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UEFA report details record attendances for European club football

Featured image credit: Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

A new report from UEFA has shown that some 209 million fans attended European club football fixtures during the 2022-23 season.

Top-tier leagues accounted for 109 million of this figure, with the English Premier League leading the way with 15.3 million. The Premier League was followed by the German Bundesliga (13.2 million), Spanish LaLiga (11.2 million), Italian Serie A (11.2 million) and French Ligue 1 (nine million).

Lower-tier leagues attracted 68 million fans, with England once again leading the way with 22.5 million supporters coming through the gates. Germany was the next highest with 12.2 million.

UEFA club competitions attracted crowds of 16 million, while attendances at domestic cup competitions reached 13 million and women’s club competitions attracted three million fans. National team crowds in Europe reached five million.

UEFA said the figures represent the “remarkable post-pandemic resurgence” of football. The 109 million figure for domestic top-tier leagues is a new record, up four per cent on the previous record that was set during the 2018-19 season.

The governing body’s report also found that 33 countries recorded higher attendances in 2022-23 than in 2018-19, the last season that was unaffected by the pandemic. Fourteen leagues reported their highest crowds for at least a decade, with all-time records posted in England, France and Switzerland.

Top-tier leagues in Croatia, Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland and Scotland recorded their highest crowds for 20-plus seasons. Crowds in LaLiga were 10 per cent above 2018-19 levels, with UEFA noting that the figure would have been a 30-year record if not for the ongoing renovation work at Real Madrid’s stadium.

Seventeen clubs attracted home league attendances of more than one million, with AS Roma and Olympique Marseille reaching this figure for the first time.

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: “As you explore these pages, you’ll quickly notice the remarkable strength and vitality of European football, which remains the global leader in game development and continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

“A staggering 209 million fans supported European professional club football matches from the stands last season alone. It’s not just about the big leagues; our game is thriving at all levels, with an impressive 68 million enthusiastic supporters attending grassroots games away from the flashy arenas. This incredible passion and participation showcase European football’s profound depth and enduring strength.”