French football’s top division attracted a record number of spectators last season.

Some 8.67 million fans attended Ligue 1 games during the 2018-19 season, which was up 1.5 per cent on the previous year.

Figures from the French Football League (LFP) show that the average attendance of 22,831 was accompanied by an improvement in the stadia capacity rate, from 71 per cent in 2017-18 to 74 per cent last season.

Didier Quillot, director general of the LFP, said: “These results demonstrate the attractiveness of Ligue 1 Conforama. The work of the clubs to strengthen the spectator experience has allowed us to set a new historical record.

“These results are all the more encouraging as the clubs have had to face multiple postponements or shifts of matches this season. The work currently underway in the Ligue and in the clubs to better know our audiences should improve the fan experience and thus better retain our fans.”

The LFP did not give further details of its verified attendance figures, however widely published data shows that Olympique Marseille, Lyon and Paris Saint Germain were the three clubs with the greatest number of spectators.

Marseille had an average gate of 50,140 during 2018-19, which was up almost seven per cent on the previous season. AS Monaco had the lowest figure at just 8,447, which was down 8.6 per cent year-on-year.

Attendance figures could well rise further next year after the LFP recently approved the introduction of a €10 ($11) cap on away match ticket prices for Ligue 1 from 2019-20.

The measure still needs to be submitted to the LFP board of directors on June 6 for it to come into force.

PSG has spoken out against the €10 limit, but said it would have accepted €20.

Image: Hombrey