fadida said | December 16th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

              It’s that right Caltex? Nothing to do with the Roar being a rotten, dull, team? Ditto WSW, who don’t even play at “home”.

              No, it is “governance”, not that you provide any evidence or have even expanded on that

              • December 16th 2017 @ 1:06pm
                Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

                Roar and WSW being dull teams were responsible for another poor crowd at SFC last night and very poor Fox figures?

              • December 16th 2017 @ 1:40pm
                Fadida said | December 16th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

                I’ve previously given reasons for Sydney crowds. Lack of bling in a city that needs bling. A unique market. They’ll get better crowds if they brought Beckham out of retirement and lost every game.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 2:22pm
                Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

                Sure.

                Doesn’t explain crowds down by 12% and viewership down by 18% though.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 3:09pm
                Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | December 16th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

                Fad – I’m sure there are a lot of fans like me who are disheartened by the way Australian Football is being run in this country—so much so, they don’t give a stuff anymore. And now have gone back to watching EPL or their favourite European league on TV.

                The lack of leadership in Australia is so depressing, along with the sacking of Ange (yes he was pushed by Lowy) The reason: and there is no doubt in my mind, it was over his public support for the PFA—he (SL) doesn’t like Ange and distrusts him, so he had to go.

                Now the FFA are poised to employ Filipe Scolari and if we are to believe the rumours; this has been going on for a long time while we were still in qualification mode. The FFA stink and I can no longer support this administration.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 3:20pm
                Fadida said | December 16th 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

                Ange was sacked?
                It appears you are the only person in the country with the scoop.

                That you are watching other leagues instead says more about you than “governance “. If you enjoy the football watch the football.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 3:43pm
                Fadida said | December 16th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

                Enjoy the financially doped EPL, where the big teams get all the referring decisions in their favour

        • December 16th 2017 @ 9:17am
          LuckyEddie said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          Yes, but they do not have to compete with – summer beaches, cricket (of all sorts), netball, basketball etc. etc. Football in Europe basically has no opposition and have long cold winters where football is one of the few outings.

          Our culture will not put up with the diving etc. I took a neutral friend to a game and he just could not believe the diving, fake injuries, time wasting etc. and he will never be back. He is a reflection on most Aussie sports lovers, they just will not and do not have to put up with the rubbish being served up.

          You can live in your Euro world but the rest of us live in the real world in Aus.

          • December 16th 2017 @ 9:28am
            Nemesis said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

            Utter rubbish to suggest Aussies have some higher moral stand with diving & cheating.

            Aussies embrace cheats in every sport: Horse racing, AFL, NRL, Rugby, Cricket.

            • December 16th 2017 @ 9:37am
              LuckyEddie said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

              As usual you purposely missed the point and took of on an illogical tangent. I was stating a simple fact and not moralising but ….

              Sorry I enter a debate to converse with adults. Not wasting my time with a no it all. Just looked at a VARS replay of you typing your comment and it was decided you should be sent off.

              You remind me of what happened on the once great comments section on SBS world game – destroyed by clowns.

              It’s a shame that on sites like this that people do not have to use their real names, it just promotes a race to the bottom.

              Bye Bye Roar.

          • December 16th 2017 @ 10:55am
            Lionheart said | December 16th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

            But Lucky Eddie, did you not see the Ashes test in Adelaide, last over of the day, or was there time for another with Australia under the pump batting? Cricketers have time wasting down to an art form, and the crowd cheered as their physio ran on to the pitch to check the feigned injury of the batsman Lyon, and even the commentators applauded it as a smart tactic, time wasting and feigning injury, all part of the game they said.
            No, Australians are no different to anyone else, but we do have a psychological wall around ‘soccer’ built up over many generations.

            • December 16th 2017 @ 2:45pm
              Jack Russell said | December 16th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

              Hardly ‘feigning’ an injury. A 140kmh cricket ball slamming into you is going to hurt, but most of the time batsmen would refuse to show any weakness by even rubbing the area. That particular time it wasn’t in the batsman’s interest to do that so he called for help. There is little doubt Lyon would have been in a fair bit of discomfort.
              A world away from flopping over after no contact.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 2:57pm
                Waz said | December 16th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                Jack, I love Football, Rugby and Cricket. I love the Ashes. Australia were time wasting, Lyon May have been in discomfort but there were other examples.

                The point being Football cops an unfair share of comments like “flopping” and “diving” when most sports have sportsmanship going on – it’s a human condition not unique to one code but it’s conveniently ignored by supporters of other codes for some reason.

              • December 16th 2017 @ 3:24pm
                Fadida said | December 16th 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

                The constant appealing in cricket when the fielding team know it’s not out is somehow never mentioned

              • December 16th 2017 @ 4:42pm
                kevin said | December 16th 2017 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

                Good call…. i always wonder if they are so confident why dont tney ask for a review…

          • December 17th 2017 @ 7:13am
            Kangajets said | December 17th 2017 @ 7:13am | ! Report

            Eddie,

            There’s plenty of diving faking injury and time wasting in nrl . Why do u isolate football for this behaviour??

      • December 16th 2017 @ 9:11am
        The Real Issue said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

        Diving and fouls are an accepted part of the game of soccer. Always has been. Just look at how the game is played in Europe and South America. You need to change your perception, not the other way around or find something else to watch. Then you will be happier in life.

        Food and drink prices? Just BYO. Seriously if you cannot hang on for 2 hours then there is something wrong with you. Just don’t buy or BYO.

        High ticket prices? It is 20 to 25 bucks to go to HAL, about 100 + to go to EPL in London. Do you reckon it is free to rent a stadium? Get real mate.

        The VAR is an experiment to clean up the lousy ref calls that coaches and players are constantly complaining about. It will gain further acceptance in the world of soccer, not less.

        Seriously you should consider following a different sport. You are just going to complain no matter what. It is what it is.

    • December 16th 2017 @ 9:02am
      The Real Issue said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

      This is the real issue. Not enough real soccer people in Australia.

      Proof was the sell out crowds prepared to watch Liverpool play and have a singalong, but then Socceroos played Japan in a qualifier and it did not sell out a stadium half the size of the Liverpool game.

      It is fashionable to be a soccer ‘fan’ like being an NBA fan back in the Jordan era. These people are not real fans. Theatre goers.

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