Hull City Head Coach Mike Phelan has been talking about the problem of empty seats at home matches.
In three days time Newcastle visit for the quarter-final League Cup match and ticket sales are believed to be under ten thousand so far.
Mike Phelan says that the Hull supporters ‘have their reasons’ for staying away and he ‘can’t influence those decisions they make not to come’.
The unspoken (by Mike Phelan) reason is that the Hull fans are very unhappy at the way the club is being run by the owners, the Allams.
The decision to refuse Newcastle more than the minimum entitlement, 2,474 tickets, was clearly to minimise the number of away fans, rather than any expectation of getting close to filling the stadium on Tuesday night.
This season Hull City have set three unwanted records, lowering their record lowest ever Premier League crowd three times.
21,037 v Leicester (Sat 13 August)
18,522 v Stoke (Sat 22 October)
17,768 v Southampton (Sat 19 November)
Added to that will be their lowest ever attendance for a Cup quarter-final in three days time.
A ridiculous state of affairs to not even give around five thousand or so to Newcastle supporters, when there could be up to fifteen thousand empty seats.
Hull boss Mike Phelan talking to local media:
“We can try to encourage them (Hull fans) as much as we can to come into the ground, to support the players who are trying.
“We are in the Big League, the Premier League. I would have thought that was a nice incentive to get involved.
“But they have their reasons and I can’t influence those decisions they make not to come.
“All I can ask for is full backing from the ones that sit on those seats and that they get behind the players.
“I’m sure they will because we’ve had no real issue with that. No one wants to see empty seats…but that’s where we’re at the moment.
“We need to our job on the football field to encourage more to come back but it goes a little bit deeper than just the football they see.”