Sunderland director Charlie Methven on how bigger crowds means club can be 'bolder' in transfer market

Sunderland's bumper Boxing Day crowd.
Sunderland's bumper Boxing Day crowd.
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Charlie Methven says the football world will have sat up and taken notice of the bumper Boxing Day crowd Sunderland managed to achieve - adding bigger crowds mean the club can be bolder in the transfer market.

A League One record 46,039 crowd watched the win over Bradford City, providing the club with an extra £300,000 towards the January transfer kitty.

Sunderland had been averaging around 30,000 this season.

The attendance for the visit of Shrewsbury Town was 13,000 less at 33,288 but that is still a remarkable figure for a third tier game and it is Sunderland’s second biggest home crowd of the campaign, only surpassed by the mammoth Boxing Day crowd.

Stewart Donald last week confirmed the Bradford crowd has allowed the club to pump extra funds into Jack Ross’ January budget and Methven has outlined the key factors a bumper crowd help achieve.

In his programme notes, the executive director said seeing the stadium packed with over 46,000 fans was a ‘fantastic late Christmas present’ for everyone associated with the club.

Methven wrote: “Attendances don’t win matches but they are important and here is why; first, bigger crowds mean bigger revenues which means that we can be bolder in the transfer market whilst staying within our budget.

“Second, bigger crowds equal bigger atmosphere, which - channelled correctly - creates an environment better suited to the home team.

“Third, bigger crowds make the rest of the football world sit up and take notice of us as a club to be taken very seriously.

“This last point is underestimated, our current players will want to stay with a club that provides a platform like that.

“Players we might want to attract will be impressed by the potential of a club who can muster almost 50,000 home fans for a third tier match.”