The attendances at North Ferriby United matches have always been on the low side. My first game was a Tuesday Night in 2010 against Buxton playing in the NPL. And roughly the attendance for that game was 150. Maybe even less. As i write this post, 6 years later, we play home match in the National League and can only manage an attendance of around 470. Yes we have attracted for fans. But only a 300 ish increase in my comparison and we have had two promotions since then. Why is it we have such poor attendances?
First of all the simple fact is we have a Premier League club sitting on our doorstep. Hull City have been up into the Premier League twice since i started watching Ferriby. As well as there famous promotion in the 2007/08 season. This has cast Ferriby away because the people of this area would rather watch a higher level of football then what they see at Grange Lane. Even when they come for there friendly with us before the start of the season, City fans always say to me and my friends ‘ North Ferriby United actually have fans?’
It is a shame we have to live under the shadow of Hull City and even clubs across the water such as Scunthorpe and Grimsby. We have had so much success in the last couple of years we deserve better. We have probably been more successful than Hull have in years. An FA Cup Final appearance yes, and endless movements between the Championship and the Premier League. But Ferriby have won trophy’s which no one thought they would win and even compete for. Coming from 2-0 down against a Wrexham team who looked all set to win the FA Trophy before Ryan Kendall pulled us back and then we got a penalty shoot out win. Also we have had two promotions in the last four years which have put us one league away from the Football League. Another situation which a lot of people wouldn’t have expected. We don’t get enough credit for what we have done. And i am surprised this hasn’t brought in more and more fans over this period.
But i think it will always remain as a club which accepts fans from Hull City who can’t make it to there away games, we are thankful for the ones who come and join. But it just isn’t enough to increase the attendances substantially.
Another reason why we don’t get much support, is the fact as a club, we don’t spread the word enough about the games. Especially in the last 2 years. We used to display posters around the village to show games were going on but this has since disappeared. It may not of worked very much but the effort is there. Now it seems they have stopped all promotion of the games and just reverted to the odd social media message. We can’t go round doing offers such as ‘Everyone in for Free’ or ‘Pay what you want’ because the simple fact is we don’t the money to do something like this. Eastleigh have recently said they will be letting everyone in for free for there home game against Maidstone, but they get the attendances and they have money behind them, so it isn’t as much of an issue as it would be for us. Offers such as buy one get another one in free and allowing children in for free with adults are two of a only a few things we can do in terms of discounting tickets
North Ferriby has a population of around 3,900 people which is by far the smallest in the National League. Second to us is Forest Green who play in Nailsworth which has a population of nearly 6,000 approx. This comes as a big disadvantage to us in the first place. What the club need to do is advertise not just in Ferriby but in surrounding areas. Other villages like Brough, Elloughton and South Cave. Places like Hull and Beverley could also be places to advertise the games. Also use radio links. Hull Kingston Radio do brilliant commentary of our home games which the fans are very thankful for. Stations like KCFM, Radio Humberside should do more to make the public aware of our existence aside from our big games which miraculously become centre of attention when they come around. Local news programmes like Look North can be used to rally interest in our games. Public areas like pubs having posters in there windows could also work. Especially now we are in the highest league we have ever been in in our 82 year history. Advertising for our games should be as high as possible.
With a lot of big games coming up, there is no better time to get down to the Eon Visual Media Stadium and to watch The Villagers.