Friday, March 18, 2011
A Singapore newspaper is reporting that of last night’s near 2,000 attendance for the Albirex Niigata v Etoile game, only 490 were paying spectators! The rest were freebies, media and security personnel! And ballboys.
But you know what? That official attendance doesn’t actually reflect the number of people who actually went to the stadium. Say for example one of the sponsors is given 10 free tickets then that 100 is included in the grand total. Irrespective of whether or not people used the ticket. Stay at home watching TV and they would still be counted as part of the official attendance.
Now, to be fair to the SLeague they aren’t exactly covering up this massaging of the numbers. They release a sheet to the media telling them the breakdown of the crowd for each game. The media don’t report on the bloody game anyway so the SLeague could hand out the complete works of Pol Pot in the original Khmer, nobody would notice.
So, why then are they doing it? The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League require a national league to average 5,000 fans per game and massaging or no there is no way the SLeague is gonna achieve that.
Is it to impress sponsors? Make them believe there are people out there noticing their product when in fact there aren’t that many? if so then if I were a sponsor I would not be a happy bunny. I would want the organization receiving my money to be up front and open about everything.
Is it to convince the football public there are larger crowds? Again, that is shooting themselves in the foot. We’re in the 21st century now and anyone treating their customers, and potential customers, with such disdain is looking at a very short shelf life.
It is most unlikely the Football Association of Singapore is going to come out anytime soon and say why they release such ‘creative’ attendance numbers and any attempt to defend the notion that ballboys and the gatemen are part of the official attendance would be laughed at across the media and message boards that love a good whine at the expense of Singapore football.
Far better just to drop the façade and start releasing the number of fans who pay to watch the game and do away with this whole nonsense of freebies.
but it does show that there are more than the 200-300 paying fans that people like to talk about.
not true wahid. if they issue 1,000 free tickets and only 7 are used then 1,000 is still included in the total
@ Andrew...and they sell beer there!