Sunday, December 9, 2007

Middlesbrough's Fans Are a Disgrace

I turned on the Middlesbrough-Arsenal game this morning and was disgusted by what I saw at Riverside Stadium. I'm not talking about the quality of play; that was fine, and Middlesbrough pulled a shocker in earning a 2-1 win over the previously unbeaten Gunners. I'm not talking about a sloppy field or bad weather; the pitch was in good shape and it was a nice day by English standards.

No, what I'm referring to is another disappointing turnout at the Riverside. Arsenal are on top of the Premiership and you would think a capacity crowd would've come to see them and make it more difficult for them to pick up a victory away from home. You would think that the fans would want to create a hostile atmosphere and environment so that their team, who are candidates for relegation, would have a better chance to earn much-needed points from the game. As usual, however, the English seem to defy customary logic and what I saw today was a three-quarters filled (maybe) stadium.

Middlesbrough's official average attendance this year is 26,393, good for 13th highest in the Premiership. Their stadium capacity is roughly 35,000, but if there are only 9,000 empty seats in that stadium on a given matchday, I'm Cristiano Ronaldo. I'm sorry, that attendance figure has to be completely inaccurate and it's such a shame when the fans don't come out to see these afternoon games, especially when the best team in the league comes to town. How Middlesbrough pulled out a victory today with the kind of crowd they had today is beyond me. It's a testament to the players more than anything and I give them full credit for getting up to play this game, but come on, it's pathetic that the stadium wasn't full and seeing all these empty seats on a weekly basis is just sad.


tyduffy said...

I sort of understand it though. With the exception of the Arsenal win today, they have been thoroughly uninspiring this season.

I think that combined with the ticket prices probably keeps people away.

Nik said...

you've got to agree with tyduffy, uninspiring yes, but those prices are robbery.

MJ said...

I know ticket prices are pretty expensive and that's a trend that will continue to be the case no matter what team it is or where they play.

I would understand it if this was a game against Bolton or Fulham or some other similar team that isn't that good and isn't a rival..but come on, this was Arsenal, the league leaders. Are you telling me the fans can't shell out the few extra pounds to come out and watch this game??

MJ said...

I mean to further my point, look at Bolton's 1-0 win over Manchester United. Everyone knows Bolton is by far the inferior team of the two and nine times out of 10, United win that game. But with a sellout crowd at the Reebok, Bolton's players were inspired and fed off the fans' energy to pull off the upset.