Sunday, 26 May 2013

How important is the 12th, 13th and the 6852nd person?

I don't know if some have you have seen the recent set of attendance figures listed by the NPower Football League for last season yet, but they make interesting viewing. Looking at League One last season the top six clubs that had the largest average attendances were: Sheffield Utd, Portsmouth, Coventry Preston NE, MK Dons and Swindon Town. Bournemouth did not fare so badly coming in 8th place with an average gate of 6852.

So none of the top most supported teams managed to get promoted from League One and only two of them made the play-offs. We all know that there are times when we have big gates but the many don't always make for the biggest crowd noise. Some fans simply come to watch and expect a result without really getting vocally behind their team.

If we look at AFCB's average attendances in the 2011/12 season, the figures dip to 5881. So we have put on around 1000 on our average gates in the promotion winning season of 2012/13, but back in 2010/11 when we reached the League One play-off semi-final we had average attendances of 7103.

Go up a league to the Championship and attendances in 2012/13 make ours look pretty small. Peterborough was the least supported team with average gates of 8215, but Barnsely, Millwall and Burnley, the three next up the ladder in terms of support, all survived the threat of relegation.

So did the biggest teams get promoted? Well in terms of average gates it should have been Brighton, Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County. Cardiff only came fifth in terms of support with average gates of 22998, while Hull were 12th with 17368.

So there is not a great correlation between the highest supported teams in League One and the Championship in gaining promotion.There is hope for us yet.

And if you are wondering where Wolves fitted in they were the seventh largest supported team in the Championship. Check out the stats at You'll also find other stats on the number of players used, form and appearances etc. 

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