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Growing Up…

Date: 15th June 2019

By Donald C Stewart

There’s more of us.

No seriously there is.

Now it might be the competitive nature of the product, but then again Celtic have been completely dominant for three years so it can’t be that.

It might be the excitement of the play offs that people had campaigned for, for years; but the SFA didn’t have the original idea so it can’t be that.

It might be names of the leagues because they sound so unique, but they copied them from another league so it can’t be that…

So what is it?

For four years in a row, SPFL attendance have risen and we now have four and a half million attendances across the professional leagues. Spread over a season with 788 league matches that represents a financial increase that is boosted by 41,000  more paying customers than the year before, which was more than the year before that, and the year before that and then again…

Whilst Neil Doncaster might go on about us punching above our weight – what about Scottish fans punching with their weight? What about us getting together under one banner and fighting for our cause?

Once you add in the cup attendances that rise grows to nearly 55,000 more than the year before.

Of the average home attendances, what was interesting was that it meant that, last year, Championship sides, Dundee United, Dunfermline Athletic, Falkirk and Ross County were better supported than Premiership clubs, St Johnstone, Livingston and Hamilton.

FALKIRK WHO GOT RELEGATED!!!

In there, there are plenty of tales to be told as to why those skirting around relegation struggle to get people in whilst those fighting for promotion have an easier task, unless yer Falkirk!!

The financial muscle at the bottom end of the league might well be the least exercised down that end but had recently relegated Berwick Rangers been in an attendance competition rather than a footballing league they would have managed a respectable enough 6th place finish.

Comparisons with the tiers below League Two are not available but the health of leading Junior Clubs, Highland Teams and the Lowland League will give rise to the optimism that football is a growth sport, a growing industry that needs matched by a consumer organisation with clout.

A professional body willing to listen and help implement those needs of its loyal fan base would be a radical way forward and there are signs that we may be making a shift in the right direction for that – of course – all eyes should be on Hampden… let’s see what this good news does actually bring in good action to match it. Bet you it’s a pat on the back…

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