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