In many aspects the English Premier League
(EPL) considers itself the best in the world, and rightly so. It is the most widely followed football league in the world, it has incredible financial resources, a handful of history-laden world class clubs and definitely the most entertaining line-up of managers, including the Iberian arch rivals José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. Sure, there is the nuisance of the world’s best (certainly most acclaimed) players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo stubbornly scoring their goals in Spain, but apart from that it’s hard to argue against the EPL.
There’s one aspect though in which the Premier League is beaten by another one of Europe’s “Big Five” football leagues and that is stadium attendance. According to a recent report
published by the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), the average attendance at Premier League games between the 2010/11 and the 2016/17 seasons was 35,870. During the same period, matches of the German Bundesliga
on average lured 42,388 people into the arenas. As opposed to the Premier League, the Bundesliga still allows unseated stands, which a) keeps ticket prices down and b) increases the average capacity of the stadiums.
As our chart illustrates, the Premier League does have the top-tier leagues from Spain, Italy and France easily beaten in terms of attendance, but as long as it keeps its strict seating policy in place, it probably won’t be able to challenge the German league in that respect. Considering that the lion’s share of the clubs’ earnings comes from TV rights anyway these days, it is doubtful that anyone within the EPL will be losing any sleep over this statistic though.