The English Football League (EFL) continues to record strong engagement with its followers, with 2023/24 attendances the highest in Europe. 

During last season, the EFL welcomed over 21.5 million attendees, making it the most attended league body in Europe, with all three Sky Bet EFL divisions featured in the top 15 best attended Leagues across Europe in 2023/24.

EFL Chief Executive, Trevor Birch, said: ““The 2023/24 numbers – not just in stadiums, but inside homes all around the world – are tangible proof that our competitions now rank among some of the most exciting and popular in European football. To be the highest attended league body in Europe is testament to our League and Clubs.”

Across the EFL’s three divisions, the Sky Bet Championship stood out. The second tier of English football broke an all-time record for attendance, boasting 12.7 million attendees, which is more than the likes of Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A.

This figure is a 22% increase on the previous season, representing the highest-ever cumulative attendance for the second-tier competition since records began in 1892. This total also makes the Championship the second most attended league division in Europe, increasing from fifth position after the 2022/23 season.

Another notable statistic for the division is the Championship Play-Off Final between Leeds United and Southampton had a higher attendance (85,862) than this year’s FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United (84,814).

Helping to solidify the EFL’s title as the most attended footballing body in Europe, both Sky Bet League One and League Two secured positions in the top 15 European Leagues for the 2023/24 season, with League One ranking ninth and League Two placing 13th.

In Sky Bet League One, attendance figures remained consistent, with over 5.3 million fans attending matches throughout the season. Impressively, Derby County boasted an average attendance of 27,278, surpassing that of six Premier League clubs during the same period.

In League Two, fans played a crucial role in setting a new milestone, with the cumulative audience reaching 3,458,968. This figure marks the highest fourth-tier attendance since the 1964/65 season, reflecting an 8% increase compared to the previous season.

In terms of cup competitions, the EFL continued to captivate fans, with 1.8 million spectators attending live Carabao Cup or Bristol Street Motors Trophy fixtures. Notably, the Carabao Cup Final saw a remarkable turnout, with 88,868 fans from Chelsea and Liverpool attending, marking it as the most attended final since 2014/15.

When it comes to watching on television, the average Sky Bet EFL UK Live Audience was 309,000, up 46% from May 2023, while the average Sky Bet Championship UK Live Audience was 333,000, marking a 51% increase compared to the same period last season.

The EFL will anticipate a further rise in television viewership following its agreement with IMG in April to enhance the viewing experience beginning next season.

Birch added: “It really is a remarkable feat when you consider the quality of players and football on show across the continent. These numbers are not only a result of the strength and depth of the EFL but also highlight the importance of the football pyramid and the reasons why we need to protect it.”

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