As the saying goes; football without fans is nothing. Players thrive off the atmosphere created by supporters both home and away but the old questions still remains: who has the best supporters?
Supporters of English football all made their voices heard when signing a petition to try to increase the pressure on the government to finally allow supporters back into grounds. Ashley Greenwood set up the petition which has since received over 200,000 signatures and it is now being debated in Westminster.
With the current situation, I thought I could take a look at the best supporters in EFL League One.
5. Lincoln City
Following promotion from League Two in the 18/19 season, Lincoln have solidified themselves as a League One club; the highest league standing for the club since being formed back in 1884.
With this being said, fans of Lincoln City fully appreciate the success of their club with them playing at the highest level yet. This success mixed with the passion of the supporters has helped to form an incredible atmosphere at Sincil Bank that was ranked the fifth best according to FootballGroundMap.
Lincoln have never been a particularly wealthy or overly successful club however the fans appreciate their club for what it is and that’s what makes the atmosphere so unique.
Holding a maximum of 10,000 supporters, Sincil Bank averages a home attendance of 8,800 which for a club like Lincoln City, is very impressive. Their away attendances are not to be ignored either, further showcasing the loyalty of their supporters.
4. Ipswich Town
After a 15 year spell in the Championship, Ipswich Town were relegated into League One in the 18/19 season. A club that had many memories in the Premier League.
Despite this relegation, the loyalty of supporters remained within the club. With an average attendance of 19,000, Ipswich are up their with the best supporter clubs in the league.
Whilst numbers can be impressive, the atmosphere is what often defines a match day and Portman Road is host to a fierce atmosphere generated by the fans. Home support is one thing but away support is another and Ipswich fans certainly enjoy both. With such a big fanbase, Ipswich regularly sell out away end allocations and bring their intimidating atmosphere on the road with them.
3. Plymouth Argyle
Plymouth have become somewhat of a ‘yo-yo club’ in recent years with relegations being followed by promotions however they currently find themselves in League One, sitting well in mid-table.
One big factor of the recent promotions has been down to the support from the stands. With an average attendance of 10,000 in recent seasons, fans have been able to turn ‘Home Park’ into one of the most intimidating places to visit for away teams and supporters.
According to FootballGroundMap, away supporters have ranked this ground as having the second best atmosphere in the league and their players certainly seem to be using this to their advantage!
Similarly to Ipswich, Portsmouth have one of the biggest fanbases in the league and certainly one of the most impressive. A seven-year stay in the Premier League was ended in 2010 for both on and off field reasons and as a club, Portsmouth are yet to fully recover.
However whilst the standard of football certainly dropped, the same can not be said about the passion of the Portsmouth supporters who still to this day drive their team forward.
Just by walking through the city of Portsmouth you will bump into many people wearing the colours of their team.
Fratton Park holds an impressive 21,000 supporters with Portsmouth averaging a home attendance of 19,000. As an away fan, you certainly wouldn’t believe there’s only 19,000 fans in there as the atmosphere generated is one that many Premier League clubs can only dream of. Their famous ‘Play Up Pompey’ chant can be heard at any fixture involving the club with Portsmouth often taking as many as 4000 fans away from home.
Finally, you can’t mention the fans of Portsmouth without mentioning John Westwood; the man with the drum that certainly adds to the atmosphere at matches.
1. Sunderland AFC
Sunderland fans have been through ups and downs recently. In fact, mainly downs. The club endured back-to-back relegations following a 10-year spell in the Premier League and last season finished 8th in League One which is the lowest of the club in its history.
The City of Sunderland is a working class City and many fans rely on their club to bring joy and excitement to the place.
The only thing that has remained a good standard around the club, is the support. Even in League One, the Stadium of Light held an average of 30,000 supporters which is an attendance even many premier clubs are unable to achieve. Not forgetting when Sunderland broke the League One attendance record on Boxing Day in in 2018, with a remarkable attendance of 46,000.
Whilst the home support is fantastic, the away support certainly matches it. For many years now, Sunderland have sold out the majority of their away allocations. Just a week after breaking the League One attendance record, Sunderland took over 8000 away supporters to Blackpool on New Years Day.
Sunderland fans will be hopeful of a return to the Premier League in years to come, something that would turn the Stadium of Light into one of the most intimidating atmospheres in English football.
Who do you think have the best fans in League One? Let us know!