What’s cause of pitiable patronage of our league?

Generally, poor attendance at local games in the country has been a huge cause of concern over the years.

The saturnine situation, howev­er, appears to be going from bad to worst – particularly since last year, in the wake of the economic downturn the nation is experiencing at the moment.

Though the passion for the game may still be high, one may have to put a few figures together – work out the permutations, before considering either to go for a game or not.

Aside from the pecuniary con­cerns, however, the poor mainte­nance of our pitches, is driving lots of fans away from the game because quality play is compromised.

Somewhere last year, we were told by the National Sports Authority (NSA) that the Accra Sports Stadium was going to be unavailable for the Premier League Clubs that use the facility only for it to be rented out for other purposes – and its attendant pitch obliterations.

Affected clubs were subsequent­ly asked to look for alternatives. Though partly a cause, that may not be the reason for the massive dispir­iting patronage we have witnessed in games, of late.

To some extent, the performance of the senior national team (Black Stars) at the recently-ended World Cup tournament in Qatar, could be having a toll on the league.

The Stars were kicked out in the opening round of the campaign, winning a game and losing two. It was the team’s second consecutive calamitous first round exit – following the 2014 disturbing episode in Brazil.

Had Ghana glowed in Qatar, the performance would have rubbed off on the nation’s league. The zeal, enthusiasm, passion and avidity of the fans would have rocketed through the roof.

Some ardent followers of the domestic game are also blaming the low attendance at match venues to e-ticketing.

They say a good number of the fans are not particularly enthused about the electronic system and are ready to pay cash at the gate to secure their seats.

However, the Chief Executive Officer of E-Ticketing, George Festus Mensah, has rubbished such claims, insisting that various match venues were recording very poor attendance long ago.

“Those blaming poor attendance on our services should first ask themselves what were clubs revenue before the introduction of e-tickets and after the service was introduced.

“We should check the time games are played; sometimes we schedule games at 3pm during working days, whilst fixtures are also changed with­out proper communication. There are times match venues are changed without proper plans,” the E-Ticket­ing CEO proposed.

Mr Mensah cannot be far from right, and we may need clubs to further educate their fans on the dynamics of the E-ticketing and how it has come to stop corruption at the gates.

Be that as it may, it is imperative for the game’s stakeholders to come together and figure out what really the problem is in a bid to proffer a lasting solution.

Having seen a near-full capacity crowd in the game between Bibiani Goldstars and Aduana Stars on Mon­day suggests that it is not an all-too disconcerting situation. It can be bet­ter if we find a way of promoting the league whilst we work industriously towards improving on the quality of our pitches.

PlainTalk with John Vigah

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