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Increasing the home support

Yesterday’s gate of 8,422 was very pleasing. The ticket income combined with the catering and off-field activities would have added much-needed money into the coffers.

On a slightly negative side, the match itself wasn’t a sell-out. I find this a bit disappointing against a massive club like Sunderland. Credit WWFC for giving the Black Cats over 2,700 tickets for their first-ever visit to Adams Park. I hope their fans appreciated the hospitality afforded to them. They only received 1,088 tickets at Luton so I hope the extra 1,800 or so who came yesterday enjoyed their day out in leafy Bucks.

With 2,723 official away supporters in a crowd of 8,422 (& there were quite a few others dotted around the ground) our home support was around 5,500. In order to stay in League One (& even have a go at the play-offs) this has got to be the norm. If it were our average total attendance over the season would be nearer 7,000.

With the club losing money at a scary rate boosting the attendances has got to be a priority. The blueprint for this should be Charlton Athletic. They are very pro-active in their local community (as is WWSET). Charlton are based, like Wycombe, in a pretty culturally diverse area. However, they also have a large support that comes from mid-Kent. They have worked tirelessly to increase support, although this has currently been scuppered by the antics of their Belgian owner.

For anyone visiting Adams Park yesterday for the first time it must have seemed pretty impressive. A big crowd, good atmosphere and plenty of drama on the pitch. Even if WW had to issue loads of free tickets a full, or near-full Adams Park is a great draw.

Whoever wins the bid to invest in the club, money alone will not solve the problem in the long-term. It will be expanding the fan base so we become the undisputed number one club in Bucks.

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Comments

  • Totally agree Andy, we should be marketing ourselves as Bucks number one sporting clubs around all the smaller towns and villages in Buckinghamshire.

  • So what you suggest @A_Worboys . An essay piece with no real conclusion or suggestion.

    I agree with the theory but was it really that impressive yesterday?
    Long, long catering queues an hour before the fame in the Woodlands with complaints aplenty heard by many around.
    An away drinking area positioned just by the entrance for parents to negotiate their kids around with hearing too much bad language.

    That's not even starting a debate about how many are switched off by the amazing amounts of time wasting or the impact of a mass brawl on parents taking their kids along.

    I'm really not how the club can grow its fan base further than it has already. That takes success or generations.

  • I could be an appalling parent but I've found if there is one thing kids love...it is hearing and seeing adults behaving badly. They would probably be disappointed to find out that it does not happen every week.

    👍 👎 ( 1 )
  • @Wendoverman said:
    I could be an appalling parent but I've found if there is one thing kids love...it is hearing and seeing adults behaving badly. They would probably be disappointed to find out that it does not happen every week.

    Strongly agree!

  • M3GM3G
    edited March 10

    The debate around bad language and behaviours in general do sometimes amaze me. I would say that Adams park is just about the friendliest ground in the country, some would say to friendly. So @Right_in_the_Middle you might find not so many agree with those points. Just go and visit any other ground as a home fan. It's quite revealing.

  • I think @Right_in_the_Middle 's stance is where the club has been for twenty years, without success the fan base can't be grown further.

    Plenty agree with that and those that don't have lost the argument really.

  • @ChasHarps said:
    Totally agree Andy, we should be marketing ourselves as Bucks number one sporting clubs around all the smaller towns and villages in Buckinghamshire.

    Never thought I’d say this but I agree with Mr.Harps. When I helped out with the club’s media operation I did a mini survey in the area visiting leisure centres, bus and train stations, shopping precincts, colleges and schools and local pubs (only in the interests of research,honestly) and there was barely a reference to WWFC anywhere.
    We just don’t have a big enough profile in the town and surrounding areas.

  • This is something that, in theory, could be easily and cheaply fixed; Encourage fans to collect posters/fixture posters from the ground and ask their local shop/pub/school/chippy/leisure centre to display it, hand out vouchers for free tickets at local schools, take out a wrap-around advert to cover the front pages of the BFP, run a competition encouraging local businesses to put up WW displays in their windows with the winner getting a free box for a game (run it every month to encourage them to keep the displays up!) Target schools, youth clubs, leisure centres, 5-a-side centres. Put framed fixture posters up in the changing rooms at the Rye and other local sports changing facilities. Offer discounted tickets to students at Bucks Uni and personnel serving at the local RAF bases.

    This isn't something that can be rectified overnight, but requires sustained action. No criticism of the club mind, I think our marketing division consists pretty much of Matt Cecil when he's not doing his other 106 jobs at the club, but perhaps a few volunteers could help us broaden our net.

  • @peterparrotface said:
    I think @Right_in_the_Middle 's stance is where the club has been for twenty years, without success the fan base can't be grown further.

    Plenty agree with that and those that don't have lost the argument really.

    But we’ve had success in recent times with a visit to Wembley in the play offs and automatic promotion last season. What do people need to persuade them to spend their Saturday afternoons at Adams Park?
    I normally find myself agreeing with RITM but on this occasion I don’t. I thought yesterday was a good advert for WWFC. Of course there were queues for catering with such a big crowd; the marquee for away fans has to be at their end of the ground; not sure if time wasting or the mass brawl would really have such a negative affect on young or first time fans as it didn’t detract from an excellent game and very good display by Wycombe.

  • @glasshalffull standing ovation

  • A couple of suggestions, both of which I have shamelessly nicked from my local club, Solihull Moors.

    Firstly, discounted tickets to STHs of other clubs (for arguments sake, let’s say Reading, Watford and the London clubs). I accept that local geography and population makes this an easier win for Moors but a fair few do turn up when their ‘big’ team isn’t playing and, anecdotally, Moors have gained a few permanent supporters who prefer the match day experience there to BCFC and AVFC.

    Secondly, Moors have expanded out massively into youth football and have a couple of teams in each of the age groups of the local leagues. Again, through a combination of discounting tickets and tapping into ‘my club’ loyalty, the numbers of youngsters coming to games has increased.

    Now neither of these are magic bullets and on pitch success has also played its part but, in terms of raising the club’s profile and getting a few more through the turnstiles, they’ve worked.

  • Big queues (when caused by higher than usual demand rather than the usual amateurism) are an opportunity not a downside. You're not going to fix anything without spending a few quid so increasing revenue has to be a key.

  • I cannot believe Dev hasn’t jumped on this thread yet.

    I’ve always thought a car sticker is a cheap profile raiser. No naff slogans, just the logo and Wycombe Wanderers.

    Probably remove if holidaying near Plymouth.

  • edited March 11

    Dev's been very quiet since Dr Congo highlighted his insane ramblings on the Plymouth forum.

  • How does the Catherine Tate inspired marketing of 'Wycombe Whatever' get new supporters to the ground regularly?

  • edited March 11

    @Jonny_King, back in a different century I frequented said educational facility, and remember the looks of "no chance" when trying to get some fellow students along to the games.
    It took FA Cup fever in the semi final run to get them interested unfortunately.

    With so many bigger clubs within a fairly short drive, it's a big ask to get floaters along.
    The best way has always been indoctrination at a young age. Utterly smashing schools - get them hooked, and then like some of us, we'll always be Wycombe fans.

  • I made a suggestion many years ago that there should be a sign post at Handy Cross stating that it was 2 miles to Wycombe Wanderers the club that was Miles ahead.

  • I missed dev being insane on the Plymouth site @Oxfordblue do you have a link?

  • @wformation , just wondering how many floaters would read that and think, "oh that's witty, i'll get down there"

  • 2 of my buddies wanted a beer before the game but were put off by the queue. Some years ago the Trust asked for volonteers to help in the outside bars before the game ( luton on Boxing Day] Saturday with our biggest home gate of the season NOTHING come on guys get organised

  • There is loads more we can/should be doing to get more through the door but ultimately our current financial position makes it tough.

    • local schools, after school football courses and a few free tickets.
    • how much advertising do we do in surrounding areas? Risborough, Thame, Missenden, Wendover etc.
    • reduced ticket days for season ticket holders of premier league clubs during international breaks etc.
    • make season tickets for adults cheaper. More people might be inclined to buy if it were say £10 a game. I think Bradford did this recently.
    • advertise at London Marylebone station. Plenty of locals passing through there every day.

    As I say it’s tough with our financial situation right now but worth exploring if/when that changes.

  • @fromtheside , lots of good ideas.
    Not sure on the reduced season ticket idea though. It'd need serious costing. It worked for Bradford as they have a huge fanbase. Not sure it'd be the same for us.

    Remember when they equalised the cost of seats around the ground? Previously the middle blocks of the Frank Adams had a premium attached to them. It seemed an unnecessary saving for people who were obviously fine with it, or they'd have soon moved elsewhere!

  • @fromtheside I stand in wendover high street shouting 'I'm off to Wycombe wanderers now!' on matchdays if that helps. Otherwise not much about. A poster at every station along the lines into Marylebone might help as well as targetting all the new builds in Aylesbury on former industrial sites (One for dev there.)

  • Dev would adult and seniors transposed.
    Oldies have too much disposable income.

  • Eh @micra - me not understand.

  • Was dropping off @mooneyman. Not sure now what point I was trying to make but I think I had in mind that @DevC argued almost interminably a year or two ago against concessions for pensioners on the grounds that most (in his opinion) had far more disposable income than younger folk. As one who manages pretty well in relatively late old age I have some sympathy with his view but the truth is that for every me there is at least one senior citizen (and I know quite a few) who really struggle to make ends meet.

  • We need to win something significant and that'll attract the youngsters. It's how Oxford swelled their support way back. In the meantime we just keep plugging away with amazing performances every week that the floating support seems to ignore!

  • The increase in youngsters this season (admittedly a high percentage getting in free) bodes very well for the future.

  • My view is that senior discounts should only apply at state pension age.
    I would also scrap free tickets to Under 12s and instead charge a nominal £1 per game.
    Someone else can work out how much additional income that would bring in but at a time when every penny counts it would make a positive contribution at minimal cost to those affected.

  • terrible idea, in my opinion

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