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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Attendances

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Becks considers his options

David Beckham helped Los Angeles Galazy to a 2-1 semi-final win against the New York Red Bulls in the Major League Soccer (MLS) play-offs, putting his team in the Western Conference final.   But he is nearing the end of his five-year contract in the States and is considering his options.   He doesn't want to retire and Paris St. Germain as well as unnamed Premiership clubs have come calling.   Then there is the Olympics to look forward to where the British team is likely to made up of Becks and ten others.

The state of Scottish football

A number of analyses of the state of Scottish football have been published recently, suggesting a number of solutions for its problems which are often either not feasible or a gesture of despair in terms of the 'Old Firm' going elsewhere.

Do Accrington need a new stadium?

Accrington Stanley's owner Ilyas Khan thinks that the club is not sustainable at the Crown Ground in the longer run and needs to move to a new stadium to be viable.   The club has already had to reduce staff numbers to keep costs under control.   A possible site for a £7m stadium has been identified near Hyndburn Sports Ground and Mr Khan might be prepared to contribute £2m towards the cost.

Chelsea deny ticket sale problems

Chelsea FC have denied that tickets have been handed out to boost attendance for tonight's Champions League match against Genk and insist that they are confident of a full house.  They stated that about 1,000 tickets have been given to their foundation after some fans had campaigned for a boycott of the game because of higher ticket prices.

Are attendances declining?

Coventry City have seen a long slow decline in attendance.   Last night's crowd of 12,822 for the game against Blackpool could be one of the smallest in a league game the club has seen for some time.  Poor performances on the pitch, the struggling local economy and discontent with the owners could all play their part.

The challenge for Bolton

Attendances at the Reebok Stadium, which has a capacity of nearly 29,000, peaked at an average of 26,718 in 2003-4.   Since then they have been on a falling trend despite pricing policies which mean that an adult season ticket holder can pay just £15 per match and an under-18 less than £2.50.  Chelsea are the next team to visit the Reebok and a teenager can enjoy a whole season there for the price of just one match at Stamford Bridge.

Why a 'big' club finds success difficult

What exactly do we mean by a 'big' club?   There are even some clubs who claim that their club is 'massive'.  Presumably it has something to do with attendances and with away followings, although the latter is a measure of fans' passion as much as anything.

SPL financial worries continue

A report from accountants pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC) has expressed continuing concern about the financial state of Scottish football.   The Scottish Premier League remains in a fragile economic state despite making a modest profit for the fifth time in six seasons.   Following a loss of £22m in the previous season, figures for 2009-10 show a profit of £1m.

Premiership attendances withstand recession

The world may be experiencing the second wave of the global economic crisis, but Premiership attendances look like holding up well this season.   This in spite of the fact that eleven teams have increased prices above the rate of inflation, itself relatively high by recent standards.

Do season tickets offer value?

Following their last day survival in the Barclays Premier League, Wigan Athletic have frozen their season ticket prices for the fifth season in a row.    Even so, their support base remains limited, although if you look at it as a percentage of the local population it's a great achievement, particularly given the local attachment to rugby league.   There's roughly the same population where I live and we can only sustain a third tier non-league club.