Record-breaking season for Championship attendances

Southampton fans celebrate in the stand at Wembley
The Championship play-off final between Southampton and Leeds United had a higher attendance at Wembley than the FA Cup final the previous day [Rex Features]

Last season saw the highest overall attendance at Championship matches since records began more than 130 years ago.

More than 12 million people purchased tickets to second-tier games in 2023-24 - an increase of 22% on the previous season, the English Football League said.

The figure is higher than Germany's Bundesliga, Spain's La Liga and Italy's Serie A, making the Championship the second highest-attended league in Europe, behind the Premier League.

Including the play-offs, almost 22 million tickets were bought for EFL league games across the Championship, League One and League Two last season.

The cumulative figure across the leagues is the highest since 1951-52 and an 11% increase on the season before.

"The 2023-24 numbers are tangible proof that our competitions now rank among some of the most exciting and popular in European football," EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said in a statement.

"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."

The Championship play-off final between Leeds United and Southampton at Wembley, won 1-0 by Saints, had a higher attendance (85,862) than the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Manchester City at the national stadium the previous day (84,814).