Club talk

Boxing Day fixtures and on the 4th day of Christmas….

The argument for National 1 fixtures over the Christmas weekend was strengthened somewhat for me yesterday  when I discovered that Wasps had attracted 24,500 to their game at the Ricoh for their Sunday fixture against Saracens.

I couldn’t find their average gate so far this season, but they did average 19,500 during the first sixth moments of their tenure here in Coventry and I’m guessing the average gate will be the same or a little lower since September. An increase of almost a third on their average attendance makes it a very profitable day’s work for the Premiership side.

Surely clubs who are struggling financially in leagues below the Championship would benefit greatly from a home Boxing Day fixture every other year?

Even with their present poor run of form, Coventry could have expected 1500+ spectators, some 450ish in excess of their current season’s average. With anticipated bar sales being greater than the typical match day average, it represents a lucrative payday for clubs over what at the moment is a barren two weeks in the rugby calendar.

Comments on the messageboard suggest that most supporters miss a Christmas fixture and it would be interesting to know just how many of those who would have attended a Coventry game had it been at the Butts, ended up going to the Ricoh. I’m willing to be a fair few.

Of course, there is the argument that it allows players a break and a chance to rest, but from what I’ve seen and heard via social media, many players either train or go and watch rugby elsewhere, so I’m not altogether sure they would be against the idea.

The other benefit of course is that the season would finish a week earlier, which presumably would be better for teams as most ‘1 year’ contracts seem to  once the season is completed, this saving them a week’s pay…?

I readily acknowledge that a blank weekend at the end of December would enable matches postponed as a result of inclement weather prior to then to be played. However, given frozen pitches are far less of an occurrence than they ever used to be (and certainly not in December any more) then this isn’t an argument that carries much weight.

It’s a spurious debate I know, given that it’s just not going to happen in the foreseeable future, but I’d like to think there are a group of Chairman from the National 1 and National 2 leagues who have been writing letters this weekend to the RFU to make the case.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Day 4 of the ‘Coventry’s Most Valuable Player’ poll results and this time it’s the 9th place that’s published.

And you voted for:

Andy Brown

Andy Brown

Congratulations to Andy.

I’m delighted that Andy has  made it into the top 12 list.

More often than not the front row get forgotten in these sorts of polls and surveys because they’re the ones in the heart of the battle up front, doing the hard graft to win enough ball to get others noticed, for which they resulting plaudits.

Andy is a rock in the scrum, the only player to have appeared in every game so far, starting in 12 of them, which is some record given the physicality of the front row.

He is one of the few standout performers this season and is as consistent as anyone in the team.

Well done Andy.

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Tomorrow will see 8th place in the MVP poll announced.

Categories:Club talk

5 replies »

  1. the big attraction being THE NUMBER ONE CLUB TEAM IN THE COUNTRY…..with families celebrating xmas together. Cov will never attract high thousands in attendances except if its a pre season game against 2ND/3RD PREM TEAM.

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    • Hi Mark, thank you for leaving your comment; hopefully the first of many.
      I do agree with you, we are a family club which is all the more reason to hold an additional Christmas fixture when so many families come together. I know both my daughters and their children/partners would have come, which would be an extra 5-6 through the turnstile alone…it just makes sense to me.
      Attendances of several thousands won’t happen unless we are promoted, but certainly 2000 -2500 is possible and the revenue from that would make a substantial difference…
      Anyway, it’s all ifs and buts…

      Thanks again for coming across from the messageboard where I always read your comments with interest.

      Happy New Year,
      Tim

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  2. I chose Nuneaton Town versus Tamworth as my Boxing Day sport! Practically identical kit to ours (blue and white hoops and plastered in sponsorship) and roughly comparable attendance of 1,165. However when a spectator behind me suggested Marlon Harewood use his genitals to shut the female referee up, it knew I wasn’t at the rugby!

    Nuneaton currently play in the sixth level of the football pyramid and are the joint 117th ranked team in England.

    We currently sit at 34th overall and in the 3rd tier. I know football and rugby can’t be directly compared business- wise but I think it’s interesting to know the relativity attendance- wise.

    If Cov had been playing, I’d have been there with extended family and additional friends who don’t normally attend – all non season ticket holders… Would love to see a Boxing Day game back in the calendar.

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    • Oh dear is all I can say about the spectator’s comment! I don’t think I could ever cope with that degree of crass stupidity week in, week out. Do you happen to know whether the attendance as inflated as it was a Boxing Day game, or is that pretty much the average?
      As I said in reply to Mark’s comment, I would also have brought along several additional ‘guests’, as would many of the spectators.
      It’s not Coventry’s fault, so I shouldn’t moan, but the RFU aren’t helping club’s finances by having a blank weekend…

      Happy New Year…!

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      • I understand it was close to double the average home attendance this season (they were previously higher in the Conference National).

        323 were away supporters according to the Announcer.

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