Should we worry about our attendances?

Empty seats, to be expected?

Empty seats, to be expected?


I commented after both the Reading and Swansea games that the following from Reds fans was somewhat disappointing, and it appears that the supporters of other sides see fit to comment upon it too.  Should we be worrying about the below par attendances we seem to be attracting?  Are people still on holiday?  Is the credit crunch biting?  I’m not really convinced that either of these factors can be considered.  After three years of misery in League One, I had hoped that the last gap promotion – and subsequent acquisition of players – would have generated more interest.

21,571 for the Reading game (although there are rumours of some double-selling of tickets, that’s still a low turn out).  The cup game for Morecambe was always going to be a low turn out, but 4,030?  That’s poor.  And anticipated too, since the club only opened the Main Stand for the game.  Only just over 1,000 Reds fans made the trip to Swansea to be part of the 16,611 crowd at the Liberty Stadium at the weekend, which given our typical away following is to me a disappointment; which leaves me feeling totally unable to even predict an attendance for the Watford game!

The Reading game was on TV; true – but I don’t think that makes up for a great deal.  It’s true that many fans might have foregone the familiar trip to Swansea in favour of reacquainting ourselves with grounds like Molineux or Hillsborough in coming weeks; but again, a following of just over 1,000 is a very poor show for us – it would have been last season too, or the season before.  So why are people voting with their feet now of all times?  It does seem a mite strange, doesn’t it?

Should we be worried?  Well I’m not really sure.  Forest must surely be looking at their gate receipts and wishing it were more, though, mustn’t they?  Or are my expectations too high?  Are you currently staying away from watching Forest?  What’s driving it?

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32 Responses

  1. I think we have 2 factors and youve said them both …many are still away on holiday
    ( based on trying to organiise anything at work ) …and I think people are definitley feeling the pinch ….football is not immune

  2. Maybe people saw through what was, lets be honest, a lucky end to last season.
    Incredible though it was, that last game masked a season of a few highs but too many lows. And despite the good signings CC has undoubtably made I would say that a lot of non-season ticket holders have thought better of travelling to Nottingham for a game they can watch with a few mates on the telly.

    How many season tickets have we sold by the way? I only renewed mine out of a sense of blind loyalty and a love of the club. Certainly not because we play a wonderful free-flowing fast-paced game!
    Unfortunately the last few years of negative, dour football have stopped many fans buying tickets, and I reckon it will take a play-off charge this season before those ‘should we shouldnt we’ fans start coming back.

    Having said that, we regularly broke the 20,000 mark for crap 3rd division football. So I don’t know, really.

    The away support is more of a worry, or will be if it happens again. We can pride ourselves on having one of the best away supports in the division, so hopefully that was a blip, holidays/the welsh etc etc. Or was it a vote of no confidence in CC’s away tactics…?

    Oh dear, can’t you tell i’ve had a bad day at work!

  3. It seems premature to be voting with feet about away tactics in the first game, though, doesn’t it? 😦

  4. I agree. So we’ll have to put it down to lack of funds, or saving the hard-earned for a more attractive game? (no offence to Swansea, best team we played last year). Or as redrob says, holiday season.
    Good result at home on Saturday should steady the nerves…as long as Hoskins doesn’t score!

  5. I was going to go down Saturday with the wife but at the moment I can’t justify paying £50 out to watch footy. Yes I love the club but you have to put things ito perspective.

    Maybe football needs to take a reality check and stop paying the obscene wages to players, we the fans pay the high prices because of this and lets be honest, the football is not much different to that 10 years ago.

    I am sorry but at the moment watching forest takes a back seat, alot of fans I work with also say the same, they can’t justify the cost at the minute when you have a family to feed.

    It’s simple really, I am sure other clubs are in the same boat.

  6. I’d look at the overall picture. It’s my guess that gates at all clubs are down. The money for higher fuel, petrol and food bills has to come from somwhere.

  7. Living in Yorkshire, we have renewed our season ticket. But for me the lack of funds due to increase in energy prices is what has hit me the most. I go with the wife, last season only missing 3 games, it starts to add up, We enjoyed making a day of the away games few beers something to eat ETC. Last season paid less than 20 notes for the Swansea game this year wanting 23. I think although we didn’t like the league we were in the bank balance took less of a beating!
    I will be back to away games but it will be more pick and choose this season.

  8. Frankly I think that article’s got a bit of cheek seeing as they couldn’t sell out their own end for their big return to the second tier after 24 years away…

    The Reading attendance I agree was poor, whilst I’m worried about what the Watford attendance will be. In terms of the Swansea attendance though, we took only 938 to Swansea, 1,000 in 06/07 ans 1,286 in 05/06 so it’s not actually too different.

  9. I think that consistently being poor away from home for so many seasons has put a lot of people off. Its one thing paying out a lot of money on travel and tickets, but when you expect to be dissapointed at the end of it there is even less incentive to make long journies to away matches.

  10. Tis possible; but people were generally pretty optimistic post-Reading, weren’t they? Some people almost deliriously so!

    That said, I’m a fine one to talk as I’m not exactly an ‘every game or bust’ kind of person either when it comes to away games, as much as I’d like to be – as other readers have echoed – it can be tricky juggling finances…

    … thanks for the comments, I don’t feel as though we’ve really explained it, though.

  11. Im sure when´all our forwards are fit and scoring goals you will see an increase in attendences. I´m sure some people didn´t go to swansea because they knew earnie would have a hard time particularly with davies out. It was pick and choose time, but I’m sure the wolves match will have our 3000 fans attending.. Alan

  12. I think it’s purely financial. It’s not just the cost of fuel or heating bills, it’s the knock-on effect of having paid out for the higher prices for some time now combined with a clamping down on cheap consumer credit.

    Add on uncertainty over mortgage rates and even staying employed and people are (quite rightly) thinking about their family’s security over football.

    Come on, 20,000 in the 3rd division? It MUST be financial.

  13. The cost of going to the game (ticket and travel) has to be a factor. Wolves want £28 quid off us next week! I’m sure the numbers will pick up again but Forest are not very good at putting bums on seats compared to ‘The Worst Team Ever’ who must have a similar sized fan base. I don’t know what it is that they do differently to us but they sell over 22k season tickets. I dont know how we compare but I bet it is several thousand less.

    For a carling cup game like Morcambe, they should let adults in for a few quid and more importantly, let kids in for free. The kids are the future paying supporters and unless you get then hooked these days they end up supporting one of the ‘big 4’.

  14. glad you have pointed this out.

    for reading i’d put it down to people being away,sky, sunday game etc
    swansea due to the distance, how many other teams would take 1,000+?

  15. What a load of whingers,typical forest supporters,well the crowds are down because its too hot,or the holiday period!!Shame on you pathetic bunch look at the attendances at the biggest club in the east midlands(were they all on holiday?)33,000 ithink not.

  16. Admission prices are too expensive. Simple as that.

  17. The average attendence on opening days over the last 8 seasons is 21,793.

    Even if you discount the last 3 seasons in League One it is: 22,370.

    So an attendance of 21,571 is actually inkeeping with that average. And it is an increase of 2780 on last season’s first day.

  18. TOP supporters”COME ON YOU RAMS”red scum reserve team attendances!!!!!!

  19. I might have gone if they’d reduced season ticket prices.

    Bit of a cheek after all we’ve been through. Spose we have to pay Andy (Andrew’s) wages though.

    Some Premier League season tickets are cheaper than our cheapest. Shame.

  20. reduce season ticket prices, are you mad? what sort of football club would get promoted, spend £4m and then reduce ticket prices?

    i must be the reverse of most Forest fans, i’ve bought a season ticket for the first time in years and i’m stopping going to virtually all away trips.

    having read the NEP article today i’m glad not too many Forest fans are turning up, rather a few fans getting behind the team than the rest of the idiots turning up to boo and moan

  21. People like ‘Nick the prick’ make you laugh.
    Only D**by fans would pay money to watch sh**t.
    we’ve spent three years watching low level football.
    we are now begginning our rise back up. Our fans are there and WILL come back (28,000 for our last game in Div 3).
    Derby would not be getting over 20,000 after three years in Div 3.
    There’s no debate about who is the biggest club in the East Mids – It always has been and always will be the Mighty Reds!!!

  22. Make you laugh??,All you forest scum know our stadium and support is better and BIGGER,season ticket sales less than 14000 at the shitty ground 22000 at pride park.What crap support you have even palace get bigger gates than you!!

  23. Dear oh dear oh dear,

    don’t D**by fans get upset when having to face the Truth!!

  24. Nick, why are you looking on Forest sites to comment? Are you worried that the mighty reds may just come above you in the league table this year? That would be the ultimate kick in the teeth, wouldn’t it.
    Not only are you Officially The Premier Leagues Worst Ever Team In History, but lil ‘ole forest are here to spoil this season for you too!!

  25. Just love rubbing your noses in it,still harping on about last season? Yawn
    Ps good luck with goofy!!

  26. too expensive…very simple really

    little bit like young Nicky and his team of record setting halfwits

  27. Heh – great minds think alike (Rish has posted an almost identical article at our site).

    I think the club has burnt through most of our goodwill over the past fifteen years and it will take a hell of a lot more than one promotion for us to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    So when cash was tight in the past, we would make the effort. When cash is tight, like it is now, we think “bugger it, they’ll probably just arse it up again”.

  28. Rahoul reflects the feeling amongst most fans really, but I do think that the club have made it any easy choice for the fans to stay away at the moment

    1. Pay 27£ to watch 2nd division football

    2. Pay towards your ever increasing inflation hungry bills.

    I guess reality hits home that in 2008 entertainment is simply not as high on the agenda
    I see that Doughty has instigated some kind of wage structure at Forest, it’s just a shame he doesn’t have the same inclination with regard to the ticket pricing

  29. I suppose it was inevitable elements of this would end up being a comparison between us and Derby.

    Not really comparable at the moment, as others have alluded – I would theorise that had Derby had the last few years we’ve had, their crowds would have suffered. Then again, they’ve not exactly had a rosy year themselves.

    I’m not too proud to admit that I envy their season ticket sales; I don’t envy their ground, not one bit, I would be horrified if we were ensconced in a clone of Middlesbrough’s ground… but until there is truly a level playing field established, I think it’s pretty churlish to compare season ticket sales or attendance figures.

    Naturally I wish ours were more, though!

  30. I think the low attendances are down to a mixture of cost – for me at least – the fact that the Reading game was on Sky (and a Sunday) and the distance involved in getting to Swansea. I wouldn’t worry too much, we’ll have to see if the trend continues. fans end to be fickle anyway, once we start winning a few games, they will all turn up out of the woodwork (Sunderland fans being the classic example!)

  31. I wouldnt worry, I think the reason the Reading attendance wasnt that high is because it was on sky and Swansea isnt that big of a team compared to other teams in the league. I think Saturdays game against Watford will be a higher attendance then Wolves away will probably see alot more turn up.

    Has anyone noticed the fixtures in Oct-Nov …

    Palace, QPR, Ipswich, Cardiff, Palace, Derby and then Birmingham in F.A. Cup ! those are some of the biggest games we dont have the biggest of teamscoming up e.g Burnely, Preston and Plymouth in September.

  32. The 25 quid for the Reading game seemed a bit steep with the club already taking a chunk of Skys cash upfront, when you have the cash in the bank why not let kids(our future support )and our OAPs in cheaper cash is tight in todays world ,when the club gets a windfall from SKY ,why not pass abit back to fans that find todays ticket prices to high.I no the club has to think about its season ticket holders,but at 25-30 quid a game its not what you call a cheap day out anymore.

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