Millwall hoping fiver ticket initiative for Boro visit draws in big Den crowd

News Shopper: Andy Ambler. PICTURE BY EDMUND BOYDEN. Andy Ambler. PICTURE BY EDMUND BOYDEN.

MILLWALL chief executive Andy Ambler is hoping for a bumper pre-Christmas crowd this Saturday evening when Football for a Fiver comes to The Den.

Middlesbrough are the guests for a televised evening kick-off (5.30pm) in what is usually one of the toughest sells for the club - the final match before Christmas.

And Mr Ambler claims it is this, combined with the additional cash provided by Sky’s decision to screen the game, which prompted Millwall to launch the initiative for the first time rather than simply copying what neighbours Charlton have already successfully done several times.

He explained: “It wasn’t anything to do with Charlton, it is something we have been considering for a long time.

“It is the last game before Christmas and traditionally that has always been a difficult game attendance wise.

“What we are saying to people this year because of the late kick-off is go and do your Christmas shopping during the day and then come along to The Den in the evening.

“Our home form has improved a lot this season and we are unbeaten in seven at The Den.

“It is also 25 years since our most successful season as a club, 1988-89, which was our first ever year in the old First Division.

“We’ve been doing a lot of events to celebrate that, including a really enjoyable players reunion dinner at the weekend.

“The last time it cost five pounds to watch Millwall at home was in 1988-89 so this is also part of our thinking on why we are doing this now.”

Mr Ambler confirmed pre-match sales are double what they would usually be at the start of the week before a Championship game, a trend he expects to continue as Saturday approaches.

“We are hopeful those figures will grow even more as the week goes on,” the chief executive said.

“If we get eleven or twelve thousand on the day, bearing in mind it is the Saturday before Christmas, then I think we will all be pleased with that.

“It has to be put into context of a series of offers and promotions we do throughout the season, and the fact season ticket holders should always have priority and always will do.

“This is a one off to some degree but it is something we would possibly do again in the future.

“Let’s just hope we continue our good run at home this weekend with three points.”

Millwall v Middlesbrough on Saturday (5.30pm) is five pounds across the board, including away fans.

Follow @NewsShopperSprt on Twitter for live updates from the Boro game

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