What was behind that Norwich City attendance at Carrow Road?
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Storm Aileen was brewing, there was football on the telly, City have Saturday-Tuesday fixtures until the end of the month and Christmas will be here before you know it.
Contributory factors in the lowest attendance for a league match at Carrow Road in six and a half years?
There were times when City celebrated the 25,000 barrier being broken, but Tuesday’s attendance of 24,841 was going the wrong way.
Ok, Burton didn’t send many – someone counted 117. Although the fact they could be bothered to tot up the away fans suggests there was little else to do. If the football isn’t grabbing your attention, it’s hard to come up with alternatives. Except counting.
The last time the attendance dipped below 25,000 was on Monday, March 14, 2011 when Bristol City were the visitors. Mitigating factors that night might well have included the fact that the match was screened live on Sky TV.
So, how worrying is Tuesday’s attendance? Do the aforementioned factors mean anything?
The weather? Well, what can you say? It happens. As a contributory factor you ignore it because it isn’t your fault.
Football on the telly? Well, it always is on the telly so, again, probably not a contributory factor.
September’s busy fixture list will affect people: football isn’t cheap once you multiply it by a family of four, perhaps, and this month’s offering of seven league and cup games will stretch anyone’s budget. And yes, Christmas did get a mention, and for good reason. Tickets for the Burton game that went on general sale cost from £18, Bristol City tickets are from £23.
Or is it the football? There has been a commitment to improve the atmosphere inside Carrow Road, but fans who don’t like what they are seeing won’t respond with enthusiasm. Whether it’s a slow tempo style, medium tempo, gung ho or just plain rubbish: if it isn’t entertaining you can’t make the crowd respond. Chicken and egg and all that.
The bottom line is that fans want comfortable entertainment: sometimes the stars don’t align. There’s nothing you can do about the weather or the opposition. So that leaves the football...