Date: 12th February 2007 at 11:23am
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How long will it be before Tynecastle’s crowds start to alarmingly drop? The start of next season? Or sooner?

The more people I speak to about renewing season tickets, the less I get the impression that we’ll have anything like the number we currently have at the moment. And little wonder.

I think this season we have around 13,500 season ticket holders, which was the maximum that the club would allow to be sold. This means that a maximum of less than 4,000 tickets go on sale for every home match, with usually just over 1,000 of those going to the away fans, slightly more when it’s Hibs or the Old Firm. So on average you’re talking just over 2,000 tickets going on public sale to Hearts fans for every home game. Not many, especially considering that some of our most hardcore fans are not season-ticket holders and so will want to apply for most games.

The problem next season is that quite a lot of the 13,500 current holders are likely to be of the glory-hunting variety and bought their tickets based on the initial optimism when Romanov took over the club and/or the cup win.

In order to maintain and build upon that sort of figure, I always felt that Hearts needed to do something significant again this season, even if it was just retaining the Scottish Cup.

Well, that can’t happen now and given the general feeling of exasperation towards the Romanovs just now, I do seriously wonder how many will come back next season. The only way we might hold onto them is if we go on a decent run in the league and get another crack at qualifying for the Champions League, but even then that may not be enough. Some people are already reminding me of the Chris Robinson reign with comments like ‘I won’t be back until Romanov’s gone’. We’ll see just how true to their word they are.

The club is pretty flat at the moment and there is definitely a distinct lack of togetherness there that, if not addressed quickly, could start to do some serious damage across the board.