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By MC4/1/2023 17:14Wed Jan 4 17:14:21 2023

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Midway through the season - 11 home games into the season, and 10 remaining. I thought now might be a good time to assess our attendances this season in Mitcham and compare them to the corresponding fixtures from last season in Tolworth.

It's not positive.

Wingate - down 66
Enfield - down 86
Carshalton - up 50 - Bank holiday Monday bounce / Mitcham is closer to Carshalton than it is to Kingston!
Bognor - down 34
Potters - down 25
Brightlingsea - down 73
Folkestone - down 44
Billericay - no fixture last year
Cray - down 107
Lewes - down 190
Casuals - down 96

I acknowledge that there are sometimes differences in day / time of year / etc that affects things. Also the World Cup probably didn't help. Train strikes too.

Of course, these are official figures and are boosted by season ticket holders who haven't attended matches. And therefore the most worrying attendance was the 151 that showed up for the FA Trophy game against Wingate. This is likely to be the 'true' attendance. (We haven't really had a home opening Trophy game against comparable opposition since 2018/19 against Bedford. From that comparison, the attendance was down 106.)

These are absolutely huge drops in attendance, and what's particularly worrying is that they seem to be getting worse. Imperial Fields is a pleasant venue in some ways but it hasn't been a good experience for Ks fans. And it's a vicious circle. The atmosphere was largely good at KGF, so I often brought along friends and family because I thought they'd enjoy it. I just wouldn't bother this year. I brought family to Carshalton away on Boxing Day. And I'll bring friends to Lewes. I would be a bit embarrassed to bring them to a home game, to be frank.

I understand the situation in Tolworth last year wasn't ideal at boardroom level but it's obvious that the situation for both sides is worse than last year. Our attendances are down massively and Casuals have suffered a drop in revenue. I do hope the game the other day allowed members of the respective boards to have a chat and discuss whether a return to the previous arrangement might be beneficial for both parties.

These things are always more complex than they seem on the outside, and in many ways I have sympathy for the board in terms of finding a permanent home venue.

But it shouldn't be such a big deal when it's just returning to a previous groundshare arrangement. We are shedding fans at an alarming rate, and there's no guarantee they'll return in 3-4 years if we magically find a permanent home in Kingston. We need to be groundsharing closer to home, and we need to be doing so as soon as possible.

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Next article in this thread: Re: Attendances by trepur4/1/2023 18:41Wed Jan 4 18:41:17 2023

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