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Attendances

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MLS attendances up

Major League Soccer attendances are up by 16 per cent so far this season, although this in part reflects the addition of new franchises and the opening of new stadiums.

No games have attracted crowds smaller than 10,000 and 68 per cent have had attendances of over 18,000, a figure comparable with one of the better supported Championship sides.

Big losses at Shrewsbury Town

The cost of relegation to League 2 is reflected in losses of £285,000 at Shrewsbury Town.   Substantial losses are also anticipated this year as the club has spent to secure promotion.

Attendances did fall in League 2, but at an average attendance of 5,104 the club is ranked sixth in League Two.  As the only senior club in Shropshire, it has a good catchment area to draw on.

How big is your club?

A study by Sportsmail ranking clubs according to how 'big' they are has provoked some controversy after Arsenal were ranked in second place behind Manchester United and in front of Liverpool and Chelsea.

Success story for Spitfires

There was a record attendance of 4,126 at the Silverlake Stadium, Eastleigh for the visit of Macclesfield Town last Saturday.   The BT cameras were also present for a live screening of the game.  Eastleigh won 4-0 and are just outside the play off places in the Conference.

Is this all you bring away?

When I started watching football in the 1950s away fans were a relative rarity except at derby matches. There was no motorway network and even if trains were not much slower on most lines, they were less frequent.  Nevertheless, some fans made long journeys on unheated and uncomfortable coaches that were prone to break down, even travelling overnight.   Then they would mingle with the home fans and exchange friendly banter.

Political cronyism hits crowds in Turkey

Attendances at top league games in Turkey have more than halved since last season because of Passolig, which requires anyone buying a ticket to do so with a credit card issued by a bank with close links to President Erdogan.

Either in protest or through unwillingness to surrender personal data to obtain the card, many fans have stopped going to matches.  Crowds at Fenerbahce, which has the highest attendances in the league, have dropped from an average of 42,000 in 2012-13 to about 15,000 this season.

Top clubs boost Cup attendances

The average attendance at FA Cup matches from the first round to the quarter finals was 11,818 over the last decade compared to 11,398 between 1994 and 2004.   Does that mean that the 'magic of the Cup' has not gone away?   In fact, it seems largely down to top clubs building bigger stadiums.

Bundesliga tops attendance table

The Bundesliga has the highest average attendances in football at 42,609 and is only beaten in professional sport by the NFL in America.   The Premier League comes 2nd in average attendances at 36,695, but has a higher aggregate attendance at just under 14 million.  The discrepancy is explained by the fact that it plays 74 more games.

Watching football gets more expensive

The BBC has brought out its latest price of football study and reports that the cost of the cheapest ticket in all four divisions has increased at twice the rate of inflation since 2011.   Of course, the rate of inflation is an average figure and some goods and services go up at a higher rate and others at a lower rate, but that's not much consolation for football fans.

New mood of optimism at Barrow AFC

There is a new mood of optimism at Barrow AFC, the successors to an historic Football League side.  The club is currently top of the Vanarama Conference North and its takeover has been successfully completed with the grant of approval by the Football Association.