League Crowds Break 16m Barrier
Crowds at matches in the Coca-Cola Football League have broken the sixteen million barrier for the fourth consecutive season. In total, more than 16.2m supporters attended the 1,656 matches played during 2007/08.
The Football League has enjoyed a sustained period of attendance growth since the mid-eighties with crowds more than doubling in that time. In recent seasons gates have reached their highest levels for nearly 50 years.
The Coca-Cola Championship is now the 4th most watched League in Europe, with its total audience of 9.4m fans being bettered only by the Premiership, Germany`s Bundesliga and Spain`s La Liga.
Audiences for matches in The League`s top division averaged 17,022 during 2007/08 with 195 matches being watched by a crowd of more than 20,000 and six by more than 30,000.
This season also saw Coca-Cola League 1 record its highest set of attendance figures for 36 years with nearly four and a half million fans going through the turnstiles. In total, crowds rose by 6.7%, taking the average crowds up to just under the 8,000 mark.
There was similar good news in Coca-Cola League 2, where a 5.1% increase took average crowds beyond the 4,300 mark.
It was also another good season for The League`s two showpiece Cup competitions. Crowds for matches in the Carling Cup and Johnstone`s Paint Trophy rose by 21.2% and 13.7% respectively.
In welcoming these figures Football League Chairman Lord Mawhinney said:
"These are another set of impressive figures. I would like to offer my appreciation to everybody that has gone to watch League football this season. Our competitions thrive on the passion and loyalty that fans give to their clubs.
"I would also like to congratulate League clubs on the efforts they have made to fill their grounds. On the pitch, they have provided another season of exciting, competitive football. Off the pitch, innovative community programmes have enabled clubs to engage better with people living locally.
"It is particularly encouraging that more families and young supporters are attending our matches. Through The League`s 'Fans of the Future` initiative, our clubs are making a real effort to get the next generation of fans watching their local League clubs.
"In its first three seasons 'Fans of the Future` has enabled more than 750,000 youngsters to watch matches for free or at significantly reduced prices."