The Cost of Empty Seats: How Much Every Premier League Club Loses Every Matchday From Unsold Seats

Updated: 2145 Football

OLBG’s cost of empty seats research took this season’s average attendance figures and cost of the lowest ticket price to work out how much each Premier League club is missing out on every time they play on home turf.

The Cost of Empty Seats: How Much Every Premier League Club Loses Every Matchday From Unsold Seats
Dan Tracey Data Scientist and Football Editor

Writer, analyst, podcaster, Spurs fan. Three out of four is not bad. If there is a data angle, I will find it.

  • Tottenham Hotspur were found to be the club losing the most money on empty seats
  • Full Breakdown of How Much Extra Revenue Each Team is Losing
  • Detailed raport per club

Club losing most money on empty seats

Full Breakdown of How Much Extra Revenue Each Team is Losing

OLBG’s cost of empty seats research took this season’s average attendance figures and cost of the lowest ticket price to work out how much each Premier League club is missing out on every time they play on home turf.

Detailed report per club

Let's take a look at a detailed report for some of the clubs


Tottenham Hotspur

Empty seats: 8,284

Average losses: £ 165,680

Tottenham Hotspur were found to be the club losing the most money on empty seats this season, with average attendance figures indicating that they average over 8,000 shy of full capacity on an average home game. The London club only moved to their brand new, state of the art 62,850 seater stadium a few years ago, but so far this season, they have fallen some way short of maxing out its capacity on a matchday, which means Daniel Levy is missing out on approximately £165,680 per game.

Chelsea

Empty seats: 5,000

Average losses: £154,254

Chelsea followed their London rivals, placing just behind them despite having around 5,000 fewer empty seats. However, their considerably higher ticket prices mean the Blues lose out on almost as much revenue as Spurs, missing out on an extra £154,254 per match hosted at Stamford Bridge.

Southampton

Empty seats: 3,388

Average losses: £108,000

Southampton ranked a relatively surprising third place on our list, but there was a significant gap in losses between them and the top two, as the Saints lose out on just over £108,000 each home game. The South coast club has had a mixed campaign so far, battling for a spot in the top half and managing to stay well clear of the relegation battle.

Burnley

Empty seats: 3,393

Average losses: £100,000

Burnley were next on the list and the only other club to lose out on over £100,000 per matchday as well as having the second-highest number of empty seats, albeit by a very fine margin. Sean Dyche’s side has endured a torrid season as they look to be embroiled in a battle to beat the drop, which perhaps explains the 3,393 empty seats on average this season.

Manchester City

Empty seats: 2,500

Average losses: £86,275

Last season Premier League champions and current leaders by some distance Manchester City were next on the list, losing approximately £86,275 thanks to just under 2,500 free seats per game at the Etihad. City fans have come in for criticism all season from Pep Guardiola and sections of the media for not filling the stadium. One commentator even accidentally dubbed the stadium the ‘Emptyhad’ live on air, showing how widespread talk has become. But attendances have not been as bad as people make out, at least in Premier League games, with the Citizens averaging over 52,552 this season.

Manchester United

Empty seats: 1,000

Average losses: £35,402

Their neighbour’s Manchester United placed much lower down on the list in 12th place, as Old Trafford continues to be a sought after ticket in Football despite the club’s recent struggles. There are just over 1,000 seats going on an average matchday at the Premier League's biggest stadium adding up to losses of £35,402.

Liverpool

Empty seats: 377

Average losses: £14,000

However, the Red Devils old foes, Liverpool can boast even less empty seats with Anfield averaging an impressive 377 per home game, adding up to lost revenue of just under a mere £14,000. Even so, that was still only the third-best empty seat figure in the Premier League this season with Norwich (313) and Leicester City (251) bettering those at Merseyside.

Leicester

Empty seats: 251

Average losses: £ 6,526

Due to their extremely low spare seats, Leicester came bottom of the pile in terms of matchday revenue lost, at just £6,526 because of fans packing out the King Power to as near to its 32,312 capacity as it gets.

Clubs though will be happy that fans are back in the grounds. Our report on the cost of no fans clearly showed how much they were losing when playing behind closed doors during lockdown. 

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The Cost of No Fans - Which Premier League Football Clubs Will Lose the Most Money if Restrictions are Reintroduced?

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