We need 2,000 at each game to stay at Parade, chairman warns Exiles fans

IN THE HOT SEAT: County chairman Chris Blight

IN THE HOT SEAT: County chairman Chris Blight

First published in Sport South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

Newport County chairman Chris Blight has warned fans that they must support the move to Rodney Parade or the club will be forced to return to Spytty Park.

Speaking at a fans’ meeting in the plush Bisley Suite at the Parade, Blight said that if crowds did not rise to an average of 2,000 for the coming season he would have no option but to take the club back to their much-maligned former home.

“If people don’t come here and spend their money here at the turnstiles and at the bar then we will be going back to Spytty,” said Blight. “This is a trial time for all of us and if it doesn’t work out we won’t be able to stay here.

“We had 12,000 people watching us at Wembley and we’d be delighted if a fifth of those stayed with us.

“We need crowds of 2,000 to make this work. That is the figure on which we based the model we have agreed with the Dragons and Newport Rugby Club.

“That is what we need to help us maintain the revenue streams required to keep us here and if it’s not met then we’ll have to move back.”

Blight added that the average crowd for last season at Spytty was 1,358 and that the income from the FA Trophy final at Wembley had made up for a big shortfall in the budget during the 2011/12 campaign.

“We budgeted for an average crowd of 1,900 last season and the fact that it was 1,358 cost us,” he explained.

“Sadly, due to a number of factors under our previous manager, we failed to produce the goods on the field and the crowds dwindled.

“If it hadn’t been for Wembley the shortfall would have been much worse,” he added.

“Spytty Park is no longer capable of generating the income we need.

“The facilities at Rodney Parade are so much better and we hope that the fans will use them and enjoy watching Newport County here.”

In response to fans’ questions Blight revealed that County would receive a “single-figure percentage” of bar takings and that Bar Amber would be based at the current Snelling Bar at the ground.

New general manager Steve Dance said that the rent the Exiles have agreed is equivalent to what they were paying at Spytty and that the move would enable the club to add extra revenue from hospitality, advertising and food outlets.

Blight also brushed aside fears that there would be problems fitting in the fixtures for County, the Dragons and Newport RFC at Rodney Parade.

“I don’t think it will be a big problem,” said the chairman. “The Dragons play mostly on Friday nights and Sundays and Newport have maybe 11 home Saturday games.

“That leaves plenty of Saturdays free for us.”

Comments (24)

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6:23am Fri 22 Jun 12

Mr Bump. says...

No chance.
No chance. Mr Bump.
  • Score: 0

7:32am Fri 22 Jun 12

ohc says...

So who was it exactly that made a pig's ear of replacing Holdsworth and then appointing his replacement? Thats what led to the low crowds. We now have an able (if not brilliant) new manager seemingly hiring rejects and also rans. Doesnt seem a recipe for large gates to me. The Chairman and his mates need to work at raising money from new personalities not threatening us
So who was it exactly that made a pig's ear of replacing Holdsworth and then appointing his replacement? Thats what led to the low crowds. We now have an able (if not brilliant) new manager seemingly hiring rejects and also rans. Doesnt seem a recipe for large gates to me. The Chairman and his mates need to work at raising money from new personalities not threatening us ohc
  • Score: 0

8:32am Fri 22 Jun 12

County Till I Die says...

Mr Bump / OHC moan moan moan! Give it a rest!
Mr Bump / OHC moan moan moan! Give it a rest! County Till I Die
  • Score: 0

9:06am Fri 22 Jun 12

NakedDancer says...

I'll be there. Rodders will be brilliant...cant wait.

County need a team in contention for the playoffs to get over 2000... thats top ten.

"If you build it, he will come."
I'll be there. Rodders will be brilliant...cant wait. County need a team in contention for the playoffs to get over 2000... thats top ten. "If you build it, he will come." NakedDancer
  • Score: 0

9:08am Fri 22 Jun 12

MX47 says...

County Till I Die wrote:
Mr Bump / OHC moan moan moan! Give it a rest!
Yeah they do go on a bit don't they (boring!!!).

I think 2k on average is within reach. Just need a few big games at the right time and maybe a good cup(s) game as well.
[quote][p][bold]County Till I Die[/bold] wrote: Mr Bump / OHC moan moan moan! Give it a rest![/p][/quote]Yeah they do go on a bit don't they (boring!!!). I think 2k on average is within reach. Just need a few big games at the right time and maybe a good cup(s) game as well. MX47
  • Score: 0

9:12am Fri 22 Jun 12

the dork says...

sad
sad the dork
  • Score: 0

9:15am Fri 22 Jun 12

Adrian Williams says...

Mr Bump - nothing like a bit of positivity eh ? If we get off to a good start next season, hopefully we can maintain the 2k mark which we did under Deano at Spyttty. OHC - "rejects and also rans". Clearly you're on a wind up writing players off before they've even kicked a ball - give them a chance and get behind them, which is what I'll be doing. Justin has an excellent knowledge of non-league football and I'm sure he'll get the right players in. (He has to work to a budget by the way, we don't have a sugar daddy like some clubs). Can't wait for the new season at Rodney - County Till I Die
Mr Bump - nothing like a bit of positivity eh ? If we get off to a good start next season, hopefully we can maintain the 2k mark which we did under Deano at Spyttty. OHC - "rejects and also rans". Clearly you're on a wind up writing players off before they've even kicked a ball - give them a chance and get behind them, which is what I'll be doing. Justin has an excellent knowledge of non-league football and I'm sure he'll get the right players in. (He has to work to a budget by the way, we don't have a sugar daddy like some clubs). Can't wait for the new season at Rodney - County Till I Die Adrian Williams
  • Score: 0

9:19am Fri 22 Jun 12

the dork says...

Captain Bly said that there was 12000 at wembley to watch county. I was there and am able to disect that statement. In my estimation the loyal1300 were there to watch county. 5700 were there cos they fancied a trip to see the stadium and a further 5000 went to get wasted on the coach.
Captain Bly said that there was 12000 at wembley to watch county. I was there and am able to disect that statement. In my estimation the loyal1300 were there to watch county. 5700 were there cos they fancied a trip to see the stadium and a further 5000 went to get wasted on the coach. the dork
  • Score: 0

9:20am Fri 22 Jun 12

the dork says...

Captain Bly said that there was 12000 at wembley to watch county. I was there and am able to disect that statement. In my estimation the loyal1300 were there to watch county. 5700 were there cos they fancied a trip to see the stadium and a further 5000 went to get wasted on the coach.
Captain Bly said that there was 12000 at wembley to watch county. I was there and am able to disect that statement. In my estimation the loyal1300 were there to watch county. 5700 were there cos they fancied a trip to see the stadium and a further 5000 went to get wasted on the coach. the dork
  • Score: 0

9:53am Fri 22 Jun 12

Exiled Exile says...

. . . . and which section do you come under Mr.Dork? Certainly not the first one judging by your normal negative comments.
. . . . and which section do you come under Mr.Dork? Certainly not the first one judging by your normal negative comments. Exiled Exile
  • Score: 0

10:15am Fri 22 Jun 12

netala says...

price the addmission correctly and you should have no problem.
price the addmission correctly and you should have no problem. netala
  • Score: 0

11:00am Fri 22 Jun 12

County says...

Nothing is more detrimental to the club than blinkered optimism, look how it's "helped" the England football team over the years. We don't have the squad, budget or fanbase for a promotion challenge I'm afraid and Blight and Edinburgh know that, Better hope Hereford, Luton and Wrexham bring a lot of fans and we have somewhere to put them.
Nothing is more detrimental to the club than blinkered optimism, look how it's "helped" the England football team over the years. We don't have the squad, budget or fanbase for a promotion challenge I'm afraid and Blight and Edinburgh know that, Better hope Hereford, Luton and Wrexham bring a lot of fans and we have somewhere to put them. County
  • Score: 0

11:49am Fri 22 Jun 12

b3talover says...

County have already priced potential new supporters out with their ridiculous season ticket and entry prices. £99 for a Dragons season ticket on the North Stand and you get to watch international players from all over Europe week in, week out. £300 to watch teams and players most people have never even heard of. Same venue, both tenants but one team is completely deluded in its approach...
County have already priced potential new supporters out with their ridiculous season ticket and entry prices. £99 for a Dragons season ticket on the North Stand and you get to watch international players from all over Europe week in, week out. £300 to watch teams and players most people have never even heard of. Same venue, both tenants but one team is completely deluded in its approach... b3talover
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Fri 22 Jun 12

Oddjob says...

Have the County averaged anywhere near 2000 for a season since their reformation? There has already been disquiet about the season ticket priceing for the coming season though the central position at Dave may persuade some who may not be keen on Spytty to support.
The one thing that they really need is a competitive team; without that 2000 is just a pie in the sky figure.
Have the County averaged anywhere near 2000 for a season since their reformation? There has already been disquiet about the season ticket priceing for the coming season though the central position at Dave may persuade some who may not be keen on Spytty to support. The one thing that they really need is a competitive team; without that 2000 is just a pie in the sky figure. Oddjob
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Fri 22 Jun 12

andy83 says...

netala wrote:
price the addmission correctly and you should have no problem.
well said natala. some people love the game and the club but carnt afford to attend week in week out money dont go far these days blight should put his hand in his own pocket instead of taking all the time
[quote][p][bold]netala[/bold] wrote: price the addmission correctly and you should have no problem.[/p][/quote]well said natala. some people love the game and the club but carnt afford to attend week in week out money dont go far these days blight should put his hand in his own pocket instead of taking all the time andy83
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Fri 22 Jun 12

BorninthePort says...

As much as I'd love to believe 2000 people will turn up to every home match, this seems very unrealistic.

Blight himself says the average for last year was less than 1400, why would you base a business model on suddenly being able to attract another 600 people to matches? Yes, the move to RP makes it easier for people just to pop in to see a match rather than making it out to Spytty but as someone has already said the season ticket prices will obviously impact on the casual fans which, from the sounds of it, are going to be crucial to the move's success. Other than the potential move back to Spytty and lower gate money if this doesn't work out, will there be any other financial impacts on the club if they don't reach this target? Do they have to bring in x amount of money to RP and if they fail have to pay additional funds to RP?

Hope I'm wrong as would love to see 2000+ at RP but seems risky. Here's hoping for a great run in the league AND cup/trophy!
As much as I'd love to believe 2000 people will turn up to every home match, this seems very unrealistic. Blight himself says the average for last year was less than 1400, why would you base a business model on suddenly being able to attract another 600 people to matches? Yes, the move to RP makes it easier for people just to pop in to see a match rather than making it out to Spytty but as someone has already said the season ticket prices will obviously impact on the casual fans which, from the sounds of it, are going to be crucial to the move's success. Other than the potential move back to Spytty and lower gate money if this doesn't work out, will there be any other financial impacts on the club if they don't reach this target? Do they have to bring in x amount of money to RP and if they fail have to pay additional funds to RP? Hope I'm wrong as would love to see 2000+ at RP but seems risky. Here's hoping for a great run in the league AND cup/trophy! BorninthePort
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Fri 22 Jun 12

County says...

We averaged just over 2100 the season before last, of course that was with a side that was in the top two at Christmas and had the novelty of being in a new division. Apparently we all have to buy (overpriced) food and drink in the grounbd as well to make it viable. Would seem like common sense to charge less for admission to get more people in the ground.
We averaged just over 2100 the season before last, of course that was with a side that was in the top two at Christmas and had the novelty of being in a new division. Apparently we all have to buy (overpriced) food and drink in the grounbd as well to make it viable. Would seem like common sense to charge less for admission to get more people in the ground. County
  • Score: 0

5:07pm Fri 22 Jun 12

netala says...

a marketing plan of most supermarkets is: sell cheap,but sell more. thus obtaining your projected goal. B.O.D. it works for them it can work for county.
a marketing plan of most supermarkets is: sell cheap,but sell more. thus obtaining your projected goal. B.O.D. it works for them it can work for county. netala
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Fri 22 Jun 12

ohc says...

You can call me what you like. I dont live in a rose coloured world after years of County mismanagement. The Chairman (i've never met him) doesnt impress in writing and as for the players we've signed, which one exactly has an impressive record? Where are young people rising from lower leagues? Why do we get excited about someone released by Luton? Lets get real
You can call me what you like. I dont live in a rose coloured world after years of County mismanagement. The Chairman (i've never met him) doesnt impress in writing and as for the players we've signed, which one exactly has an impressive record? Where are young people rising from lower leagues? Why do we get excited about someone released by Luton? Lets get real ohc
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Fri 22 Jun 12

Adrian Williams says...

MOAN MOAN MOAN MOAN MOAN (some people really are at their happiest when moaning). If we hadn't have moved to Rodney ? Yep, you've guessed it !
MOAN MOAN MOAN MOAN MOAN (some people really are at their happiest when moaning). If we hadn't have moved to Rodney ? Yep, you've guessed it ! Adrian Williams
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Sat 23 Jun 12

zorro says...

One person's 'moans' are another's 'alternative views'.
They are at least as worthy of consideration as what might be called regurgitations of the chairman's announcements.
One person's 'moans' are another's 'alternative views'. They are at least as worthy of consideration as what might be called regurgitations of the chairman's announcements. zorro
  • Score: 0

10:10am Sun 24 Jun 12

netala says...

zorro: well said, some do seem to be speaking from a propaganda leaflet.
zorro: well said, some do seem to be speaking from a propaganda leaflet. netala
  • Score: 0

5:53pm Mon 25 Jun 12

larneman says...

People will only turn up to watch a winning side. That's the only way to bring in gates of 2000. We can't keep relying on those diehard (god bless them) fans who turn up every week to cheer county on. I live in northern I reland so don't get to see many games but lets give the team a good backing and as someone earlier said "biuld it and they will come"
People will only turn up to watch a winning side. That's the only way to bring in gates of 2000. We can't keep relying on those diehard (god bless them) fans who turn up every week to cheer county on. I live in northern I reland so don't get to see many games but lets give the team a good backing and as someone earlier said "biuld it and they will come" larneman
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Tue 26 Jun 12

peter bartlett says...

2000 people just to watch a bunch of rubbish players? NO CHANCE.
2000 people just to watch a bunch of rubbish players? NO CHANCE. peter bartlett
  • Score: 0

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