Following another international break, this past weekend welcomed back the Barclays Premier League to our lives. Gameweek 12 witnessed Arsenal’s heavyweight clash at home against Manchester United Chelsea’s continuation of their unbeaten streak as well as Liverpool’s capitulation to an under-rated and quite simply better side in Crystal Palace.
Overall, matches during Week 12 had an average attendance of 37,084 fans, pushing the average attendance for the season up to 36,008.Week 12 marks a 6.67% increase in average attendance compared to Week 11’s average of 34,764 while the season attendance showed a 0.27% increase from 35,910. At this stage in the season last year, the weekly attendance is up 2.91% from 36,034, despite the season attendance down 1.51% from 13/14’s 35,599 season average as of Week 12.
Though weekly and season averages increased from the previous game week, stadiums were less full at 93.92% on average.This is down 2.12% from Week 11, a consequence of the shifting stadium capacities. The average stadium capacity for Week 12 was 39,464 which is a 9.49% growth from Week 11. Since attendance did not match the rate of change of stadium capacity, games were less full despite the raw volume increase.
For 13/14, Week 12 had a 7.47% smaller average stadium capacity at 36,720 and yet stadiums were still 3.8% more full than this year with a remarkable average of 97.72% which the current 14/15 has yet to match, even including opening week.One primary culprit can be found in the west midlands. Aston Villa this week hosted Southampton at Villa Park and while it was not the lowest recorded attendance for the season in terms of sheer volume, Villa Park was still the least full any stadium has been compared to total capacity so far.
In fact, Aston Villa have the top 5 worst attended games compared to total capacity all season even though at 42,862 Villa Park is the 8th largest stadium in the Premier League. They’re are the only club in the Premier League at the moment to have an average season attendance below 90%.
Aston Villa’s match against Southampton, unlike every other match in Week 12, was on a Monday. It seem’s reasonable to consider that a contributor to the smaller crowd was that the match was held on a workday and not a weekend. Normally we show how each team is doing so far but in honor of the Monday discussion, here is a breakdown of every non-weekend Premier League match so far in the 14/15 season.
In total, eight matches have been played on Mondays this season, including the most recent Aston Villa vs Southampton. Four of the eight Monday matchup’s actually exceeded the total week’s average of attendance as a % of capacity. Looking at the games that were less than the week’s average, no deficit even comes close to the 34.62% difference found between Villa’s attendance and Week 12’s total average. It appears difficult to argue that the reason behind Aston Villa’s poor turnout has to do the day it was held on, especially given they’ve had poor turnouts all season. If Aston Villa can turn it around, attendance trends could be greatly affected.