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Royals on the Road

A key measure of any club’s support is the number of fans which a team takes to see them play away from home, with hardy supporters making the long trek by car, train or coach to the furthest corners of the country. With the latest figures for away support in the Championship this season now released, Bucks Royal takes a look at the statistics for Reading, and the league as a whole.

Reading fans at Birmingham two seasons ago
Reading fans at Birmingham two seasons ago
Shaun Botterill

The figures quoted come courtesy of The72.

One gibe commonly used by fans of other clubs against the Royals is that we don't have enough of an away following - sadly, the figures for this 2013/14 season so far don't do much to argue this point, with us taking an average of only 835 fans to each away game so far. In fact, this is the fourth lowest average of all clubs, with only Blackpool (774), Charlton (760), Barnsley (638) and Yeovil (498) lower than Reading.

Unsurprisingly, all of our highest away attendances have been in the south of the country, with 1236 Royals going to the game against Millwall, 1636 going to Watford, and 2103 at Yeovil (coincidentally, all of which were clean-sheet victories!). On the reverse side, few seem to have been interested in going to Burnley (420), Barnsley (357) or Middlesbrough (295) to watch the Royals, although the distance (and in two of those cases the fact that they were mid-week) hardly helps.

Looking back at our last Championship (winning) season back in 2011/12, there were impressive turnouts in the most crucial away matches - Brighton (2373), West Ham (3002) and Southampton (3145), with 4135 Loyal Royals making the journey up to Birmingham on the last day of the season for the title celebrations, and the extra-special occasion of Simon Church's last competitive start for the club. In fact, the average away turnout that season was 1183 Royals per away game, whereas this season it has dropped to 835.

Turning towards the rest of the league, the big hitters in terms of away support are Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday, all of whom brought sizable contingents to the Madejski (3268, 1867 and 1794 respectively). At the other end of the scale, the lowest turnouts seem to come at Portman Road, with Barnsley and Yeovil taking only 175 and 155 fans respectively - to put that into context, Reading took 568.