Championship crowds are suffering with Sunderland having replaced Newcastle.
With 11 matches played so far, Sunderland have seen over 150,000 less fans watching their games, compared to the corresponding(***) Newcastle matches last season.
Down below I have detailed the crowds for each of Sunderland’s matches so far and in brackets is the attendance at the corresponding fixture Newcastle played last season.
(***Sunderland have played promoted Sheffield United at home and so I have used Newcastle’s crowd at home to promoted Wigan last season, the same with Sunderland at fellow relegated club Hull – I have used Newcastle’s crowd at Villa last season)
Sunderland 1 Derby 1 – 29,578 (52,271)
Norwich 1 Sunderland 3 – 26,343 (26,841)
Sheff Wed 1 Sunderland 1 – 27,631 (28,883)
Sunderland 0 Leeds 2 – 31,237 (52,301)
Barnsley 3 Sunderland 0 – 15,697 (18,597)
Sunderland 1 Sheff Utd 2 – 29,579 (51,849 – NUFC v Wigan))
Sunderland 0 Forest 1 – 26,061 (52,228)
Hull 1 Sunderland 1 – 16,597 (32,062 – Villa v NUFC)
Sunderland 1 Cardiff 2 – 25,733 (51,257)
Ipswich 5 Sunderland 2 – 14,907 (25,684)
Preston 2 Sunderland 2 – 17,621 (20,724)
In total, 260,984 have watched Sunderland’s 11 games so far, whereas the total for Newcastle was 412,697.
In every game listed above, Newcastle fans helped deliver a bigger crowd. The only two that came close are Norwich away, with the Canaries pretty much selling their ground out every game, as well as the Sheffield Wednesday games – the Owls refusing to give Newcastle fans a bigger allocation last season.
Whilst Sunderland fans deserted their team and new manager in their hour of need, from the first games home and away last season, Newcastle fans stuck with Rafa Benitez and the team. The opening game seeing an astonishing 7,000+ Newcastle fans going to Fulham for a televised Friday night match, then a sell out in the first home game against Huddersfield, both matches were defeats but that didn’t stop the support remaining consistent.
The stats also prove that Sunderland are nowhere near the draw for opposition fans that Newcastle proved to be last season.
Sunderland fans were quick to say how Rafa Benitez would struggle and how easy the Championship was, so very amusing to see half the Mackems don’t even bother to now turn up for home games due to relegation.
If Newcastle fans had acted in a similar way, then very hard to see that the team would have been galvanised in such a way, despite Rafa Benitez’ talents.