SAINTS should comfortably be a mid-table Premier League team next season – at least in terms of their support.
The bumper crowds at the back end of the latest promotion winning campaign saw Saints finish in second place behind West Ham in the highest average attendances chart of the Championship season.
And their average of 26,419 per game would see them 12th in the current Premier League averages.
Crowds have shot up 17 per cent at St Mary’s this season, following on from last term’s 22,160 average in League 1.
The last four attendances at the ground this season were all above the 30,000 mark.
Even established teams such as Fulham, West Brom, Bolton, Blackburn and Wigan trail in the wake of Saints’ loyal fan base.
Promoted sides QPR and Swansea are also well down on the St Mary’s averages.
Saints are sure to see their attendances boosted even further on their return to the top flight after a seven-year absence.
Whilst it is unlikely they can regularly repeat the St Mary’s record 32,363 crowd they had for the final game of the campaign against Coventry, due to the added segregation of having an often full ten per cent allocation going to the away team, they should sell out for the majority of games.
Previously in their Premier League campaigns it was generally only the midweek matches, when people struggle to get there from work, that attendances dropped from capacity.
Assuming Saints were averaging anywhere between 28,000-32,000 next season, that would be enough to see them in 11th place in the Premier League stats based on this campaign.
It again underlines how well Saints have been supported during this season and the kind of crowds they can expect next term.