There’s a war of words at Manchester City right now - and it’s between the manager and the fans.
After Manchester City beat RB Leipzig 6-3 in the Champions League on Wednesday night, Pep Guardiola had something to say about the 17,000 empty seats inside the stadium.
"The last three games we've played here we've scored 16 goals. I would like more people to come to the next game on Saturday," he requested.
"We need the people, please, because we will be tired. I know the team from Ralph (Hasenhuttl) is quite similar, they way they play. They're so dangerous and it's a really important game. So I invite all our people to come next Saturday at 3pm to watch."
However, it didn’t go down well with a Man City supporter group.
Kevin Parker, general secretary of City's official supporters' club, hit back.
"[What he said] did surprise me," Parker said. "I'm not sure what that's got to do with him. He doesn't understand the difficulties that some people might have getting to a game at the Etihad on a Wednesday evening at 8pm.
"They've got kids to think of, they might not be able to afford it, [and] there are still some Covid issues about. I don't see why he comments on it.
"He's absolutely the best coach in the world but, in the nicest possible way, I think maybe he should stick to that.
"It just takes the edge off what was a good night. People are talking more about Pep's comments than a fantastic game. To question the support, which is effectively what he is doing, is disappointing and uncalled for.
"It does also play into the hands of supporters from other teams who want to take every opportunity to have a go at City for what they think are the poor attendances.
"People refer to the Etihad as the 'Emptyhad'. It's a little bit of fun by the opposition supporters but there's no justification for it. It's not factual. Our attendances are generally excellent."
Well, we wanted to investigate whether the ‘Emptyhad’ nickname is justified.
Using stats from Transfermarkt, we can see the percentage of capacity every stadium has been in the Premier League this season. Some clubs have had two matches at home, while others have had one.
This isn’t based on tickets sold but supporters that actually turn up.
For some reason, they are yet to gather data from Everton, Burnley and Southampton this campaign.
But the results are rather interesting and shows as many as FIVE clubs have had stadiums emptier than the ‘Emptyhad’ in the Premier League this season.
Check out the list below:
How full has each Premier League stadium been this season?
1. London Stadium - West Ham United
Average Attendance – 59,736
Capacity – 60,000
Total: 99.6 per cent full
2. King Power Stadium - Leicester City
Average Attendance – 32,035
Capacity – 32,273
Total: 99.3 per cent full
3. Carrow Road - Norwich City
Average Attendance – 26,894
Capacity – 27,244
Total: 98.7 per cent full
4.Villa Park - Aston Villa
Average Attendance – 42,005
Capacity – 42,682
Total: 98.4 per cent full
5. AMEX Stadium - Brighton & Hove Albion
Average Attendance – 30,017
Capacity – 30,666
Total: 97.9 per cent full
6.Anfield - Liverpool FC
Average Attendance – 52,591
Capacity – 54,074
Total: 97.3 per cent full
7. Old Trafford - Manchester United
Average Attendance – 72,732
Capacity – 74,879
Total: 97.1 per cent full
8. Emirates Stadium - Arsenal FC
Average Attendance – 58,729
Capacity – 60,704
Total: 96.8 per cent full
9. Elland Road - Leeds United
Average Attendance – 36,400
Capacity – 37,890
Total: 96.1 per cent full
10. Stamford Bridge - Chelsea FC
Average Attendance – 38,965
Capacity – 40,853
Total: 95.4 per cent full
11. Molineux Stadium - Wolverhampton Wanderers
Average Attendance – 30,495
Capacity – 32,050
Total: 95.2 per cent full
12. Etihad Stadium - Manchester City
Average Attendance – 51,857
Capacity – 55,017
Total: 94.3 per cent full
13.Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - Tottenham Hotspur
Average Attendance – 57,967
Capacity – 62,062
Total: 93.4 per cent full
14. Vicarage Road - Watford FC
Average Attendance – 20,035
Capacity – 21,577
Total: 92.9 per cent full
15. St James' Park - Newcastle United
Average Attendance – 47,345
Capacity – 52,338
Total: 90.5 per cent full
16.Brentford Community Stadium - Brentford FC
Average Attendance – 16,499
Capacity – 18,250
Total: 90.4 per cent full
16. Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace
Average Attendance – 23,091
Capacity – 26,047
Total: 88.7 per cent full
So, West Ham have the ‘fullest’ stadium so far in the Premier League this season with a 99.6% capacity. The team have rewarded the supporters with some decent performances on the pitch too.
Meanwhile, Leicester and Norwich aren’t far behind with Aston Villa and Brighton making up the top five.
Interestingly, then come the clubs who consider themselves ‘big’.
Liverpool are in sixth, Manchester United are seventh, Arsenal eight, Leeds ninth and Chelsea make up the top 10.
After Wolves, Man City come in at 12th with 94.3% capacity so far. Of course, their 38,000 capacity in the Champions League on Wednesday doesn’t feature in this list.
Spurs are below City with 93.4% while Watford, Newcastle and Brentford are next.
In last place are Crystal Palace with just 88.7% capacity so far. The supporters clearly aren’t too excited about the Patrick Vieira era just yet...News Now - Sport News