As Newcastle United drop into the Championship once again, it will be interesting to see how the crowds stand up at St James Park.
The signs were encouraging when healthy queues formed on the first day season tickets went on general sale, with the family enclosure then selling out along with the Strawberry Corner which had become an unofficial ‘singing’ section.
No confirmation from the club as to how ticket sales have gone since but there will be every confidence that Newcastle’s Premier League era record for the second tier of 43,384, which was the home average crowd in 2009/10, will be beaten this coming season.
Though no chance of beating the all-time record for the second tier by any club, which was set by Newcastle United in 1947/48 with an average at St James Park of 56,299.
So what about our Championship rivals this season, what kind of crowds can we expect on away trips?
This table below shows what the average crowds were for each Championship club last (2015/16) season, plus the lowest league crowd they recorded as well as the highest.
Here are the same details for the three clubs promoted from League One and the three who dropped from the Premier League.
9,467 Wigan Athletic (7,794 and 18,730)
4,089 Burton Albion (2,666 and 5,512)
9,498 Barnsley (8,227 and 13,751)
49,753 Newcastle United (46,424 and 52,311)
26,972 Norwich City (26,279 and 27,137)
34,479 Aston Villa (28,245 and 42,200)
Interesting as well to see just what a draw Newcastle are on their travels and how many clubs register their biggest crowd of the season against the Magpies.
Looking at the story of last season, I know Derby and Brighton were fighting for promotion but still surprised that their average was so much higher than a club like Leeds. Only fifth highest, maybe the years of disgraceful ownership of the club have at last dragged many of their fans down to the point where they can’t face going to Elland Road.
Of the other two teams relegated, Norwich have had a yoyo existence in recent times and their crowds vary little depending on what division they are in. However, interesting to see how our friends at Villa Park get on, with the disparity between their smallest and largest crowds last season showing just how fickle they can be.