Limerick FC Chairman issues appeal after ‘dramatic drop’ in attendances

Colm Kinsella


Colm Kinsella

Limerick FC chairman, Pat O'Sullivan
LIMERICK FC Chairman, Pat O’Sullivan has appealed to local sports fans to support the team in greater numbers after a ‘dramatic drop’ in attendance figures this season.

LIMERICK FC Chairman, Pat O’Sullivan has appealed to local sports fans to support the team in greater numbers after a ‘dramatic drop’ in attendance figures this season.

While attendance figures for Limerick FC’s home SSE Airtricity League Premier Division fixtures averaged 2,335 at this stage last season, the average through the first seven home top flight fixtures this season has dropped to just 933.

Pat O’Sullivan said the club needed ‘much more support.’

Pat O’Sullivan has on the club’s Facebook Page appealed to the public to provide the club with feedback as to why average attendances have fallen by more than 1,400 through the opening third of the season.

Pat O’Sullivan said: “For 19 years, Limerick was starved of a senior team playing at the top level of Irish football. That is far too long for a city and club of this size to suffer in the doldrums and we certainly never want to return there. Through a lot of hard work and time from many people, we ended that absence from the Premier Division in October 2012 by winning the First Division title, which was a great achievement for the club and one that we remain extremely proud of. But we must leave that behind now and grow to become one of the top clubs in the country.

“Last season, we were very encouraged by the crowds that turned out to see us at Thomond Park and over the course of the league campaign we averaged 1,654 people through the gates. That included a crowd of 3,768 for the opening-day Munster Derby against Cork City. For the same fixture this year, we attracted just 836 spectators. There were certain factors, including the game being moved to a Tuesday night either side of other home matches, that affected the attendance but not by almost 3,000 people. . . . .

As Chairman of Limerick Football Club, I wish to thank you for your support since I came on board here five years ago. The club has come a long way in such a short space of time, but we must keep striving to improve and grow and become bigger and better. This is not possible without more support.”

The Limerick FC Chairman said Limerick FC was more than just a team competing in the Premier Division of the Airtricity League.

“I must also stress that Limerick FC is much more than just one team. We are a club that is built on the community. While a lot of investment has gone into making the first team competitive in the Premier Division, we have looked beyond that. Our Under-19 setup and what is an ever-growing Academy are among the best in the country, and our Ladies, Special Olympics and ABCs teams show our commitment to all.

“We have close to 30 teams in operation. We are currently developing a base for the club in Bruff and we will have an Open Day there on Sunday 6 July for people to learn more about what is perhaps the most exciting project being undertaken in Irish football and one that does not come cheaply. A monthly Development Draw for Bruff is available on our fundraising page on our official website.

“To help develop all aspects of the club, we need the support of the City and County. What I am asking for are people with an interest in Limerick FC to provide the club with feedback. If you are not coming to games we want to know why, and if you are regularly attending Thomond Park, what could be done to improve the matchday experience? I have always said that this club is an open door and we welcome everybody’s help and suggestions.

“I want to hear from you so that we can try to pinpoint the reasons for what has been an alarming drop in attendances. Please reply below or e-mail with your views. Also, if anyone would like to become involved in focus groups, where you can discuss issues and ideas, you can contact us at the same e-mail address and we will be in touch.”