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Sale Cruise On

By BrianC
July 18 2005

At first glance Sale's average crowd this season of 8339 looks ordinary. If you take into account however the fact that when records began they were the lowest supported club in the Zurich Premiership you can see just how much they have come along in recent years. Sale Cruise On

Sale Sharks - 2004/5 Season

14-Apr-05 ZP  Sale vs Gloucester 35-17 Edgeley Park 9456
25-Mar-05  ZP  Sale vs Wasps 25-27  Edgeley Park  10641
18-Feb-05  ZP  Sale vs Leeds Tykes 19-10  Edgeley Park  7556
29-Jan-05  ZP  Sale vs Northampton  37-24  Edgeley Park  7887
27-Dec-04 ZP  Sale vs Bath  19-10  Edgeley Park  10541
19-Nov-04 ZP  Sale vs Harlequins 13-19 Edgeley Park 6186
05-Nov-04 ZP  Sale vs Newcastle 39-25 Edgeley Park 10641
8-oct-04 ZP Sale Sharks vs London Irish 16-7 Edgeley Park 8206
24-Sep-04 ZP Sale Sharks vs Worcester  57-3 Edgeley Park 6647
17-Sep-04 ZP Sale Sharks vs Saracens 25-15 Edgeley Park 7014
05-Sep-04 ZP Sale Sharks vs Leicester Tigers 26-19 Edgeley Park 6952
      Season Average 8339

As recently as the 00/01 season their average gate was a mere 2.8k. Their achievement this decade, trebling gates in just four seasons, is quite remarkable. 

This season they again managed to grow healthily. Their gates are up 19.4% on 03/04. Like Newcastle the world cup factor has been more pronounced here than at other clubs. In Jason Robinson they probably have the second biggest crowd puller after Newcastle's Johnny Wilkinson.

What Sale have succeeded in doing is building a following in an area where league was the preferred rugby code. That another sport altogether dominates the Manchester area goes without saying. The question now is, will they be able to develop that crowd further? Can they take up to the 15-20k mark which will be a prerequisite for any club with serious ambition? More so, can they do this when Jason Robinson has hung up his boots? My guess is that they can although to do so they may again have to move again. Such is the penalty of success.

Season Average Att. Position
(Out of)
Final ZP Position Percentage Growth
97-98 3618 10th(10) 6th(12)
98-99 3324 10th(10) 11th(14) -8.1%
99-00 2763 10th(10) 11th(12) -16.9%
00-01 2813 10th(11) 10th(12) 1.8%
01-02 4470 10th(11) 2nd(12) 58.9%
02-03 5425 10th(11) 4th(12) 21.4%
03-04 6984 9th(12) 7th(12) 28.7%
04-05 8339 8th(12) 3rd(12) 19.4%
Variation '97 - '05 130% 2nd(12)
Crowd Growth Absolute 4721 4th(12)
Average Growth 15.0% 2nd(12)




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