The return of fans at games this season has given the Premier League a new lease of life. Hopefully games behind closed doors and eerily quiet goal celebrations are a thing of the past as we are getting into the thick of a campaign full of entertainment. Football is back to its best and having supporters present plays a massive role in how games can be decided.
Last season showed the importance of fans and regardless of how big the ground is, everyone plays their role. Over the years there has been a varying degree of stadium sizes across the country. Read on, as we look at some of the smallest that have featured in the top flight and how each respective side got on during their tenure.
Queens Park Rangers – Loftus Road
Now renamed to theKiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, the 18,000-capacity ground in the capital has been home to Queens Park Rangers in their top flight exploits. Although they have not been in the league since suffering relegation in 2015, the Rs look strong this season under Mark Warburton and could make a push for promotion, something the loyal White City fans are crying out for.
Brentford – Brentford Community Stadium
After their tenancy at Griffin Park came to an end, Brentford spent the first season in their new 17,250 capacity Community Stadium behind closed doors, finally welcoming fans back in reduced numbers for their play-off escapades. While the new paint smell is yet to fade, Brentford are upsetting the bet exchange, with the Bees buzzing their way through the Premier League so far, having taken points from Liverpool and Arsenal at home already.
Blackpool -Bloomfield Road
The first club to gain promotion from every division of the Football League via the play-off system, Blackpool’s only campaign in the top flight may have ended in relegation on the final day, but some of the football played under Ian Holloway was magnificent in stages, and they won over a lot of neutrals with their entertaining style and goalscoring intent. While the defence may not have been up to scratch, the boisterous 15,000 inside Bloomfield Road were certainly in tune to cheer their team on a matchday. It was a season of close calls but one that will be remembered for the seaside town for years to come.
Bournemouth – Vitality Stadium
Known by most as Dean Court, and just shy of 12,000 fans inside, Bournemouth enjoyed a great run of seasons in the Premier League between 2015 and 2020 before relegation and the departure of Eddie Howe after almost a decade in charge. Things are looking up for the Cherries now and they will be hoping to get back to the good times in the top flight at a ground that saw wins over Liverpool and Chelsea.
Oldham – Boundary Park
It may have come in the inaugural Premier League season back in 1992-93, but Oldham were once a top flight club. Their sole season ended in relegation at Boundary Park in front of 10,000 fans but their struggles continue, now finding themselves cast adrift from the other Premier League debutants in League 2.