Jordan Henderson could insist his transfer to Saudi Arabia was not cash motivated, however he’s now enjoying to crowds beneath 1,000 with Al-Ettifaq.
From probably the greatest atmospheres in world soccer to attendances within the three-digit mark, the summer time introduced a wild step down for Henderson.
His latest interview with The Athletic, through which he tried to elucidate his choice to hitch Saudi Professional League facet Al-Ettifaq and insisted it wasn’t for the cash, was universally criticised.
“I needed one thing that will excite me,” was his motive for becoming a member of Steven Gerrard’s new membership within the Center East.
However regardless of the revamp of the Saudi high flight, together with main funding from the royal household’s Public Funding Fund, the curiosity is seemingly not there but.
In actual fact, Henderson’s most up-to-date sport for Al-Ettifaq – a 3-1 win away to Abha – noticed an official attendance of simply 976 spectators, based on ESPN.
— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) September 16, 2023
Henderson began alongside Gini Wijnaldum in Gerrard’s midfield, with ex-Celtic striker Moussa Dembele up entrance and Demarai Grey coming off the bench.
Regardless of the high-profile names concerned – former Sevilla and PSG midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak began for Abha and ex-Lyon ahead Karl Toko Ekambi scored from the bench – the stadium was solely 3.9 % full.
In any his 5 video games for Al-Ettifaq to this point, Henderson is but to play in entrance of greater than 14,000 supporters.
Al-Ettifaq attendance figures
• Al-Nassr (H) – 13,656
• Al Hazem (A) – 1,024
• Al Khaleej (H) – 4,200
• Al Hilal (A) – 13,656
• Damac (H) – 2,281
• Abha (A) – 976
The best attendance for any of his appearances got here at residence to Al-Nassr, with 13,930 within the stands for a sport involving the Saudi Professional League’s greatest draw, Cristiano Ronaldo.
A detailed second was the away conflict with Al Hilal – which together with Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli is one in every of 4 golf equipment owned by the state – drawing 13,656 followers.
In Henderson’s different two outings there have been fewer than 5,000 spectators, with 4,200 within the stands for a house conflict with Al Khaleej and a couple of,281 for the go to of Damac.
Information from Transfermarkt states Al-Ettifaq’s common attendance has solely risen barely from 5,200 to six,804 this season.
That comes following the appointment of Gerrard as supervisor and the signings of Henderson, Wijnaldum, Dembele and Grey amongst others.
Al-Ettifaq are reported to have the seventh-highest common attendance within the Saudi Professional League this season, with Al Hilal, Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli and Al-Nassr unsurprisingly essentially the most visited.
The official capability of Al-Ettifaq’s Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium is reported as 26,000, that means the membership are filling simply over 1 / 4 of the obtainable seats on common.
With the latest setbacks in Liverpool’s redevelopment of the Anfield Street Finish, the Reds’ two residence video games this season have seen attendances of 49,699 and 50,109.
That’s seen as a disappointment, because the stadium’s eventual capability shall be round 61,000 – but it surely pales compared to Henderson’s new enterprise.