'What is the point?': Bray Wanderers chairman issues ominous statement criticising attendances

Denis O’Connor hints at a bleak future for the seaside club.

Image: Donall Farmer; ©INPHO/Donall Farmer/INPHO

BRAY WANDERERS CHAIRMAN Denis O’Connor has questioned the viability of running a Premier Division club based on the average attendances at the Carlisle Grounds this season.

In an ominous statement that was sent to the media during half-time of their home clash with Dundalk this evening, O’Connor blasted the lack of people coming through the turnstiles, despite Bray’s solid campaign.

“With the appointment of Harry Kenny as Head Coach in the middle of last season this Club took a very upward step in Irish football. He has brought us to new level.So at the start of this season The Club decided to back Harry with more resources in the expectation that he would continue the good run and that the investment would push us further up the table leading to greater support both on the terraces and reflected in gate receipts.

Well, Harry has more than delivered but the support has just not materialised.”

Bray are currently third in the table but O’Connor says the lack of supporters in the stands is affecting the coaching staff and the players.

In a recent 3-2 victory over Derry City – a clash between the then-third and fourth best teams in the country, just 365 people were present at the Carlisle Grounds.

O’Connor crunches more numbers in the press release with one game against Galway attracting 255 people through the turnstiles.

Apart from our season ticket holders we estimate that our average home support base is somewhere along the lines of Adult 125/165 and Concession 90/120.This tells us that the support base is just not there!”

O’Connor continues by pointing to how Bray can only use their venue for soccer and rugby league purposes while they can’t draw majorly from local advertising and sponsorship.

A general view of the Carlisle Grounds Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Ultimately, his conclusion hints at a bleak future for the seaside club.

It is just not viable to continue to run a club at the level expected by fans without the proper support.A huge effort has been put into the club by many volunteers in the past few years / Harry has done a great job with the senior squad and substantial funds have been put in to support this effort for which we are grateful.

But what is the point if we cannot get the minimum financial and supporter base which a great club like this deserves?”

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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