Saturday, May 06, 2017


Stayaway Fans As Arema Start Season Well

Arema may be level on top of Liga 1 with PSM after four games but the fans remain unconvinced. Just 7,447 turned out for their game last night against Barito Putera at Kanjuruhan Stadium. Their first home game of the season against Bhayangkara, which for some reason had club officials expecting a full house, saw 12,909.

The issue of low attendances is nothing new for Arema, a club who pride themselves on their fan base. Last year I wrote about how disappointing their crowds were, their largest crowd of the campaign came against Bhayangkara which have have been the cause for the earlier misguided optimism. (This was only bettered at the end of the season).

Crowd numbers stayed low for the 2017 President Cup group stage games which Arema hosted. 29,000 watching their tie with Persija the only one to reach five figures until the semi final against Semen Padang when 43,000 turned out.

It doesn't seem like the Aremania have totally given up on the football club. 20,000 filled the Gajayana Stadium when Persiba hosted the Crazy Lions and you can be sure the 'home fans' at that game would have struggled to reach three figures.

This year is a busy one for the city of Malang with a number of teams in Liga 1, Liga 2 and Liga 3 calling it their home town including Arema Indonesia. What impact if any will their presence have on the Aremania?

For sure Gajayana Stadium is the easier of the two to visit, it lies almost in the city centre while Kanjuruhan is right out in the boonies and offers arresting views of rice fields and mountains. And it is noticeable the two times they did play at the more central venue they attracted more than average attendances.

Next week they travel to Makassar to play PSM and 14 May they host Madura United.

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