Next we have a look at attendances over the years for London clubs, an analysis by b+w_geezer. Fascinating stuff…
|London Club||Playing Rank (of 96)||Attendance Rank (of 96)||Average Attendance||Playing Rank Minus Attendance Rank|
Four London clubs have mostly been in the top division, four have averaged second tier, the others third tier.
It’s striking how similar Attendance Rank is to Playing Rank, with even the greatest variance (Palace) being just 9 places out of 96.
Attendances vary by era, with high averages in the post-war period, then a slump, then a partial revival.
Brentford’s average gate of 12.8k for the first quarter century was 50th best, whereas gates of only 7.1k ranked 50th in the next quarter century.
Credit for these stats is gratefully offered to the resource at European Football Statistics. Pasting into a spreadsheet, it took very little time to compile averages. An hour or two would complete the job for clubs throughout England…..but I have stuck to London..
Including the first post-war season would slightly have boosted Fulham’s averages, but making it 65 seasons allows me to study the 15 since Mohamed Al Fayed took over, preceded by two contrasting quarter centuries. The two most similar clubs are shown for comparison.
|Past 15 seasons (to 2011/12)|
|Average Playing Rank of 96||24.9||18.3||36.4|
|Average Attendance Rank of 96||23.5||27.5||38.2|
|The 25 pre-Fayed seasons (1972-96/7)|
|Average Playing Rank (of 96)||34.5||48.8||15.0|
|Average Attendance (Rank of 96)||41.8||49.5||24.8|
|25 seasons from 1947-8 to 71/2|
|Average Playing Rank of 96||26.5||26.5||50.0|
|Average Attendance (Rank of 96)||30.9||26.0||49.5|
Charlton have fluctuated least, while Fulham’s metrics for the middle period are almost identical to QPR’s for the early period.
All three clubs have generally attracted the attendances you would expect for their league standing. This particularly applies to Fulham for all the pre-Fayed years, to QPR for the first 25 years and to Charlton and QPR for the most recent 15.
In the middle period, Charlton’s attendances suffered from years of exile from The Valley, and QPR couldn’t fill Loftus Road to the extent the team deserved. However, this was an era of low gates nationally — Chelsea averaged 21.8k for the period.
Fulham would need to raise ground capacity by 8k to accommodate crowds matching mid-table Premier rank. A current planning application seeks to do so by 5k.