An exciting conversation is set to take place in Supporters Club. It is not a new conversation, but it is relevant. It's something we all notice, and it's a problem we all recognize as South Africans. However, this time, it seems people are passionately engaging with it and finding solutions and possible reasons we've never thought of… Why are our stadiums empty?
This topic was introduced in a Get Published article by Soccer Laduma website user Jonnybee50. He raised some important questions, such as: why does an English third-tier side attract a larger crowd than a game featuring Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa's biggest club? Surely this is out of the ordinary for a soccer-loving nation?
There are many of the usual answers, such as: tickets are too expensive, the football is not good enough, or the transport is not there. But another supporter, Jerseynumber8, had an interesting theory... maybe the problem roots back to our grim past?
"Everywhere else around the world, fans support the clubs in their home city or towns. South Africans do not really have an attachment to their cities. This is probably due to apartheid's spatial planning, where blacks were dumped on the periphery of the cities and towns, in labour dormatries, called townships. Historically, township people never really associated themselves with the city, simply because it was designed that way."
Jerseynumber8 suggests that clubs should rebrand themselves to be inclusive of the whole city. He also believes that acquiring a professional licence for a club is too easy, and this "dilutes the talent pool and divides the support base".
Throughout the week, we will bring you various other suggestions and solutions about our stadium attendance problem, but this point of view is an interesting starting point.
What do you think of the idea that South Africans do not have enough attachment to their home towns to support their local teams?