DEAN HOYLE says Town will announce two attendances at home matches – the actual number through the turnstiles and the figure it would have been had complimentary tickets and everyone with a ticket who didn’t turn up been included.
The two numbers for Saturday’s clash with Stockport County were 12,592 (941 away fans) and 14,921, and the chairman explained: “Traditionally we have given attendances as the number coming through the turnstiles. This excludes those who are given complimentary tickets and those who buy a match ticket and don’t show up or who have a season-ticket and don’t attend.
“But our informal enquiries suggest we are among a tiny and declining minority adopting this method. In our league, were are one of only six clubs who report the attendance as those actually present.
“Last season our reported average of 13,351 would have been 18,466 if we had adopted the ‘tickets issued’ method. This season, the average before Saturday would have been 14,689 rather than 12,096.
“Does it matter? Of course. Comparing apples with apples has to be right. Most importantly, it is a matter of honesty. Artificially inflating reported attendances misleads fans and the public in general and makes comparability impossible.
“Having large crowds brings pride and is also good for attracting players, but for years, seemingly well-supported teams may not have been as popular as it would appear.
“We would like to see all clubs report attendances on the same basis, but I doubt we will see all clubs return to the method we have been using. Going forward we will tell our fans both figures”