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Keen calls on town to back Barrow survival bid

DIRECTOR Tony Keen has urged Barrow AFC fans to flood through the Holker Street turnstiles to boost the club’s future both on and off the pitch.

The Bluebirds currently languish third-from-bottom in the Blue Square Bet Premier ahead of vital back-to-back home games – starting with tomorrow’s clash with relegation rivals Nuneaton Town before they host mid-table Woking on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Barrow boss Dave Bayliss has targeted seven more wins to ensure survival and Keen is convinced the home faithful can play a massive part in helping the club get over the finishing line.

“We need the supporters to get behind us, because we need all the help they can give us,” said Keen.

“The volume at Holker Street has always lifted the players, the whole place, so let’s get the wins we need at home. If the town want Conference football then we need the town in Holker Street tomorrow and on Tuesday.

“We need the money to help us push on and give us options to bring in loan players, so the fans need to spread that load to help us get us safe and in the Conference Premier next season.

“Getting seven wins is achievable and we want to stay in the Conference, but people know where the club has been in the last two years with regard to the finances.”

While 10 of the Barrow’s remaining 17 league games will take place at Holker Street their average league home attendance this season is 967 – down on the 1,262 figure they achieved over the whole of last term.

Last time out on home soil, Barrow secured a morale-boosting 1-0 victory over promotion-chasing Luton Town in front of a passionate 1,188-strong support. And Keen is seeking a hike in attendances to ensure the club is placed in the strongest possible position to compete in non-league’s top tier.

“At the end of the day, if you want to play in this league we’ve got to have a fan base bigger than we currently do,” added Keen.

“If we don’t, you can’t blame the board or anybody – we’re just not quite big enough to compete with the Lutons and the Grimsbys. You only have to look at the Mansfield manager getting an Aston Martin for beating Barrow last week. For me, at this level you need to average 1,200 over a season, and we’re not there. We should be there because the Luton game should be pulling in between 1,500 and 1,600 people but they’re not, they are pulling in 1,200. The big games are no longer big games and the small games are getting smaller.”

And in appealing for a bumper gate tomorrow, Keen said: “If you look at tomorrow’s home game against Nuneaton, it’s not a small one, it’s one of the biggest games results-wise that this club has had in the last five or six years.

“So you can’t call it a small game – in Barrow’s history it could be one of the biggest games of the past five years. The atmosphere against Luton was great, but if you take away the Luton fans and the corporate guests you are down to less than 1,000 Barrow fans.

“That’s our biggest worry as a board – we understand that people want to watch a winning side.

“But I’ve always said that one year in 10 we will have a purple season, play above our level and have a chance. In those other nine seasons we’re always going to be struggling and fighting. We’re probably in the bottom six-to-eight paying clubs in the league, so that’s the mini-league we have to fight to win.”

Have your say

Bang on Dan.

Posted by Andy G. on 23 February 2013 at 16:49

KEENE'S OUT,comments clearly show that he never attended the AGM,is also unaware what was said at the AGM,and so make him a complete buffoon in respect of his knowledge of the football finances of this particular club.So,we clearly see that because of this,his pernicious desire to snipe at the club with complete anonymity is exacerbated with his comment that "The Keene's"have had 850'000+ in funds,without any proof of this statement,just what is it that you are implying Mr Anonymous.If you believe this to be the case then I repeat,'put it in writing'so we all know who you are and your comments could well be answered with sincerity instead of conjecture.

Posted by Dan Payne on 22 February 2013 at 11:17

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