Why clubs should consider installing rail seats… No. 6

6. It can help secure the ‘next generation’ of lifetime fans.


The average age of football fans has inexorably increased over past decades. In 1968, for instance, the average age of fans on the Stretford End at Old Trafford was 17. Forty years later, it was over 40 (source: Daily Telegraph). Fans in their late teens and twenties are now under-represented, with the average age of fans, as reprorted, for instance, in the Premier League's report for the 2006/07 season, standing at 42 (i.e. fans who got the football bug on the terraces 20+ years ago and have remained loyal to the game for life - according to the same Premier League report the average fan has been going to matches at their club for 22 years).

Without similar numbers of fans in their teens and twenties to fill their shoes in years to come, football could find its core support literally dying out. Affordable standing areas can help to attract this age group to the game and not only increase receipts at games in the present (as per 3 and 4 above), but also secure the paying custom of such fans for life.

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