Why are people chicken to support the Roosters?

Mark Campbell Roar Guru

By Mark Campbell, Mark Campbell is a Roar Guru

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32 Have your say

    Formerly known as Eastern Suburbs, the Roosters are a foundation club that rank third in titles won, with 13 – only South Sydney and the St George Dragons have more. But does this big club have many fans?

    I know my brother follows them. I know my cousin supports them, I saw the 2013 grand final with him when they beat Manly. My neighbour wears a Roosters top when he gets the chance.

    In all, the Roosters had 15,686 members in 2017 – good for third-last among the Sydney clubs. Although they averaged 16,769 people per game, these numbers are misleading.

    They were the designated home team for the Anzac clash against the Dragons which attracted 40,000. They also drew 21,000-plus against Melbourne in Adelaide and 20,000-plus against Cronulla on the Central Coast.

    Other than this, their biggest home game crowd – apart from the finals – was against South Sydney in Round 18, when 16,245 attended.

    So the Roosters get a massive crowd for the Anzac match, an event that would attract a similar attendance if two other teams played. If it was the Dogs versus Dragons at the Olympic stadium, the crowd would be more significant.

    Also, for the crowds in Adelaide and Central Coast, one wonders if these markets were just starved for rugby league. Would the crowds have been bigger if someone other than the Roosters were playing?

    Then the match against Souths, which is a home game in name only. Most people east of Anzac parade follow the Rabbitohs. I’ve been to these games in the past and can categorically state that more Souths fans are present.

    However, success will follow the Roosters, because some very high-end individuals love the club. Led by Nick Politis, these men and women have done all in their power to provide the administration, the coaches and the players with the best of everything.

    The result for the fans is that the Chooks will field dominant teams and be consistent into the future. Though, apart from the odd season here and there, where there will be a disappointment in their performance, the club will always be very close come grand final day.

    So where to from here?

    For Easts, all that is needed to is to stay the course. A rebuild of the SFS will enhance the viewing of rugby league and hopefully increase their crowd support. Regardless, the club is on the right path.

    Personally, I don’t feel that the club adds anything to Sydney, and relocating to Adelaide or the Central Coast would be better for the game. However, if they are to stay, they should revert to the traditional name and logo of the Eastern Suburbs Roosters.

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    The Crowd Says (32)

    • December 24th 2017 @ 6:24am
      PanthertillIdie said | December 24th 2017 @ 6:24am | ! Report

      I never liked the name change to Sydney Roosters and they’ll always be Easts to me. Their crowd averages are pretty awful for a so called ‘big’ club. I don’t think there is much chance of them relocating at all. The money men/benefactors no doubt reside in the Eastern suburbs and will want the club staying put. Although I’m keen for tradition and heritage to be preserved and it would seem a shame for a foundation club such as the chooks moved, it does seem that they would be quite well placed to handle a relocation.

      • December 24th 2017 @ 10:42am
        RandyM said | December 24th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

        I doubt they would move to the central coast if it meant them losing sponsors and the Roosters got some pretty big ones. They also got some big head honcho’s on their board don’t they?

        • December 24th 2017 @ 12:31pm
          Norad said | December 24th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          Re-brand as the BONDI ROOSTERS would be the go. Sell heaps of merchandise.

          • December 24th 2017 @ 1:56pm
            Mark Campbell said | December 24th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

            I agree that any relocation of the Roosters is wishful thinking. In saying this, I do think that out of any of the Sydney clubs, they would be the best fit for any possible relocation. Again, it won’t happen. The clubs main corporate support lies in the Eastern Suburbs and the city of Sydney. I think a re-brand to Bondi was once under discussion, but obviously never happened. However, I do know some Easts fans that would love a name change back to the traditional Eastern Suburbs brand.

      • December 24th 2017 @ 4:20pm
        Stumpy said | December 24th 2017 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

        The Roosters in fact had the fourth highest crowd average in the NRL in 2017 and the highest of all the Sydney clubs.

      • January 7th 2018 @ 6:41pm
        Allen morphett said | January 7th 2018 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

        Mate your comments are ludicrous we the roosters are the only team that has been here since day 1 played every year every game teams like sharks Souths I could go on awe constantly average better crowds even bulldogs but yet you say to relocate the only foundation club that’s been there since day 1

    • December 24th 2017 @ 7:37am
      Greg Ambrose said | December 24th 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      You believe the Roosters will always be close to Grand Final day. This is what a lot of my fellow Sea Eagles supporters thought about their team and explains in part the over reaction when we spent a few years in the wilderness.

      I don’t believe the future is anywhere as predictable as you believe about Easts or any team. The same could be said about the Storm no doubt but don’t be surprised in a few years time they are both languishing at the wrong end of the table.
      Try telling the Eels fans back in the late 80’s after winning four titles and having strong juniors, fans , finances and everything else that all they would add to their trophy cabinet for the next 30 years or more would be cob webs.

      I would like to see a team play out of the Central Coast and the population up here is surging and a great stadium is in place.

      • Roar Guru

        December 24th 2017 @ 3:36pm
        Riley Pettigrew said | December 24th 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

        The club is in the best position for relocation in terms of fanbase yet their corporate brand is so strong. What I can see happening, and think will eventually occur soon is a possible rebrand back to Eastern Suburbs accompanied by 4 home games a year on the Central Coast.

        If the Roosters are smart, they will begin to expand their presence on the Central Coast and continue to buy into the region through leagues clubs (they already have Woy Woy and I would imagine that Central Coast Leagues and Wyong may be in their sights).

        • December 24th 2017 @ 10:53pm
          Big Daddy said | December 24th 2017 @ 10:53pm | ! Report

          Riley,
          I doubt wether they will buy wyong.
          Woy Woy was in severe financial problems and roosters bought it purely as a commercial decision.
          CCLC I don’t really know.
          Wyong are making in excess of 3 million plus per year. Last year was 11 million.
          Why would they hand that over when they are doing so much for the community and rugby league in general.

      • December 24th 2017 @ 5:41pm
        Rob said | December 24th 2017 @ 5:41pm | ! Report

        Yeah but a population of people who already support other teams? A Manly supporter in Gosford isnt going to give up their team because one relocates to the area.

        It didnt work for North Sydney…

    • Roar Guru

      December 24th 2017 @ 8:45am
      Edward Kelly said | December 24th 2017 @ 8:45am | ! Report

      As a kid in the early 70’s I supported Easts. I grew out of it.

    • December 24th 2017 @ 8:52am
      Oingo Boingo said | December 24th 2017 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      Another “I’ll put the boot into the Roosters ” article…….Booooooring
      Having said that ….It appears you were too lazy to even put your boots on , and decided to give em a kicking whilst wearing ugg boots .
      You’ve gone on to mention that half your relations follow the Roosters yet fail to mention who you support.
      I’m guessing you must be a Wabbit supporter, as they all seem relocation of the Roosters is ” in the best interest of the game”.
      You’ve made a comparison to the Wabbits , but failed to mention that , The Wabbits has a much bigger local juniors ( not something in Uncle Nicks control) so therefore you would expect greater membership.
      There are any number of reasons the Roosters get poor attendances but you have failed to give any.
      Usually a successful team attracts support, so with the Roosters being one of the more successful in recent times , I’d have to think the reasons are probably something the club itself has little control over , such as its home ground location and the fact that the face of the Eastern Suburbs has changed considerably in recent years .
      I was at the 2013 GF and stayed in Bondi for five days , it surprised me how little the local businesses supported the Roosters and to me pointed to the fact that the majority of them had more than likely bought into the area and had no connection to the Roosters or the game itself.
      Anyway keep sulking about their success and they’ll keep being successful.

      • December 24th 2017 @ 9:42am
        Oingo Boingo said | December 24th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

        Something I do agree with you on is the name change, and I personally think it alienated a lot of long term fans , and that’s speaking from a personal perspective.

        • December 24th 2017 @ 1:50pm
          Mark Campbell said | December 24th 2017 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

          Oingo Boingo, the article was not intended as kicking to the Roosters, (maybe a little bit of a wind-up) but really it was to highlight the lack of fan support. I didn’t give reasons why the club lack fan support, as I don’t know why a team with such a proud history and consistent performance attracts so few fans. In saying this, if they continue to perform well I would imagine that their fan base would increase over time – just maybe not in the eastern suburbs of Sydney as per the reasons that you mentioned.

    • December 24th 2017 @ 8:59am
      Greg Ambrose said | December 24th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      The Roosters and Bears could form a partnership and play out of Gosford as the The Central Coast Roars. ………… back to the drawing board.

    • December 24th 2017 @ 9:49am
      paul said | December 24th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

      I’d only support the Roosters in a World Club Challenge.

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