LLANELLI general manager Nigel Richards fears a “downward spiral” in Welsh Premier attendances after just 95 people turned up at Stebonheath Park last Saturday.
The paltry figure was the Reds’ lowest gate during their time in Welsh football’s top division and over the past three years, Llanelli’s average has fallen dramatically from 425 to 210.
In the rugby-mad West Wales town, the football club had to contend with the big Grand Slam match on the same afternoon although up in the North, the Prestatyn-Bangor fixture attracted close to 500 spectators.
Richards says that a drop in numbers coming to matches will inevitably have a knock-on effect on other revenue streams such as advertising.
“There were a lot of factors for the low crowd level on Saturday,” Richards told the Llanelli Star. “Swansea City were playing and of course there was the Grand Slam game to contend with.
“Saturdays do tend to be our lowest attended games - people just seem to have other things to do. It’s always a shame to get a low crowd, we have tried various schemes including bringing a friend to a match for £1, but we still get low numbers.
“We don’t survive on the money taken in by the gates alone, but if numbers keep falling then it can affect the money we get from commercial revenue.
“Businesses may not want to support a club with poorly attended games. It’s a downward spiral from there.
“It was disappointing but we will soldier on, the worst thing was it was a great game, people are mistaken if they think the games are poor.”
Long gone are the days when Llanelli played in front of crowds of between 4,000 and 6,000 in the 1950s, but the club is already looking at ways to boost crowds from now on.
“We do have the final home game of the season coming up on April 14, but I already know that we will struggle to attract people as the FA Cup semi-final is on that day,” he added.
“We are instead looking to host a few family days out and charity events on match days, in a bid to attract families and the wider community.”