Newcastle Jets coach Arthur Papas believes the A-League Men's COVID-19 hit schedule has made it tough for clubs to attract fans to home games.
Newcastle coach Arthur Papas says back-to-back midweek A-League Men's matches hurt the Jets' ability to attract fans to the games, as the COVID-19 hit competition's attendance figures slump.
Just 3403 spectators turned up to McDonald Jones Stadium for Tuesday's clash with ALM champions Melbourne City - the seventh lowest home attendance for the Jets in their league history.
It was even smaller in the preceding home game when 3109 attended Newcastle's 2-1 win over Brisbane on February 3 - a Thursday night fixture.
That total was the fifth-smallest home crowd in Jets' history, with the club's average attendances slumping from 12,559 in 2017-18 to a current average of 5061 this season.
Papas says it did little to help the club's bottom line to have matches played late in midweek.
"It's been disappointing obviously that we've played our home matches on weekdays ... pretty late at night," Papas said.
"I understand the scheduling, it's quite difficult to get organised, but in saying that our supporters are critical to us and they're important and we've probably missed an opportunity to play in front of more supporters because of the timeline of playing at eight o'clock on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
"I'm sure a lot of kids that we would have had at the game probably couldn't come because of school the next day and so forth."
The Jets are just the latest club to find themselves suffering from the impact of ongoing fixture uncertainty due to COVID-19 postponements and border restrictions.
Wellington hosted Melbourne Victory behind closed doors at WIN Stadium on Wednesday after failing to secure a game-day sponsor for the match to cover costs.
The Phoenix have been based in Wollongong for the better part of the past two years due to international border closures and general manager David Dome said the club was "haemorrhaging money" every time they host a match in Australia.
The attendance of just 586 fans for the January 21 clash against Western United is the lowest attendance in the history of the ALM.
Western Sydney's home win against Perth at Commbank Stadium last week had an attendance of just 4124 - the fourth-smallest crowd in the club's league history.
That number is in stark contrast to the 23,118 who turned up to watch the Wanderers' season-opening derby against Sydney FC on November 20 - the highest attendance of the 2021-22 campaign.
Glory owner Tony Sage told AAP on Tuesday he expects his club to lose up to $5m this year having played just one game in Western Australia this season due to border restrictions.
Having spent big to lure English striker Daniel Sturridge to the club, Glory fans have only had one chance to see the ex-Liverpool star in the flesh.
"The strategy 100 per cent worked. We got 17,000 for that first game," Sage told AAP.
The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.