Norwich City finish third in attendances league
Norwich City supporters bucked the Football League trend last season with total attendances down across the three divisions.
A total of 16.1m supporters attended Football League matches during the 2010/11 campaign – a figure just over a million lower than the previous season.
The Canaries' loyal fan base again turned out in force to watch Paul Lambert's men clinch Premier League promotion after romping to the League One title 12 months earlier.
City's 46 Championship matches attracted crowds totalling 1,003,308 – the first time gates for their league programme have topped the million mark since the Premiership season of 2004/05.
Norwich were backed by a Carrow Road average attendance of 25,386, the highest since 1972/73 and a figure which put City in the Championship's top three behind Leeds (27,299) and Derby (25,892). East Anglian rivals Ipswich averaged 19,614 after a disappointing campaign at Portman Road which saw Paul Jewell replace former manager Roy Keane.
Championship matches were watched by more than nine and a half million fans with crowds falling by 3pc to an average of 17,389 per match. In League One, crowds decreased by 18pc to an average of 7,527 although League Two saw an 8pc increase in crowds taking the average attendance up to 4,162. Football League chairman Greg Clarke believes topping the 16m mark for the seventh consecutive season was a notable achievement.
'Given the difficult economic climate, it is heartening to see League crowds reaching the 16 million mark, once again,' he said. 'Our competitions are in good shape and the enduring loyalty shown by fans is a constant encouragement.
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'However, we have to be realistic about the challenges we face as it is unlikely that the state of economy will improve in the near future.
'The League and its clubs will continue to focus on getting new fans into grounds and ensuring that the clubs they support are sustainable in the long term.'
Norwich had seven home gates of more than 26,000, the biggest of which was 26,532 for the memorable 4-1 derby win against Ipswich Town in November, the highest attendance at Carrow Road since 1984.
City's biggest away gate was 31,601 for the game at Leeds in February, with 29,258 at Portman Road for the return derby fixture last month.
Attendances at City's 49 matches in all competitions, including two Carling Cup games and the FA Cup third round tie against Leyton Orient, totalled 1,043,698.
• TOP FIVE
2010/11 Championship top five average attendances
1 Leeds United 27,299
2 Derby County 25,892
3 Norwich City 25,386
4 Leicester City 23,709
5 Nottingham Forest 23,274