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Wanderers chairman confident gates will increase
ATTENDANCES for Wycombe Wanderers plunged to a new low last weekend when only 3,020 fans turned up at Adams Park to see them lose 2-1 to Rochdale.
That figure marked the lowest home crowd for Blues for a Saturday League match since they were promoted to the Football League in 1993.
Just days earlier Gareth Ainsworth had been appointed permanent manager after a month as caretaker boss, but even that failed to galvanise the town.
However, co-chairman Don Woodward insists the news isn’t as bleak as it appears.
He said: “There are no alarm bells. Lots of things are going on with attendances.
“We’re realistic of where we are in the league, what league we’re in and who we were playing.
“It would be lovely if we were getting 3,500-4,000 regularly and we could build on that, but there will be games when it’s going to be touch and go if we get 3,000.”
Woodward also points to the stark economic climate as a contributing factor.
Rochdale brought about 300 fewer fans than the last time they came to Wycombe and Woodward says that, having spoken to chairmen around the country, everyone has noticed a dip.
Further, he admits the club hasn’t been doing everything possible to sell itself to the town since the takeover in the summer.
The thinking there is that the matchday experience wasn’t up to scratch and if new supporters turned up and were disappointed they might have been turned off for good.
Woodward said: “A lot of things have changed and I’m confident if people come along now the matchday experience will be better.
“We will be doing more promotions and marketing now. There are lots of initiatives.
“That hasn’t been a priority, we’ve been concentrating on stabilising the club in recent months.”
And while 3,020 might make grim reading, it’s not terminal. In terms of the break-even point for Blues on a matchday, Saturday’s crowd was on the limit.
Woodward said: “Between 3,000 and 3,500 is ok, but that is only part of the overall business. There are other income streams.”