NRL 1 year ago

Eels break members record in horror year

  • Eels break members record in horror year

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 13: Eels fans show their support during the round 10 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs on May 13, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

They might be without a chief executive, football director and their first-choice playmakers, but Parramatta can at least lay claim to having some of the most committed fans in the NRL.

The Eels have broken their club membership record for a fourth consecutive year, ticking past the 23,000 barrier for the first time in the franchise's history in 2016.

It comes in a year where they've been stripped of 12 premiership points, fined $1 million, had two players appear in court and another leave the club due to personal issues.

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And despite the fact they are now certain to miss the finals for the seventh year in a row, the Eels still boast the third highest membership figures in the NRL.

"In life, I've found loyalty is everything," prop Danny Wicks said.

"I just want to thank the supporters so much. From the bottom of my heart, and from the boys at Parramatta, thank you."

Despite their troubles, the Eels still have the third highest average home crowd of Sydney teams this season at 16,405 - more than 2000 more than the table-topping Cronulla.

It's also an increase on last year's figure of 14,699.

This all comes despite club legend Peter Sterling labelling 2016 the worst year in the Eels' history after myriad of turmoil that also resulted in the club's board being sacked by the NSW Government.

"Our members and supporters are the greatest in the game; I believe that and our players certainly believe that," coach Brad Arthur said.

"The support from the blue and gold army absolutely helps to get us across the line at home games, and everywhere we travel, we have huge support from our members as well."

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