Directors Rallying Call

Wednesday, 6 November 2002, 0:01
2 mins read

Swansea City directors Leigh Dineen and Huw Jenkins have issued a rallying cry to the fans to start moving into the Vetch and showing their support at the turnstiles.

Swansea’ average league crowd this season averages just over 4000 for the 8 league games to date but they have failed to break the 4000 barrier over the last five league games. The average attendance for those five games is just 3600, almost 1,000 down on the figure that the directors say was budgeted for at the start of the season. Leigh explains: ”At the start of the season we looked at our wage bill which stands at £1.1million, and saw that it was one of the 10 highest in the division. On that basis we expected to be at least in the top half of the table and getting crowds of around 4,500. ‘But the team is struggling and the crowds are 1,000 down on our budget, so we are losing £10,000 of anticipated income each time we play at home. In other words, £250,000 through the season.”

With the team bottom of the third divison, the attendance has dropped from the opening day of 6327 against Rushden to 3400 at the last game against Kidderminster. And with the prospect of a low crowd against Macclesfield on Saturday, the directors decided that the appeal must go out to the supporters.

Explains Huw Jenkins ” We’re asking why people cannot force themselves to help push the club forward safe in the knowledge that for the first time in seven or eight years, every penny that comes in will be spent within Swansea. Too many people stay at home and moan when a 5,000 crowd every week would mean we had money available to strengthen the team, no doubt. Whether it be businesses advertising in the programme or a fan bringing his friend to the game, it will all help. There are no fat cats going up the M4 with their big salaries anymore. An extra 1,000 on the gate means £10,000 spent on the club. And in this division, a couple more thousand on the gate, a couple of new players and a few wins means you’re in the top half and everyone’s talking about a play-off place.”

I guess to a degree it’s understandable that fans do not come into the Vetch as often as if we were in the top half. It’s depressing stuff watching a team that is rooted to the bottom of the table but I am of an opinion that if you are there you are doing your bit to help keep the club afloat and if people are thinking “ah well they’ll be OK” then I hope that they remember that when it’s too late.

The club is nowhere near safe and dropping out of the football league would be a disaster. Of course, the players are the only ones who can really influence that end but money into the club’s coffers will help strengthen that playing staff.

Whatever your views it is clear what the directors are saying at the moment and now the ball is with the fans to see if the rallying call worked.

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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