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Attendances

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Average attendance boost in Premiership

This could be the first season for 40 years in which every top division club attracts an average attendance of more than 20,000. Swansea City's average of 20,357 is the lowest, followed by Crystal Palace on 23,097. It last happened in 1973-4 when the lowest average was Burnley's 20,364.

In the intervening period attendances dipped so that in 1983-4 three-quarters of clubs had an attendance below 20,000. Everton could only manage 19,343 and Notts County were below 10,000 at 9,463.

Doncaster chairman resigns in takeover row

Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan has resigned and sat with the fans at Saturday's game against Barnsley. Ryan took over the club in 1998 when they were a Conference side.

In June it was reported that Irish-led consortium Sequentia Capital, who are backed by a wealthy Belize-based tycoon, was interested in taking over the club. A heads of terms agreement was signed by both parties. However, in September the club issued a statement saying that Doncaster would remain in their current investors' hands.

Cheaper to go to a game in Germany?

Arsenal have a body of French fans who travel over for games by Eurostar. That's not so surprising given that they have a French manager, have had many French players and are conveniently placed for St. Pancras.

It is, however, something of a surprise to learn that Borussia Dortmund can attract as many as a thousand English fans for a top Champions League or Bundesliga game. Dortmund hardly has the attractions of London.

United cut away ticket prices

Manchester United have announced a reduction in away match ticket prices for this season. After consultation with the Fans’ Forum, the Premier League champions have pledged to reduce the price of every away ticket bought by a United fan by £4, starting with their game against Fulham on 2 November.

The discount will be applied automatically by the club when fans pay for their away tickets and any money that is not used this season will be used with next year’s £200,000 budget to continue the policy.

Conurbations rule in title race

Bill Edgar who writes a column in the 'Game' section of The Times each Monday had an interesting piece last week about the way in which the leading conurbations are increasingly dominating the Premier League title race.

There are seven 'built up areas' in England with a population of over three quarters of a million. In order these are: Greater London; Greater Manchester; the West Midlands; West Yorkshire; Liverpool; south Hampshire (which would include fierce rivals Portsmouth and Southampton); and Tyneside.

How viable is AS Monaco?

Much of the recent commentary on AS Monaco has focused on its fight to preserve its tax privileges, but this interesting blog post argues that the club will face challenges building a fan base, regardless of how successful it is on the pitch.   The lack of presence of French clubs in English-speaking markets is also an issue.

Too few teams in the Premier League?

It's been argued from time to time that the Premier League has too many teams, given that the top clubs have heavy schedules in the Champions League or Europa League.   However, football economics guru Stefan Szymanski uses economic logic to argue that the Premier League has too few clubs in it.

Can a football club be a luxury brand?

How does one market a club like Monaco, newly promoted to France's Ligue 1? Given the size of the principality, it's difficult to generate big crowds. With a population of just over 36,000, Monaco is the second smallest country in the world and the smallest with a coastline. Only Vatican City is smaller.

Will Cherries stadium plan bring support boost?

Promoted to the Championship, AFC Bournemouth are intending to expand their ground over the summer to provide an extra 3,000-4,000 of capacity.   At present the ground only has stands on three sides (which always feels odd) and has a capacity of less than 10,000.

The contrasting challenges of Serie A and Serie B

There are some signs of improvement in the finances of Italian Serie A clubs with the overall level of club debt down, although it remains substantial.   It is thought that Uefa's financial fair play rules are having an impact on the financial discipline shown by clubs.