It looks as if MLS in the United States is increasingly establishing a solid following. Average attendances last year were 21,700, compared with 20,115 in the EFL Championship, Atlanta United’s match against Orlando City last Saturday attracted 70.425. This broke a 21-year record dating back to the league’s first season.
From the age of nine until I went to university I lived in Billericay. Billericay Town played on the Archer Hall field and had an annual dinner-dance in the Archer Hall. One player from the 1950s remembered playing a German team, Emmerich Rhine, there. ‘Billericay’ almost sounds like an Irish place name, but I think it is a corruption of the Norman-French ‘Ville de Cray’. Other explanations are available.
Following an ownership fiasco involving an absent new owner who turned out not to have the readies (yet again), Morecamble were in serious financial trouble last season with players not being paid.
After the Shrimps’ new Brazilian owner Diego Lemos went AWOL, Italian businessman Joseph Cala claimed to have bought the club. He turned up at the Globe Arena and started giving it large, before Lemos returned as if he had never been away.
There will be almost 20,000 empty seats at Tottenham Hotspur’s first Premier League match at Wembley because of restrictions imposed by Brent council and the Metropolitan Police. Spurs have sold about 70,000 tickets for one of their biggest matches of the season against Chelsea, including 3,000 to away fans.
More than 18 million people attended Football League games this season, the highest number for almost 60 years. Sky Bet Championship attendances surpassed the 11 million mark, with average crowds over 20,000.
With all the clubs in the Championship in 2015/16 having now published their accounts (except Bolton Wanderers), the author of the authoritative Swiss Ramble blog has now come up with some fascinating statistics.
Of course, it is well known that Championship clubs like to splash the cash in an effort to reach the Premier League. However, these figures show how difficult it is to avoid a loss in the Championship and how much parachute payments distort the financial picture. One wonders if their level stops clubs reining in wages as much as they should.
Bradford City’s co-owner Edin Rahic was the first German to become involved in owning an English league club. He commissioned a detailed analysis of all 72 Football League clubs looking at history, transport facilities, manager turnover, squad size and average age and potential fan base. The Bantams ticked all the boxes.
Celtic’s runaway success in the Scottish Premier League may be hitting attendances as fans lose interest in a one horse race.
A critical match for Hamilton Academicals with Aberdeen saw just 2,006 fans in the 5,500 seater stadium with just two lonely souls in the East Stand. Hamilton’s average attendance this season has shrunk from 3,024 to 2,584.
AS Monaco face a difficult financial balancing act. In 2014-15, the club made €117m, less than a third of Paris Saint-Germain’s total for the same campaign. With little match-day and commercial revenue, they are very reliant on Champions League qualification. They can make €2m from a Champions League game. This means remaining competitive on the pitch while seeking to maximise profits in the transfer market, a difficult balancing act.
I am always a little supsicious of attempts to say which of two clubs is the bigger one, as there are no accepted criteria. At least this report from Sky on Aston Villa and Newcastle United looks at a range of criteria, whilst avoiding offending fans of both clubs by coming to no clear verdict.