PSL match attendance figures have been dwindling. The majority of the clubs do not attract a decent crowd at their home games at the very least, unless of course the Big 3 come to town. At This Is Football. Africa we are dedicated to the growth and love of the beautiful game in SA. The big question we have been asking is how can we get the love back in PSL stadiums? It is time to say it like it is.
We asked prominent Chiefs supporter Masilo Machaka, as to why crowds are generally so small?
Masilo Machaka: “You don’t find us putting names or nicknames of our favourite players on our jerseys anymore, certainly not as we did in the past. “
For example we all used to have Doctor “16V” Khumalo on our jerseys, we had a relationship with him. We simply don’t have the relationship with the players as we did with their predecessors, the love is lost and we don’t have that connection anymore.”
The diehard Amakhosi supporter goes on to explain that in the past, if a person could not afford to go to the stadium to watch a match live, their fellow supporters would help out. Sometimes an individual would volunteer to pay all that person’s expenses, sometimes it would be a few people who would club together to help out. We don’t see that happening today. If so, very rarely, and even those who used to do this and would still love to do so today, cannot, as the current economic climate of the country doesn’t allow them to be able to do so. “It’s almost like each person is for themselves these days”, says Machaka.
Masilo also states that the supporters alone cannot be taking the responsibility for the poor turnout of crowds these days. The players should also take responsibility, “Many of them don’t understand what they’ve signed up for, when signing for Chiefs or Pirates. They forget that they play for us, they must do their job on the pitch, in order to encourage us to do our part in the stands.”
Machaka further goes on to say that social media also has an impact, but PSL clubs are not moving with the times by introducing new and innovative ways to make the watching of matches live at stadiums attractive anymore, to combat the social media impact. He further stated, that supporters nowadays find it more convenient, and even cheaper to livestream matches from their phones and other devices, than buying snacks and drinks when attending a live game.
“Why can’t we, the loyal fans who attend games regularly, be taken around for CAF Champions League or Confederation football matches, when our clubs participate? Or even when Bafana Bafana play on the continent? We’ve seen other clubs and national teams in Africa doing this, when they charter private planes, they realise they have enough vacant seats to take a certain number of fans along to cheer them on. In South Africa, it’s only Mamelodi Sundowns who take care to do it for their fans.”