Premier League Champions 2024 empty seats and empty streets?

Premier League Champions 2024 empty seats and empty streets?

For the fourth consecutive year Manchester City lifted the Premier League Champions trophy. By any measure and by any standards it’s a remarkable achievement.

The current team break records almost every time they play. Not only have they won four titles in a row, it’s six titles in seven years and I think it’s eight titles in 12 years.

Trips to the national stadium are normally at least a twice yearly event and total about 26 visits in the last dozen years. Yesterday evening and for the second year running in Manchester the team paraded another three trophies.

Last year it was the classic Treble that was paraded through Manchester streets (use this link to see last years parade post)

Previously (in 2019) the team celebrated the domestic treble  – the first English men’s team to do so. This year’s trio of trophies were the Premier League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup.

Serial winners

Winning the league is to win the ‘purest’ competition, but winning cup competitions is also pretty good. In recent years, City have either won or reached the latter stages of all the competitions they have played in.  Just a few days ago they felt the disappointment of losing out, deservedly so, to their cross town rivals in this year’s FA Cup Final.

For City supporters the last dozen years or so have been pretty much perfect but football is such a good sport for exposing the myopic world of the opposition supporter.

And I would say I’m happy to include myself from time to time as living in that world.

It provides for endless amusement – often presenting as good natured and funny ‘banter’, sometimes presenting as bitter vitriol and sometimes just inexplicably bizarre.  Experience shows that the normal comments of empty seats at the stadium is followed up at this time of year with the empty streets comments.

The economic elephant

The economic elephant in the room is typically ignored – often by folk who don’t go to football matches or who simply do not recognize that the economic/price/cost model that clubs operate makes the regular match fan a less valuable asset than the occasional ‘tourist’ fan.  Recent ticketing examples at Spurs and Wolves help illustrate this.

The next Community Shield at Wembley before the start of the 2024/25 season will almost certainly see Manchester United sell all their tickets and Manchester City return tickets. In United’s case it’s understandably and probably an attractive day out due in part to the relative (recent) infrequency of their visits there.

In City’s case having had around 27 visits in recent years the spectre of a non-competitive game, (that even with cheap ticket prices would cost my son and I at least a couple of hundred pounds) isn’t really so attractive.

It’s not about affordability, it’s just about value.  It just doesn’t pique the interest enough, so like last year and like a few thousand other City fans we’ll make a donation to the food bank rather than trek to Wembley for a pre-season warm up game see this story from last year.

The tribal nature of football (which is something I quite like) means that football fans are unlikely to stand together and get this elephant sorted out. If not I guess the streets and the seats will become empty apart from maybe the tourists.

Empty streets?

Although the team have achieved something that Sir Matt Busby, Sir Alex Ferguson, Bill Shankly or Jose Mourinho’s great teams couldn’t do folk still seek to try to diminish the achievements.

One of the guaranteed lines today, this week, next week and beyond will be that the streets of Manchester were empty for the trophy parade. Despite an inconvenient and later than normal time and despite forecasts of thunderous storms along with the routine of a Manchester City trophy parade the streets like the seats were not really empty.

Nothing lasts for ever

Nothing lasts for ever and at some point the wheel will turn again and these heady days at the top of the football pile will be behind us. In between times we have seen things that few football fans can only dream about let alone see.

But before that happens I’ll continue to enjoy these glory days.


Picture gallery

There are plenty of pictures from the trophy parade in Manchester.

Clicking on any of the images below will open a picture gallery that can be clicked or scrolled through

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