Real Manchester United Crowd Figure 25,000 Less Than That Announced
A use of the Freedom Of Information (FOI) laws has seen some startling truth revealed on match attendances, with Manchester United leading the way.
It has emerged that there are some massive disparities between the number of tickets sold by certain clubs and the actual number of fans who actually turn up to watch the game.
An FOI request to the greater Manchester Police found that the Mancs regularly post crowd figures that bear little relation to the truth, with the worst example being a match with the actual attending crowd being almost twenty five thousand less than the figure announced. I’m guessing that this will have to be one of the FA Cup or European matches, with Man Utd fans automatically having to buy these tickets if they have a season ticket.
No surprise as well to see that Arsenal are another regular offender when it comes to masking the true attending crowd figure.
The Gunners claim a figure of over 99% occupancy but the actual reality is under 90% when it comes to fans being there supporting the team. Last season Arsenal averaged 53,788 at their home matches, compared to a 60,338 capacity. No surprise to TV viewers who can see countless empty seats in the posh seats along one side of the pitch.
This practice is part of a desperate need for clubs to protect the value of their ‘brand’, admitting that you have thousands (tens of thousands in that particular Man U case) of empty seats at every match devalues the appeal of your business/club.
Last season at St. James’ Park I often looked around the ground and wondered when the crowd figure was announced, especially when things fell apart after selling Cabaye and failing to invest.
No (Freedom Of) Information has come out with regard to Newcastle United but it would be interesting to know whether the announced crowd figures were the true ones last season.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]