Tom Williams recent excellent blog providing the statistics for Lincoln City in September, has prompted Paul Scott to look at how their support is doing, in comparison to other teams in the division.
So I have looked at the attendances for the EFL Division 2 games so far this season. Up to and including Saturday 7th October there have been 144 games played in EFL Division 2 with the majority of teams playing an equal number of games home and away. These games have generated an aggregate attendance of 632,926 fans, with the average attendance of 4395 per game.
It will no doubt be little surprise to Imps fans that they top the aggregate attendance listing, with a total of 86,269 fans watching their games. An average gate of 7,189 per game, the only team in the league to achieve an average over 7,000 so far this season.
Agreed that at this quarter stage of the season the total watching is dependant upon the opponents played, with the Imps have just come through a run of ‘Local Derby fixtures. However, other teams have also have played some of the ‘bigger supported’ clubs.
Six of these so called ‘bigger supported teams’ are just behind the Imps in the table, so it will be interesting to see how this table evolves when they start to play each other as the season progresses. Coventry has already hosted Notts County in front of a crowd of 10,350.
Notts County currently feature in the top three attendances with their above away fixture third, and homes games against The Imps attracting a gate of 11,672 and of all teams Forest Green Rovers attracting the top gate so far of 13,267!
Of the 144 games played so far, 12 (8.33%) have attracted gates in excess of 8,000 Of those games, one was over 13,000 (Notts County above), 2 between 10 and 13,000 (again stated above) and 3 were between 9 and 10,000 (all these at Sincil Bank). Additionally a further 10 games attracted gates between 7 and 8,000 fans.
The best attended local derby so far this season is the Imps’ visit to Meadow Lane attracting 11,672 fans and the worst Accrington Stanleys’ visit to Morecambe, which was seen by only 2,059.
As regards to the smallest attendances so far 15 games (out of 144 – 10.42%) have attracted gates below 2,000, the lowest being at Morecambe, where only 1,189 fans saw their 2-1 victory over Newport County. Those 15 games can be split down between the following clubs;
5 – Morecambe (6th game was their local derby v Accrington Stanley! – see above)
4 – Accrington Stanley
3 – Barnet
1 – Crawley
1 – Forest Green Rovers 1 (versus Lincoln City!!)
1 – Stevenage
For home games the Imps again come out top of the table for aggregate gate with 52,105 fans attending Sincil Bank, the only club to pass the 50K figure, so far. This equates to an average attendance of 8,684 per game, reflecting the solid Season Ticket sales achieved. Again the ‘big teams’ follow in the table with Notts County, Coventry and Luton also achieving average gates in excess of 7,000.
At the bottom of the table for home games are Morecambe and Accrington Stanley, with the Shrimpers’ generating an aggregate of 8,929 fans for their six matches (average gate only 1,488), the only club with an aggregate gate less than 10,000 after six matches. Stanley however hasn’t faired much better with an aggregate of 19,192 and an average gate of 1,699. Whilst, with the exception of Luton Town, neither of these two teams has played any of the other bigger supported clubs in the division as yet, could be a factor in their low position, I believe it is the draw of clubs from higher divisions in Lancashire, especially the Premiership ones, that is the reason for their regularly low gates each season.
The anomaly in the games for Crewe Alexandra and Newport County comes about as the latter requested that all their first three games be away from home whilst the playing surface at Rodney Parade was re-laid. This is reflected also in the away games table.
Looking at the away attendances, it is surprising to see that Chesterfield are at the top, with an aggregate of 34,478 watching, 5,746 per game. However the six games include visits to Lincoln City, Luton Town and Notts County, so no doubt they will slip down the table as the season progresses.
The Imps are second in the table with an aggregate of 34,164 watching their games (average 5,694), with Notts County next (Agg 32,975 av 5,496) but as stated earlier the aggregate figure includes a gate of 10,350 watch their game against Coventry City at the Ricoh.
At the bottom of the table are Crawley Town with an aggregate gate of 17,116 (av 2,853). To date however only Notts County of the ‘bigger supported clubs’ have visited the Checkatrade Stadium and in fact their 18th place in the league after twelve games has been achieved playing against only played three teams currently in the top ten of the league!
Finally of the six away games the Imps have played they have attracted the highest gate of the season so far for three of the host clubs, Grimsby Town, Stevenage and Wycombe Wanders, but on the flip side they featured in the lowest gate of the season at Forest Green Rovers, on a cold wet Tuesday evening. The other game at Exeter being the subject of crowd restrictions.