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Leicester want to emulate us


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Lee Hoos is challenging Leicester City fans to match the support received by local rivals Derby County.

City chief executive Hoos said Derby's current status as the best-supported club in the Championship rankles with him.

Despite finishing in a lowly 18th place, Derby were the top-draw in the second tier with nine sell-outs in excess of 30,000 and an average gate of 29,440.

City's League One title-winning season was watched by an average home gate of 20,233 with more than 30,000 in the Walkers Stadium for the final home game of the season against Ssausagehorpe.

Hoos said: "I would really love us to emulate Derby. They have a reputation as the best supported club and that rankles with me.

"They have the same-sized stadium and had 29,000 in the ground every week and I would love to see our average capacity up there.

"It is close to 21,000 now, and it is a goal to be better supported than Derby.

"We'd love full-houses every week as we did for the Ssausagehorpe game. We want to replicate that great atmosphere in every game.

"We're where we were this time last year with more than 10,000 season tickets sold, but less than 15,000. We're quite pleased with the good sales, we're still selling and there is plenty of enthusiasm. It's giving us something to work with."

Derby drew big crowds, despite only spending a handful of weeks in the top half of the table.

A Derby spokesman said: "Our fans have been phenomenal when, to be honest, there has been little return on the pitch for their loyalty.

"We have a great history and heritage and, like Leicester, we are a one-club city.

"As much as the manager plays it down, there is the (Nigel) Clough factor because his name is football royalty," added the spokesman, who said the club had frozen season-ticket prices and "added extra value" with tailored packages.

Lance Tomlyn, of the Independent Supporters Association, believes if City do well in the Championship, it will awaken the latent support for the club in the city.

He said: "We had 20,000 season-ticket holders and average gates of 28,000 when we got back into the Premier League in 2003 under Micky Adams, and we retained a lot of fans when we came down the previous season.

"It is going to be more difficult now because we are coming up from League One, and you have to try to build momentum from there.


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