Western United’s A-League team went down to reigning champions Sydney FC 1-0 at Mars Stadium in Ballarat on Saturday.
However the biggest concern was the crowd of only 2020 that turned up to the game.
United are well within finals contention but their crowds this season have been most disappointing. Their offical average crowd is 3290.
The most interesting statistic this weekend is that Western United’s youth team played in front of over 3000 fans against Preston Lions on Friday night at Genis Steel Stadium in NPL3.
The Lions are known for getting big crowds despite playing in the fourth tier of Australian football, and Western United’s youngsters experienced the passion last night of the former NSL giants, who are unbeaten in 2021 and climbing up the football pyramid.
Western United, meanwhile, have a lot to do to capture more fans, and while their purpose-built and privately owned stadium at Tarneit will make things better, the club risks losing its identity before the ground is even ready.
Western United have played home games in Geelong, Footscray and even Tasmania as well as Ballarat.
Macarthur FC, the latest team to join the A-League, have also struggled to attract crowds.
Ante Milicic’s team have had an excellent first season and are one of the title favourites but have barely averaged 3000 fans themselves.
The crowds at Preston have given plenty of momentum to the proposed national second division, which is expected to kick-off in 2023.