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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Attendances

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Financial fair play ban for Cardiff City

A transfer embargo has been imposed on Cardiff City for breaching financial fair play rules.   The club is considering an appeal.  They join Bolton Wanderers, Fulham and Nottingham Forest who have been similarly penalised.

The Bluebirds' finances have not been helped this season by many fans voting with their feet and choosing not to watch the team. Last weekend they crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of lower league Shrewsbury.

Gate money declines in importance

Gate money was once a strong determinant of finishing position, but although they are well supported, Aston Villa, Sunderland and Newcastle United are all in danger of relegation.  Bournemouth, whose attendances are limited by stadium capacity, could well survive.

The progress of the MLS

Major League Soccer has its 20th cup final this weekend.   It is therefore an appropriate time for a review of how it has developed over the last twenty years, providing the US and Canada with a successful professional soccer league.

Empty seats at the Emirates

The announced attendance for Arsenal's Champions League game against Dynamo Zagreb was 58,798, but it seems that the actual attendance was around 50,000.   Clubs, of course, customarily include season ticket holders in attendance figures whether they are there or not.

Milton Keynes as a football city

When I was in France last week, French rugby fans were reported to be bemused by the suburban provincialism they encountered when they had to go to Milton Keynes for their game against Canada.  

MLS attendances up

MLS attendances in the United States are up by 16 per cent compared with the same time last year. Some of this increase is down to the expansion teams, New York City and Orlando City.  However, it is encouraging that no attendances under 10,000 have been recorded.

Gulls could close

Torquay United could be forced to close.   One problem is that attendances have been falling.  Only 1,558 watched their home game against Guiseley, 250 less than their break even figure of 1,800.

Who are the big attenders?

The Faroe Islands have the biggest regular attendances at football matches in terms of the proportion of the population that go, followed by Iceland, Cyprus, Scotland and England.   The research was done three years ago, but the relative proportions have probably not changed all that much.

England had the biggest absolute attendances at just under 1.5 million, accounting for 2.79 per cent of the population.

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.