LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

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LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by Scottish » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:07 am

I have details for fourteen countries at level four. Four (see edit) of them are national leagues and ten regionalised. I’m taking the national ones first, in order of attendances high to low and the regional in an A-Z format as the number of regions and clubs per league varies from country to country and it can become confusing to simply continue by size of support or to merge this information with the national leagues.

First, these are the averages for the fourteen leagues. The figures for the countries with regional leagues are not simply league averages divided by the number of regions but are compiled by taking the totals from ALL games in ALL regions and divided by the total number of matches.

AVERAGES
4366 England
1975 Brazil
1139 Germany
971 Italy
859 Japan
470 Scotland
379 Mexico
279 Poland
273 Switzerland
266 Austria
218 Slovakia
213 Sweden
183 Czech Republic *
79 Iceland


* Bohemia. The Moravia-Silesia region doesn’t issue attendance figures.

ENGLAND
There has been a national fourth division in England since 1958 when the two existing regional third levels were merged with the top half in each forming a national third division and the bottom half the fourth. Perhaps because of the way this was done with some clubs falling into the bottom league very narrowly - in the Third North there were just two points difference between 12th (the cut-off point for the Third Division) and 17th - there have been a generous four promotion places available right from the start.

Nowadays the first three of the twenty-four teams go up automatically and clubs from 4th-7th play-off for the final spot. There has been automatic relegation from this level (and the Football League structure as a whole) since 1987 and currently the bottom two clubs go down automatically.

This makes for what is usually a highly competitive league, with many current members promoted from the non-league Conference in recent seasons. Highest crowd last season was 18,181 and lowest 1,101.

AVERAGES
15461 Portsmouth
7305 Plymouth Argyle
6421 Bristol Rovers
6318 Chesterfield
6116 Southend United
5923 Oxford United
4548 Northampton Town
4135 AFC Wimbledon
4013 Scunthorpe United
3829 York City
3723 Hartlepool United
3701 Exeter City
3681 Wycombe Wanderers
3453 Newport County
3385 Mansfield Town
3139 Bury
2989 Cheltenham Town
2918 Fleetwood Town
2900 Rochdale
2798 Burton Albion
2642 Torquay United
1939 Morecambe
1920 Dagenham & Redbridge
1606 Accrington Stanley

JAPAN
The Japan Football League (JFL) is the only league I can find outside of England, Scotland and Iceland which has a national structure. It’s suffered a severe decline in prestige and ranking over the years but still keeps going. Originally the second level of Japanese football it lost half of its clubs to J.League 2 when that division was established in 1999. It actually ceased to exist but the league was restarted immediately with the remaining clubs though it was now the third level of Japanese football. In 2013 it suffered again when over half its clubs joined J3.

Undaunted, the JFL continued as a fourth national level and recruited new members from regional leagues before the start of the 2014 season to bring the numbers to fourteen. Promotion to J3 applies but is subject to approval by the J. League. The same applies at the other end with regard to relegation to one of the regional leagues.

2014 was an encouraging start for the JFL as a fourth level league. As can be seen above only countries with much longer established fourth levels had better attendances. Highest was 4,568 and lowest 145.

AVERAGES
2927 Renofa Yamaguchi
1825 Kagoshima United
1777 Azul Claro Numazu
1014 Honda FC
763 Vanraure Hachinohe
739 Yokogawa Musashino
644 MIO Biwako Shiga
540 Tochigi Uva
517 Sony Sendai
451 Fagiano Okayama Next
395 Sagawa Printing Kyoto
377 Honda Lock
359 Maruyasu Okazaki
333 Verspah Oita

Alas, because the JFL doesn’t come under the auspices of the J.League, that organisation’s superb English language website doesn’t have any information about this level.

SCOTLAND
The national fourth level (originally the Third Division, now League Two) was established in 1994 and has operated the same format ever since of ten clubs playing each other four times. To accommodate league expansion it has taken in six new members (two in the first season), three of which have since reached the top division. One of the new members replaced one which became extinct and it also admitted another which had been expelled from the top division, so it has been a topsy-turvy kind of existence over the past two decades.

For several years there were two guaranteed promotion places (three in one season to cater for expansion) but since the introduction of play-offs in 2005-06 only the champions go up automatically with the next three clubs joining second last from the third level in the play-offs.

There has been no system of relegation to a lower league though at the end of 2014-15 the bottom club will enter a two-leg play-off against either the champions of the Highland or Lowland League.

Lowest crowd last season was 218 and highest 1,028 though Stirling Albion drew a crowd of 1,501 for a play-off match v East Fife. This makes calculating averages a matter for interpretation. Because a higher league club is involved, I count the play-offs separately from the league. If play-offs were to be included, best supported Stirling Albion’s average would rise to 678

AVERAGES
616 Stirling Albion
574 Elgin City
573 Peterhead
519 Clyde
468 Berwick Rangers
425 Queen’s Park
409 Annan Athletic
403 Albion Rovers
363 Montrose
343 East Stirlingshire

EDIT: ICELAND

The fourth level 3. deild has ten clubs, meeting each other twice, with two going up and two going down, a 40% turnover each year, similar to the Scottish Second Division prior to the introduction of the play-offs. Naturally, this makes for a highly competitive league but it is over-enthusiastic in the extreme to expect large crowds at this level. Largest was 436 and lowest twenty-seven.

AVERAGES
137 Einherji
130 Grundarfjörður
96 Höttur
93 Leiknir F.
90 Víðir
69 Magni
55 Hamar
43 Berserkir
41 IH
38 KFR

AUSTRIA
Austria - pop 8.5M, area 32,000 sq. mi. Germany – pop 81M, area 138,000 sq. mi. Brazil – pop 200M+, area over 3M sq. mi.

Which of the above has the most regional level four leagues? That’s right, Austria! Incredible as is seems, the Austrians operate nine leagues at this level to Brazil’s eight and Germany’s five. Italy and Mexico, two other countries that dwarf Austria in both population and area manage to get by with two each.

Naturally, this leads to a diminution of quality and interest at this level. One, but only one, club is promoted automatically so if there’s a runaway leader the league quickly becomes effectively finished – especially as this is the lowest level operated by the Austrian FA – and there is no automatic relegation to the state leagues below this. 142 teams played at this level last season – eight groups of sixteen and one of fourteen.

AVERAGES (high to low)
361 Vorarlberg Liga
340 Ober Osterreich Liga
313 Landesliga Steirmark
301 Burgenlandliga
238 Salzburger Liga
237 Tiroler Liga
230 Niederosterreich
228 Kartner Liga
165 Wiener Stadtliga

Highest clubs (same order as regions, highest overall in bold)
683 Andelsbuch
631 Sportunion St Martin
547 Weiz
589 Purbach
423 Pingzau Saalfelden
392 Hippach
409 SC Zwettle
313 Lendorf
436 Donaufeld

BRAZIL
The Brazilian fourth level maintains reasonably good attendances thanks to its format. Last season there were forty-one teams organised into seven groups of five and one of six – simply named groups 1-8. The top two in each group qualify for the knock-out stages. From there on in it’s two-leg games up to and including the final for a total of exactly 200 matches. Although an ultimate champion is produced, both the losing finalist and the two losing semi-finalists gain promotion alongside the winner. Averages in group order. Final figure is for the knockout stage as a whole.

566
2680
2339
2150
1360
1345
1065
1260
4427

For each individual group the best average includes any matches played during the knockout stage. Highest overall in bold. In group order these are:

1183 Princesa do Solimoes
6696 Moto Club
7669 Central
6095 Porto
5048 Anapolina
4144 Operário
3946 Brasil de Pelotas
5064 Londrina

The highest at this level was 18,864 and the lowest forty-five.

CZECH REPUBLIC
Bear in mind that while Czech football is split into two regions below the second level that only Bohemia publishes attendance figures. There are five divisions at this level, three of them in Bohemia. The Czech system is well regulated and it’s only at the level above this when it can go out of kilter as teams coming down from the national second level can disproportionately affect the numbers. Averages for the three Bohemian divisions (all containing sixteen clubs for a total of forty-eight):

205 – A2A
184 – A2B
162 – A2C

Best clubs (in same divisional order, best in bold)
317 Usti mad Orlici
601 Litmerice
267 Kaltovy 1898

GERMANY
Unlike England or Brazil, the German fourth level lies outside the official league structure though the five regional champions all qualify for a play-off spot (as does one of the runners-up but I have no idea how that lucky side is selected). There are then three straightforward two-leg ties with the winners gaining promotion and the bottom three in the 3. Liga relegated and placed in the appropriate region for the following season. Last season’s leagues contained between sixteen to nineteen clubs with a total of eighty-nine taking part.

The six play-off matches were watched by a total of 37,432 for an average of 6,239. Averages in the regions were:
1641 West
1541 Nord-Ost
1269 Sudwest
718 Bayern
603 Nord

Highest supported teams were (in the same regional division order, best in bold):
7684 Rot-Weiß Essen
5482 Magdeburg
6147 Kickers Offenbach
1865 Schweinfurt 05
1825 Meppen

ITALY
Italy is undergoing a major change to its lower levels this season. 2013-14 was the last season for the two regions of the Lega Pro Seconda Divisione as it merged with the two regions of the third level Lega Pro Prima Divisione to create the simply named Liga Pro for this season with a format of three regions of twenty teams each.

The Girone A, covering the North and North Central parts of the country had an average of 887 last season. In Girone B, covering South and South Central Italy the league average was higher at 1,055. Overall, the figure was 971.

There were thirty-six teams taking part in two equal divisions of eighteen. Attendance figures courtesy of the superb http://www.stadiapostcards.com English version here http://www.stadiapostcards.com/english.htm

Girone A
3169 SPAL
2173 Mantova
1436 Rimini
1286 Alessandria
1059 Torres
987 Forli
881 Monza
824 Bassano
808 Porto Tolle
597 Cuneo
593 Santarcangelo
586 Pergolettese
375 Castiglione
329 Bra
281 Vecomp Verona
266 Renate
178 Bellaria
138 Real Vicenza

Girone B
2804 Cosenza
2793 Foggia
2728 Casertana
1994 Messina
1174 Ischia
1052 Teramo
1028 Vigor lamezia
918 Melfi
853 Martina Franca
700 Chieti
516 Castel Rigone
497 Aversa
435 Aprilia
430 Poggibonsi
417 Tuttocuoio
411 Arzanese
303 Sorrento
160 Gavorrano

MEXICO
Confusingly the Liga Nuevo Talentos (LNT) is described as a Segunda División, alongside the Liga Premier (LP) but as the LNT promotes to the LP it’s clear they are one level below. There are two regions, both consisting of fourteen clubs. Grupo 1 was much better supported than Grupo 2 with an average of 467 compared to 290. Mineiros de Fresnillo’s average of 675 was the best in Grupo 2 where 1,500 was the highest for any match and the lowest recorded figure was five!

In Grupo 1, Selva Ceñera were way out in front with an average 3,333 and they also drew the biggest crowd of the season – 6,000. Lowest in this division was forty-five.

The overall average was 379

Grupo Uno
3333 Selva Ceñera
500 Cuatla
279 Deportivo Nuevo Chimalhuacán
250 Cañoneros de Campeche
238 U. Michoacana Zorros UMSNH
225 U.A. Hidalgo
206 Zitacuaro
150 Alto Rendimiento Tuzo
150 Lobos Prepa (same average as above but slightly fewer spectators in total)
138 Centro Universitario del Fútbol
125 Pumas Nauculpan
103 América Coapa
100 Patriotas de Cordoba
94 Alebrijes de Oaxaca

Grupo Dos
675 Mineros de Fresnillo
650 Sahuayo
513 Real Zamora
500 Reboceros la Piedad
421 Deportivo San Juan
268 Topos de Reynosa
231 U.A. Tamaulipas
184 Atlético San Luis
164 Academicos de Atlas
117 Calor de San Pedro
88 Necaxa
83 Chivas Rayadas
83 Celaya (same average as above but slightly fewer spectators in total)
81 Cachorros UANL

POLAND
There are eight regional divisions at the fourth level in Poland. So far, so simple, but one of the groups - opolsko-śląska - is subdivided. It has 24 teams, playing in two groups of twelve, then split into a further three groups of eight, with the totals then put together for a final tally. The other groups play a conventional season of meeting each other twice. All told, 149 teams played at this level last season. In order of averages high to low

AVERAGES
403 lubelsko-podkarpacka
298 małopolsko-świętokrzyska
263 dolnośląsko-lubuska
249 łódzko-mazowiecka
238 podlasko-warmińsko-mazurska
233 kujawsko-pomorsko-wielkopolska
227 opolsko-śląska
219 pomorsko-zachodniopomorska

Best supported clubs (in same divisional order as above. Highest in bold).
656 JKS 1909 Jaroslaw
586 Hutnik Nowa Huta (Kraków)
897 KS Stilon Gorzów Wielkopolski
763 Broń Radom
523 Sokół Ostróda
425 Polonia Środa Wielkopolska
458 Ruch Radzionków
540 Kotwica Kołobrzeg

SLOVAKIA
A population of around 5.5M (a little more than Scotland) and an area of under 20,000 sq. mi (about 60% of Scotland’s) yet a fourth level of four regions and sixty-five clubs.
And that comes on top of thirty-two at the third level. The Scottish equivalent would be combining Leagues One and Two, then adding seventy-seven non-league clubs to fill out the structure!

The Slovak set-up makes the Scottish system seem sensible. Sometimes the other man’s grass isn’t greener after all.

Not only that, but two of the divisions are administered by one sub-federation and the other two by another. More confusingly, two are labelled as III, one as IV and none nothing at all. Unsurprisingly, there has been a major reconstruction in 2014-15. Last season’s figures were (in order high to low):

297 ZsFZ III Liga (West)
244 IV. Liga Východ Dospelí VsFZ (East)
196 SsFZ III Liga (Centre)
144 Majstrovstvá regiónu - BFZ (Bratislava)

Highest club averages. (In order of above regions. Best overall in bold)
894 Gabčíkovo
480 Snina
332 Javornik Makov
201 Rohoznik

SWEDEN
There are eighty-four clubs in six divisions of fourteen each in the Swedish fourth level. Each of the regional champions is promoted. Averages here are in order of high to low.

AVERAGES
272 Ostra Gotaland
270 Norrland
230 Norra Gotaland
181 Sodra Svealand
164 Vastra Gotaland
160 Norra Svealand

Best supported clubs are in order of the above regions. Best overall in bold

550 Lindsals
546 Sandvikkens
401 Grebbestads
325 Varmbols
341 Dalstorps
434 Syrianska IF Kerburen

SWITZERLAND
There are three Swiss regions at this level, all consisting of fourteen clubs and. Like the Swiss fifth level, simply numbered, not given regional names though they are broadly comprised of teams from the same part of the country. The top two from each plus the two best third-placed sides qualify for the play-offs which then have two rounds on a two-leg basis to produce two clubs which will gain promotion. Unlike some leagues, there is no final round. Once the two promoted sides have been determined, that’s that. The twelve play-off matches were watched by a total of 20,639, for an average of 1,720. Down-on-their-luck Neuchâtel Xamax drew over 4,000 in both games they played. Highest crowd of the season was 1,620 at Xamax’s last home game in the regular season.

Figures in order of high to low:

AVERAGES
330 Liga Classic Gruppe 2
266 Liga Classic Gruppe 3
222 Liga Classic Gruppe 1

Best supported clubs are in order of above divisions. Best overall in bold
1485 Neuchâtel Xamax
481 USV Eschen-Mauren
410 Fribourg

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by kickersman » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:52 am

Some information about the situation in germany:

Unlike England or Brazil, the German fourth level lies outside the official league structure though the five regional champions all qualify for a play-off spot (as does one of the runners-up but I have no idea how that lucky side is selected).

Only the upper two nationwide levels belong to the DFL (Deutsche Fußballliga = the "German SFL"). The 3. Liga and all the levels below are organized by the DFB (Deutscher Fußballbund = the "German SFA") and its regional sections.
The one runners-up, who qualifies for the play-offs, is always from the südwest division. This division ist by far the biggest in respect of population and clubs. So it is rewarded with a second play-off-spot.
The fourth level with five divisions was created in 2012 and is heavily criticized since then. There are now talks to reconstruct this level to only three divisions with the three champions promote automatically to the 3. Liga.
The fourth level contains some bigger clubs with full-time-professionals, but the majority of clubs have a part-time-squad.

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:40 am

If Hibs think their fall into the 2nd Division(or whatever it`s called this week) is embarrassing then they should have a look @ Rot Weiss Essen, their opponents in their(& Britain`s) first game in the European Cup. RWE are in the regional 4th division but, with a population almost identical to Edinburgh`s, their crowds are holding up well @ about 7,500.

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:41 am

If Hibs think their fall into the 2nd Division(or whatever it`s called this week) is embarrassing then they should have a look @ Rot Weiss Essen, their opponents in their(& Britain`s) first game in the European Cup. RWE are in the regional 4th division but, with a population almost identical to Edinburgh`s, their crowds are holding up well @ about 7,500.

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by Scottish » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:52 pm

kickersman wrote:Some information about the situation in germany: Only the upper two nationwide levels belong to the DFL (Deutsche Fußballliga = the "German SFL"). The 3. Liga and all the levels below are organized by the DFB (Deutscher Fußballbund = the "German SFA") and its regional sections.
The one runners-up, who qualifies for the play-offs, is always from the südwest division. This division ist by far the biggest in respect of population and clubs. So it is rewarded with a second play-off-spot.
The fourth level with five divisions was created in 2012 and is heavily criticized since then. There are now talks to reconstruct this level to only three divisions with the three champions promote automatically to the 3. Liga.
The fourth level contains some bigger clubs with full-time-professionals, but the majority of clubs have a part-time-squad.
Thanks for this - especially the explanation about the "extra" play-off place. I'm not surprised there are talks to change from five to three as it does seem to be out of balance. There are a lot of "big" names at this level, including, I presume from your user name, the one you support.

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:50 pm

I remember our music teacher not being best pleased with me when, after his lecture on Jacques Offenbach, he asked for any observations and I told him that the town of the same name had a football team called Kickers which I thought was the most interesting thing about either Offenbach. Worse came when a little coterie in the corner began singing THE HAPPY WANDERER in the mistaken belief that Uncle Mack`s CHILDREN`S FAVOURITES` staple was sung by the Offenbach Children`s Choir. If I recall correctly, Children`s Favourites only had about six records and Uncle Mack pretended that the nation`s weans only ever asked for these half dozen - Happy Wanderer, I`m a Blue Toothbrush, The Runaway Train, The Laughing Policeman, Teddy Bears` Picnic & Gilly Gilly Ossenpeffer. There must have been more I suppose but not many.

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by Scottish » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:41 pm

Add "Puff The Magic Dragon" to that list.

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by kickersman » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:48 pm

You're not perfectly right with Offenbacher Kickers. There is another well known "Kickers"-team in germany, the Stuttgarter Kickers, my favourite club. 1908 they were runners-up in the german championship. For many years, they were the best team in Stuttgart, even better than the VfB Stuttgart. After world war II, they were overshadowded by the VfB and they didn't qualify for the german Bundesliga in 1963. The next 35 years they stayed in the second division with two brief spells in the Bundesliga. The last 15 years, they flit between third and fourth level. Today, they are in the 3. Liga, and I hope, they can reach promotion to 2. Bundesliga, as they are placed in the play-off-place at the moment. Jürgen Klinsmann and Guido Buchwald, two german world cup heroes of 1990, began their career at the kickers, as a lot of other internationals from germany, too. The best thing is their cosy ground at the foot of the stuttgart TV tower, surrounded by forest. Lovely!

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by Scottish » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:36 pm

You'll have a lot in common with "LEATHERSTOCKING" then. He also is a supporter of a once-famous club superseded in its native city by others.

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:07 am

Excuse me! "...a once famous club superseded in its native city by others"??!! I must have missed the date when did they cease to be famous? and superseded only in the grubby art of pot hunting!

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by kickersman » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:27 am

I only can guess Leatherstockings favourite club: Queens Park, Dundee FC? Or a club outside the SPFL? Clachnacuddin maybe?

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Re: LEVEL FOUR ATTENDANCES

Post by Scottish » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:18 pm

Right first time.

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