Tuesday 24th January – Oldham Athletic vs Peterborough United, a game that would usually only appeal to the die-hard fans of each League One club, however this fixture was different.
The home club had decided to reach out and offer free admission to this re-arranged fixture.
It was close enough to warrant a visit – so off we went in the hope of providing positive feedback to the football community that would drive similar initiatives across the country.
The club quite rightly gained positive publicity for their gesture, appearing on Sky Sports and BBC stations as well as various social media boosts. The coverage clearly proved powerful judging by the vast numbers who arrived expecting to see a football match on a cold midweek January evening. Sadly at around 19:40 an announcement was made stating that no further entry was to be allowed.
The footfall arrived early as requested, they were encouraged to purchase programmes and make donations to the chosen charity of the night.
The official attendance was 7,224 (a whopping 6,276 short of capacity) so why were people turned away?
We at Time Added On applauded the idea of enticing new fans to Oldham Athletic but like so many others were left disappointed. Money spent on travel, parking and merchandise was ultimately for nothing on a night that promised so much due to a fantastic notion that put fans first.
We congratulate the team on the much needed 3 points and the initial idea of the free entry, however this was terribly executed.
The Latics have potentially missed out on new fans and perhaps more importantly, put people off returning to a club on the outskirts of a City including two major footballing superpowers.
Oldham Athletic have declined to comment so far.