Plymouth Argyle's Green Army help Championship record to be broken

The EFL Championship became the second most attended league division in Europe in 2023/24, behind only the Premier League, and Plymouth Argyle's Green Army played their part in that.

The Pilgrims had home sell-outs for all 23 of their Championship games at Home Park, following their promotion as League One title winners the previous campaign.

The Championship broke the record for total attendance with 12,723,678 fans, a 22 per cent increase on 2022/23, which represented the highest-ever cumulative attendance for the second-tier competition since records began in 1892. It also beat the likes of the Bundesliga in Germany (12.1m fans), Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A to be the second most attended league division in Europe. This is a rise from fifth position the previous year.

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Argyle finished the season with an average home league attendance of 16,512 from a total of 379,773 fans attending games, which was the club's best since 1960/61.

The Championship Play-Off Final between Leeds United and Southampton had a higher attendance (85,862) than the FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United (84,814).

Overall, EFL clubs welcomed more than 21.5m fans through their turnstiles in 2023/24, the most since 1951/52, representing an 11 per cent increase on the previous season. League One (ninth) and League Two (13th) also finished in the top 15 European leagues.

Fans in League Two also helped set a new benchmark with the cumulative total of 3,458,968 being the highest fourth tier attendance since 1964/65, which represented an increase of eight per cent on last season.

League One crowds remained steady, with more than 5.3m through the turnstiles. Derby County’s average attendance of 27,278 was higher than that of six Premier League clubs.

The EFL’s cup competitions remain appealing midweek fixtures for fans across the country, with 1.8m fans taking in a live Carabao Cup or Bristol Street Motors Trophy fixture. In total, more than 23.7m supporters passed through the turnstiles of an EFL competition in 2023/24.

On TV, fans of EFL clubs watched their teams in large numbers during the regular season and the play-offs. The average EFL UK live audience of 309,000 was up 46 per cent versus May 2023, and the average Championship UK live audience of 333,000 was up 51 per cent against the same time last season.

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.

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."