Crawley Town CEO Michael Dunford calls on Crawley residents: ‘Get behind your team’

Michael Dunford and John Gregory ENGSUS00120130512094109
Michael Dunford and John Gregory ENGSUS00120130512094109
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Michael Dunford has issued a passionate plea to the people of Crawley to get behind their team.

The Reds’ chief executive insists the town is lucky to have a League One club on its doorstep and has called on people to get through the turnstiles at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.

Crawley Town CEO Michael Dunford announces that Gary Alexander and chief scout Martin Hinshelwood would be the caretaker managers after the sacking of Richie Barker (Pic by Jon Rigby) ENGSUS00120130512093701

Crawley Town CEO Michael Dunford announces that Gary Alexander and chief scout Martin Hinshelwood would be the caretaker managers after the sacking of Richie Barker (Pic by Jon Rigby) ENGSUS00120130512093701

His words come after Crawley’s embarrassing crowd of 1,905 against Fleetwood earlier this month – their lowest ever in the Football League.

Dunford said: “My biggest frustration is trying to convince the Crawley public we are here, alive and playing a good standard in the Football League.

“Lots of families have historical links with other clubs,especially clubs in London, but maybe in another ten years’ time on a Saturday, we will have convinced them to come along and watch their local club, feel part of it, that’s our biggest challenge.

“We need help and we need them to come through the turnstiles in their numbers. We have come so far, but can’t develop any more without people coming and supporting us.

“It’s their club, it’s not my club or the shareholders’. The town wants a thriving club, but they have to realise it cannot go forwards without people supporting it.

“I cannot guarantee we will win every game, no-one can, it’s football and that’s why we love it, but come and give us a chance.

“The 2,000 that come regularly, the diehard supporters, they love it and I am very thankful for them.

“But the message for everyone else is come out and give us a chance – even as your second club, if you want to watch your Arsenal or Chelsea from afar, do that, but make us your second club.

“We want to get away from this, little old Crawley badge, lots of towns or cities would love to have a team playing regularly in League One.

Crowds this season have also been hit by low away attendances as a result of Reds facing a number of the less-supported outfits so far.

Against Fleetwood, a staggeringly low two per cent on the town’s population turned out to watch the match.

That attendance saw 400 season ticket holders vote with their feet after Reds’ 4-0 home thumping by Rochdale the week before. Which Dunford can rightly understand, but he believes they are reasonably priced and a community family-welcoming club, with a good season ahead.

Saturday offers the perfect opportunity to get along to a home game with Reds hosting Yeovil T own at 3pm.