City flying but crowds down

City in search of silverware0:56

A-League: Melbourne City have their eyes set on the Grand Final.

Melbourne City striker Bruno Fornaroli celebrates scoring against Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park.


IF Melbourne City can’t get a decent crowd to its crucial final round clash with Adelaide at AAMI Park on Friday night then there will be many a head being scratched at the club’s Bundoora headquarters next week.

This is a team that is arguably the most entertaining to ever play in the A-League and yet there is still a reticence from the Melbourne sporting public to get behind its charge for a maiden title.

In fact, despite breaking a bevy of records this season, City’s average home crowds — excluding derbies against Melbourne Victory — are actually down 5.7 per cent on 2014-15.

Melbourne City are in tremendous form but still struggle to pull a crowd.

Melbourne City are in tremendous form but still struggle to pull a crowd.Source:News Corp Australia

Here’s just a snapshot of the new benchmarks City has set.

MOST goals in a season — 63.

HIGHEST individual goal scorer in a season — Bruno Fornaroli, 22.

FIRST team to have three players score more than 10 goals in a season — Fornaroli, Aaron Mooy (11), Harry Novillo (10).

MOST assists by a single player in a season — Mooy, 20.

MORE wins (13) than any other season in the club’s history.

Everyone is fawning over Fornaroli and Mooy, but there’s also Alex Wilkinson, Ivan Franjic, Michael Zullo and Patrick Kisnorbo who boast considerable Socceroos experience.

So what’s not to like?

The David Villa effect temporarily boosted crowds last season given a total of 28,800 people attended his two home games.

That goes some way to explaining why this season’s non-derby AAMI Park average has dropped from 9041 in 2014-15 to 8536 so far this campaign.

But not all the way.

Generally there has been gradual improvement since 2010-11 when an average of 5826 fans attended the club’s 13 non-derby games at AAMI Park.

That figure rose to 6743 in 2011-12, then 7069 in 2012-13 and 7741 in 2013-14 before last season’s spike.

The whole comparison with Victory has been done to death.

But to compare to other competitors the Melbourne Storm (rugby league) averaged more than 13,000 for home games last season, the Melbourne Rebels (rugby union) about 9000, the Melbourne Vixens (netball) 5000 and the ever-improving Melbourne United (basketball) close to 8000.

City was bitterly disappointed by the 7658 crowd for its hugely important Friday night clash with Brisbane last month, but heartened by the 9895 turnout for the Easter Monday match against lowly Wellington.

There was massive positivity about the team on talkback radio following that game and the club will be hoping that flows in to the Adelaide clash given that, with a win, City can still snatch the premier’s plate.

With no AFL in Melbourne on Friday night and perfect weather forecast, there are no excuses.

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