Some clubs are more popular than others, everybody knows. Stadiums don’t fill up for every opposition, but it’s surprising to see the clubs still drawing the biggest numbers on away matches, like Liverpool in England or Juventus in Italy, when compared with the positive or negative effect other teams have in the major European leagues.
The folks at stadiumguide.com gathered some attendance statistics over the past couple of seasons, summed up in tables showing only the teams that have been a part of the top flights in England, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the Netherlands in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, showing the effect visiting clubs have on attendance numbers.
English Premier League
Stadiums are quite full anyway in England, but the arrival of Liverpool and Manchester United to stadiums is an obvious boost. Their fans travel very well and the surprising this is Liverpool, despite finishing outside the top four over the past three seasons, are still the club that creates the biggest boost in attendance when coming into town.
Another league with fantastic attendance records, but it’s no surprise to see Bayern Munich, the most successful club in Germany, followed closely by Dortmund, the winner of the last two titles and with an 80,000 strong following at home, providing the biggest boost, of over 3000 fans each match, on away games.
No surprises here as well. Barcelona and Real Madrid are once again showing how important they are to the football economy in Spain, as twisted as its fund-sharing is, causing a 6000+ swing in attendance numbers when they come to town.
Juventus, and then the rest. Milan, Inter and also Roma and Napoli have a strong national following and bring out fans when they arrive, but no one can match Juventus, despite the deprivation years. They are the most popular team in Italy by far, with their fan base going way beyond the North and Turin itself, adding more than 10,000 fans in average attendance to the stadiums they visit, because of their fan base, because of their popularity and because people hate them as well.
While it’s not surprising to see Marseille, PSG and Lyon in the top 3, it’s interesting to see that Saint Etienne still have a positive influence on those going to matches.
Ajax, and that’s it. The rest have a negligible positive or negative effect on attendance numbers, although you would expect Feyenoord to be a bit closet to Ajax when it comes to numbers.