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Empty Seats My Lord?

Empty Seats My Lord?

Empty Villa Seats - A Comparison

As fans we want the best players and we want to challenge for honours. Ideally we would like to do this playing attractive football. This doesn't happen that often.

The Arse play attractive football but are not winning anything. Chelski won the League under Mourinho, but it was deemed to be unsexy football.

We would all like it to be at an affordable price. I have just looked at the average attendance of all clubs in the Premier League in comparison to the size of the ground. This gives a truer reflection of a clubs power in bringing in audiences rather than the simplistic way of just looking at attendances.

In terms of simple average attendance we are 7th behind Manure, Arse, Man Citeh, Redscouse, Chelsea and Sunderland.

However the real way of looking at attendances is empty seats.

By doing it this way we are the 7th worst supported club in the Premier League. We failed to sell 9% of our potential capacity.

The others worse than us were Wigan 39%, Bolton 24%, Blackburn 19%, Sunderland 17.5%, Small Heath 16.5%. In order throughout the rest of the division the percentage of empty seats was Burnley 9%, Bluescouse 8.5%, Fulham 8%, Pompey 7.5%, Redscouse 5.5%, Wet Spam 5.5%, Stoke 5%, ManCiteh 4.2% and Hull 4%.

We will have the normal excuses of cost, awkward kick off times, recession etc. These are issues that affect supporters of every club. However some fans will complain about the manager and use that as their excuse not to go. For those that use that as an excuse would they rather have Pulis, McCarthy, Laws, Zola, Brown/Dowie as a manager?

Each of these clubs had a smaller percentage of empty seats than we did? Wolves, Manure, Chelski, Arse and Spuds all had less than 1.5% of empty seats and this can be accounted for in away fan allocation. Some fans will complain about the style of football. I can say I would much rather watch us than Stoke, Wolves, Redscouse, Burnley, Pompey, Hull and others, but these clubs sold a higher proportion of their tickets than we did.

There are moans about who plays at right back, formations, lack of flexibility, poor substitutions, some poor performances. However we came 6th, have great owners, got to Wembley twice, beat our local rivals, have the best young player in the country and are amongst the best priced in terms of ticket prices.

So why are we the 7th worst supported club in the league?

The fans that come are brilliant (usually). The booing against Wigan was a disgrace imho though.

But why do we have so many empty seats. We complain we want better players. We moan when players want to leave. Unfortunately until we fulfill our side of the bargain by making Villa Park a desirable venue, with fans who support the club in good times and bad and who fill the ground every time, we are destined to be nearly men.

Our fortunes on the pitch are mirrored by our support off it.

We are Ok, but not good enough.


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Tuesday May 25 2010
Time: 8:00AM


not keen on booing, not keen on re-visting old arguments but think many of the players would have readily accepted that their no show was a disgrace also. Interesting points on the ratios of seats empty etc though, no idea what the solution is.
The Fear
24/05/2010 19:52:00
*The Good Old Days Alert* I paid less than £1 to stand in the Holte End in the late 1960s. Week in week out, crap football, good football, rain freezing fog, you name it. Saturday 3pm kick off you could set your watch by (occasional midweek cup games). Good attendance (until we started going down, but even then when on the way back up we set attendance records for the lower divisions, I believe). We honestly were'nt as bothered about winning the League (even though there was a better chance becuase the clubs were more evenly resourced). The FA cup meant more to clubs and fans. Even if the game and team were completely utterly pants, I didn't mind. Everyone I knew could afford to go. There was no excuse for a Brummie to not go if they called themselves a Villa fan. In today's money (I've just looked it up on a maths website) that's the equivalent of £4 to see the Villa. For twice or three times that much I'd be there every week and get to away games and NEVER moan. Never. [Edited by J P Fear]
25/05/2010 08:33:00
tubbz, you completely miss the point. Stoke, Wolves, Hull, Burnley all had less empty seats than us. Would you rather watch them than us? How can they be better supported than us? The simple answer is passion. If you support the club you do not only come when we are playing attractive football. You come when we are top or bottom of the league, whatever division we are in, whoever we are playing and in all weathers. And before people jump on the bandwagon I fully understand that finances, family comittments, kick off times etc can play a part in some people not being able to attend. We simply do not have enough passionate fans to fill our ground regularly. We have thousands who turn up when the going is good, but not enough with the Villa in their heart. I know many supposed fans who live within 30 minutes or so of Villa Park who come every now and again, but who always demand tickets for the big occasions and will pay over the odds for them (money, kick off time, family etc isn't the issue). These are the fans that are actually letting the club down. I know that I couldn't be in this country and not go to a home game, cup or league. I would feel I was letting the club down by not attending and I know that many real fans feel exactly the same way. We just need more of them. We need the fans who make excuses such as the 'football isn't very good' to stop making crap excuses, get off their backsides and start supporting the club. If we had sold out of all of our league and cup games last year the club would have generated an extra £7 - 9m in gate receipts and additional revenue. What difference could that make to our summer transfer plans? How much better would Villa Park be if it was full every week? Would players want to leave if they were happy with their surroundings? Tubbz, I can't sit on the fence. It is your sort of support that actually holds us back. You are either a Villa supporter come rain and shine. Or you are a Villa supporter when it suits (weather, opposition, etc), often referred to as a fair weather supporter. As a club we need as many fairweather supporter as possible, that is the nature of the game. But more importantly we need more passionate fans to fill the ground every week. This in turn will encourage the part time fans to attend more often. It is a viscious circle.
25/05/2010 09:19:00
As another recent article says, 8 draws at home and just as many points away from home. Why would the fans come flocking especially after the way we started off the season with a loss to lowly Wigan. Saying that, think we beat ManCity scoring 5 in the process first game of last season and last year was just as bad. We need a flair player or 2 to get the fans excited about next year but can't see MON reverting away from his workhorses.
25/05/2010 09:24:00
If we have a 50,000 seater stadium, what will the % be then? I have spoken quite often on this subject with some mates of mine who are Albion fans, and envious of our attendances. It is probably a fair comment though that there isn't that massive difference between the 'hard core' support of both clubs. My mates reckon that Villa have an absolutely massive floating' support all around the Midland area. The type of support that goes two or three times a season and for 'big matches' if they can get a ticket. I think another major point is that virtually ALL the games are on live via some satellite or other at local pubs or clubs. I know a few of the 'floating' fans who have been to Villa Park twice this season, but have hardly missed seeing a match, home or away, live on television. I am a season ticket holder, but have only been this season to four away games. However, I have seen the vast majority of the others 'live' at the local club.
25/05/2010 10:46:00
Think he could have meant gay fear. In those days gay meant happy ;))
25/05/2010 11:59:00
lol, 144 and Villaininthemerde. Very true! and you tell the youth of today, will they believe you!??! (bit of python there in case you missed it!)
The Fear
25/05/2010 14:54:00
villan444. More flair players required???? That will always be the case, but last season professional footballers voted Ashley Young as the best young player in the country. This season, Milner got the vote. Did their peers vote for them because they are work horses??? Of course not, they voted for them because they are the best young players in the country. They are players that other clubs want. We have them, but the clubs who do not have them and are envious of us, still attract bigger support. It is time to stop making excuses. Unless we fill our ground every week, we are destined to be nearly men. If fans choose to give part time support then imho opinion they have no room to moan. It is the part timers, who demand tickets when the occasion is determined to be worthy of their support, who are actually sapping the life out of the club. If you are a local person whose idea of support is to check your phone for online score updates when the Villa play at home, you are not a supporter. We might be your favourite team, but checking the results does not make you a supporter. Maybe I am niave, but the thought of being in the shops, in the pub, at home, out with my mates (or worse, with the missus) when the Villa are playing at home, be that midweek in February, Sunday afternoon or midday on a Saturday, just fills me with horror. There is simply nothing in life that is more important than being at Villa Park on matchdays. We have thousands of real fans who feel the same way. We have thousands who feel that way, but for reasons such as finance, health, family etc can't make it. But it doesn't get away from the fact that for us to move on as a club, the part timers HAVE to become full timers.
25/05/2010 18:17:00
Nice article but flawed.

A club should build a stadium to suit their maximum attendance, not their every (other) week attendance. Hence we have plans to increase capacity, not reduce it.

It is perverse to say a club is better supported because a smaller stadium is fuller than a larger one.

Cap the capacity of Villa park to 20000 and we would have the best supported club in the world according to that argument.

It is also no good slagging off those fans that come infrequently, each to their own. Better to have alot of people coming infrequently than having a smaller stadium.

The challenge of the management team is to attract every fan every (other) week and then they could justify higher ticket prices - be careful what you wish for - football is a business in addition to our passion!!!
25/05/2010 22:23:00
Our fortunes on the pitch are mirrored by our support off it. and Visa versa I think?
26/05/2010 15:12:00
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