Celtic v Morton crowd

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Celtic v Morton crowd

Post by Scottish » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:12 am

Once again Celtic have failed to publish a crowd figure for a fixture which will have drawn a poor attendance. I note that they are always quick to announce crowds when the 'full house' notices need to be put up but are reluctant when it comes to smaller gates.

The nub of the matter is that if the biggest club in Scotland (at least for now) can't/don't issue crowd figures then how can we expect the non-league sides in the Scottish Cup to do so?

There is nothing available on the usual sites - the SPFL's own, ESPN, Soccerbase, Football 365, Footymad. I have seen a figure of 14,000 quoted in an online Celtic fan site but nothing to confirm this. Celtic's own site is useless. Of course match reports are biased towards the home team on any site but a report which starts "A soft penalty" is particularly untrustworthy. But I digress. The stats on the game give only line-ups, subs (both used and unused), and scorers.

Previously Celtic could be contacted by email or a regular phone number. Now, the only email services are for tickets, visitor centre, supporter liaison, website & TV, matchday info, big screen messages, Celtic View, fans comments, superstore, catering, corporate hospitality, HR, and brand protection. By regular phone you can only get in touch for tickets and supporter liaison.

It might seem like a lot but everything else has to go through an 0871 number. In other words general or any enquiry not covered in any of the above, and, quite incredibly, the press office.

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Re: Celtic v Morton crowd

Post by Gorgiewave » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:08 am

Nothing on the Morton website either.

Celtic will surely know the crowd, if only because they'll have to pay VAT on the cost of entry.
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Re: Celtic v Morton crowd

Post by Scottish » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:16 pm

I've asked the SPFL. In the past I've been able to contact Celtic and they've been helpful but I'm damned if I'm going to phone a premium number.

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Re: Celtic v Morton crowd

Post by the hibLOG » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:14 am

Gorgiewave wrote:Celtic will surely know the crowd,
They surely do, but once again they are holding back its publication until everyone has moved along and they can slip it out to minimum embarrassment at just how many of the self-styled 'greatest fans in the world' couldn't be arsed going along to support their beloved team and just maybe inspire them to overcome a lower league team. Sure, everyone's gates are lower for this stage of this competition and there's a recession on and all, but it's nevertheless nauseating to see how they go about protecting their undeserved reputation for fanatacism.
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Re: Celtic v Morton crowd

Post by Matt » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:54 am


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Re: Celtic v Morton crowd

Post by Scottish » Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:28 am

Thanks Matt. Though I'm sure the police are wrong in stating they think every club includes STs. On this occasion seasons wouldn't apply. I just wish clubs would issue accurate figures - which they must have - rather than wait for tit-for-tat FOI queries which, apart from anything else, are a diversion of resources and manpower.

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Re: Celtic v Morton crowd

Post by Skyline Drifter » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:04 pm

scottish wrote:Thanks Matt. Though I'm sure the police are wrong in stating they think every club includes STs. On this occasion seasons wouldn't apply. I just wish clubs would issue accurate figures - which they must have - rather than wait for tit-for-tat FOI queries which, apart from anything else, are a diversion of resources and manpower.
Correct David. Some do, some don't.

As I've stated before, we at Queen of the South only include those attending on the day as that's what the meters record as they enter. It would take a significant manual labour task to include those season tickets not in attendance and certainly wouldn't be calculated on the day of the game.

And I would presume that the Celtic season tickets did not apply on that night (though some might give access to the first home league cup tie?). It's probably standard phrasing on a police reply about attendances.

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Re: Celtic v Morton crowd

Post by Scottish » Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:12 pm

Likewise AFAIK Killie have always announced only those actually in attendance and the season ticket covers only home league matches (at a reduced rate some cover home league matches minus the OF). In the days when the League Cup was played in sections, the season book covered the three guaranteed home games but not any subsequent ties. Scottish Cup and European matches have never been available on a season ticket.

Regarding the OF, I'm not sure about Celtic, but Rangers have ALWAYS counted ALL season ticket holders as being in attendance. They've been criticised for it in recent years with masses of empty seats seen at Ibrox but 40,000+ crowd figures being recorded. 'Twas ever thus. It's just that the effects (usually) didn't produce a dramatic difference, especially as the majority of the support was standing. If there was a crowd of around say 30,000 at Ibrox, adding 3,000 or so season tickets didn't significantly affect the way the crowd appeared on camera.

As I've mentioned before there were some occasions when exceptionally low crowds meant that adding season book holders DID make a difference. The examples I cite most frequently are in the run-up to the ECWC final in 1972 when 3,390 season ticket holders were added to home matches v Ayr United & Dunfermline Athletic to give figures of 5,869 & 6,021 respectively - poor figures for Rangers at any time but on the eve of a major European final absolutely horrendous.

Yet these figures actually overstate the numbers. For the Ayr game 1,485 adults & 994 children/seniors paid at the gate - 2,479. For Dunfermline it was 1,632 & 999 - 2,631.

However these figures themselves aren't accurate as they exclude ANY season ticket holders in attendance due to those turning up not being counted separately. The difference here between QoS & Rangers is that while Queen's count those only going through the turnstile, Rangers assume everyone with a season ticket does.

It's therefore impossible to do more than estimate the numbers in attendance at these particular matches, knowing they were less than the published figure but more than those paying at the gate. What will never be known is how many of the season ticket holders actually turned up. The numbers who paid were a little over 10% of the average crowd that PAID for entry. Did only 10% or so of ST holders turn up? Or, by the very nature of them being ST holders in the first place, did that mean their dedication was higher than that of the average fan? In which case a higher percentage would have done so.

The only thing that can be said with certainty is that the published figure overestimated the numbers there and the figure for paying customers underestimated it.

In any case there is a strong argument for saying that clubs are perfectly entitled to add all season ticket holders as they have paid for admission whether they turn up or not.

I have to say that Rangers were far from alone in this. Many smaller clubs did so too. There are countless examples but these will suffice. It was reported that on May 2nd 1978 Clydebank v Dundee United was watched by just 430 and this was a record low for the Premier Division (and was indeed recorded as such in several football annuals) yet the actual figure submitted to the SFL was 1,030 as the Bankies added 600 season ticket holders for every home game.

In 1978-79 Meadowbank Thistle issued three figures which bear close scrutiny - 215 v Brechin City, 221 v Forfar Athletic & 231 v East Stirlingshire. The number of paying adults in each instance was 24, 26 & 29.

The record low crowd (post-war at any rate) is 22 for Edinburgh City v Brechin City in the C Division in 1948-49. Those were paying spectators and there is no figure available which includes any season ticket holders. Yet in 1977-78 Meadowbank had just 21 paying for a match v Stranraer but the figure submitted to the SFL was 94.

An idea of how figures are broken down at matches with small attendances can be gleaned from the game between East Stirling & Meadowbank at Firs Park on Nov 25th 1978. The crowd was given as 120. 66 of these were season ticket holders & comps. 44 were children/seniors. Ten, yes TEN, were paying adults.

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