Such is the positive feeling about football on the south west coast of Hampshire at the moment, an attendance of 10,251 against Premier League opponents in the second round of the Carling Cup was a disappointment to many.
In the cold light of day when you consider the fact that the game was planted right in the middle of the summer holidays, it was the third of four home matches scheduled during August and in a competition that neither the supporters or the Club were considering a priority, it wasn’t actually a bad turnout.
The disappointment comes when you consider how much higher the crowd could have been. Yes, there was a (slight) reduction from the normal League prices but that was obviously not enough to capture the imagination of the many that decided to stay away.
There are precious few evening matches that fall during the school holidays and one group of supporters that seemed to be lacking to me was children. This brings the old question of is it money in the coffers that matters or should it be bums on seat
If you were to take a straw poll of supporters I am sure that they would say that they do not want to be sat in a two thirds empty stadium and if you were to ask players I imagine they would like to be playing in front of faces rather than seats.
So how could there have been a larger turnout?
We all know how much people love special offers. A child ticket free with every adult has worked in the past and with the Johnstons Paint Trophy first round against Swindon following next week, there could have been a buy one get one free type of arrangement.
The other question I have heard muttered is why wasn’t there a discount for season ticket holders.
I realise that things can be made more difficult with the fact that the pricing has to be agreed between the two clubs but all the visiting clubs are interested in is how much money they can earn and by getting it right everyone can be happy.
*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.