Hartlepool United chief executive Mark Maguire has issued a rallying call to fans after the club recorded its lowest attendance in 20 years this week.
Just 1,721 fans were in attendance as Pools lost their SIXTH game on the bounce in the National League against Fylde on Tuesday evening.
That was the smallest number of fans seen at the Vic since October 24, 1998.
And with another home game on the horizon, Maguire has called on fans to stick by the club in their time of need, having dispensed of manager Matthew Bates yesterday.
“We have made a big thing about pulling together as a club and identify that as a key part of building towards future success. We’ve asked fans to back us and get behind the team and we have promised to do all we can on and off the pitch,” Maguire told Blue Print.
“There are two ways to react to disagreements; one is to allow it to tear everything apart, the other is to have a bloody good sort out and go forward together. As a board and as a group we will be insisting on the latter because how we react to the first real bit of adversity that we have faced will define us in the long term.
“It is all very well asking for support from the fans - and I make no apology for the fact we will keep asking because you can make a difference - but it needs to come from us, the staff, the management, the players.
“As chief executive of this fantastic football club I ask every single Poolie to get behind the lads.”
The attendance against AFC Fylde marks a massive drop, even compared to this season’s crowds.
Pools’ gate dropped 100 from the FA Cup replay against Gillingham, but around 1,800 from the Barnet clash, which was live on BT Sports, just last week.
Seven of the 11 home league games this season have seen more than 3,000 fans through the gates and the club has sold more than 2,000 season tickets.
So why did so many stay away from the Vic? Here is how YOU reacted to the crowd on social media. Included below are responses to fans, when asked by our man Liam Kennedy, what reason Poolies stayed away from the Vic.
@JohnJewson It’s not the drab, unappealing weather that puts fans off. Seen the Vic with bumper crowds on many occasions in conditions a lot worse than that over the years. It’s the drab, unappealing product served up on the pitch that stops fans going.
@no6bus Pools fans will turn up when there is a chance we will put effort in, at the moment we are watching a dead team refusing to lie down
@MARKCARROLL3 lowest league crowd for 20 years tells its own story @dave_littlefair If it was down to the weather the ground would always be empty. It doesn’t take a genius to work out. 6 league games without a point tells its own story.
@Hooksy_1 If it’d have been worth busting a gut to get out for I’d have gone, but November and it’s weather is depressing enough without sitting through 90 mins of that.
@ChrisThebe Pools are just really boring to watch far to much possession in our half and not enough attacking play. Other teams come to the Vic, sit back and got us on the counter attack every game...simples
@charljenkins I’d happily stand in that weather, it’s a bit of rain BUT its that sort of performance that puts people off and the tactics, when the crowds that low too it tells a lot.
@Haydomeasor At the beginning of the season we still weren’t paying great football but picking up points so I thought we could improve as the season went on but now I’ve realised that was us at our best which is shocking we’ve only beat one team by 2 goals.
@hallyink Issue with Pools is that the fans patience and resolve has finally reached breaking point. We need a team, tactics and players who are set up, equipped and ready to compete and play NL football. Solihull, Gateshead can do it on smaller crowds/budget so why can’t we.
@bigdoug61 Hartlepool fans going through their own bushtucker challenge every home game. I’m a pools fan get me out of here.
@paulkeay You don’t have to go back too far to find the club in League One averaging 5000 at home. Last night was the clubs lowest home League gate in 20 years. Lots of people have been lost for good already since then.
@PaulMcSweenie I’ll still be there. We came together in the hour of need and we are still here today, yes I know we are in a freefall at moment, that’s down to tactics, but I still believe in that crop of players. Yes alot of questionable decision lately but we just have to suck it up. #NSD
@GasManTim Weather? People working shifts? I think majority had already made there mind up about attending. We have been poor all season yet things keep ticking along as if there’s no problem. We have good players. Poor management.
@MonkeyM69913110 Fans have put up with a lot of dross on the pitch in recent years and can’t take much more. For all the positives off the pitch it all revolves around what happens on it.
@philebenson set off to the match .. heard the team news, (noble on the bench) turned the car around and went home...