Crowding out Europe

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The Independent Online
Q. Watching foreign football on television I cannot help noticing the half-empty stadiums. How do our top six attendances in our Premiership compare with the top six in Spain, Italy, Germany and France? Does the Premiership get the most capacities on a regular basis?

A. Average attendances at Premiership games do not figure that highly compared with those in Italy, Spain and Germany. Of the top average attendances in Europe in, for example, 1992-93, five were from Italy, three from Spain and two from Germany. The top average British attendance that season was 40,737 at Rangers. In contrast, Barcelona, Milan and Real Madrid averaged more than 70,000, with three other clubs, Napoli, Roma and Lazio, averaging more than 50,000. For the leagues as a whole, Serie A averages more than 30,000, with the top divisions in England, Spain and Germany in the range of 22,000 to 27,000.

It is difficult to estimate how close to capacity some of these averages are but certainly Parma in Italy and some German clubs are virtually at capacity every home game. Thirty thousand at Barcelona would look almost empty. - Brian Tabner, Preston


Q. Sumo bouts are usually over very quickly. Does anyone know how long the longest has been? - Alfred White, London N8

Q. Which sport requires the most officials to to run it? - Adrian Maguire, Batley

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own, write to Q&A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171-293 2894