Let’s be real here, COVID-19 has ruined 2020. I MEAN RUINED. But as December is upon us, a vaccine is imminent and everything’s looking a little bit rosier in the world. There is one thing that A LOT of us are excited for in the coming days and weeks though. The return of football fans.
We all know that football is awful with empty stadiums, so the return of home fans to their rightful place in the terraces is long overdue in that regard. The ‘away day culture’ in English football is special; it’s something rarely replicated too much on the continent. However, ‘home fan culture’ is just as special. It’s like putting on that old jumper you’ve had for years, that’s basically moulded to your body at this point. It’s like sitting down with a cuppa, in your favourite chair (we all have one, you’re not alone), and just relaxing. Ultimate comfort.
A lot of us will be lucky enough to be in Tier 2, and thus will be entering our stadiums again soon. Some have already gone back!
Unfortunately, it’s not quite the same as it was before COVID. Masks, protocols and social distancing has significantly changed the experience that so many of us crave.
But soon enough the world will be back to the old normal and our stadiums will be packed with us all again. When that happens, the noise levels will be insane. After nearly 8 months of silence on the terraces, there will be a racket when we are back!
So it poses the question, who are the loudest home fans in League One?
5. Accrington Stanley
There’s not too many of them. In fact Stanley recorded the lowest average attendance in League One in 2018/19 with a small 2,764 according to fanbanter.
But then again, The Wham stadium isn’t very big, so the smaller number doesn’t feel weird.
Accrington’s home support are fiercely loyal, and there is one stand in particular that makes their noise. Opposite the away end, you have the affectionately named ‘Clayton End’. It’s a terrace stand, that had a roof put on to optimise sound (and probably to keep the home fans a bit dryer). The ‘Stanley Ultras’ feature here, and can usually be heard chanting, singing and shouting throughout the match.
As I said, there aren’t too many of them, but what they do have works well for them. The formerly named ‘Crown Ground’ is an intense away day.
Something that helps the home fans sound louder is the lack of roof on the away end. A collection of away fans will struggle to make too much sound with those acoustics.
4. Charlton Athletic
Recently relegated Charlton have a great set of home fans.
They’ve been pulled and yanked through the mud over the past few years due to dodgy ownership. One stunt that will live long in the memory of most football fans was when the home faithful, coupled with the travelling Coventry City fans, launched a large amount of small plastic pigs onto the pitch. Their owners would’ve clenched their bulging piggy banks a bit tighter that evening.
Let’s talk about The Valley.
It is a mammoth 27,000 seater stadium that certainly looks out of place in League One. The aptly named ‘Covered End’ houses the most vocal of The Addicks’ support. It’s re-generation in the early 2000s has inadvertently created excellent acoustics, which has helped make a threatening atmosphere at The Valley. The upper tier is where most of their vocal support resides, a long with their drummer too.
Charlton’s atmosphere is created by their home fans. According to 55,000 visitors, the atmosphere ranks fourth out of the clubs in League One in 2020/21. This is according to footballgroundmap, who got the average ranking of 3.5 stars out of five.
3. Plymouth Argyle
The Argyle are enjoying life back in League One. In truth, a club of that stature should never be in League Two!
Home Park’s capacity is big too. Just over 17,000 Argyle fans can enjoy the sights of Ryan Lowe’s Green Army, and they make a lot of noise whilst doing so. According ‘footballgroundmap’ their home atmosphere ranks as second in League One. Over 30,000 visitors got to the ranking of 3.5 stars.
Home Park is a great place to watch football. The modern stadium vibe gives an excellent atmosphere, especially when the home fans start creating their noise. When the Devonport End starts bouncing, it’s an intimidating sight.
2. Sunderland AFC
Where to even begin with Sunderland. They’re a club far too big for this level of football, yet they continue to find themselves struggling to amount an impressive promotion push. That’s not due to any lack of home support though.
In the 2018/19 season they averaged the highest attendance in League One – a massive 32,157. Intense.
The Black Cat’s have always been renowned for their excellent home support. The Netflix documentary really paints an impressive picture of the passion, loyalty and noise that they have.
Their home atmosphere ranks third in League One, with 3.5 (surprise surprise) out of five – an average achieved from 42,000 visitors.
The Stadium of Light is a fortress of football, and an iconic place to play and watch the beautiful game. However, you can’t really pick one particular part of the ground as the ‘noisy’ end. Because it’s all noisy!
Fratton Park is another one of those immensely iconic stadiums in English football.
It’s also one of the most iconic atmosphere’s in English football.
From that bloke who rings the bell, to the jam-packed rows of fans, to the crazily loud singing that explodes from all corners – it truly is a sight to see. As an away fan at Pompey, you can feel the atmosphere brewing before kick-off, and when the home side score, then the stadium almost lifts off the ground.
They had an average of 18,223 fans in 2018/19 – 2nd highest in League One. They also rank TOP of the atmosphere charts according to ‘footballgroundmap’s data. Four stars from over 45,000 visitors isn’t bad at all.
Well, what do you think? Are Pompey fans the loudest home supporters, or is it actually your club? Do you feel your home fans should easily knock Accrington’s off this list? Let us know down below!