Norwich City are pipped at post by Leeds
David Cuffley Norwich City were knocked off the top of the table by Leeds United on the final day of the League One season - but not in a sense that truly mattered. A sell-out crowd of 38,234 for the visit of Bristol Rovers on Saturday gave the Yorkshire club the highest average home attendance in the division, nudging them ahead of the Canaries by a mere 62 paying customers per match.
Norwich City were knocked off the top of the table by Leeds United on the final day of the League One season - but not in a sense that truly mattered.
A sell-out crowd of 38,234 for the visit of Bristol Rovers on Saturday gave the Yorkshire club the highest average home attendance in the division, nudging them ahead of the Canaries by a mere 62 paying customers per match.
City's average home league gate in 2009-10 was 24,755, the second highest at Carrow Road since the 1970s and better than their last three seasons in the Championship.
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But the Leeds v Bristol Rovers game, attracting the biggest crowd in the division all season, took the Elland Road average gate to 24,817.
Both clubs were comfortably ahead of Southampton, who had the next best figure of 20,982. Charlton (17,407) and Huddersfield (14,608) were a distant fourth and fifth, respectively.
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Despite playing in the third tier of English football for the first time in half a century, the Canaries' level of support has been the envy of most clubs outside the Premier League - and quite a few in the top flight.
Only three Championship clubs - Newcastle, Derby and Sheffield United - had better average attendances than Norwich.
And City's league gates were better than six Premier League clubs - Hull, Fulham, Bolton, Burnley, Portsmouth and Wigan.
Gates for the 23 league matches and two cup-ties played at Carrow Road in 2009-10 totalled 594,267. In the league alone, the figure was 569,382, nearly 5,000 up on 2008-09.
City's crowds topped 25,000 on no fewer than 10 occasions, with the biggest attendance 25,506 for the 2-1 home win over Hartlepool on January 30.
The Canaries' 54 matches in all competitions were watched by a total of 852,333 spectators.
Not surprisingly, attendances at away fixtures dropped in League One, with the average league gate below 10,000 on City's travels. That was in spite of the Canaries taking an average of 1,783 supporters to each away match - and it would have been higher with bigger ticket allocations.
t Norwich City attendances (2008-09 figures in brackets)
Home total: 594,267 (578,480)
Home average: 23,770 (24,103)
Home league total: 569,382 (564,483)
Home league average: 24,755 (24,542)
Away total: 258,066 (418,160)
Away average: 8,898 (16,726)
Away league total: 224,945 (399,284)
Away league average: 9,780 (17,360)
Overall total: 852,333 (998,394)
Overall average: 15,783 (20,375)
League total: 794,327 (963,767)
League average: 17,267 (20,951)