Jason Lee has urged Boston United fans to keep the faith – after the club saw its lowest league attendance in 12 years.
Just 681 fans – nine of them visitors – watched the Pilgrims and Solihull Moors play out a 2-2 draw last night.
It was the lowest attendance at York Street for a league match since 1999.
Then, on a Wednesday, April 14, just 553 fans watched the Pilgrims win 2-0 against Tamworth in the Dr Martens League.
Back then, the Euro had just been founded, Bill Clinton was being acquitted of impeachment following the Monica Lewinsky affair and Manchester United hadn’t even won the treble.
“It’s not getting on my wick, I prefer to play at home,” admitted Lee.
“But I understand how hard it is for the supporters to keep coming week-in and week-out.
“We’ve had our lowest attendance and I can fully understand.
“With games coming up, they have to pick and choose.”
The problem is that Boston are currently in a long run of home matches, and with Christmas coming up, fans just cannot afford to keep spending their money on watching football.
With the latest fixture change – Altrincham coming to York Street on December 1 – United will be at home for seven consecutive Saturdays.
In fact, a staggering eight of nine matches will be played at the Jakemans Stadium between October 20 and December 1.
Three of those matches (an FA Cup defeat to Altrincham, plus FA Trophy ties against Colwyn Bay and Skelmersdale) have seen the luck of the draw pit the Pilgrims in a home contest.
But for some fans, the Altrincham re-arrangement is one game too far.
However, Lee backed the club’s decision.
He believes that it’s better to get matches played rather than scramble to fit them in at the end of the campaign.
The Altrincham match was originally arranged for a midweek in February, and Lee believes there was no guarantee that the weather would allow the game to go ahead at that time of year.
The manager added: “We’re at home and there’ll always be times when games may get called off, but you get those games played if and when you can.
“And if you’re winning and putting in performances then that’s the main thing.”
Of those six home games played so far, Boston have won two, lost three and drawn one.
So perhaps that indifferent form is also encouraging supporters to choose which games to spend their cash on.
Another suggestion to get fans into the ground would be to offer half-price tickets.
However, such an offer would mean hundreds of extra fans would be needed through the turnstiles to ensure the cash-strapped club could raise the same amount as it would with a lower attendance.
Plus, there is the problem of angering season ticket holders, who have already splashed out their entrance fees and could feel forgotten by the offer.