IT’S A BOOM AT THE TURNSTILES

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Tom Black­ett

MORE than 18 mil­lion peo­ple at­tended EFL games this sea­son – the high­est num­bers for al­most 60 years!

The ar­rival of giants like New­cas­tle United and As­ton Villa un­doubt­edly helped at­ten­dances to climb in 2016-17.

Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship at­ten­dances sur­passed the 11 mil­lion mark, with av­er­age crowds over 20,000. Last sea­son, gates were un­der ten mil­lion in the sec­ond tier, av­er­ag­ing 17,578.

In League One, the to­tal at­ten­dance this sea­son were 4.4m at an av­er­age of 7,932. This com­pared to 3.9m last sea­son, av­er­ag­ing 7,038.

In League Two, gates were 2.6m this term (av­er­age 4,752). This was slightly down on last year when to­tal at­ten­dance reached 2.7m and an av­er­age of 4,904.

Com­peted

In to­tal, EFL clubs have seen an im­pres­sive 11 per cent in­crease in match­day at­ten­dances from last sea­son, with the largest crowds since 1959 at­tend­ing games across the three divi­sions.

There was a three per cent at­ten­dance in­crease when com­par­ing the 67 clubs that com­peted in the EFL both this sea­son and last.

This year’s cu­mu­la­tive fig­ure of 18.1mil­lion is the 14th high­est of all time for the EFL’s three divi­sions, with those higher all recorded in the post-war era be­tween 1947 and 1959. The high­est ever was 23.5mil­lion in 1947-48.

EFL chief ex­ec­u­tive Shaun Har­vey said: “Foot­ball at­ten­dances clearly ben­e­fit from pro­mo­tion and rel­e­ga­tion as those teams car­ry­ing larger sup­porter bases move around divi­sions.

“But what is par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing with this lat­est set of data is the fact the EFL has seen a three per cent growth sea­son-on-sea­son when this fac­tor is re­moved and you an­a­lyse the at­ten­dances of the 67 clubs who have been mem­bers for the past two sea­sons.

“It is clear the EFL con­tin­ues to be one of the most watched com­pe­ti­tions and our clubs de­serve huge credit for con­tinIN uing to find new and in­no­va­tive ways of en­cour­ag­ing sup­port­ers through their turnstiles.

“We know sup­port­ers con­tinue to be the lifeblood of our game, and the long-term fu­ture of the foot­ball in this coun­try is look­ing very healthy with more and more peo­ple choos­ing to fol­low their lo­cal clubs week in, week out.

“I would like to of­fer my thanks to ev­ery­one that has sup­ported their club by at­tend­ing a match this sea­son.”

PICTURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

BIG CROWDS: As­ton Villa fans added to EFL gates this term

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