Saturday, 6 June 2009
Yesterday, we heard the 'encouraging' news that approaching 60% of those who held Season Tickets last season have already shown their desire for more of the same. HERE.
Actually, they are probably hoping for rather less of the same disappointing football we experienced last time around but I commend their loyalty.
I know in my heart of hearts that I will be purchasing again, I just haven't got around to it yet. The sudden movement on Friday from the previously statuesque communications department caught us all off guard. We'd all got so used to moaning that there wasn't any news, when it came through I didn't really take it in properly until today.
However, as encouraging as it sounds for a tier 3 team to be guaranteed, at this stage, crowds of at least 7000+ it won't be making me drag my camera out again.
Last season, we had many Season Ticket holders who just found that they couldn't face any more. We need as many people as possible to support the club by purchasing but also to turn up to support the team in person.
I imagine that there will be around another 2000 people like me. Those who WILL buy a season ticket, just not yet. That would give a home crowd, including those who can raise themselves on a rather more casual basis of around 11 000 .
Away support at the Valley is out of our control. With Millwall able to take approaching a very healthy 50 000 day trippers and knuckle draggers to Wembley, we could safely assume that they might bring a few thousand to the Valley. Some teams supporters might fancy coming too, due to our proximity to central London and the chance to see a 'Premier League' stadium. Other teams may only bring a couple of hundred or less.
Unfortunately, I find it hard to imagine that we will be seeing many crowds approaching 15 000 - (a half full Valley). More worryingly, I can see us having many games, especially the chilly or wet evening ones against unfancied opposition, in front of less than 10 000. That would mean for every seat occupied, there would be two empty. It could be a very cold winter.
I'm not the first person to say this, and once tickets have been bought and issued it's too late anyway but why are we persevering with the use of the whole stadium?
Surely it would be much better to close off the top tiers of the North and West stands to keep everyone closer to the pitch, build an atmosphere and make it less likely, (as happened to me more than once last season), that people have practically a whole row to themselves.