Martyn Starnes: Improving Huish Park will halt slide in Yeovil Town attendances
Yeovil Town chief executive Martyn Starnes believes improving facilities at Huish Park will stop crowds from dwindling, after the Glovers recorded their lowest ever Football League attendance.
Just 3,002 turned up to witness last Saturday’s excellent 3-1 win over Colchester United, which brought an end to six successive defeats in npower League One.
Starnes admitted that falling attendances are a nationwide problem, though, and believes the Glovers can help matters by improving their Huish Park headquarters.
Plans are in place to develop the ground and increase capacity to 9,665, despite arguments to suggest Yeovil do not need an expansion of their stadium. Starnes insisted that is not the case. “We need development to improve the facilities all round,” he said.
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“If you look at other clubs who have moved or improved their facilities, they’ve seen a rise in attendances because people have been more willing to go to the matches.
“We are doing all we can with the resources that we’ve got.”
Since Yeovil’s promotion to the Football League in 2003, crowds have risen and then fallen. Their first campaign as members of the League saw them average 6,196, and that increased to 6,320 when they were crowned League Two champions.
Their first season as a League One club saw them average 6,667, but, since then, the Somerset club’s average has fallen sharply and was only 3,984 last year.
“We are concerned, along with the rest of the Football League,” Starnes said. “There’s a general trend that they are lower this season.
“It’s not just a problem that’s common to Yeovil, it’s a problem throughout the League.
“We’re seeing people picking and choosing the games that they attend. At home to Coventry, on the first day of the season, there were 4,000 of our fans and 2,000 visitors.
“The game last Saturday [against Colchester] was entertaining, and the 3,000 or so who were here enjoyed it and I’m disappointed for the people that missed it. All we can do is keep plugging away.”