Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted his disappointment after more than 15,000 seats were left empty for the club’s FA Cup win at the weekend.
A crowd of just 39,223 was on show at the 55,097-capacity Etihad Stadium for the Premier League champions’ 4-0 win against second tier side Fulham. But while it was the third highest attendance of the FA Cup fourth round so far, it was much smaller than City’s most recent home Premier League game, when 54,439 watched the draw against Crystal Palace. It was also considerably less than the club’s recent third-round home tie versus Port Vale, which attracted 52,433,
Guardiola’s side’s average league attendance this season is 54,391, while on average 50,124 people have attended their three UEFA Champions League group games.
Ticket prices for Sunday’s win over Fulham were priced from £10-£35 for adults and £1-£20 for minors.
Looking ahead to this week’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against rivals Manchester United, Guardiola said: “Today was not full – I don’t know why. I hope there will be more people and more support [against Man Utd]. It is a chance to come back to Wembley for three years in a row. Hopefully our fans can come, more people than today. Hopefully they can support us more and make an intelligent game to reach the final.”
Premier League club West Ham United attracted the highest attendance of the weekend, with 58,911 at the 66,000-capacity London Stadium to see the 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.
Newcastle United’s 0-0 draw against Oxford United was the second biggest crowd of the weekend at 52,221, while just 8,071 watched the all-Premier League tie between Burnley and Norwich City at the 22,500-capacity Turf Moor.
Meanwhile, an arena record 24,109 watched Hull City’s FA Cup tie versus Chelsea at the KCOM Stadium. The previous best at the stadium – which opened in 2002 – was 23,543 for a League Cup match against the same opponent back in 2007.