Aston Villa Attendance Figures of the Last Five Years
One of the obvious fallouts of the brand of negative so-called ‘anti-football’ employed by Alex McLeish, that brought a history low four wins at Villa Park was an unsurprising drop in attendances. Last season saw the attendances drop 9% from the previous season, and 15% from the peak average of 40,029 that Martin O’Neill’s Villa enjoyed in the 2007/08 season, the first of his three 6th place finishes.
But even during O’Neil’s 6-6-6 years there was a gradual decrease, due to a mixture of economic recession and perhaps his one-dimensional football at Villa Park, with his speedy counter-attacking tactics being more suited to away matches.
Last Five Years of Aston Villa Attendance Figures Averages
2007/08 – 40,029 (8th highest average in EPL) League Position 6th
2008/09 – 39,811 (8th) League Position 6th
2009/10 – 38,573 (7th) League Position 6th
2010/11 – 37,193 (8th) League Position 9th
2011/12 – 33,873 (9th) League Position 16th
Potential growth is there to be seen for all. Take Arsenal. In the 90’s, it was still pretty easy to get a ticket for Highbury on match day. If the Villa end was full, a place on the North Bank was always a back-up option. I remember getting a ticket for the 1996 League Cup semi-final in the North Bank on the night of the game. Now, you have to wait in line to get a membership to get a ticket at the Emirates Stadium that boasts a 20,000 odd more seats.
When Lerner took over Villa, he’d have seen the huge potential of growth at Villa Park. Birmingham, after all, was England’s second city and Villa Park boasted a huge catchment area, with their local rivals seeming to spend most of their time in the Championship. The long-needed redevelopment of the North Stand would bring Villa Park closer to 50,000, as would the recent announcement of the mooted plan of having some trial terrace areas to the Holte End.
But Villa fans have long had the label of fickle, and thus expansion is a potentially risky business. Even when Villa were last chasing for the title under Ron Atkinson and before him Graham Taylor, with Villa finishing both seasons in the runners-up spot, regular full houses were far from regular.
Villa boasts over a million facebook followers…isn’t it about time some of them paid Villa Park a long overdue visit?