Thursday, 9 August 2012

Sell Out Saturday

As most of our readers will be aware, this Saturday has been dubbed 'Sell Out Saturday' in the SPL. Sell Out Saturday is one of the key 'movements' to come out over this summer when fans of all clubs pulled together and vowed to back the clubs, if they in turn backed sporting integrity. The first club to propose 'Sell Out Saturday' was Aberdeen, where over the past few years the below image has become a common sight.

The message was simple - If Pittodrie Stadium sells out on the opening home match of the season then this will help to make up for any loss that resulted in a visit by Rangers fans who would have inevitably sold out their section this season. (In reality only 15,468 made that match last year...not a sell out of 22,199)

So this Saturday Phil will be making the trip north to see how successful the campaign is. 

Last season Aberdeen had an average home attendance of just 8,770 and is the perfect example of a club and a fan base that had turned it's back on Scottish Football. In order to call Saturday a success, for me the only factor is to get the attendance back above 14,000 mark. Like many SPL clubs Aberdeen has a stadium bigger than is needed (but we'll touch on that more this season). With almost 7,000 season tickets sold already at Aberdeen the early signs are good, but the proof will be in the pudding. 

Similar proposals are happening around the country and an interesting one that caught my eye is 'Turnbull Day'. Fans of Celtic, Dundee United, Hearts & Hibs who have the weekend off are encouraging each other to head to Raith Rovers vs Hamilton at Starks Park in support of Raith Rovers Chairman Turnbull Hutton who was the first SFL chairman to publicly stand up for the fans this summer.

We have debated what will make 'Sell Out Saturday' a success amongst us. Personally, I think any increase in attendances from last season is a success. SPL grounds are not going to Sell Out all season. They were all built at a time when football went mad and grounds had to be a certain way and as a result most are bigger than the clubs fanbase. However, if any can this weekend then that would be outstanding. 

I was interested in what the clubs are doing to both support this day and games over the course of the season. Are prices being dropped to encourage fans through the door? Is free transport being offered to away fans (like Ross County last weekend)? It doesn't seem so...this HAS to change. It is worth noting however, that some clubs ARE doing their bit and St Johnstone have to be commended on their free Under 12's season ticket scheme. In the Junior leagues, Spartan's are offering half price season tickets to anyone who holds a season ticket for any SPL or SFL club. I'm also sure there are others doing things that we've not heard of yet so please let us know!

Enjoy Sell Out Saturday and check back with us early next week for a report on the success of the day.

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