Manchester City Fans Threaten Walkout
Manchester City supporters are preparing a coordinated walk-out of the Etihad Stadium during their side’s Premier League fixture against West Brom, in protest to the club’s high ticket prices for the Champions League tie vs Paris Saint-Germain.
Club bosses have claimed that the tickets, which will cost between the threshold of £45 and £60, mark a “fair reflection of the profile of the game”.
Manchester City supporters do not share this view. Fans are angry at the large increase in prices from the previous round against Dynamo Kiev last week (£30-£40), and from the group stage matches against Juventus, Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach which cost fans in region of £20-£40.
The 1894, a Man City fan group, claim the situation has now alienated fans to the extent that even if the club were to sign Lionel Messi, Neymar and Paul Pogba, many supporters would not attend if tickets prices were not adjusted to a more realistic level.
“It’s time to listen to us. Turn your back on the fans, and we’ll turn our backs on you.”
1894 Manchester City Fan Group
Tickets for the second-leg home tie are now on sale to all season ticket holders. However, there are already fears that the expanded 55,000-capacity Etihad will not be full to capacity as angry fans refuse to pay the heft ticket fee of admission.
Cue The Inevitable Man City Fan Jokes
The outrage amongst Manchester City supporters opened the door to yet more ridicule from rival fans about the state of the Etihad on match days.
Ingeniously dubbed as the ‘Emptyhad Stadium’ during a period of prolonged low attendance, Twitter delighted in reeling off some of the internet’s finer memes as response to City’s proposed walkout:
Man City fans are planning a demonstration against ticket prices v PSG. They’re actually threatening to attend the game.
— xavier86 (@xavi866) March 22, 2016
Man City fans gathering before the game. pic.twitter.com/1Q0pa8TcsP
— Man United Hub (@ManUnited_Hub) March 20, 2016
Sometimes you can’t help but feel Manchester City’s oil-rich owners are just adding fuel to the fire…
So Are Man City Fans The Worst In The League For Filling Their Stadium?
Well, as the title might suggest, no – and the results might shock you.
Statistics collated from club-official, home game match attendance figures suggest, that whilst Manchester City may not be the best in the league for filling their stadium, there are a number of teams who fall beneath them for levels of support.
Liverpool, widely regarded as one of the most loyally supported clubs in the Premier League actually post some of the worst attendance figures of all the 20 clubs in country.
Here is the initial table, presented by SoccerStats.com:
“Where’s your famous atmosphere!?”
Of course it would be poor statistical analysis to judge Bournemouth as being the worst fans in the league, due to the significant difference in stadium size between themselves and giants Arsenal and Manchester United.
However, reformatting the data to show ‘%Full’ in ascending order allows for a far more interesting set of conclusions to be drawn – more specifically how close to capacity each club gets for their respective home games, where a high percentage naturally correlates with strong fan support. Aston Villa fans might want to look away now:
Statistically, West Ham and Norwich fans are the best in the league – filling their stadium to almost 100% capacity for every home game (99.80% and 99.70%).
Despite both enduring painfully disappointing seasons, Manchester United and Arsenal still manage to reach over 99% capacity in their respective 75,000 and 60,000 plus seater stadiums.
It would appear that there is some truth behind the jeering chants from rival fans in Anfield this season – where IS your famous atmosphere?
Liverpool languish in the percentage attendance table, placing below Premier League minnows Bournemouth and only just pipping relegation favourites Newcastle; whose fans may feel they have had reason not to attend matches with Steve McClaren at the helm.
So It’s Settled then, Liverpool Fans Are Some of The Worst In The League…
Well not quite, there have obviously been other factors in play throughout the course of the Premier League season. Liverpool fans have been protesting frequently to rising ticket prices, not dissimilar to Manchester City’s fan-group’s recent announcement.
Fenway Sports Group (FSG), which owns the Boston Red Sox as well as the Merseyside club, have been pressured into a very public climbdown over a proposed ticket price rise following a series of angry fan demonstrations.
When Liverpool announced the best seats in its new main stand would be £77 from the start of next season, fans responded with a mass walkout during a most recent league match against Sunderland, involving an estimated 10,000 fans.
It’s possible that Liverpool’s disappointingly low attendance statistics could be accounted for by the protests against the rise in ticket prices. Either way – it’s not a statistic that Kopites will be particularly be proud of.
If this trend continues into next season, Chelsea and Manchester City fans will officially be more loyal than Liverpool supporters… there’s a sentence not many would’ve believed at the turn of the year.
Liverpool might yet become the new home of ‘plastic fans’…