DR John Hall, the Bermuda-based owner of Clydebank FC, was urged to sell the club last night after they went into the record books for staging a game where the crowd barely outnumbered the players.

Just 29 people paid to see the first-division side lose 2-1 to East Stirling in the first round of the CIS Insurance Cup on Saturday - the smallest attendance at a senior game in Britain. Of these only 13 were Bankies fans.

The crowd was swollen to 69 when spies from other clubs plus guests with complimentary tickets were taken into account.

East Stirling manager Hugh McCann said: ''At one stage I looked up at the stand and could only see eight people. The seagulls made more noise.'' Bankies manager Ian McCall described the situation as ''unreal''.

It fuelled doubts that the homeless club, who played the match 21 miles away in Greenock, would survive the season. Clydebank have not had their own ground for several seasons since selling their Kilbowie Park headquarters. In recent times they have entertained moves to Dublin, Carlisle, and finally Galashiels before settling in with Morton for the coming campaign.

Players have been forced to wait for their wages to be paid and on Friday the club was placed, for a few hours at least, in liquidation until a #13,000 tax bill was paid.

The club's supporters - exasperated by the actions of Dr Hall - have decided to boycott home matches for the foreseeable future. Last night the chairman of the United Clydebank Supporters' Association, Mr Gordon Robertson, said: ''Dr Hall should sell the club. He is not welcome in football. Under him we have no future. We want rid of him.

''The decision to boycott the game was not taken lightly. We feel for the players but we believe Dr Hall's ownership will lead to the end of the club. If we can dissuade people from turning up then we can force him to sell. Brian Dempsey and Tony Worthington are waiting in the wings to take the club back to Clydebank.''

Clydebank boss Ian McCall said: ''It was unreal and yet I was here by noon and there was no problem about getting to the game. I am sure it will improve when we play the likes of Dunfermline and Morton, but the whole atmosphere around the club is killing the players.

''The players should be the most important factor in any football club, but we are being ground down by the board and the fans. I have cut them out of my thoughts because what they are doing is counter-productive. They may think they are doing the right thing, but I can assure them it is not true.''

He added: ''In the past couple of years the release has been winning games. No matter how bad things got we could still perform on the field. But because of the budget I have been asked to work to and the amount of staff I have had to cut I can't see a way forward.

''But I will battle on. I am trying to sign three or four more players to give us some options, and we will see what happens.''

Clydebank fan Dr William Kerr appealed for supporters to rally round the stricken club.

Dr Kerr, who was one of the 13 Bankies fans who turned up at Cappielow, said: ''It was heartbreaking simply sitting there in an empty stadium. I know why the fans are staying away - but I feel so sorry for manager Ian McCall and the players.

''They are doing everything they can and to be asked to play in that lack of atmosphere was so difficult. I really feel for these players and I don't believe we are gaining anything by everyone staying away.''

The Bankies generated just over #300 from the game and were vastly out of pocket.