La Liga’s clubs have to make their stadiums appear full or face sanctions, according to regulations coming into force in the new season.
AS notes Article 6.4 of 2016-17’s rules, which states clubs have to seat supporters in a way that makes the ground look full - and if they don’t, there will be financial penalties.
“Crowds at the stadium are part of the audio-visual perception of the match. The stadium should appear full for an optimum television broadcast…attendance in the stand opposite the main camera is particularly important,” the regulations note.
“La Liga strongly recommends accommodating season-ticket holders and other spectators on the match day between the two corners of the stand opposite the main camera. This stand should be at least 75% full: if this is not the case, the sanctions set out in these regulations shall apply. This sanction will be doubled if occupation falls below 50%.
“The match delegate shall report the occupation of this stand after each game. This occupation rate will be confirmed from the graphic material provided…and photos taken by the match delegate in the 30th minute of the match, which will be used to assess the attendance and distribution of spectators. Data from the turnstiles giving access to the stand may be used in the event of any disagreement.
“This measure will be suspended for games played during adverse weather conditions. If any club considers that some areas of its stadium - which are not usually shown on television - are usually empty, La Liga will finance the installations of tarpaulins to cover them.”
AS notes the regulations - which also extend to the Segunda - have already seen Real Betis, Villarreal, Eibar, Celta Vigo, Leganes and Numancia restructure the layout of their home grounds, and make other cosmetic changes.