Ever Decreasing Crowds
Call it a lack of ambition by the club, rising ticket prices, saturation football on TV, poor atmosphere, poor stewarding or a combination of these things, call it what you like but something is amiss at Manchester City Football Club.
Home attendance is down by nearly 10,000, away tickets can, in the main, be picked up on open sale and more and more people are finding it difficult to devote their time and money to a cause that previously went before all else.
I have my own ideas and believe it is that the unwritten 'were all in it together' attitude that accompanied the club on its slide into real division three oblivion has been lost.
'Supporting our Supporters' is no longer a motto at the club and doesn't it show. It's as if the club were happy to jump on the shirt tails of the supporters to ensure we got back into the big time but now we're back we're not really needed.
The big money doesn't come through the gate anymore, it comes from the great god that is Sky (and that revenue stream is set to get bigger)so the priority becomes the security of that revenue stream.
City cannot expect to compete against the so called 'big four' so the only way to secure their revenue is not from playing attractive football but by survival. Dull, unadventurous football is the result (which may yet backfire), cheap, foreign signings with no affinity for the club become the norm.
The supporters aren't stupid though. They sense this time that things have moved on and we are no longer 'all in it together'. They don't trust the current board to work with the supporters for the good of the club.
You can throw whatever excuse you wish for the decline in attendance but money, TV and kick off times haven't put off City supporters before. It seems that for a lot of people the relationship has ended. They have got off the ride when the club stopped listening and they may take some winning back.
Over to you MCFC.