Unprofessional Foul


December 10, 2009

Who Goes Where?

Elland Road one presumes.

Elland Road one presumes.

Often enough, I am asked by Americans following football about the sizes of certain towns and cities, how many people are at the games in relation to the size of the place, and who the best fans are. Well, the latest numbers on ‘average attendance’ are out so I’ll share them after the jump and also list the populations of those places for interest’s sake.

Average attendance figures are now required to feature a percentage of seats used, which also takes into consideration tickets that cannot be sold. Let’s say you sell out home areas but only 400 traveling fans occupy a 2,000 seat away allocated block? Those empty seats are counted and taken into consideration. In many grounds the unused away seats cannot be sold to home supporters for security reasons.

How much do Leeds fans love their team? How many people in Birmingham are going to the footy this weekend? All will be revealed.

Follow on for lots of numbers…

Team, position, league, attendance, percentage of capacity used and population.

1 Manchester United (2-PR) 75038 99% Population: 464,000
2 Arsenal (3-PR) 59839 99% Population: 7.5 million (London has many teams)
3 Manchester City (6-PR) 46173 96.1% Population 464,000
4 Liverpool (7-PR) 43872 96.7% Population: 434,900
5 Newcastle United (1-D1) 41  79.6% Population: 749 273,600
6 Chelsea (1-PR) 41474 98.6 % Population: 7.5 million (London has many teams)
7 Sunderland (10-PR) 40875 83.4% Population: 280,870
8 Aston Villa (5-PR) 37395 87.8% Population: 1,016,800
9 Everton (15-PR) 37044 91.7% Population: 434,900
10 Tottenham Hotspur (4-PR) 35734 98.4% Population: 7.5 million ( London has many teams)
11 West Ham United (17-PR) 33285 93.3% Population: 7.5 million (London has many teams)
12 Derby County (17-D1) 28893 85.9% Population: 236,300
13 Wolverhampton Wndrs (18-PR) 28122 98.5% Population: 236,400
14 Stoke City (11-PR) 27287  96.1% Population: 239,700
15 Sheffield United (11-D1) 26263 80.5% Population: 534,500
16 Blackburn Rovers (12-PR) 25953 82.7% Population: 140,000
17 Leeds United (1-D2) 24564 61% Population: 770,800
18 Leicester City (4-D1) 24436 75.1% Population: 294,700
19 Norwich City (3-D2) 24286 93.2% Population: 132,000
20 Hull City (16-PR) 24018 94.5%  Population: 258,700
21 Fulham (8-PR) 24009  90.2 % Population: 7.5 million (London has many teams)
22 Nottingham Forest (3-D1) 23367 76.3% Population: 292,400
23 Birmingham City (9-PR) 23190 77.2% Population: 1,016,800
24 Sheffield Wednesday (21-D1) 22012 55.2% Population: 534,500
25 Bolton Wanderers (19-PR) 21872  76.1% Population: 139,403
26 West Bromwich Albion (2-D1) 21677  77% Population: 136,940
27 Ipswich Town (22-D1) 21037 69% Population: 122,300
28 Middlesbrough (7-D1) 20766  58.3% Population: 142,691
29 Cardiff City (5-D1) 20664 100% (new stadium factor? Opened in Aug) Population: 324,800
30 Burnley (13-PR) 20283 89.9% Population: 90,000
31 Southampton (15-D2) 19651 60.1% Population: 228,600
32 Portsmouth (20-PR) 18544 89.6% Population: 200,000
33 Wigan Athletic (14-PR) 18241 72.5% Population: 306,800

Interesting eh? Just thought I’d share for those of you who may be interested in knowing such things. I will also say that I am extremely proud that even in League One, Norwich City fans show how much they love their club with sell-outs week in and week out as opposed to Leeds, Southampton, Wednesday and Ipswich. Those fans should be ashamed. I remember them all having bumper crowds when they were Premier League sides.

It’s also interesting how teams like Portsmouth, Wigan and Bolton have managed to establish a place in the EPL with small crowds (not for long maybe).

About the Author

Norfolk Ned
I like football. What else is there to say?


  1. Wedel

    @Ned: Thanks for putting this together. Interesting.

    Struck by the similarities between Blackburn and Norwich City (both size of city and ground). Is Rovers run in the Prem largely down to the funding provided by the Jack Walker Trust?

    Cardiff’s attendance might be down to the ratio of population to ground also. Roughly the same capacity as Burnley, but over 350% more citizens.

  2. Anonsters

    Still waiting for the multiple regression results….


  3. Norfolk Ned

    @Wedel. There have only been a few games at Cardiff’s new stadium and if those have been with large visiting sides, the percentage will drop in time. Also the interest from home and away fans wanting to see the new place.

  4. Norfolk Ned

    @Wedel, Our Colaship percentage was higher due to more away fans and would have trumped Blackburn. In League one Southend, Yeovil and the like sometimes bring 100 or 200 fans only and occupy a block of 1-2k.

  5. Wedel

    @Ned: I figured with as strong as you say the support is – and the numbers back it up – that you’d be ahead of Blackburn. Per RoM, they have trouble selling-out Ewood when United comes to play (offering a larger away allocation at times).

    I’d say that bodes well for the smaller clubs being able to create an existence in the Prem. In addition to ones you mention, if Burnley manages the TV money wisely and can avoid a Hull-like debacle on the run-in, they should be OK. I know things are massively skewed towards the top, but bouncing between promotion and Colaship (with the parachute payments), would put a club on pretty good footing as long as they didn’t overspend.

  6. Norfolk Ned

    @Wedel. you are right sir, but many screw it up, like we did!

  7. Wedel

    @Ned: Well, considering I overspend in places as mundane as the coffee shop, I won’t be casting stones your way when it comes to overspending on footballers!

  8. Norfolk Ned

    @Wedel. After we dropped we bought footballers who belong in the coffee shop.

  9. GBurg Rover

    I’d say that BRFC ought to offer an example to many clubs without huge financial backing and a large fan base from which to draw. Sound fiscal management, operating within one’s means, shrewd dealings on occasion etc… The trust helps, to be sure, but it is a pittance in comparison to what many clubs toss about these days. Never going to light the league on fire but in the skewed arena in which they compete, admirable. CMON ROVERS

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