Next Game: Pre-Season Friendly - Melksham Town Away on Saturday 7th July

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bulls Gates Under Expectations

Attendances at Edgar Street this season should be a cause of concern, with numbers dropping below pre-season estimates.

Graham Turner told the press before the start of the season that they were anticipating a 25% drop in income, however gates are currently down 27% - and falling. Last season's average of 3,270 has dropped to 2,402 with the last four home matches, including the derby match with Shrewsbury, have averaged just 2,272 - a 30% drop on the season before.

Gates at Edgar Street have seen the third worst drop of all League sides - with Darlington already recording a 32% drop and Stockport 30% - while nine League Two sides have recorded drops of 10% or more this term.

Finances would have been bouyed by this season's cup sucesses, but an increase in early season loan signings would have dug into that income. Saturday's £7,500 for extended TV highlights also brought about a string of new advertising hoardings at Edgar Street that would have nearly doubled the TV cash, while the prize money for winning the First Round game was also a bonus on last season's takings.

Saturday's match at Edgar Street, against Notts County, has been designated all-ticket for away supporters so should see a good number of Magpies fans through the doors, but the subsequent games against MK Dons and Lincoln are not expected to be huge draws.

The Johnstones Paint Trophy game has been classed as standard general pricing, with discounted kids tickets in advance, rather than the more usual discounts across the board that will likely harm the attendance while the Lincoln game, moved to the Friday night to avoid the Christmas shoppers, is not expected to be a strong draw. For many it will likely to be a case of one game or the other with finances tight and with both games being on cold winter nights a few may decide to skip both.

Falling attendances could have one serious consequence. The Football League will expect revised turnover figures in December and any club deemed to be breaching the wage capping rules on the updated figures will get a transfer embargo.