The golden rule of going to the match: Never let the football ruin a good day out.
The three points might be the icing on the cake, but it’s really about spending time with your mates and having a good singsong to get behind your team.
If you’ve been to a few different grounds, you’ll know that the ‘best teams’ don’t necessarily correspond with the best atmospheres.
Manchester City are constantly mocked by rival fans over the ‘Emptihad’, whereas Crystal Palace fans are well-respected by all for their noisy atmosphere and tifos. It’s all rather subjective, but most supporters have an opinion of rival clubs and the stadiums they’ve visited on away days.
One fan has taken that a step further by ranking English Football League clubs by their home atmosphere. Twitter user @SuperSonny7 has created a tier system and the results are generally spot on. We’ve a few bones to pick, but we’ll get to that later.
We can only assume the user in question is a Tottenham fan, hence the name and photo, but they’ve managed to give an unbiased view. So, without further ado:
Crystal Palace, Newcastle United, Sheffield United, Leeds
Leicester, Wolves, Aston Villa, Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Coventry City
Norwich City, Everton, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool, Charlton, Sheffield Wednesday, West Bromwich Albion, Tranmere Rovers, Rochdale, Swansea City, Rotherham, Lincoln City
Watford, Burnley, Manchester United, Southampton, Millwall, Bristol City, Fulham, Middlesbrough, Blackpool, Brentford, Huddersfield, Stoke City, Bolton, Burton Albion, Bristol Rovers, AFC Wimbledon, Peterborough United, Wycombe Wanderers, Southend United
Cardiff City, Bournemouth, Preston North End, Barnsley, Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City, Luton Town, Oxford United, Shrewsbury Town, Doncaster Rovers, Ipswich
West Ham United, Wigan Athletic, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn, Reading, Fleetwood Town, Hull City, Gillingham, MK Dons
Right. Now this is by no means definitive and of course, there have been a few unconfirmed rumours of the odd chant being heard at the Emirates. We presume those people were quickly escorted out by the stewards.
Chelsea, you can’t help but feel, are a tad lucky to be in the ‘above average’ tier. The Stamford Bridge faithful aren’t the rowdiest bunch, except for when it comes to shouting ‘We hate Tottenham!’ over the Liquidator before kick-off. Come on ladies and gents, it’s not even about your own team.
Goodison Park is also on the quiet side when Everton aren’t winning which, let’s face it, before Carlo Ancelotti came in was most of the time.
Some grounds, like the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Anfield, are absolutely electric on a big European night. But your average Premier League game, not so much.
Then we have those right at the bottom. None of them can have any complaints. West Ham fans are well aware that the London Stadium is terrible, though that’s largely the fault of the owners, not them.
Likewise, Arsenal and City usually put on atmospheres to rival outer space for being totally non-existent.
As do the MK Dons. The chant ‘your ground’s too big for you’ was made for stadium:mk. With a capacity of 30,500, their highest attendance in the league this season was just over 13,000, a good proportion of which was made up of Sunderland fans.
So if you’re one of those fans who wants to get round all 92 grounds in England and Wales, now you know which ones should be top of your list.