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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Attendances

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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.

'My league's bigger than yours'

Professor Simon Chadwick takes a look at the thorny issue of which is the biggest league in European football.   Although the conclusions are not surprising, the evidence and its appraisal are interesting.

Life 1, Football 0?

August used to be known as the 'silly season' in journalism.  Journos were off on their own holidays and there were no real news stories.   At the moment, of course, there are three major local wars going on in the world.

Is football making a break through in the US?

It's a question which has been asked many times before and usually gets a positive but over optimistic answer.   However, the attendance of 109,318 for last night's game between Manchester United and Real Madrid was the biggest ever recorded in the US for a soccer game and was impressive by any standards. Apparently, the fact that the crowd sat on benches helped to cram them in.

More go to galleries than to football

We are used to comparing football attendances across countries, as we did for top European clubs recently, or between different leagues.  But what about the comparison between football and other ways of spending one's leisure time?