ROTHERHAM United cashed in on their four friendlies at the New York Stadium but feel the real pay-off will be in the additional support the club are certain will be there when the new league season gets under way.
They drew in just under 30,000 for the four games to earn the club a handy six-figure sum even allowing for opponents taking a share.
But the club’s Chief Operating Officer, Paul Douglas, says the value is not simply measured in cash terms but in the entire atmosphere now surrounding the club, with a whole new outlook from their fans and people in the town.
“Getting 11,000 the other night surprised us but showed us that something is stirring in the town and there is definitely a feelgood factor about things now people have experienced the New York Stadium,” he said.
“There was good support from Sheffield United but we sold nearly 8,000 and that’s double most of the gates we were getting last season.
“For our loyal fans, who have stood by us in the last four years, Tuesday would have been brilliant while those who were there for the first time probably thought ‘this is what football’s about’ and may well want some more of it. I’m sure more people are going to come.
“We are working hard at it to encourage new support and do a lot of work with schools and in the community and the new ground is the catalyst for sparking things off.”
Douglas explained that two lots of segregation meant the crowd was less than the 12,000 capacity and that the delayed kick-off was due to the automated turnstile system not yet being in operation. With many arriving late, the club wanted to ensure everyone was in the ground.
The Millers sent a side to Stocksbridge last night containing eight players with first-team experience. They won 3-1 with goals from Michael O’Connor (pen), Kieran Agard and Alex Revell. after the home side had led through a stunning Kevin Sanasay 35-yarder.