LONDON - FOOTBALL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD?
Is London the football capital of the world? Firstly, let’s look at the football statistics for the UK: · Football is by far the most popular sport in the UK! · 1.5 – 2 million of us in the UK play football regularly. · 33% of 5-16 year olds play football.
· An amazing 46% of the UK population follow football – that’s over 31 million people. In England, football is considered the national sport and is governed by the Football Association (FA).
When you consider that nearly 10 million people live in the Greater London area – that translates to 15% of the total UK population live in the 32 Boroughs that make up Greater London– there’s no wonder why there is such a density of football clubs and intense football following in and around London which is also home to some of the world’s most famous and popular clubs.
London has the world’s oldest professional association football league club: Crystal Palace – founded in 1861 and were founder members of the Football Association. London is home to some of the most iconic football clubs and stadiums in the world including probably the most famous and iconic – Wembley Stadium!
Wembley Stadium is the national stadium of England and the home of English football. With 90,000 seats, it’s the largest sports venue in the UK and the second-largest stadium in Europe. The striking 133 metre tall arch is the world’s longest single span roof support structure and is visible right across London.
There are 14 different football grounds within the borders of London if you go down to League two, and if you dig a bit deeper that number is nearly 40!
London derby matches are some of the most watched games in football. London’s fiercest rival matches are considered to be the North London derby - Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur and one of the longest-standing and most bitter rivalries in English football - Millwall vs West Ham. More recent rivalries have grown – Arsenal vs Chelsea and Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur.
London teams have won a total of 21 English Championships, 35 FA Cups, 12 EFL Cups, 8 Community Shields, 5 Football League Championships (after the Premier League was formed) 2 champions Leagues, 5 Cup Winners Cups, 4 UEFA Cups/Europa Leagues and 2 Super Cups. The London clubs in league order are:
Premier League: Arsenal Chelsea Crystal Palace Tottenham Hotspur West Ham Brentford Fulham
Championship Watford QPR Millwall
League one Charlton Athletic AFC Wimbledon As well as the three largest leagues in England, 6 clubs in London play in League Two and the National League;
League Two Leyton Orient Sutton United
National Barnet Bromley Dagenham & Redbridge Wealdstone That makes a total of 18 clubs from London (if we include Watford that sits on the northwest outskirts of London) that play our national sport at a professional level!
7 out of the 20 clubs that make up the Premier League are in London - that's 35% of the Premier League's clubs based in the nations capital. Four of the top 10 Premier League clubs with the highest average matchday attendance figures are London clubs - West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal all have 60,000 average matchday home attendance and Chelsea have 40,000.
The combined average matchday attendance at all of these London clubs tots up to an impressive 374,000 fans in the stands supporting their beloved teams every time they play at home.
Can any other city in the world beat these statistics and challenge London as the ‘Football Capital of the World’?