Kerala Blasters see lowest-ever attendance amidst poor performance
Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters always boasted of a strong fanbase, with huge turnouts at each of their matches creating an incomparable electric atmosphere. However, this season, they have failed to impress, collecting just nine points from 10 matches. This poor run has seen their supporters disgruntled, and fan turnouts had been decreasing. Last night, the Blaster's recorded their lowest-ever fan turnout.
Kerala Blasters have won just a single match in the entire season - their first fixture against ATK. Since then, they have drawn six and lost three of the remaining matches. Kerala manager David James feels that the results were not entirely his team's fault, blaming a number of refereeing errors against his team instead, saying, "It has been a constant theme this season".
Owing to Kerala's run of poor performances, their fans had clouded social media calling for a strike. Their most prominent fan group, Manjapadda, had completely boycotted the match, thus reducing the number of spectators to a vast extent. Interestingly, German football legend Lothar Matthaus was present at Kochi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium when Kerala played against Jamshedpur FC in front of a record-low 8,451 spectators
Unlike club football, franchise football cannot have the same die-hard supporters who would live and breathe their clubs. When an East Bengal or a Mohun Bagan take to the field, no matter how their form is, fans will crowd the venue and support their club vociferously. Franchise clubs have no history, people have not grown up with them, thus such easy detachment is possible.
"A club is like a family, you always support and help your family. At home (after the match) you shout, criticise but at a match you help. If you don't help your team you're helping the opponent," Jamshedpur FC head coach Cesar Ferrando on #KeralaBlasters fans'boycott of #KERJAM— Arun George (@saysarun) December 4, 2018