City Ground Attendances

The recent matches at the City Ground have seen attendances tailing off to below the 20,000 mark, which considering how many fans try to proclaim we are such a big club, is somewhat embarrassing. Seeing swathes of red seats and a slightly flatter atmosphere do not bode for enthusing the players to perform. Not having the full voice of thousands backing them, could affect the team. The recent Derby game saw numbers of spare seats, unheard of in recent times.

The disaffected cite the lack of an appealing product. Why shell out increasingly high prices for an increasingly poorer product. It’s a compelling argument. I myself each season feel it harder to justify the cost of the season ticket to myself, exacerbated further by living further away these days, it’s easier to see how life catches up with fans and gives them alternative activities to do on match day.

There’s also the factor of a lost generation almost from the League One days. Admittedly almost 10 years ago, the legacy of that period is a period of then 8 year olds who would have chosen Forest following a less embarrassing option, and now aged 18, when they’d be going to games by themselves more, going elsewhere. It’s a potential element in smaller crowds. Maybe not to the point of having 5-6 thousand less than previous, but if you consider the catchment areas, and with Derby being more appealing in those days, a generation of kids who may have followed Forest, well they might well be Rams now. Or even following the big clubs.

But similarly  find it immensely frustrating when you see fans critical of the club on social media also proclaiming for all to see they won’t go whilst x and y criteria exist. Usually Fawaz and Dougie, for me it’s a lazy excuse for why you aren’t going. Especially when they also say they haven’t been for aperiod of time predating one of their involvements. Its an element of fandom I despise. Citing someone at the club as a reason for not going, because all you are doing is exacerbating a problem with this holier than thou attitude, and it wins you no plaudits.

Yes the Twitterati all slap each others backs and go on how they have the clubs real interests at heart, but at the end of the day the real interests lie on the pitch every Saturday. Not with the pretensions that the view held is for a wider good. It feels like an excuse to say why they won’t go, as I suspect a large majority of them didn’t go often before anyway. Like the notion we are all missing their support. To be honest I prefer it when the fairweather supporters aren’t there,  as when they do show up, they are largely negative. They can all sit there on Twitter when we lose saying “told you so, that’s why I don’t go.”

Fans who turn up once or twice and then get angry we don’t win and the times they do show up are annoying. I know people have different priorities and I wouldn’t ever bad mouth the majority of fans who can only get the games rarely. Its when they come with an attitude of negativity and entitlement. An entitlement that the once or twice they do show up, we must win, or “why would I bother again.”

The game against Reading although with a smaller crowd felt better because there wasn’t the element of self entitled armchair fans. It felt a happier crowd. Not a lot of negativity. I feel like I’m knocking the everyday fan who might not go regularly but that’s not the intention here. Its more the entitled vocal bunch online who feel staying away helps the club more than actually, you know, supporting the team. These are the same guys who when they do show up are largely negative to the team. They aren’t helpful. And that’s why this season has almost been bliss without them showing up once or twice and being angry we had the audacity to lose the one game they show up to. Its allowed a positive atmosphere to develop, to nurture the teams good home form. Rather than booing the moment a pass is misplaced.