Salisbury boss Steve Claridge is happy with the club’s home attendances over the first half of the EVO-STIK League Southern 2016-17 campaign.

Before seeing his side’s scheduled clash with Bridgwater Town on Saturday in EVO-STIK League Southern Division One South & West Salisbury City FCfrozen off, the former Weymouth boss told the Salisbury Journal that gates were going in the right direction despite showing a slight drop since last term.

With just over half the season played and gates averaging around the 700 mark, the Whites head coach told “I’ve been slightly surprised because I got absolutely lambasted when I said 490 people turned up [at Didcot] and I was disappointed with that. But then the next game, we had a cup game, and there was probably 200 or 300 more people who turned up for that than I expected.

“I don’t think there’s an awful lot more we can do from our side to bring people in. I don’t think anyone can say they haven’t had value for money out there. Right from day one, although we probably haven’t had the results we’ve had last year, the quality of opposition and the quality of play we’ve done has been far better.

“I think it might be slightly down because we put the 1,500 in from Bemerton which brought the average up slightly so I don’t think we are million miles away from where we need to be. We’re 600 to 700 people. That is what we have to do going forward and where we can really budget out.

“We don’t expect to drop much below that or go hugely above that unless we’ve got a big cup game or a game of some significance. People tell me even in the Conference the crowds, home gates wise, weren’t hugely different to that but we didn’t expect to be hugely different to last year.”

He added: “The drop-off is probably natural but if you are saying what can we do now, I think from a football perspective we’ve done everything that has been asked of us and from a board perspective we are listening and trying to make whatever we can right.”


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