News today that crowds at the Coca-Cola Football League have broken the 17M mark for the first time in 50 years.
It turns out a total of 17.1M supporters attended the 1,656 league matches played during 2009/2010, which is an increase of 4.4% on last season.
And the biggest surprise is that it’s the highest aggregate crowd figure since the 1959/60 season – fifty years ago.
The Football League gates have more than doubled over the last 25 years and the average Football League crowd is now higher than 10,000, and that has to be very good for the English game.
The Coca-Cola Championship has again retained its place as the fourth most watched football league in Europe with a total audience of more than 9.9M fans, with an average home gate of 17,949.
Only Germany’s Bundesliga (13.1M), the Premier League (12.9M) and Spain’s La Liga (11.0M) beat that figure and that certainly bodes well for the English football.
More supporters watched the CC Champiosnhip than watched Italy’s Serie A (9.1M) and France’s Ligue 1 (7.6M) – unbelievable.
Crowds for matches in the Coca-Cola League 1 and Coca-Cola League 2 averaged 9,136 and 3,853 respectively, with crowds in League 1 increasing by over 21%.
Football League Chairman Greg Clarke said today:
“Attracting more than seventeen million fans into their grounds is an outstanding achievement by Football League clubs, particularly in the current economic climate.”
“Our clubs are focussed on attracting a new, family audience to football and those efforts are clearly working.”
“I would like to thank everybody that has been to one of our matches this season for supporting their club and our competition.”
This has to be looked on as good news for English football, as all we’ve heard over the last year or two are clubs in England going bankrupt.
Of course the real strength of the English game are the supporters supporting their local clubs – and it’s great to see that the attendances are on an increase.