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Top 20 Best Supported Clubs in the Premier League

emirates stadium Top 20 Best Supported Clubs in the Premier LeagueWhich clubs in the Premier League have the fewest empty seats, on average as a percentage of their capacity? And which ones have the most empty seats on matchdays? You may be surprised by the facts for the 2007/2008 season thus far.

Note, the numbers show the average attendance, followed by the capacity of the stadium and then the average attendance as a percentage of the ground’s capacity.

1. Arsenal, Emirates Stadium, 60,062, 60,432, 99.39%
2. Man United, Old Trafford, 75,638, 76,212, 99.25%
3. Tottenham, White Hart Lane, 35,931, 36,247, 99.13%
4. West Ham, Boleyn Ground, 34,616, 35,089, 98.65%
5. Chelsea, Stamford Bridge, 41,499, 42,449, 97.76%
6. Newcastle, St. James’s Park, 51,122, 52,387, 97.59%
7. Reading, Madejski Stadium, 23,469, 24,200, 96.98%
8. Portsmouth, Fratton Park, 19,999, 20,600, 96.67%
9. Derby, Pride Park, 32,270, 33,597, 96.05%
10. Liverpool, Anfield, 43,529, 45,362, 95.95%
11. Aston Villa, Villa Park, 39,848, 42,719, 93.28%
12. Fulham, Craven Cottage, 23,503, 25,600, 91.81%
13. Everton, Goodison Park, 36,766, 40,170, 91.53%
14. Manchester City, Eastlands, 42,069, 47,300, 88.94%
15. Birmingham City, St. Andrews, 26,176, 30,009, 87.23%
16. Sunderland, Stadium of Light, 42,546, 49,000, 86.83%
17. Middlesbrough, Riverside, 26,401, 35,049, 75.33%
18. Wigan, JJB Stadium, 18,740, 25,023, 74.89%
19. Blackburn Rovers, 23,369, 31,367, 74.50%
20. Bolton, Reebok Stadium, 20,412, 27,879, 73.22%

Incredibly, the top 13 clubs – on average – fill up more than 90% of their seats week-in week-out for matches. Near the bottom, Blackburn suffers from two things: an economically plighted area where there aren’t a ton of jobs or money, and a stadium that Jack Walker rebuilt at the height of their success with a capacity that is too large for the crowds that Rovers now get.

At the top of the table, Arsenal’s board can probably justify the most expensive seats in the Premier League after knowing that their ground is sold out more than any other team in England’s top division.

Compare the above statistics to the top 20 average attendances. One interesting observation is how Sunderland has the fifth highest average attendance in the league, but yet has a large percentage of empty seats on matchdays. That means that the club, if they can avoid relegation, have a great potential to climb higher up in the ‘average attendance league’ if they can sell more tickets for matches.

One important note to consider is that these attendances often rely on away support, so if clubs bring fewer away fans to cities in the northeast (Newcastle and Sunderland) or the northwest (Blackburn, Bolton, Wigan, for example), then the home club’s attendance figures will be impacted. Football supporters who live in the south of England know how difficult it can be traveling to matches in the north of England and trying to find transportation (trains, most especially) to return that same day. And vice-versa for fans living in the north.

For the above top 20 chart, what observations are interesting to you? Please share them by clicking the comments link below. Thanks in advance for your feedback.


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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