What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

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Aanvalluh
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What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Aanvalluh » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:24 pm

If there was no such thing as coronavirus, and it was a normal season with season tickets, away fans, goalkeepers that could reach the ball etc, what would Bolton's average gate be considering their league position?

Back in the Burnden 4th division days (for younger viewers, that's the fourth division) we got IIRC a record low of a snitch under 3000 (please correct) vs Darlington (or Doncaster - see under "please correct") but the average must have been 5- 6000; so what would FV be realistically thinking an average gate would be?

As for tomorrow, I'd go for 6 - 7,000 including season ticket holders who don't show.

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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Harry Genshaw » Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:04 pm

For those of us who were there :? , that lowest league crowd was actually in the 3rd division. 35 years ago this Thursday. It was a combination of miserable weather + bonfire night + poor form. We went down to the bottom tier at the end of the following season. Average crowds around that time were about the 3600-4400 mark.

The official figure for tomorrow would have been around 8600 I reckon. Counting all season ticket holders plus a Mansfield following of around 500. (Midweek fixture and they're on a worse run than us.) Actual seats occupied I'd say around 7000
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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Aanvalluh » Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:35 pm

Harry Genshaw wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:04 pm
For those of us who were there :? , that lowest league crowd was actually in the 3rd division. 35 years ago this Thursday. It was a combination of miserable weather + bonfire night + poor form. We went down to the bottom tier at the end of the following season. Average crowds around that time were about the 3600-4400 mark.

The official figure for tomorrow would have been around 8600 I reckon. Counting all season ticket holders plus a Mansfield following of around 500. (Midweek fixture and they're on a worse run than us.) Actual seats occupied I'd say around 7000
Third division, right. Bolton "only" had one season in the fourth IIRC, so presumably being up the table all season boosted the gate. I remember Bolton having a game on bonfire night, think it was against Oldham (home or away, can't recall) and the gate was very high, obviously the fireworks of a local derby was more attractive than a bonfire!

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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Bruce Rioja » Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:47 pm

Harry Genshaw wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:04 pm
For those of us who were there :? , that lowest league crowd was actually in the 3rd division. 35 years ago this Thursday. It was a combination of miserable weather + bonfire night + poor form. We went down to the bottom tier at the end of the following season. Average crowds around that time were about the 3600-4400 mark.
That gate would've been four fewer if me and my mates could've got our bommy lit - it was absolutely pissing it down.

Also, it was Allardyce's last ever game as a Wanderers' player. He had an absolute stinker and was promptly dropped by Phil Neal, who elected to then play himself at CB instead of risking Allardyce there ever again.
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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:30 am

The thread topic is a fascinating question, one not easily answered and also unprovable – but what else is there to do?

There are some things we do know and can prove. On Bommy Night 1985 we got our lowest ever home league gate, 2,902 against Darlington. We were 16th before the game, a place above our (worst-ever) finishing position the year before; what’s not often noticed is that Darlo were rock-bottom, with two wins in 15 games thus far.

It should also be placed in context. Coming after the horrors of Heysel and Bradford (not to mention Luton-Millwall et al) and while Maggie was earnestly trying to either introduce a membership-card scheme or shut the sodding sport down altogether, 1985-86 season was the nadir of football, with a record low aggregate gate of 16.4 million across the Football League 92. Things got better for most: within 25 years the 72 Football League clubs eclipsed that total gate even without the 20 Premier League clubs.

It’s still not our lowest ever home gate, which was 1,507 against Rochdale in the FLT on 10 Dec 1991. I was there, unlike many of you glory-hunters :-)

Now, last time we were in Division Four our average attendance was 5,027; excepting the Easter Monday visit of Burnley, which attracted 9,921, all the attendances were between 3,700 and 6,600.

That average reflected our fanbase, if we take “fanbase” as average attendance; in the last three D3 seasons had been steady at 4,951 then 4,847 then 4,851. A promotion campaign didn’t boost it much (5,027) and even back in D3 we only averaged 5,528 in that first, Sherpa-winning season; we then jumped above 7,000 for two play-off campaigns, back down to barely 6,000 for Neal’s dog-day season, then 9,062, 10,468 and 13,029 for Rioch’s era.

I may appear to be wandering off the point (imagine!) but we have never since fallen below a five-figure average. However, last season’s 11,511 is as close as we’ve come, and included a new-stadium league-game low of 5,454 a few days after Parky quit and a few days before we could have gone out of business.

Understandably, season ticket sales were low at that point (Aug 24) and picked up a lot under new management/ownership – we’d sold 7,500 by Sep 12 – although we only got 6,786 for the Sep 17 match against Oxford (a night match against who-cares opposition, oh and we’d just got tanked 6-1 at Rotherham) and we didn’t dip below five figures again for a league game.

So what would it be now? Well, last I heard (back in early September) HMS Piss the League was steaming past 7,000 season ticket holders. I think it’s fair to assume that most of them would turn up; I don’t think we’re yet at the point – which I have seen in my Wanderers-supporting lifetime – of people burning tickets in pubs as a look-at-me I’m-angry stunt. (The plastic would also make an awful smell.)

I genuinely wonder how many we’d have got on for that first Bradford game in a world where COVID-19 didn’t exist – 15k, including a decent away following? By now that might have dwindled somewhat, and I don’t think we’d be hitting five figures every time – in fact, it might be the new benchmark of success.

Mansfield would bring a noisy few but not a million – they’ve only averaged more than 5k at home once in 40 years, even in four promotions seasons. And that’s what we’ve got to be wary of… the fanbase, having slowly whittled down, never reappearing.

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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Bruce Rioja » Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:07 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:30 am
On Bommy Night 1985 we got our lowest ever home league gate, 2,902 against Darlington.
What's our lowest (official) league gate at T'Bok, do you know? (whilst you're in the chair ;) )

I know it was a Wimbledon game, but there've been plenty games since with far fewer in as we've slipped, nay rocketed down the leagues.
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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:31 pm

Bruce Rioja wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:07 pm
Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:30 am
On Bommy Night 1985 we got our lowest ever home league gate, 2,902 against Darlington.
What's our lowest (official) league gate at T'Bok, do you know? (whilst you're in the chair ;) )

I know it was a Wimbledon game, but there've been plenty games since with far fewer in as we've slipped, nay rocketed down the leagues.
5,454 for that Ipswich game I mentioned above is our smallest league gathering since moving house.

Lowest cup gate would be 1,540 v Everton kids in the Sherpa Van, 30 August 2016; that beat the previous low of 3,673 from back in September 1999 when we played Gillingham in the League Cup.

Note that yon Everton gate was still bigger than the Rochdale Sherpa Van game. I remember it was cold and crap but at least I can say I saw Reevesey score a hat-trick.

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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Bruce Rioja » Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:51 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:31 pm
Bruce Rioja wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:07 pm
Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:30 am
On Bommy Night 1985 we got our lowest ever home league gate, 2,902 against Darlington.
What's our lowest (official) league gate at T'Bok, do you know? (whilst you're in the chair ;) )

I know it was a Wimbledon game, but there've been plenty games since with far fewer in as we've slipped, nay rocketed down the leagues.
5,454 for that Ipswich game I mentioned above is our smallest league gathering since moving house.

Lowest cup gate would be 1,540 v Everton kids in the Sherpa Van, 30 August 2016; that beat the previous low of 3,673 from back in September 1999 when we played Gillingham in the League Cup.

Note that yon Everton gate was still bigger than the Rochdale Sherpa Van game. I remember it was cold and crap but at least I can say I saw Reevesey score a hat-trick.
Then on the league attendances front I claim an emptiest house full house :D

I was also there for Reeves' hat-trick but for some reason thought it was against Chester.
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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Harry Genshaw » Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:14 pm

Interesting stuff there DSB. Like Bruce I can claim full house on the lowest league attendances at both grounds. To my shame, I missed both the Rochdale and Everton games you refer to.

What did surprise me, was Bruce's correct assertion that the Darlo game was Allardyces last league appearance for us. He had a shocker that night and I remember him getting dogs abuse off an old dear in the Manny Road south terrace who took exception to him laughing at her 'advice'. Despite him never kicking another ball for us, he was still an unused sub at Wembley 6 months later.

It's easy to forget just what dire straits English football was in at the time. Crumbling grounds, record low attendances, a European club ban and a failing national side (no change there then)
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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:18 pm

Bruce Rioja wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:51 pm
Then on the league attendances front I claim an emptiest house full house :D

I was also there for Reeves' hat-trick but for some reason thought it was against Chester.
Good man on your solid attendance. #OnceInNeverOut #CantFindTheFuckingDoor

Reevesy only bagged the one match-ball for us, and that was the night. He scored at Sealand Road THIRTY YEARS AGO TONIGHT and just under two years later, at their new Deva Stadium, got a goal back before McGinlay's equaliser which was then followed by a Very Good Run Indeed. That was his last league goal for us – he also scored against Sutton Coldfield in the Cup before moving on to Notts County, Carlisle, Preston, Chesterfield, Oldham, Chesterfield again, Ards, Scarborough and Gainsborough Trinity, where he hung up his boots in 2008.

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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:20 pm

Harry Genshaw wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:14 pm
It's easy to forget just what dire straits English football was in at the time. Crumbling grounds, record low attendances, a European club ban and a failing national side (no change there then)
Yep - although on the last bit, after failing to reach Euro 84 we would make the Mexico 86 quarters.

I've been doing a bit of writing around that era recently and yes, although I remember it clearly it does feel like an utterly different world.

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Re: What would the gate have been for tomorrow night - normally?

Post by Harry Genshaw » Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:36 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:20 pm
Harry Genshaw wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:14 pm
It's easy to forget just what dire straits English football was in at the time. Crumbling grounds, record low attendances, a European club ban and a failing national side (no change there then)
Yep - although on the last bit, after failing to reach Euro 84 we would make the Mexico 86 quarters.

I've been doing a bit of writing around that era recently and yes, although I remember it clearly it does feel like an utterly different world.
That's odd in itself that in between failing to qualify for Euro 84 and an awful showing in Euro 88, England had a genuine chance at winning that 86 world cup. The Euros have rarely seen a good England side.
"Get your feet off the furniture you Oxbridge tw*t. You're not on a feckin punt now you know"

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