By Brian Sears
8 May 2010
English football crowds outside the Premier League have defied the worst recession in decades to hit a 50-year high according to exclusive analysis of gates during the season that finished this afternoon when the final ball was kicked in Leagues One and Two.
As we forecast earlier in the season, total crowd numbers in the Football League – the Championship, League One and League Two combined – topped 17m people. This figure is higher than in any season since 1959-60.
In the Championship, gates rose year-on-year by 0.2 per cent to 9,898,615 people through the turnstiles. There was a massive surge in League One gates, by 20.9 per cent, to 5,043,277. Crowds dipped 7.7 per cent in League Two, to 2,127,959.
The total Football League attendance for the season was 17,069,887, up 4.4 per cent on last season and the best numbers in half a century. Newcastle played a big role in boosting Championship numbers while Norwich fans packed Carrow Road during this promotion season to boost League One.