A-League fans make their absence felt with worrying finals attendance

The seagulls outnumbered the fans over a weekend that highlighted a big issue facing the A-League

Maligned, mistreated and massively out-priced. A-League fans sent a clear message over the weekend that change is needed if the competition ever hopes to rediscover its unique atmosphere.

An embarrassing 7,757 people turned out for Melbourne City's clinical 2-0 win over Brisbane Roar, while only 15,502 got to witness Besart Berisha's bicycle in the flesh as Melbourne Victory snuck past Adelaide United 2-1.

Though that last figure may be double what City got, the fact the Original Rivalry in a cut-throat final can only attract a figure that was once the bare minimum for a regular season Victory clash says a lot about how far attendance has dropped in recent years.

And who can blame the fans for staying away?

With ticket prices starting from $30 and moving into triple digits for quality tickets for a family of four, football fans on the A-League fence aren't being encouraged to come down the right side.

Though the Sunday kick-off may have made logistical sense for Victory after a mid-week Asian Champions League game and indeed attracted a larger TV audience, the choice was one that ultimately pushed fans away.

Speaking of pushing fans away, the poor treatment of those in the stands this season has been an all too regular occurrence. 

From flags being taken off bare brick walls to continued frustrations around active support, the lifeblood of football is having its circulation cut.

At the end of the day, though the players on the pitch may decide the final score - it's the men, women and children in the stands that make football what it is. 

Adelaide United fans

Ask any other code in Australia what they envy about football, and 99 percent of the time it will be the atmosphere.

As attendance figures reach a new low across the board this A-League season, it's been Newcastle Jets that have been solely reaching high and the results they've put together are a testament to the benefit of simply getting bums on seats. 

On the verge of breaking a home-record for attendance on Friday night with 12,500 tickets already sold, the Jets have soared from last to second in a season and the fans have undoubtedly played their part.

The Jets incredible win against Sydney FC in round 22 is a case and point with an early red card to Roy O'Donovan not stopping Newcastle, as a buoyant home crowd filled the void and Andrew Nabbout proved the difference in a 2-1 win. 

Newcastle Jets fans

Change is certainly in the air when it comes to football in this country and if there's any hope of a welcomed breeze, the fans need to be front and centre of it. 

Melbourne teams prevail despite poor crowds

Though there weren't the crowds they would have hoped to do it in front of, both Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory got the job done over the weekend.

City dominated from the start and what was really impressive was their persistence throughout despite a generally frustrating night in front of goals.

In seasons gone by City would've let their heads drop after failing to score in such a one-sided first half, but Warren Joyce has brought a real steel to an already very talented squad that is hungry for success and they got their reward in the second stanza.

Dario Vidosic Melbourne City

Kevin Muscat's men on the other hand patched together their win against Adelaide and have Besart Berisha to thank for sealing a Big Blue semi-final next weekend.

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A bicycle at the death from the A-League veteran got Victory over the line in a breathtaking second half after a rather slumberous first 45 minutes.

Adelaide can hold their heads high for an overall solid season and given another pre-season to refine things, will undoubtedly be a force to reckon with in seasons to come under Marco Kurz. 

Victory meanwhile will have their hands full looking to stop a Sydney FC outfit that's dominated this fixture in recent seasons.