Bournemouth attendance figure for Crystal Palace clash shocks fans

The FIFA World Cup action is behind us and club football rivalries are taking centre stage again. Lionel Messi is a happy man with accomplished dreams while Cristiano Ronaldo is off to new waters after a floundering battle with Manchester United. 

Despite these huge developments, the Premier League fans are truly delighted to have their players back in action. Boxing Day was filled with riveting encounters while the last day of 2022 also saw some nerve-wracking football that saw Arsenal extend their lead to seven points at the top.

However, the holiday season for the new owners of AFC Bournemouth didn’t conclude on a cheerful note.

In December 2022, the club witnessed a shift in its ownership when it was purchased by Black Knight Football Club, led by American businessman Bill Foley and Hollywood star Michael B. Jordan. 

Both of them were present at the Vitality Stadium, hoping for their team’s victory. But the Cherries succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace and are now only two points adrift from the relegation zone. 

The defeat was hard to digest, but a Twitter user rubbed more salt in the wounds when he drew everyone’s attention to the horrific attendance at Bournemouth’s home venue. 

In the game against Crystal Palace, the Vitality Stadium recorded an attendance of a mere 9,972 fans. This is exceptionally low for a Premier League game where the average attendance varies between 20,000-30,000 fans per game. 

Bournemouth was promoted to the Premier League in 2015 for the first time in their history. They remained in England’s top-flight football for five seasons and were relegated in 2020, but bounced back and were promoted to the Premier League in 2022. 

This begs the argument that the club is still coming to terms with its growing fan base who can’t decide whether to stay with the club’s dwindling fortunes or find another club to support. 

But the reason behind the low attendance is simply the level of maximum capacity at Vitality Stadium. The venue can only accommodate 11,329 people, making it the stadium with the least capacity in the Premier League. 

So an attendance of 9,972 in a game against Crystal Palace means that the venue was filled at 88% capacity. 

If we put this in perspective against Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United which holds 74,879 seats, the most in the Premier League, the status of Bournemouth’s poor fan base will be exposed. 

The Cherries under Gary O’Neil are fighting tooth and nail to hold their fort in the Premier League, but if we take capacity as the parameter for a team to stay in the first tier of English football, Bournemouth has a long way to go.