James Horncastle spoke to Off the Ball about the worrying trend
Serie A attendances have been falling in recent years as empty seats become a regular sight when watching games around Italy on our tv screens.
The malaise in attendance figures was made clear last weekend, when journalist Nick Harris highlighted how little people saw AC Milan defeat Fiorentina on Sunday.
Milan's attendance at 80,000-seat San Siro in Serie A tonight (28,374) was lower than Derby's yesterday in the Championship (32,895).— sportingintelligence (@sportingintel) January 17, 2016
Italian football expert James Horncastle spoke to Off the Ball last night about the problems in Italy and why so few fans are going to see the top teams play. Horncastle was quick to point out that the attendance figures at some clubs including AC Milan was down to protests. "The fans are basically disillusioned with the running of the club. They have been for some time now and they have decided to vote with their feet. Many of them have decided to abandon the games that have been played... until the Chief Executive leaves".
"The fans are basically disillusioned with the running of the club. They have been for some time now and they have decided to vote with their feet. Many of them have decided to abandon the games that have been played... until the Chief Executive leaves".
He also spoke about how Roma and Lazio Ultras have abandoned going to games in the Stadio Olimpico. This was due to the Curva Nord and Curva Sud being partitioned by Roman officials. Horncastle compared the action to the Stretford End of Old Trafford or The Kop in Anfield being separated by plexiglass.
Napoli play in the Stadio San Paolo. Picture by: John Walton / EMPICS Sport
Compared to Premier League, all Serie A games can be shown domestically on television which does not help with attendances. "Anyone can basically stay in the comfort of their own home and watch their favourite team."
Some stadiums have failed to be renovated since the World Cup in 1990 and the poor conditions have failed to attract fans. Napoli are currently leading Serie A by two points, but Horncastle describes their Stadio San Paolo as "crumbling, graffitied and with all sorts of degradation."
You can listen to James' full conversation with Joe Molloy below.