English men’s soccer’s top-tier Premier League saw a record average attendance of 40,267 across the 2022-23 season.
The figure is up from 39,950 in the 2021-22 campaign. Across the 380-game roster, stadiums were on average 98.7% full, up from 97.7% in the previous campaign.
The record figure is likely to drop next season, with the three clubs relegated – Leeds United, Leicester City, and Southampton – having been replaced by Luton Town, Burnley, and Sheffield United. As an aggregate, the former trio has a higher combined stadium capacity than the latter.
The record attendance was announced at the Premier League’s annual general meeting on Wednesday (June 14).
Data from Statista shows the Premier League came second to Germany’s top-tier Bundesliga in terms of attendance figures in 2022-23. The German league brought in 42,966 fans per game on average.
Italy’s Serie A finished in third place, with average attendance according to Statista of just over 29,500.
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The Premier League meeting also saw the league’s 20 clubs unanimously vote to ban fully leveraged buyouts of teams.
This rule, if in place in 2005, would have prevented the takeover of heavyweights Manchester United by the Florida-based Glazer family.
The Glazers, who are now evaluating buyout offers themselves, bought the club in a way that meant its profits now service loans taken out to enable the takeover in the first place. The original debt loaded onto Manchester United was £660 million, ($844.3 million), which equated to around 83% of the club’s total value at the time.
The Manchester club had been debt-free before the takeover. Now, despite being serviced over the years, the debt level still sits at £535.7 million.
The Telegraph has reported that the clubs voted to cap the level of leveraged buyouts at 65% of club value.
The Premier League did not give a precise cap number in its statement on the matter.
Burnley were also taken over by leveraged buyout, with the US investment vehicle ALK Capital taking control of the club in December 2020.
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