A Story of Villa Park Attendances
The influx of money into the English Premier League may have changed the names of the successful teams and warped the landscape of the English game, banishing some traditional footballing powers into history, but one of the steadfast ways to measure the size of a club is still by the attendances they attract. The 2013/14 season saw an average attendance of 36,080 at Villa Park, an increase of over a 1000 on the previous season’s average gate.
Despite it being the second consecutive season that Paul Lambert’s team have broken the record for the all-time number of home defeats in a season, this increase marks the second seasonal attendance increase under Paul Lambert. Are Villa supporters suckers for punishment? Apparently so.
When Alex McLeish finished on 38 points like Lambert’s Villa did this season, the club saw their average attendance drop by over 3000 on the season before. Villa fans voted with their feet. This of course would have contributed to the board making the decision to bring to an end to McLeish’s time at Villa. Lambert hasn’t given them such a concern, despite his poor record of results.
Below average club
While the Villa ticket office my be content with the improvement in recent seasons, Villa’s average attendance is a mere 9th biggest in the Premier League. While Villa are top five or six calibre in terms of their overall Premiership record and all-time league record, in terms of physical size we are being left behind. In the three seasons under Martin O’Neill when Villa finished 6th, the club’s average attendance was either 7th or 8th in the league. Now in recent seasons, 9th or 10th has been the order of the day. Will this slide continue?
The most alarming stat though when looking at the overall picture of average attendances is when you consider Villa Park’s average attendance 36,080 is actually below the Premier League’s total average of 36,657. Yes, crowds at Villa Park are smaller than the League average. Something seriously has to be done about that…a below average club we are not and we should never be allowed to become. UTV
English Premier League Average Attendances