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Southend United's Steve Kavanagh: Let's smash crowd record
SOUTHEND United’s chief executive Steve Kavanagh wants the team to be roared on by a record-breaking crowd for next month’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final against Crewe Alexandra.
Blues have already sold more than 26,000 tickets for the showdown at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, April 7.
And Kavanagh now wants that figure to overtake the Shrimpers’ current best crowd, which was set against Liverpool back in 1979.
“The ticket sales have been fantastic and we want there to be more Southend fans at Wembley than there have ever been at one of our games before,” said Kavanagh.
“The record crowd for a home match at the moment is 31,033 for the cup tie against Liverpool, but that crowd obviously included visiting supporters.
“There seems to be no official record of how many they brought that day, but we’ve always aimed to have 30,000 there for the final and now we want to get above the iconic figure of 31,033 to make sure it’s a new club record.”
But Kavanagh is already thinking beyond Wembley and trying to keep the new found supporters involved with the club.
Blues have averaged just 5,051 at Roots Hall this term and Kavanagh is trying to work out ways to improve the crowds.
“The way things are going at the moment we look like we’re going to take over Wembley, but we want people to stay involved with Southend and not just go to one game before forgetting about us again,” said Kavanagh.
“Even if half of them continued to come back to us then our stadium would be full and generate the resources to really help us push on.
“We want them to give us a go and now the challenge for us is to truly capatilise on this opportunity.”
That also includes the club trying to complete a move to a new stadium at Fossetts Farm.
And Kavanagh feels the interest generated by the JPT final shows just why Southend need to move away from Roots Hall.
“It again underlines the need for a new ground and shows the massive potential this club really has,” said Kavanagh.
“If we can get things right and also have the right facilities then that potential can start to be realised too.”