Lincoln Attendances: How Low / Long Can We Go?
Lincoln City’s attendance figures are now at an all-time low, breaching the previous 2023 achieved during the season that we were last relegated from the Football League. That triumphant first season in the Conference saw us average 3,572, as the Mighty Imps made a record 5th return to claim our golden ticket. Let us look at those attendances on a season by season basis and, how they will ensure bust -the-budget-Bob- brings another Bank loss.
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
We have started post World War II, as prior figures are a little sketchy, especially pre 1930′s, when Government legislation was brought in to counter suspected ‘turnstile tax evasion’. We have all heard the stories, not to mention the wheezes, the turnstile operators may have employed. The full table is at the bottom, for those who wish to cut to the chase, but here are this and last season’s comparisons in depth, as an aperitif, a prawn volovant if you will. Then just for fun, akin to the way the board preside over the finances, a fishy course based on the break even and projected figures. Then to the main course Imps crowds through the ages. The desert, a double entendre if ever there was one, speaks for itself.
|Highest Gate||5506 Grimsby||2112 Harriers|
|Lowest Gate||1587 Gateshead||1566 Alfreton|
|Total turnstile clicks||53990||9114|
We have taken the latest PR faux pas, where it was admitted that the club would need 2800-3000 gates to break-even. Basing our model purely on the folly of this, STMI have taken last season’s crowds and those of this so far, to calculate the losses over the full 23 captivating home encounters. Remember we will have the uplifting financial impact, of 1850 Mariners dancing on our graves on Boxing day (Yes enough said) and, no one will be able to further help out by paying double to get out early. It would have been an interesting business model to discuss with the board tomorrow, mais c’est la vie c’est La Guerre!
Estimates from 1884 to 1893 (when we helped found the second Division) saw crowds around -3500. Then in 1893 the 4,000 barrier was tested growing steadily to 6,000 by the late 1920′s. A low of just over 5,000 in 1930 saw a handsome 50% rise in average gate receipts the following season, as we came second in Division 3 North. The following season we went up as Champions to the second Division. The first season back set a new high-average of 9,758.
The 1940′s and 1950′s are seen as the traditional golden era for football attendances, with the Imps no exception. Over 13,000 trooped to see the promotion season of 1948 as we went on to average in the teens until 1960. The following season saw free-fall as we went from the second to the third to the fourth in successive seasons. The sixties were bleak but the seventies saw us bounce back from the 4,000′s to the sixes and sevens. It peaked at an average of 8,401 for GT’s record setting Imps of ’76.
The mid eighties saw the real lows as many Imps lost the faith after the Bradford fire and of course the Gilbert Blades affair, where lack of ambition cost us a return to those heady days of the second tier. Bar a couple of sub 3,000 seasons in the early 1990′s we veered between 3 and 4,000 until Keith Alexander built us to just shy of a 5,000 average. Schofield’s brand of beautiful football saw us set a modern high of 5,176 in his first season, but alas as we know it has been down hill ever since.
|Season Ending||Level||League Position||Average||Rank Against 92|