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Attendances continue to rise

Last season's average Barclays Premier League attendance of 35,931 was the sixth highest since league football began in 1888.   Attendances have been growing again this season.  If the present average of 36,412 is maintained it will become the third largest ever.

Crowds would have only been larger in 1948-49 (38,776) and 1949-50 (37,400).  These were years when the disruption of the immediate aftermath of war had been overcome, but there was a lack of entertainment alternatives.

Sky Blues attendances slump

Coventry City's attendances have slumped with games being played in Northampton.   Indeed, the club has recorded its ten worst home attendances ever.   Nearby Conference club Nuneaton Town are catching up with the Sky Blues as their promotion push gains momentum.

One might think that Sisu, the owners of Coventry City, would learn something from this, but probably not.

Foxes post big loss

Leicester City FC made a loss of £34m in the 2012-13 season, reflecting how much it can cost a benefactor to get a football club promoted. However, the club are now on track to take the Championship title which is just as well as a similar loss next season would lead to a £20m fine under financial fair play rules.

A fall in ticket sales and revenue contributed to the £4.3m increase in losses from the previous year. But City say the figures also reflect the purchase of the King Power Stadium, and that important progress has been made meeting Financial Fair Play rules.

Cash flow problems as 'tiny' club push for league status

Alfreton Town are currently third in the Football Conference and therefore have a chance of promotion to the Football League. The Derbyshire town has a population, counting surrounding villages, of around 25,000 and the attendance at Saturday's game was just over 800. Table topping Luton Town can easily attract 6,000 or 7,000.

Pannu does not have the blues

Birmingham City FC acting chairman Peter Pannu is optimistic about the future for the Blues. City fans might be more sceptical about his assurances and feel that they have been promised jam tomorrow on previous occasions. However, he takes the view that a new era is opening up after the departure of Carson Yeung.

Cup attendances levelled off

Overall FA Cup crowd sizes across all rounds have remained fairly steady since falling during the 1980s. Attendances throughout the leagues have risen in that period.

Of the 57 matches played in the third and fourth round this season, including replays, only one quarter (14) attracted attendances higher than the home team's average league figure this season.

Admittedly, the third round (before replays) this year produced the highest average attendances since 1979-80, yet this largely reflected the number of well-supported teams playing at home.

Keeping a Conference club going

The chairman of Hereford United, David Keyte, has issued a statement on the club's website explaining its financial position. It is unusual in terms of the amount of detail that it provides about the financial challenges facing a Conference club struggling to survive.

In particular it brings out the consequences of relegation and has sensitive revenue is to a relatively small fall in attendances or even the loss of one match that could be expected to attract a good crowd.

The cost of the Conference

Hyde FC lost their 21st match of the season yesterday, 2-5 at home to Wrexham. They have not won a single match and drawn just three. Under 1,000 people saw them lose yesterday, whereas there were over 8,000 at Luton.

Luton and benefactor club Forest Green have budgets of £2m a year and can afford to pay their players £800 a week. Hyde have to manage on a budget around a tenth of that.

QPR announce new stadium plans

In an overnight announcement on their website Queens Park Rangers have unveiled plans for a new 40,000 seater stadium as part of a major regeneration project in the Old Oak area in West London.

They state, 'Queens Park Rangers Football Club and our partners, Stadium Capital Developments, have concluded a letter of collaboration with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham to bring forward an early and very significant private sector investment into the Old Oak Common regeneration area.’

8 per cent of clubs in serious financial trouble

Flat-lining attendances and rising costs are blamed for locking six English league clubs into a cycle of serious financial distress, a report issued today warns.

The Begbies Traynor Red Flag Alert Football Distress Report monitors the financial distress in football clubs every six months. The latest figures show that a total of six clubs (one in twelve) in the Championship and Leagues One and Two are facing ‘critical’ financial pressure at the end of October 2013. The number of clubs in serious trouble represents 8 per cent of the 72 clubs that make up the leagues.