European attendances – symptomatic of a superficial age

FREE MOVEMENT of people is one of the basic rights across the European Union, allowing cross-border travel and employment opportunities. It has many benefits, some of which will become apparent to the United Kingdom’s population when the country does stumble uncomfortably out of the EU. While this has opened-up the world, or at least part of it, to young football fans and businesses, it has … Continue reading European attendances – symptomatic of a superficial age

UEFA Champions League: The gulf at the gate

THE UEFA Champions League draw has become an event in itself and provides a curtain-raiser to the next 10 months of action involving Europe’s elite working their way towards the final stages. For half of the entrants, the competition will end in December, but we can expect the usual suspects to qualify for the knockout stages when things really do get interesting. While the Champions … Continue reading UEFA Champions League: The gulf at the gate

Indian football at a tipping point

THE FUTURE OF the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League looks a little uncertain as the country’s governing bodies grapple with creating the optimal structure for the game in Asia’s third biggest economy. While the Indian Super League continues to form new business partnerships and starts to develop young players, spectator appetite seems to be on the decline. Last season, average attendances dropped to 13,000 … Continue reading Indian football at a tipping point

Crowd reaction – why English and German fans are more loyal

RELEGATION is often a big blow to clubs in Europe’s top leagues, mostly because it comes with financial implications, despite parachute payments. TV money and legacy wage bills are the biggest issue, but income at most clubs is affected by lower attendances. Or is it? Football fans are known for their undying loyalty and a major setback often brings out the best in them, particularly … Continue reading Crowd reaction – why English and German fans are more loyal

Stable gates, but study underlines systemic clubs

FOOTBALL’s principal emerging nations, the US and China, have almost arrived, with the top divisions of their leagues in the top 10 in terms of spectator interest. According to CIES Football Observatory’s latest report, China and the US are sixth and eighth respectively over the past five years by average crowds. The German Bundesliga has an average of 43,302 with the English Premier second-placed on … Continue reading Stable gates, but study underlines systemic clubs

Is European football really on the crest of a wave?

ACCORDING to UEFA, attendances in European football are at their highest since [their] records began. Certainly, in the UK, English football has not had as people going through the turnstiles since 1949, when the gates averaged 38,792 in the top flight. The current average in the Premier in 2018-19 is 37,967 which is around 1% lower than 2017-18’s figures. UEFA reported that attendances across Europe … Continue reading Is European football really on the crest of a wave?

Commentary Box: New fans for old?

TIME after time, tickets are sold-out at matches but there are still empty seats in the stand at Arsenal, Chelsea and other clubs. Somebody, somewhere, is sitting on tickets that have not been sold. Similarly, they may belong to fans that have failed to turn up. What bemused me at the recent Chelsea v Atletico Madrid game there were plenty of empties but the gate … Continue reading Commentary Box: New fans for old?

25 years on, why English crowds are subdued

THERE were some encouraging signs on the first day of the new season, with Brighton and Newcastle United fans providing a noisy backdrop to their first games in the Premier League after winning promotion. Could this be the start of something interesting? For a while now, it has become clear that English crowds are somewhat muted compared to their foreign counterparts. In the long and … Continue reading 25 years on, why English crowds are subdued

How high will crowds be in 2016-17?

WITH the opening of West Ham United’s Olympic Stadium this coming season, the English Premier League may see a slight increase in attendances. The Hammers will undoubtedly average 50,000 for the first time in their long history, but the change in composition in the Premier will see clubs with smaller crowd potential coming to the top division. According to Football Benchmark’s latest study on stadium … Continue reading How high will crowds be in 2016-17?

A whale in the fishpond: Declining competitiveness in European football

IF the UEFA Champions League has a familiar look about it, most of Europe’s top football leagues are becoming even more predictable. Apart from the English Premier, which may deliver just about the most unexpected final outcome for many years, most of Europe’s leading competitions will be won by members of the footballing elite. Germany will have Bayern Munich as Bundesliga champions for the fourth … Continue reading A whale in the fishpond: Declining competitiveness in European football

Would reconfiguration save “forgotten” Europe?

The big leagues continue to prosper, but right across old Europe, attendances are a travesty. Football has benefitted from a free market economy. Is that really true? Like all free markets, there are big winners but plenty of losers. Ask anyone born in Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslavakia, Romania and parts of the old Soviet Union if life was better when they lived under communism or whether … Continue reading Would reconfiguration save “forgotten” Europe?

Perhaps non-league is midfield for the middle-aged after all….

For years, non-league football clubs have spoken about the need to engage with youngsters and the desire to nurture young players. The future of a football club is the youth of today, we are told. But the message doesn’t get through that often. Just look at the average non-league crowd and at some clubs, there is an alarming lack of fresh-faced supporters. Want a litmus … Continue reading Perhaps non-league is midfield for the middle-aged after all….

A solution to the new Arsenal Stadium Mystery

Interesting news coming out of the Emirates Stadium this week was the over-stated “actual” attendances being declared at Arsenal’s fine stadium. In the eight years that Arsenal have been at their new home, seven have seen aeverage crowds rise above 60,000. Their last season at Highbury saw them draw 38,000 per game. It’s a remarkable increase and vindicates the club’s decision to move grounds. But … Continue reading A solution to the new Arsenal Stadium Mystery