Manchester United vs Manchester City attendance graphYesterday, Manchester City still hadn’t sold all their tickets for the League Cup semi-final which was due to be played the following day. On the Monday, it was announced that any season ticket holder or membership holder could purchase an additional two tickets.

Given that City haven’t played in the semi-final for 28 years I thought it was odd that the game wasn’t a sell out. Now that the game has been postponed due to the snow, it of course almost certainly will be a sell out.

Me commenting on this brought flocks of City fans to the blog, all trying to justify the reasons behind it. The excuses ranged from the more understandable, citing the proximity to Christmas, to the insane, claiming that we just weren’t a big draw for them anymore.

The discussion went along it’s usual path that it does with City fans, with them talking about our debt, claiming that we don’t have fans in Manchester, and along the way, me having to ban posters and delete comments mocking us for Munich. Same ol’, same ol’.

United have yet to sell all their tickets for the return leg of the semi-final, although have sold 10,000+ more than City had the day before the supposed kick-off, despite us having a further two weeks until our game (now a further three weeks). This got me thinking about the relative support of our two clubs, with City fans always banging on about being so great and claiming that all our fans are day-trippers.

So, let’s take a walk down memory lane and get to the truth behind the deluded City lies…

I came across a brilliant website, European Football Statistics, which gives the average attendances for English football since the 1947-1948 season.

Is it true that City have the best support in Manchester? Is it true that our fanbase is full of glory supporters who only starting coming once we’d won trophies? What is clear is that Manchester has two very well supported teams, particularly compared to the rest of the country, and that support isn’t necessarily totally dependent on the success of the club.

The data is shown at the bottom of the page for those of you that are really keen, showing their position in the league, the average attendance for that season, what ranking that places them amongst the top flight and which team had the highest average attendance that season.

Otherwise, here is a summary…

Interesting facts
– United have had a higher average attendance than City EVERY SINGLE SEASON since 1947.
– When City won the league in the 1968, they had the 6th highest attendance in the country. United had the highest average attendance of 57,552, more than 10,000 higher than any club that season.
– When United were playing in Division 2 during the 1974-1975 season, they still had the highest average attendance of any club in the country, including Division 1.
– City have had a higher average attendance ranking than they have average league position every decade.
– Between 1946 and 1949 United played at Maine Road whilst reconstruction work was being done on Old Trafford after the bombings in the war. In the first season, when City won the league, United had an average attendance of 4,662 more than City at their own stadium. In the second season, United had an average attendance of 12,165 more than City at their own stadium. In the third season, United had an average attendance of 10,109 more than City at their own stadium.
– United have a higher average attendance than City for every decade since the 1940’s.
– Between 1947 and the year before the Munich Air Disaster, there was an average of almost 7,000 more United fans attending games than City.
– City were a more successful club on the pitch than United in the 1970s, yet there was a difference of over 13,000 in our average attendances, with United the best supported club of the decade.

In the 1950s…
City’s average league position: 15th
City’s average attendance position: 10th (1 year in Div 2 – position not included)
City’s average attendance: 30,028

United’s average league position: 3rd
United’s average attendance position: 4th
United’s average attendance: 35,667

In the 1960s…
City’s average league position: 18th
City’s average attendance position: 13th (3 years in Div 2 – positions not included)
City’s average attendance: 27,823

United’s average league position: 7th
United’s average attendance position: 2nd
United’s average attendance: 45,199

In the 1970s…
City’s average league position: 9th
City’s average attendance position: 6th
City’s average attendance: 35,178

United’s average league position: 11th
United’s average attendance position: 1st (1 year in Div 2 – position not included)
United’s average attendance: 48,328

In the 1980s…
City’s average league position: 20th
City’s average attendance position: 5th (4 years in Div 2 – positions not included)
City’s average attendance: 26,866

United’s average league position: 5th
United’s average attendance position: 1st
United’s average attendance: 43,090

In the 1990s pre Premiership/Sky…
City’s average league position: 8th
City’s average attendance position: 6th
City’s average attendance: 27,846

United’s average league position: 7th
United’s average attendance position: 1st
United’s average attendance: 42,654

1946-1957
After the Munich Air Disaster, people from outside of Manchester started to follow the club after sharing in our loss (even City fans used to be compassionate back then!). City fans have claimed that the sympathy that followed Munich is one of the reasons we have a larger fan base.

Looking at data from ’46 to the season before Munich, we can see what support was like in Manchester.

City’s average league position: 15th
City’s average attendance position: 12th (3 years in Div 2 – positions not included)
City’s average attendance: 35,913

United’s average league position: 3rd
United’s average attendance position: 5th
United’s average attendance: 42,632

Average attendances: United vs City 1946-1992

1946-1947: Liverpool 45,732 (1st)
City – 1st (Div 2)
Average attendance: 39,283

United – 2nd
Average attendance: 43,945 (3rd)

1947-1948: Arsenal 54,892 (1st)
City – 10th
Average attendance: 42,725 (7th)

United – 2nd, FA Cup winners
Average attendance: 54,890 (2nd)

1948-1949: Newcastle 53,839 (1st)
City – 7th
Average attendance: 38,699 (11th)

United – 2nd
Average attendance: 48,808 (3rd)

1949-1950: Arsenal 49,001 (1st)
City – 21st
Average attendance: 39,381 (10th)

United – 4th
Average attendance: 43,282 (7th)

1950-1951: Spurs 55,509 (1st)
City – 2nd (Div 2)
Average attendance: 35,016

United – 2nd
Average attendance: 39,008 (9th)

1951-1952: Spurs 51,134 (1st)
City – 15th
Average attendance: 38,302 (8th)

United – 1st
Average attendance: 42,916 (4th)

1952-1953: Arsenal 49,141 (1st)
City – 20th
Average attendance: 34,058 (11th)

United – 8th
Average attendance: 37,571 (9th)

1953-1954: Chelsea 46,944 (1st)
City – 17th
Average attendance: 30,155 (15th)

United – 4th
Average attendance: 36,887 (8th)

1954-1955: Chelsea 48,260 (1st)
City – 7th
Average attendance: 35,217 (9th)

United – 5th
Average attendance: 36,911 (7th)

1955-1956: Everton 42,768 (1st)
City – 4th, FA Cup winners
Average attendance: 32,198 (10th)

United – 1st
Average attendance: 39,254 (3rd)

1956-1957: United
City – 18th
Average attendance: 30,005 (12th)

United – 1st
Average attendance: 45,481 (1st)

1957-1958: United
City – 5th
Average attendance: 32,756 (9th)

United – 9th
Average attendance: 46,073 (1st)

1958-1959: United
City – 20th
Average attendance: 32,568 (9th)

United – 2nd
Average attendance: 53,258 (1st)

1959-1960: Spurs 47,948 (1st)
City – 16th
Average attendance: 35,637 (8th)

United – 7th
Average attendance: 47,288 (2nd)

1960-1961: Spurs 53,124 (1st)
City – 13th
Average attendance: 29,409 (8th)

United – 7th
Average attendance: 38,888 (3rd)

1961-1962: Spurs 45,576 (1st)
City – 12th
Average attendance: 25,626 (10th)

United – 15th
Average attendance: 33,491 (4th)

1962-1963: Everton 51,603 (1st)
City – 21st
Average attendance: 24,683 (11th)

United – 19th, FA Cup
Average attendance: 40,329 (4th)

1963-1964: Everton 49,401 (1st)
City – 6th (Div 2)
Average attendance: 18,201

United – 2nd
Average attendance: 44,125 (3rd)

1964-1965: United
City – 11th (Div 2)
Average attendance: 14,753

United – 1st
Average attendance: 46,521 (1st)

1965-1966: Liverpool 46,344 (1st)
City – 1st (Div 2)
Average attendance: 27,739

United – 4th
Average attendance: 38,769 (2nd)

1966-1967: United
City – 15th
Average attendance: 31,208 (11th)

United – 1st
Average attendance: 53,854 (1st)

1967-1968: United
City – 1st
Average attendance: 37,223 (6th)

United – 2nd
Average attendance: 57,552 (1st)

1968-1969
City – 13th, FA Cup
Average attendance: 33,750 (9th)

United – 11th
Average attendance: 51,169 (1st)

1969-1970: United
City – 10th, League Cup
Average attendance: 33,930 (10th)

United – 8th
Average attendance: 49,862 (1st)

1970-1971: Liverpool 45,459 (1st)
City – 11th
Average attendance: 31,041 (9th)

United – 8th
Average attendance: 43,945 (2nd)

1971-1972: Liverpool 47,687 (1st)
City – 4th
Average attendance: 38,573 (6th)

United – 8th
Average attendance: 45,999 (2nd)

1972-1973: United
City – 11th
Average attendance: 32,351 (7th)

United – 18th
Average attendance: 48,623 (1st)

1973-1974: United
City – 14th
Average attendance: 30,756 (7th)

United – 21
Average attendance: 42,712 (1st)

1974-1975: United. (Liverpool top of Div 1 45,966)
City – 8th
Average attendance: 32,898 (5th)

United – 1st (Div 2)
Average attendance: 48,389 (1st)

1975-1976: United
City – 8th, League Cup
Average attendance: 34,280 (4th)

United – 3rd
Average attendance: 54,750 (1st)

1976-1977: United
City – 2nd
Average attendance: 40,058 (3rd)

United – 6th, FA Cup
Average attendance: 53,710 (1st)

1977-1978: United
City – 4th
Average attendance: 41,687 (3rd)

United – 10th
Average attendance: 51,860 (1st)

1978-1979: United
City – 15th
Average attendance: 36,203 (4th)

United – 9th
Average attendance: 46,430 (1st)

1979-1980: United
City – 17th
Average attendance: 35,272 (3rd)

United – 2nd
Average attendance: 51,608 (1st)

1980-1981: United
City – 12th
Average attendance: 33,587 (4th)

United – 8th
Average attendance: 45,071 (1st)

1981-1982: United
City – 10th
Average attendance: 34,063 (4th)

United – 3rd
Average attendance: 44,571 (1st)

1982-1983: United
City – 20th
Average attendance: 26,789 (4th)

United – 3rd, FA Cup
Average attendance: 41,695 (1st)

1983-1984: United
City – 4th (Div 2)
Average attendance: 25,604

United – 4th
Average attendance: 42,534 (1st)

1984-1985: United
City – 3rd (Div 2)
Average attendance: 24,220

United – 4th, FA Cup
Average attendance: 42,881 (1st)

1985-1986: United
City – 15th
Average attendance: 24,229 (4th)

United – 4th
Average attendance: 46,321 (1st)

1986-1987: United
City – 21st
Average attendance: 21,922 (8th)

United – 11th
Average attendance: 40,594 (1st)

1987-1988: Liverpool 39,582 (1st)
City – 9th (Div 2)
Average attendance: 19,472

United – 2nd
Average attendance: 39,152 (2nd)

1988-1989: Liverpool 38,706 (1st)
City – 2nd (Div 2)
Average attendance: 23,500

United – 11th
Average attendance: 36,474 (2nd)

1989-1990: United
City – 14th
Average attendance: 27,975 (4th)

United – 13th
Average attendance: 39,331 (1st)

1990-1991: United
City – 5th
Average attendance: 27,874 (6th)

United – 6th
Average attendance: 43,242 (1st)

1991-1992: United
City – 5th
Average attendance: 27,688 (7th)

United – 2nd
Average attendance: 45,389 (1st)

Manchester United vs Manchester City attendance 1946-2009 graph created by RoM reader SITS.




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