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STATS: Which Fans Don’t Go To Their Ground? Arsenal, Chelsea, City, Liverpool, Spurs or United?

After an on going discussion over what portion of Manchester was red and what was blue, I had a look at attendances of the season just gone.

Despite the fact that more fans have come to watch United play than City every single season since 1947, long before the glory supporters from outside of Manchester, which therefore suggests United is the more popular team to have been passed down from one generation to the next, you often hear people (usually who have never been to Manchester) suggesting City is the more popular team in Manchester.

Comparing United’s attendances to City’s now proves nothing over the allegiance of Manchester, given how many fans from outside Manchester now come to Old Trafford.

However, when you compare City’s attendances to other clubs in the league, it further dismisses the blue myth. If Manchester is blue, why do they have so many empty seats on a weekly basis? Their stadium doesn’t even seat 50,000 people, yet every week, regardless of ticket price, regardless of opponents, they fail to sell all their tickets. Anyone who lives in Manchester knows the truth, City fans included, but it’s nice to have some statistics to support that truth.

I therefore thought it would be interesting to look at the attendances of the original old four, as well as those aspiring to be a part of it, and how well these teams have been supported so far this season.

However, there are several things to consider which don’t make the stats as accurate as you would like when comparing.

1. Away end
The away section obviously has an impact on the overall attendance. I can only speak on behalf of inside Old Trafford but the away sections were particularly and surprising poorly filled against Wigan and Blackburn. Here’s a picture of all the empty seats in the away corner against Wigan, for example. I assume this plays a part in all of the stadiums and can make some mark on the figures, but isn’t anything substantial. For example, Manchester City’s away allocation contributes to 6% of all seats in the ground and so if you imagine their away end was just 2/3 full, 2% of their ground’s overall empty seats could be attributed to the away fans.

2. Ticket prices
The price of tickets obviously plays a part in how high the attendance is, with lots of fans being put off attending because of prices or simply not be able to afford to attend as much as they would like. Some clubs run prices by category, so whilst higher category games are more expensive, they are also more popular to attend. (e.g. an Arsenal fan could be charged over £94 to watch Arsenal vs Spurs, a Category A game, but obviously would be more eager to watch that than a Category B game against Wolves, which could cost £35)

Looking at the stats for Europe, it stands to reason Champions League games (which effects Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Spurs) are more expensive than Europa League games (which effects Liverpool and Manchester City)

Here are the average season ticket prices to give an indication of how expensive watching football is at each of these clubs, and therefore, how affordable it is for a fan to regularly attend.

Manchester City- £485.62
Liverpool – £716.25
Manchester United – £730.00
Chelsea – £822.50
Tottenham – £925.71
Arsenal – £1,177.50

3. Boycott
Manchester United are in the midst of a protest against the owners, with 60,000+ having already given up their season ticket since 2005 and even more refusing to step inside the ground whilst the Glazers are still at the club.

4. Capacity
Obviously it’s easier to sell out grounds when you have a smaller capacity. Here is the total possible capacity of the grounds in comparison to the largest, Old Trafford.

Old Trafford: 75,957
Emirates: -15,602
City of Manchester: -28,131
Anfield: -30,595
Stamford Bridge: -34,116
White Hart Lane: -39,647

So here are the stats:

Manchester City – Europe

Ahead of the first Europa League game, City were offering tickets to all three group stage games for a total of £50, working out at £17 a game.

On the day of the Juventus game, they were selling tickets for £10 (£5 for under-16s).

On the day of the Salzburg game, they were selling tickets for £5 (£1 for under-16s).

vs Salzburg – 10,274 empty seats. 21% empty.
vs Juventus – 12,614 empty seats. 26% empty.
vs Timisoara – 24,282 empty seats. 51% empty.

Average: 32.7% empty

Manchester City – Premiership

vs Arsenal – 433 empty seats. 0.9% empty.
vs United – 616 empty seats. 1% empty.
vs Chelsea – 623 empty seats. 1% empty.
vs Liverpool – 739 empty seats. 2% empty.
vs Newcastle – 1,759 empty seats. 4% empty.
vs Birmingham – 3,505 empty seats. 7% empty.
vs Blackburn – 3,580 empty seats. 7% empty.

Average: 3.3% empty

Average in Europe and League: 12.9% empty

Liverpool – Europe

vs Trabzonspor – 4,421 empty seats. 10% empty.
vs Napoli – 11,467 empty seats. 25% empty.
vs Steaua Bucharest – 19,757 empty seats. 44% empty.

Average: 26.3% empty

Liverpool – Premiership

vs Arsenal – 640 empty seats. 1% empty.
vs Cheseal – 1,124 empty seats. 2% empty.
vs Sunderland – 1,736 empty seats. 4% empty.
vs Blackburn – 2,034 empty seats. 4% empty.
vs Blackpool – 2,206 empty seats. 5% empty.
vs West Ham – 2,336 empty seats. 5% empty.
vs West Brom – 4,168 empty seats. 9% empty.

Average: 4.3% empty

Average in Europe and League: 10.9% empty

Tottenham Hotspur – Europe

vs Inter – 0 empty seats. 0% empty.
vs Young Boys – 1,601 empty seats. 4% empty.
vs Werder Bremen – 2,764 empty seats. 8% empty.
vs FC Twente – 3,792 empty seats. 10% empty.

Average: 5.5% empty

Tottenham Hotspur – Premiership

vs Everton – 343 empty seats. 0.9% empty.
vs Liverpool – 348 empty seats. 1% empty.
vs Wolves – 370 empty seats. 1% empty.
vs City – 382 empty seats. 1% empty.
vs Villa – 439 empty seats. 1% empty.
vs Sunderland – 476 empty seats. 1% empty.
vs Blackburn – 610 empty seats. 2% empty.
vs Wigan – 1209 empty seats. 3% empty.

Average: 1.4% empty

Average in Europe and League: 2.7% empty

Chelsea – Europe

vs Spartak Moscow – 1,365 empty seats. 3% empty.
vs Marseille – 1,166 empty seats. 3% empty.
vs MSK Milina – 1,575 empty seats. 4% empty.

Average: 3.3% empty

Chelsea – Premiership

vs Arsenal – 13 empty seats. 0.03% empty.
vs Blackpool – 80 empty seats. 0.2% empty.
vs Wolves – 89 empty seats. 0.2%
vs Fulham – 248 empty seats. 0.6% empty.
vs West Brom – 252 empty seats. 0.6% empty.
vs Sunderland – 769 empty seats. 2% empty.
vs Stoke – 910 empty seats. 2% empty.

Average: 0.8% empty

Average in Europe and League: 1.6% empty

Manchester United – Europe

United’s attendances, particularly in the league, will make disappointing reading for those encouraging a boycott

vs Rangers – 1,549 empty seats. 2% empty.
vs Bursaspor – 3,347 empty seats. 4% empty.

Average: 3% empty

Manchester United – Premiership

vs Wolves 672 empty seats. 0.9% empty.
vs West Brom – 685 empty seats. 0.9% empty.
vs Spurs – 734 empty seats. 0.9% empty.
vs Newcastle – 736 empty seats. 0.9% empty.
vs Liverpool – 744 empty seats. 0.9% empty.
vs West Ham – 896 empty seats. 1% empty.
vs Blackburn – 1,107 empty seats. 1% empty.
vs Wigan – 1,776 empty seats. 2% empty.

Average: 1% empty

Average in Europe and League: 1.6% empty

Arsenal – Europe 60,355 seated

vs Shakhtar Donetsk – 339 empty seats. 0.6% empty.
vs Braga – 1,022 empty seats. 2% empty.

Average: 1.3% empty

Arsenal – Premiership

vs Spurs – 253 empty seats. 0.4% empty.
vs West Ham – 269 empty seats. 0.4% empty.
vs Birmingham – 285 empty seats. 0.5% empty.
vs Newcastle – 269 empty seats. 0.5% empty.
vs Blackpool – 323 empty seats. 0.5% empty.
vs West Brom – 330 empty seats. 0.5% empty.
vs Bolton – 479 empty seats. 0.8% empty.

Average: 0.5% empty

Average in Europe and League: 0.7% empty

Conclusions

- Arsenal have been the best supported team this season. Despite having the highest ticket prices, they have more bums on seats than any other ground in the country.

- If United weren’t in the midst of 5+ year boycott, it stands to reason they would have the lowest % of empty seats. Regardless, so far this season, United have sold 180,056 more tickets than Arsenal for league games this season. There is a difference of 276,779 ticket sales between United and City in the league so far this season.

- City have had more empty seats for European games this season than Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, United or Spurs.

- Liverpool have had more empty seats for league games this season than Arsenal, Chelsea, City, United or Spurs.

- City have by far the cheapest tickets, for both league and European games (particularly for European games), but this is not reflected by the attendance, with City having a larger % of empty seats for European games, and only Liverpool having a larger % of empty seats for league games.




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319 Comments

  1. Charlton's Comb-over says:

    Re: …says: Had your brother never heard of the latics???? ;-)

  2. Unitedtothecore says:

    Charlton’s Comb-over says:

    Yeah and most City fans consider your type to be glory supporters,

    I don’t give a f*ck what City fans call us, nor any other team’s supporters for that matter…but I do get more than mildly pissed off when fellow United supports do it because it’s a stab in the back! That’s right it’s a fuc*ing stab in the back!

    I’ll give you the examples that I quoted again because you obviously didn’t read it.

    Ashley says:
    Scott is absolutely right when he says about glory supporters. If ya not from Manchester you ARE a glory supporter . So many times when i go to see united i get so embarrassed when i hear (supporters) with cockney accents and scottish accents. Its you people who are taking tickets from REAL supporters from manchester who come and watch there team instead of sitting there quietly and moaning when we dont win its a disgrace well said Scott
    And others-

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but as far as I know “scottish accent” would lend you to believe this guy is talking about Scottish people thereby defining them by race. The reason I said it was borderline is because he only said that the sounds of the accents embarrass him. Clear now?

    It’s the thin edge of a giant divisive wedge.

    And the next time someone blocks your view…take a deep breath…and stop being so, how did you put it,…hysterical.

    United is, and has always been, about inclusion, NOT exclusion.

  3. Charlton's Comb-over says:

    Unitedtothecore – fucking hilarious, keep them coming.

    “Correct me if I’m wrong here, but as far as I know “scottish accent” would lend you to believe this guy is talking about Scottish people thereby defining them by race” – hahaha. Absolutely brilliant. Erm no, it would lead me to believe that he identified them as being from Scotland by their accent. Being Scottish is a nationality, not a race by the way.

    And now you’re accusing me of being hysterical? This from the man whose just posted: ” don’t give a f*ck what City fans call us, nor any other team’s supporters for that matter…but I do get more than mildly pissed off when fellow United supports do it because it’s a stab in the back! That’s right it’s a fuc*ing stab in the back!”. Are you attempting some sort of ironic humour here or something?

  4. ... says:

    Re: Charlton’s Comb-over:
    Hahaha

    I can understand its frustrating for randoms to turn up at O.T and know nothing about football or United, its extremely annoying down here when “fans” are slagging the team off when things aren’t going right and have to put up with their bullshit.

    Also to be fair, there’s plenty of Scouse fans here that have no affiliation with the city whatsoever, I’ve met Arsenal fans who aren’t from London or North London in particular, Chelsea fans from Reading. United get a lot of stick for it but the top teams have them. I’m sure something like this has been said before.

  5. Charlton's Comb-over says:

    …says:

    I agree, that’s the way modern football is these days. Although at Utd it tends to go back to 1958 and Munich which generated huge sympathy and interest in the club from all over the country.

    You’re right, the scousers have a huge following in Norway and even the berties have a huge following in erm… Stockport.

    I should imagine Essex, Kent & Herts etc are full of fans of the London clubs mainly through family links – ie people moving out of London to more suburban areas and obviously maintaining their support for their original club rather than Billaricky FC or whatever other Essex footballing giants they have down there.

  6. Unitedtothecore says:

    Charlton’s Comb-over says:

    Hahahaha

    It’s like arguing with child…oh hang on. What age are you?

  7. Charlton's Comb-over says:

    Unitedtothecore: Yet another brilliant post from the master of irony – well done you.

  8. Unitedtothecore says:

    Charlton’s Comb-over says:

    Unitedtothecore: Yet another brilliant post from the master of irony – well done you.

    Aw…come on. Dont feel bad. I’m sorry…ok. Lets be mates…really.

  9. ... says:

    Re:Charlton’s Comb-over

    Yeah the surrounding counties are generally fans of the London clubs
    Essex – mainly Arsenal
    Herts – Arsenal/Spurs if they’re not Watford fans
    Kent – I’m not too sure

    An odd one I had in mind was my mate – a Liverpool fan from Harrow..why is he a Scouse fan? Because he liked the colour red when he was younger, hahaha. That’s no joke.

  10. Charlton's Comb-over says:

    …says – he applied that logic and still picked them over the much more local Arsenal? Call me a cynic, but if he’s in his late 20s/30s, it’s prob more to with who was top of the league when he was a kid. Hope he’s now enjoying his Thursday night’s on channel 5.

    Unitedtothecore – fair dos. But not because I’m feeling bad, instead it’s because I’m concerned about your blood pressure ;-)

  11. Unitedtothecore says:

    Charlton’s Comb-over says:

    Haha – fair enough.

    And in this spirit is togetherness – dare I say even, Unitedness – I hereby promise to reduce my filming of corners and free kicks by…50% and also to hold my breath so that my foul accent is not too much of an embarrassment to my fellow United supporters. End of.

    Now let’s get to a pub.

  12. Charlton's Comb-over says:

    Make it 75% and we have a deal. I am raising a glass as soon as stop typing.

  13. Unitedtothecore says:

    60% – and I’ll get the first round.

  14. mattbw7 says:

    Has anyone noticed how much our attendances are falling, you could chose to believe the stadium announcer who said there was 74k in OT last night but is anyone buying this?

  15. Charlton's Comb-over says:

    Matt – no, we’re not buying it & we were having this conversation on Tuesday night. In fact, there’s been a fair few occasions when they’ve announced the attendance and the ground looks like they’re are less people in it than claimed. I think they go off tickets sold rather than the gate.

  16. mattbw7 says:

    Charlton’s Comb-over
    I guess I missed that, didnt come on-line after getting home from the game, it ain’t a one off though is it, also there where rumours of bus loads of kids offered cheap tickets I think RI had something about in the fanzine, what was noticable was the high pitched UTD UTD chants coming from the east stand I think, are they getting desperate?

  17. Charlton's Comb-over says:

    Matt – Sorry I meant we were having that conversation at OT – not sure whether it was discussed on here.

    There’s been loads of kids there for the cup games a lot recently and they must sit them in the east stand – nice to see them generating a bit of noise in that stand if am honest – lol.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a whiff of desperation in this. They must be filling the ground with kids to keep attendances up because of the amount of reds who jacked in their STs (because of the Glazers’ ACS in lots of cases) and because the supporters clubs from up and down the country who used to take these tickets for the cup ties have now have, in a lot of cases, disbanded as the ASC meant they could no longer get tickets in the same numbers.

  18. Charlton's Comb-over says:

    Or, we could be imagining all this because according to Paul H – everything’s fine. I’m thinking of moving to his stand, or at least asking to borrow his rose tinted glasses. ;-)

  19. mattbw7 says:

    Charltons Comb Over, hey there where even gaps where I sit (stand) in the stretty, not many but they where there, I suppose in essence I shouldnt have a go at kids having a great day out though i agree it does smack of desperation, not sure its all down to the Glazers I’m sure some of it is to do with the economy and I wouldnt be surprised if Rooney hasnt had an effect in terms of if he doesn’t give a fuck why should they.

    Im sure we’ll be full for the arse, god how bad does that sound!

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