Q&A; Monaco look on the small side

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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. As a Frenchman, I can tell you about my country. In France, the biggest football stadiums are Paris St-Germain's all-seat Parc des Princes and the Olympique de Marseille Velodrome, with capacities of about 50,000. Both grounds have a very good attendance, for example, PSG's is about 35,000 every time, which is the highest in France. Most small teams have fewer than 10,000 a game. For my team, Nancy, who have a 25,000-seat stadium in a city the size of Derby, the average is about 8,000 in the Premiership.

Unfortunately, Nancy is not the only example in France. Monaco, one of the best teams in the league has attendances which do not exceed 6,000 a game in a 20,000 all-seat stadium. Can you imagine in England one of your best sides with this average apart from Wimbledon? - Stephane Ferry, Leeds


Q. At the age of 65, George Petchey recently spent a few weeks as caretaker- manager at Brighton. Have there been any older football managers than this? And at the other end of the scale, who is or was the youngest manager in England or Scotland? - D Sloane, Plymouth

Q. Since the advent of professionalism, is there any evidence that rugby union attendances at club level have risen? - Mrs P Mandelson, Macclesfield

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