billsportsmaps.com

August 29, 2015

USA/Canada soccer attendance map for 2014 – MLS, NASL (II), USL-Pro: all pro soccer teams in the USA & Canada in 2014 (43 teams)./ With an editorial on the mendacity of Major League Soccer.

2014_soccer-attendance-map_mls_nasl_usl-pro_all-pro-teams-in_usa_canada_post_f_.gif
USA/Canada soccer attendance map for 2014 – MLS, NASL (II), USL-Pro: all pro soccer teams in USA & Canada in 2014 (43 teams)



    USA/Canada soccer attendance map for 2014 – MLS, NASL (II), USL-Pro: all professional soccer teams in the USA & Canada in 2014 (41 teams within the three pro leagues)./ With an editorial on the mendacity of Major League Soccer

By Bill Turianski on 29 August 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Sources of attendance figures:
MLS, businessofsoccer.com/2014/10/29/2014-mls-attendance-review-a-look-ahead-to-2015 (businessofsoccer.com).
NASL and USL-Pro, 2014 Lower Division Attendances (dohertysoccer.com).

2014 North American pro soccer leagues’ cumulative attendance figures…
The 1st division: 2014 MLS, league average attendance (19 teams): 19,148.
The “2nd division”: 2014 NASL (II), league average attendance (10 teams): 5,501.
The “3rd division”: 2014 USL-Pro, league average attendance (14 teams): 3,114.

Highest-drawing team in USA & Canada…
Seattle Sounders (III): 43,734 per game (at 65.2 percent-capacity in the 67,000-capacity Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington state). Seattle’s crowds were biggest in MLS by a very considerable margin of more than 21 thousand (!) (the second-best attendance in MLS in 2014 was Toronto FC, at 22,068 per game).

Teams which played to 100-percent-capacity…
Sporting Kansas City.
Toronto FC.
Portland Timbers (IV).
Real Salt Lake.
Sacramento Republic [a brand-new USL-Pro team).
...

Elements of the map page
The map includes...
1). all 19 teams from the 2014 MLS (one of which, Chivas USA, is now defunct);
2). all 10 teams from the 2014 Spring & Fall seasons of the NASL (II); and
3). all 14 teams from the 2014 USL-Pro (two of which, Charlotte Eagles and Dayton Dutch Lions, have opted to turn amateur and join the USL-PDL, a development league that is the de-facto 4th division in USA and Canada).

On the map, team logos and team-colors-circles are sized to reflect attendance - the larger the logo-and-circle, the higher the attendance. I tried to have the circles on the map be composed of the colors each teams wore in 2014 (as opposed to simply the colors in each teams' logo).

On the map I also put in the locations of the two new expansion franchises of MLS for 2015 - New York City FC and Orlando City SC (II). [Orlando SC (II) replaces Orlando SC (I) of NASL (II), who dissolved to make way for the new franchise in MLS, under basically the same ownership (that is how "promotion" often works in the first division of American and Canadian association football, which is otherwise a closed shop)].

The chart at the far right-hand-side of the map page shows the following for each team on the map…2014 average attendance, stadium seating capacity, percent-capacity (which is average attendance divided by stadium capacity), year of establishment [first year the team played], total seasons played [to 2014], MLS Cup titles with last title listed (for the MLS teams only, of course), US Open titles with last title listed (for the USA-based teams only).

    Major League Soccer is a cartel that refuses to abide by rules of free trade and will keep the USA (and Canada) as soccer backwaters

Germany-born Jermaine Jones had a great World Cup for the US Men’s National Team in June 2014. The now-33-year-old Jones had had a successful career in the top flight in Germany (with Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, and Schalke), in England (with then 1st-division-side Blackburn Rovers), and in Turkey (with Istanbul giants Beşiktaş). A few weeks after the 2014 World Cup, Jones expressed his desire to return to America (where he grew up), and to play professionally in the USA. The transfer of Jermaine Jones from the Turkish Süper Lig to Major League Soccer was handled this way… 1). As reported by the Washington Post, Jones wanted to play for the Chicago Fire, because that is where some of his roots are. 2). Major League Soccer said he could only play for either Chicago or New England. 3). A “blind draw” saw him chosen to play for New England. By the way, Sunil Gulati, president of the US Soccer Federation (which runs the USMNT), at that point in time (late summer of 2014) served as the president of Kraft Soccer Properties, tying him closely in a financial sense to the New England Revolution’s “owner”/operator, Robert Kraft. The New England Revolution are a team which draws somewhat poorly (15th out of 19 teams in 2014, at 16.6 K-per-game/ which is lame) and are in a bad stadium situation (playing to about 50,000 empty seats each home game at the NFL’s New England Patriots’ stadium, which is 20 miles outside of Boston).

So…let’s review…someone who is head of the US Soccer Federation (Gulati), but also worked then for some guy (Kraft), helped to send the best US player in the 2014 World Cup to that guy’s team – a team with no titles and a lame stadium situation. A team that needed some propping up. How rigged. How anti-competitive. How fixed. Why could Jones, a free agent, only play for two teams? And isn’t it such a coincidence that Jones ends up on the New England Revolution, a team run by a guy that payed the head of the US Soccer Federation a salary? Sunil Gulati, the HEAD OF US SOCCER, steered Jones to a team run by a guy that he (Gulati) was financially connected with. Conflict of interest is not the correct description of this – this maneuvering goes way beyond that, into the realm of unethical behavior. What rule book did that come out of? This is what Deadspin writer Barry Petchesky had to say about that… {excerpt}…”It’s a function of MLS’s “single-entity” structure: the clubs aren’t independently owned, but are operated by league stakeholders. You’ve basically got a single corporate overlord deciding where in-demand players go, without the players themselves getting to choose. It’s absolutely absurd that this is how America’s top-flight league handles the acquiring of a top talent…” {end of excerpt at the deadspin.com article MLS Used A Blind Draw To Decide Where Jermaine Jones Will Play, from July 25 2014).

From World Soccer Talk.com, from Aug. 26 2014, by Robert Hay, MLS Again Creates New Rule to Appease Owners.

Note: the following bullet-points below were adapted from this article by Alex White, Major League Soccer: Deciphering the Single Entity (from otfsoccer.com from Feb. 9 2014).
Single-entity ownership in MLS means…
• All MLS players are employed by the league itself, not the soccer franchises.
• The league retains all intellectual property and negotiating rights, but employs “operators” to manage the franchises; these operators are misleadingly called “owners”, rather than what they really are: cronies in like Flynn.
• Individual franchises control player personnel within the organization (including trades to other MLS franchises), but are under a salary cap (currently at around $3.10 million).
• There is no collective bargaining and judges have upheld this (citing MLB’s and the NFL’s exemptions from certain labor laws).
• Ticket revenue goes to the league, with a percentage given back to the “owner/operators” (cronies).
• “Owner”/operators (cronies) sit on MLS’s board and committees and collectively make league-wide decisions.

This is a major league? Major Leagues don’t consist of teams with all the players on all the different teams in the whole league getting their paychecks from a SINGLE SOURCE. That is by definition NOT A COMPETITION. Major League Soccer, with its single entity ownership format, is a closed-shop oligarchy that refuses to follow the tenets of a competitive pro sports league, let alone follow the rules of capitalism (via restraint of trade by quasi-monopolization of the labor-pool of skilled workers [yes, they Union-bust]).

Go ahead and root all you want for your team, die-hard MLS fans, but you can’t change the fact that all the teams in MLS are owned by the league itself. So why bother? What you are really doing is rooting for some rich and connected suits who have fixed the league. Fixed it so they don’t really have to compete with the rest of the world with respect to finding the highest caliber of player. Fixed it so the cronies who pretend they are owners never have to compete with other pro and semi-pro teams for a place in the top division – like the rest of the world does (except in Australia). MLS is a retirement home for European club stars. MLS has restrained the labor trade so much that salaries are so low that many first team players must have other jobs (like semi-pro players in the 6th division in England have to do to make ends meet). MLS will always be second-rate because they have cornered a market without having to play by the rules of capitalism…thanks to the cronies who pretend to be owners who get away without having to compete with the rest of the association football world.

Call me a Euro-snob if you must. What I really am is someone who enjoys following competitive sports leagues. Which is something that MLS will never be under its single entity ownership format. Apologists for MLS say the single-entity-ownership and no promotion/relegation-format was and still is the only way pro soccer on a major-league-level could survive in the still-soccer-indifferent USA (and Canada)…by keeping salaries down and manufacturing competition, and making sure the “owners” teams never have to compete for a spot in the top flight like the rest of the world does (except in Australia). The league controls all player transactions. Outside of a few “franchise players”, many players are making near the minimum wage of $36.5 K a year. Nobody ever has to really scrape and battle because half of the teams make the playoffs and no one ever gets relegated and you can even be so bad and disliked that you can only be drawing 6 or 7 thousand a game and you will be safe for years (like Chivas USA was). The players are not under contract to the teams they play for, but to MLS itself. Think about that.

And if the fear of relegation killing off relegated franchises is such a big issue, then I submit to the anti promotion/relegation ideologue this salient point…if your team can’t survive a year or two having to play in the second division, where – horrors – you must play against teams from places like Greater Raleigh, NC or Rochester, NY, then do you really think your team deserves to exist as a quasi-major league team? Because your team is being propped up by a closed-shop oligarchy that exists nowhere else and goes against the 125-year-old established protocols of professional association football and the multiple-centuries-old tenets of a free-trade society. And who says the second division has to be national? Make it two leagues in the 2nd division (east of and west of the Mississippi), and have promotion/relegation playoffs like they do in Italy.

And meanwhile, two American pro soccer teams in the minor leagues just shot up out of nowhere in 2014 and drew 10.4 thousand and 11.2 thousand per game respectively, both in inadequate stadiums. Those two teams are the Indy Eleven and the Sacramento Republic. But will they get a shot at being a major league team? Doubtful, because both are not from the sort of glamorous locales that Garber and Company favor. And meanwhile a 5-year-old franchise from a glamorous part of the country (Orlando City), that never drew above 8 thousand per game (in a giant and modern stadium), is getting a place in the MLS. Did Orlando City earn it? They certainly didn’t earn it by gate figures. And meanwhile, Miami, that uber-galmorous city full of probably the worst sports fans in the Western Hemisphere… a city that failed spectacularly at pro soccer – twice – will soon get another shot at a place in MLS (the Miami David-Beckhams). Because in MLS, it’s not what your team does on the field and at the turnstile that counts…its where your zip code is and its who you know that counts. MLS: the opposite of a meritocracy.

Here is an article from January 16 2014, by Billy Hailsey at Deadspin, which points out the inherent stacked-deck that non-MLS pro soccer teams face in the US, How U.S. Soccer Ensures The Fort Lauderdale Strikers Never Get A Chance. In the article, Hailsey points out this…{excerpt}…”The likelihood of the Strikers making much noise outside the orphaned second-tier league that is NASL is small, and will be smaller still if a group of owners headlined by David Beckham successfully bring an MLS team to Miami. This is the real shame of America’s lack of promotion and relegation. That system allows ambitious owners to buy up lower division clubs for not too much money, invest in them in ways they believe will bring sporting success, and potentially, reach the pinnacle of the pyramid. It allows for innovation, like the Strikers’ plans for international fame or the New York Cosmos’ announced strategy of bringing in good players from abroad but mainly focusing on finding and developing the best youth talent. But without the possibility of promotion, there’s a ceiling on the return on these clubs’ investments, and in turn the number of clubs with the ability to improve the game as a whole. In the other direction, the lack of relegation protects MLS franchises like the Red Bulls—whose new owners are dropping costs like Ronaldo needs to drop pounds—or the (possibly) pending Miami team from any real risks of competition. The status quo benefits the bulk of MLS owners happy with low costs, low risks, and an appreciating asset, but hamstrings nearly everyone else.”…{end of excerpt}.

Meanwhile, according to MLS rules, a successfully-drawing MLS franchise (Seattle) must share their ticket-revenue with the rest of the franchises. There is no reward for drawing well in MLS – you send your gate receipts to the league and you only get back a share. So failure to draw good crowds is mitigated, and thus incompetence is rewarded (proof of that can be seen in the abysmally-drawing Chivas USA, who in a non-single-entity-ownership-format would have folded several years ago, not just in 2014). The Seattle Sounders (III) are drawing twice what pretty much the rest of the teams are drawing (at 43.7 K per game; second-best draw in 2014 was Toronto, at 22.0 K). In a level-playing-field league, where every team gets to keep what it earned from the ticket-paying public, you should be starting to see the Sounders (est. 2009) beginning to turn that awesome drawing power into being successful enough to start racking up the titles (you know, like how all the big clubs in Europe do, where drawing power equals financial clout, which equals the ability to hire better players). The Sounders have only won the Supporters Shield once, in 2014 (the Supporters Shield “title” is for best regular season record, which is meaningless, because, you know, there are playoffs in MLS).

MLS is shutting itself out of smaller-city markets by refusing to adapt promotion/relegation like the rest of the association football world…
[Note: UK population data in the following four paragraphs is from the following, List of urban areas in the United Kingdom (en.wikipedia.org).]
If you are a soccer fan in a city in the USA or Canada that has a pro soccer team…but will never be granted an MLS franchise (such as my home town of Rochester, NY), what actual reason do you have to follow Major League Soccer? Because to the Rochester, NY soccer fan, MLS is just a walled-off city of elites which mid-sized-city-rabble (like us Rochester, NY-based soccer fans) are never allowed to partake in because we come from a city that is not big enough or glamorous enough to make the cut. Hey MLS, have you ever heard of Blackburn, Lancashire? Well, not only was this city (currently the 56th-largest city in United Kingdom) of around only 105,000 inhabitants in Northwest England allowed to play in the English First Division, the local club there were a founding member of the Football League in 1888, and Blackburn Rovers FC have won three national titles, the last of which was won relatively recently in 1994-95. Now, granted, Blackburn are currently stuck in the second division, but you know what? A mere three years before Blackburn Rovers shocked the newly-minted Premier League in 1994-95 and won the title, they were (circa the late 1980s and early 1990s) a second-division team. But they got promoted back to the top flight, got even better, and three seasons after being a second division club the Blackburn Rovers won the national title. A town of less than 125,000 people was the home of the champions. In the modern age, the Blackburn Rovers could only ever exist as a first-division-team because of promotion/relegation. It would be like Binghamton or Utica, New York having a team in the first division. Does this hurt soccer (association football) in England? Not in the slightest. It only makes it stronger. Do association football clubs go out of business in England because they have been recently relegated? Not in the first or second or third or fourth division. Maybe in the fifth or sixth division (like Halifax or Aldershot or Newport County). And anyway, virtually every 5th-or-6th-divison football club in England that has ever went belly-up has been replaced, by its supporters, with a Phoenix-club (like Halifax and Aldershot and Newport County), which has begun a climb back up the leagues ladder.

And here is another thing that MLS-with-no-promotion/relegation apologists need to consider…you say a national second division in a country as big as the USA would irreparably hurt relegated teams because of the huge travel costs? Well how come my hometown team the Rochester Rhinos has managed to stay afloat since their formation in 1996, despite having to play away games these last 20 years in every time zone in the Continental USA and Canada? We are talking about having to fulfill a fixtures list that has included trips to places as far-flung as Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Yet the not-so-well-drawing Rochester Rhinos are still chugging along.

In the late 1970s, the Rochester Lancers of the old NASL drew better than NASL teams back then from (the much-larger cities of) Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, and Atlanta. (The Lancers drew 7-to-8.6 K per game circa 1978 and 1979/ for a look at crowd-sizes in the old NASL, see my NASL 1979 attendance map, here.) And the Rochester Rhinos were drawing over 10 K per game in a minor league baseball stadium in the late 1990s (and became the only non-MLS team to ever win the US Open Cup in 1999). But the Rhinos can’t even draw over 6 K these days – mainly because around 10 years ago so many Rochester, NY-based soccer fans like me realized that the Rochester Rhinos would never be allowed to play in Major League Soccer (as long as Garber and his cronies run the show), and thus lost interest in attending games for a team that is literally not allowed to advance. But regardless, the Rochester Rhinos only draw 5.5 K per game and yet they can still afford to travel the length and breadth of the US and Canada to fulfill their schedule requirements. So I am quite sure a theoretically-relegated MLS team could afford to slum it in Rochester, NY in order to fulfill their theoretical-second-division schedule-requirements.

Currently (2015), a huge city like Leeds, West Yorkshire (which is the fourth largest city in the United Kingdom) does not have a team in the 20-team English first division. But meanwhile, tiny Swansea, Wales (which only has a population of around 300,000 in its metro-area, and is about the 27th-largest city in the UK) does currently have a first division team. The 20-percent-supporter-owned entity that is Swansea City AFC is there, in 2015, in the top flight of the most successful association football league in the world (the Premier League) because of real community support and because of hard work and dedication. And that in a nutshell is the simple and powerful beauty of the promotion/relegation system. Not only are the most-competent rewarded (like in the rest of the business world), and not only are the Davids given the chance to compete with the Goliaths, but the Davids can actually beat the Goliaths (such as the fact that Swansea City swept Manchester United and Arsenal last season [2014-15], and such as the fact that Swansea won the League Cup title in 2013 and played in Europe in 2013-14).


You MLS-apologists have been brainwashed by rich people and corporations. You MLS-apologists keep on defending this corrupt anti-trust violating cartel, designed specifically to screw players over and keep their salaries artificially low for the benefit of entitled rich oligarchs. As the lawyer Elizabeth Cotignola says in the recently published article Major League Loophole: A look at MLS’s shaky single-entity status …{excerpt}…”As negotiations over the new collective bargaining agreement reach the tipping point in the month or so before the 2015 MLS season is scheduled to kick off, the league once again finds itself at a crossroads. According to a recent study conducted by the Daily Mail, the league’s average salary currently falls behind that of obscure leagues in China, Austria and Ukraine and even, in some cases, leagues that aren’t their nation’s top flight. Couple that with the league’s ludicrously convoluted rules regarding player movement and the arbitrary, less-than-transparent way they are enforced, and it is painfully obvious why Major League Soccer lags behind Europe’s “Big Four” leagues (or even the world’s top 20). In today’s globalized game, no one with options will opt to ply their trade in an arrangement that alarmingly resembles a legally sanctioned form of indentured servitude (for all but the select few that form the league’s elite, that is).”…{end of excerpt from http://www.soccerwire.com/news/pro/mls/major-league-loophole-a-look-at-mlss-shaky-single-entity-status/ by Elizabeth Cotignola from January 15, 2015}.

As commenter niton said at the MLS sub-reddit…”Single entity is one of those necessary evils that while serving a critical function for many years will eventually come to be a curse. You’ve essentially got a structure which prioritizes the league business over everything else. That’s great while the league needs protection due to the lack of fans, money and attention which also serve as natural checks to greed. But as the sport grows and MLS’ clout grows with it, it’s going to allow the league to do a whole lot of things that the fans don’t like and which aren’t in the best interest of US soccer as a whole but which make the owners tons and tons of money. We’re not there yet but I’m seeing the early warning signs. Monopolies hurt the consumer and for all the legal technicalities that can be argued around the label, we have one in MLS.”…{comment from the thread The real reason MLS owners won’t budge — single entity at reddit.com/r/MLS.}

MLS holds back the game in the USA and Canada…
Major League Soccer, where the Seattle Sounders organization has to give away the lion’s share of the gate revenue that THEY earned. Major League Soccer, which does not reward drawing power and protects incompetence by pooling ticket revenue. Major League Soccer, where every player on every team gets his paycheck from the same office in NYC. Major League Soccer, which conspires to keep salaries down for its peon-workers, and tells its stars where they will play. Major League Soccer, which uses the closed-shop-oligarchy as its business model, in direct violation of established tenets of a free-trade society. That’s not a major league – that’s an exhibition pretending to be a competitive league. That’s ridiculous. That’s corrupt. It is an example of a cartel. It is an example of restraint of trade. Major League Soccer, with its single-entity ownership system, will always make the US and Canada world football backwaters.

___
Thanks to Brendan Doherty for tirelessly tabulating lower-division attendances (no one else [that I know of] does), at Doherty Soccer – Not just another American soccer blog.
Thanks to Scott Phillips at MLS, 2014 MLS Attendance Review & A Look Ahead to 2014.
Thanks to NuclearVacuum for the blank map of North America, File:BlankMap-North America-Subdivisions.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, Major League Soccer
; North American Soccer League [(II)];
USL-Pro.

August 21, 2015

Germany: 2015-16 Bundesliga location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Germany — admin @ 12:53 pm

bundesliga_2015-16_map_clubs-2014-15-attendance_clubs-1st-div-seasons_titles_post_i_.gif
Germany: 2015-16 Bundesliga location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed




Links…
-Teams, etc…2015–16 Bundesliga (en.wikipedia.org).
-English-speaking Bundesliga coverage: News, fixtures, results, table, etc…bundesligafanatic.com.
-Official site of the Bundesliga in English (offizielle webseite der Bundesliga)…bundesliga.com/en/.
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Bundesliga (soccerway.com/national/germany/bundesliga).

By Bill Turianski on 20 August 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
For this map-&-chart, I have continued using the new template from my 2015-16 English football maps {such on my 15/16 Premier League post}. On the map, I have included the 6 largest cities in Germany (all cities above 600K in the city-population: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart) {source: here}. Also included are the 9 largest metro-areas in Germany (all metro-areas above 3.0 million population) {source, see last sentence at the foot of this post}. German states and the 3 city-states (Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen) are listed on the map, as well. This season, as usual, the state of North Rhine Westphalia, home to the sprawling Rhine-Ruhr mega-city, has the most Bundesliga clubs – 5 (Dortmund, Schalke, Köln, Mönchengladbach, Leverkusen).

The two promoted sides are very small, with little or no previous Bundesliga experience. Darmstadt, who have now won back-to-back promotions, are located in southern Hesse state nearby to Frankfurt; the club had previously managed only two seasons in the Bundesliga (1978–79 and 1981–82). Darmstadt’s spartan stadium has a 17 K-capacity (reduced-capacity for safety reasons), and Darmstadt drew 14.1 K in 2014-15. Ingolstadt, from central Bavaria (about halfway between Munich and Nuremburg), are making their Bundesliga debut. Ingolstadt has a 15 K-capacity stadium, and drew 9.8 K last season.
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Germany by NordNordWest, File:Germany location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2014-15 stadium capacities (for league matches) from Fußball-Bundesliga 2014/15 (de.wikipedia.org).
-Titles and seasons-in-1st-division data from Bundesliga (en.wikipedia.org).
-Metropolitan regions in Germany (en.wikipedia.org).

August 7, 2015

England: Premier League [1st division], 2015-16 location-map with: 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed./ Plus, a few words about each of the 3 sides promoted for 15/16 (Bournemouth, Watford, Norwich City).

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2015-16_premier-league_post_d_.gif
England: Premier League [1st division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed




Links…
-Teams, etc…2015–16 Premier League (en.wikipedia.org).
-News, fixtures, results, table, etc…Premier League page at BBC.
-My favorite site for articles on the Premier League, etc…The Guardian.com/football (theguardian.com/football).
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…soccerway.com/national/england/premier-league.
-Kits…Barclays Premier League 2015 – 2016 [home, away & alternate kits] (historicalkits.co.uk).

    England: Premier League [the first division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed…

By Bill Turianski on 7 August 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Promoted from the League Championship for 2015-16…

-AFC Bournemouth (aka the Cherries) – This is the top-flight-debut-season for the cherry-red-&-black-striped Cherries, who hail from the south coast of England in Dorset. Bournemouth is about 40 km (or 25 mi) SW of Southampton. It might surprise you to know that Bournemouth is actually the 16th-largest city (metro area) in the United Kingdom {see this} [Bournemoth/Poole built up area has a population of around 466,000]. Bournemouth, with only an 11.7 K-capacity ground (Dean Court), and a ~10-K-sized fan base, are certainly one of the smallest-ever Premier League clubs (ie, since the formation of the Premier League in 1992-93/ other contenders would be Wimbledon FC, Oldham Athletic, Swindon Town, and Blackpool).
{Sources for last sentence: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Premier_League_clubs;
european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm}.

Bournemouth were almost liquidated in Feb. 2008, when the then-fourth-division club were stuck with around £4 million in debts…and after the automatic 10 points penalty they were handed, they narrowly avoided relegation out of the Football League the following season (in 2008-09). So…from the brink of banishment from the League in May 2009, to three promotions in the next six seasons incl. a Premier League debut in August 2015. Holy Cow.

Bournemouth are majority-owned (since 2011) by Russian petro-chemical-mini-oligarch Maxim Denim (cash-wise he’s probably one-twentieth, or less, as rich as Roman Abramovich [the Chelski owner]; Denim can also be compared to Abramovich in that both are discreet and publicity-shy in their ownership roles).

Bournemouth are managed by the up-and-coming 37-year-old, Eddie Howe, who played for Portsmouth and for Bournemoth as a DF, before the injuries mounted up. And so, as a 27-year-old, he retired from the pitch – which led to his decision to acquire his coaching badges. Howe was first hired as Bournemouth manager in January 2009, when he was only 32. Bournemouth under Howe won promotion to League One in 2009-10. A half-season later in Jan. 2011, he left to manage Burnley, to lukewarm effect over a 2.7 season-spell. And then in Oct. 2012, Howe simply resigned from his manager’s role at Burnley, and immediately returned to his manager’s role at Bournemouth. He then led the Cherries to promotion to the Championship that season (2012-13), and, two seasons later, he led the Cherries to promotion to the Premier League. Howe likes his squad to move the ball around on the ground and constantly press for scoring chances – and they scored a League Championship-best 98 goals last season. Bournemouth could be shaping up to be a real neutral’s favorite for 2015-16.

-Watford FC (aka the Hornets) – This [2015-16] will be the 9th season in the top flight for Watford (last in 2006-07). The club usually draws around 13-16 K when in the second division, and are situated just outside of, and north-west of, the official boundaries of Greater London, in Hertfordshire. But the town of Watford’s real connection to London is apparent in the fact that one of the London tube [subway] lines reaches Watford. Watford FC are nicknamed the Hornets, but their crest features a domestic breed of deer with huge antlers (a hart; which is a reference to the club’s home county of Herts). Watford’s kit is yellow jerseys and usually black pants (and their gear usually has some red trim). Watford FC is rock legend Elton John’s club – he is lifetime President (a role he shares with former Watford manager and England coach Graham Taylor), and which is a title he has earned, for sure, by bailing out the club more than once, via solid cash, or via the odd benefit rock concert at the club’s Vicarage Road ground (present capacity 21 K).

Watford are now one of the 3 homes of the Italian experiment…see this, How the Pozzo family have fueled Watford’s Premier League dreams (theguardian.com/football by Simon Burnton from 3 Aug. 2015). Not sure if I am rooting for their business model, which involves a cartel-style approach with respect to farming a giant in-house roster amongst their 3 top flight clubs (the Pozzos also own Udinese Calcio [a top flight Italian club] and Granada CF [a top flight Spanish club]). As a commenter said in the Guardian article linked to above, “hmm its at least dubious to ‘acquire’ players without any fee, who no other club has access to. sounds like a form of cheating to me. certainly don’t see how it benefits other clubs.” (< comment by ID9782772.) Another thing bothersome about how Watford currently does business is that they shed managers like crazy...since the Pozzos took over the club in the summer of 2012, seven different people have managed the club (that is an average of 2.3 managers per season). And they had FOUR managers last season. The current person in charge (for now) is the Spaniard Quique Flores.

-Norwich City FC (aka the Canaries) – (2015-16 will be Norwich City’s 25th season in the first division; their highest finish was third place in 1992-93.) It is always good to see the Canaries back in the Premier League…this time they bounced straight back after winning the 2014-15 Football League Championship Play-off Final at Wembley, in front of 85.6 K, besting Middlesbrough 2-0, with goals from MF Cam Jerome in the 12th minute, and from Winger Nathan Redmond 3 minutes later (15′). Both Jerome and Redmond return for Norwich this season. This is one serious yo-yo club: Norwich City have won three promotions to the Premier League in the last 12 years (since 2002-03), a time-period which also included a one-season stint in the third tier in 2009-10 (where their solid ~24-to-26-K crowd-size did not drop at all…the club averaged 24,671 per game at home when they were in the third division, which, believe it or not, was the 19th best in all Leagues in all of England and Wales that season / fair play Norwich City fans).

The club is from the city which is the smallest perennial top flight city in England – Greater Norwich only has a population of around 213,000, and is just the 36th-largest city (metro-area) in the UK. And, for the longest time, Norwich was the largest settlement in the UK which was not connected to a major roadway…hence the club was sometimes mildly patronized as a club supported by country yokels (not). But, as pointed out by commenter R Groom in the Comments section futher below, the city of Norwich finally does have a proper major roadway connection to London, etc. Anyway, they sure can pack ‘em in up there in East Anglia, as Norwich City constantly draws to +95-percent-capacity (at around 26 K-per-game in the 27-K-capacity Carrow Road). Love their kit, too, which is, of course, bright yellow-orange jerseys and brilliant turtle-green pants. Managed by Scotsman Alex Neil, who is just 34, and was hired by Norwich City in Jan. 2015, when Norwich sat 7th, 3 points off the play-offs. Neil’s previous stint was as player-manager with plucky Scottish top-flight-minnows Hamilton Academical, whom he led to promotion in 2013-14.
___

Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.

-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2013-14 stadium capacities (for league matches) from soccerway.com, us.soccerway.com/national/england/championship/20152016/regular-season/r31555/.

-League histories of clubs:
-England – First Level All-Time Tables 1888/89-2013/14.
-Footy-Mad sites’ League History pages, such as Swansea City-mad, here, swanseacity-mad.co.uk/league_history.

-Titles…
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_football_champions.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_FA_Cup_finals.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Football_League_Cup_finals.

July 25, 2015

England: 2015-16 League Championship [2nd division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed.

2015-16_football-league-championship_post_b_.gif
England: 2015-16 League Championship [2nd division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed.




Links…
Teams…2015–16 Football League Championship (en.wikipedia.org).
News, fixtures, results, table, etc…Football League Championship page at BBC.com.
Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…soccerway.com/national/england/championship/20152016/regular-season/r31555/.
Kits…Sky Bet League Championship 2015 – 2016 [home, away & alternate kits] (historicalkits.co.uk).

By Bill Turianski on 25 July 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Promoted to the Championship from League One for 2015-16:
-Bristol City
This is the club’s first appearance back in the 2nd division in 3 years [last in 2012-13].
-Milton Keynes
This is the franchise’s 1st appearance in the 2nd division since Milton-Keynes-&-Winkleman stole Wimbledon’s place in the League (May 2002) [/and then were relegated out of the 2nd division in 2003-04]). Excerpt from the Milton Keynes Dons page at Wikipedia…”The result of Wimbledon F.C.’s relocation to Milton Keynes from south London in September 2003, the club officially considers itself to have been founded in 2004, when it adopted its present name, badge and home colours.” So, bearing that in mind, this [2015-16] can be considered Milton Keynes’ first season in the 2nd division.
-Preston North End
This is the club’s first appearance back in the 2nd division in 5 years [last in 2010-11].

-Relegated to the Championship from Premier League for 2015-16:
Hull City (after a two-season spell in the Premier League, Hull City are back in the 2nd division).
Burnley (a yo-yo club, going up then back down).
Queens Park Rangers (a serious yo-yo club, going up then down then back up then back down once again).
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.

-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2013-14 stadium capacities (for league matches) from soccerway.com, us.soccerway.com/national/england/championship/20152016/regular-season/r31555/.

-League histories of clubs:
-England – First Level All-Time Tables 1888/89-2013/14.
-Footy-Mad sites’ League History pages, such as Hull City-mad, here, http://www.hullcity-mad.co.uk/league_history/hull_city/index.shtml.

-Titles…
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_football_champions.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_FA_Cup_finals.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Football_League_Cup_finals.

July 11, 2015

England: 2015-16 League One [3rd division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed.

2015-16_football-league-one_post_k_.gif
England: 2015-16 League One [3rd division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed




Links…
Teams…2015–16 Football League One (en.wikipedia.org).
News, fixtures, results, table, etc…Football League One page at BBC.com.
Kits…Sky Bet League One 2015 – 2016 [home, away & alternate kits] (historicalkits.co.uk).

    England: 2015-16 League One [3rd division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 11 July 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
This is the second post in my newest category (2015-16 English football). As I am going backward-up to the Premier League, we now take a look at the third tier {fourth-tier map, here,
England: 2015-16 League Two [4th division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed.}.

From the Footy Headlines site, Sheffield United 15-16 Home Kit Released (footyheadlines.com). On the map, you will notice that there is a larger red shield floating in the North Sea, and that is Sheffield United’s crest for this season – a 125-year anniversary nod to their first crest, from 1890-91. From the brilliant and invaluable site Historical Football Kits, …’ A crest appeared in the 1890-91 season that consisted of the badge of Sheffield, featuring three sheaves of wheat, apparently a typical heraldic play on words, Shef-field being interpreted as “the open space by the River Sheaf.” (quote from historicalkits.co.uk/Sheffield_United/Sheffield_United.htm). The following season (1891-92) was the first season the Blades wore their ‘butcher’s-stripes’ red-white-verticals, but they were pinstripe-width red verticals (fat-red-verticals appeared on Blades’ jerseys a few years later in 1894-95…and, much to the disgruntlement of many supporters, Sheffield Utd will be wearing the pinstripe-width red verticals this season).

Sheffield United, the highest-or-second-highest-drawing 3rd division club the last 4 seasons, will hope that the fifth time is the charm, as they try once again to get out of League One and back on to the path to the top flight, where they were last seen in 2006-07. One can’t help thinking that the black cloud hovering over Sheffield United settled into place there in South Yorkshire in May/June 2007, when the Blades went down from the Premier League only because of the independent Premier League commission’s outrageous decision to only impose a £5.5m fine instead of a points deduction. The Premier League thus rewarded anarchy and cheating by merely giving West Ham a slap on the wrist. Sure, it was expensive slap on the wrist for the Hammers big-shots, but guess who got to stay up? The claret-and-sky-blue cheaters. (You know, that whole affair – the West-Ham-cheating-via-signing-Carlos-Tevez-affair, despite the fact that WHUFC knew it was an illegal Third Party Ownership deal.)


Notes for 2015-16 League One
-Last season’s (2014-15) League 1 total league average attendance was 7,034 per game/ median avg crowd was the 5,694 drawn by Gillingham.
-Two seasons ago (2013-14), the League 1 total avg attendance was a bit higher [about 440-per-game-higher than 14/15] at 7,476/ median avg crowd was the 6,219 drawn by Gillingham.
-Three seasons ago (2012-13), the League 1 total avg attendance was a bit lower [about 700-per-game-lower than 14/15] at 6,319/ median avg crowd was the 5,522 drawn by Notts County.
-(Don’t try to read too much into the above, because League 1 avg crowd-size variability is largely a function of how many medium-to-big-ish clubs get stuck in League 1 in any given season. And this season, there are 5 such clubs: Blackpool, Bradford City, Coventry City, Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic. [Clarification - by 'medium-to-big-ish clubs', I mean to say: Clubs which can draw above ~15 K in a good year.])

-Promoted from League Two for 15/16:
Burton Albion
Shrewsbury Town (yo-yo club)
Bury
Southend United

-Relegated from Championship for 15/16:
Millwall
Wigan Athletic
Blackpool

-I know I have not been following English football for that long (since circa 2003-04), but I have never come across a season in the Football League which features one of the divisions having four times as many Greater Manchester-based clubs as Greater London-based clubs. The 2015-16 Football League One has 4 quasi-Mancunian clubs (Bury, Rochdale, Oldham Athletic, Wigan Athletic), and only one London-based-club (Millwall). OK, I know it was happening in, like, say, 1903-04 in the Second Division, because of course the Football League (est. 1888-89) initially grew from Northern-and-Midlands-based clubs, exclusively. But by 1907-08 there were [more than 1 London-based club, with] Clapton Orient and Fulham as lower-league-clubs in the Second Division. And I seriously doubt it [it being just one London team in a Football League division], has happened much at all since the 1920s. And this clustering up North in the third tier is even more pronounced than just that, because there are only 5 clubs in League One, currently, that can be considered Southern clubs (Colchester Utd, Southend Utd, Swindon Town, Millwall, Gillingham). Meanwhile Northern clubs are thick on the ground in the third tier now…2 clubs from Lancashire, 4 from Greater Manchester, 4 from Yorkshire, 1 from North Lincolnshire, 1 from North Derbyshire, and 2 from the Potteries/south Cheshire. It is such a thick cluster that many clubs (such as Chesterfield and Port Vale and Crewe) are going to have considerably less travel-time and less travel-costs this season.

-*Asterisk-note:
Because of a dispute between the venue-operators of the Ricoh Stadium (Arena Coventry, Ltd) and the Coventry City owners (a Bond-villian-worthy Hedge fund corporation called SISU), Coventry City played all their home matches in 13/14 and several of their homes matches early in 14/15 ~35 mi SE of Coventry, in the town of Northampton (at Sixfields, home of 4th division side Northampton Town). Supporter-protest resulted in very low attendances for these matches (ie, Coventry used to draw 14-16 K regularly, but were drawing only 2-3 K playing in Northants). CCFC have returned to their home-venue (the Ricoh Stadium), but more legal action (on both sides) is inevitable, and CCFC supporters are still stuck in the middle of this corporate farce.

-Finally, check out the rather-low-yet-rising attendance figures for one-quarter of the current League One… Six of the twenty-four current [2015-16] League One clubs drew under 4 K per game last season. And FIVE of those minnow-clubs have won promotion to the third division in the last two seasons:
-Bury, at 3.7 K (promoted to League One in May 2015).
-Scunthorpe Utd, at 3.6 K (promoted to League One in May 2014).
-Fleetwood Town, at 3.5 K (promoted to League One, for the first time, in May 2014).
-Rochdale AFC, at 3.3 K (promoted to League One in May 2015).
-Burton Albion, at 3.2 K (promoted to League One, for the first time, in May 2015).

These days, in the lower Leagues, minnows can run rampant.
___

Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.

-Attendance, at E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.

-League histories of clubs: a lot I have used (here on the chart on the map page) came from research I had done ~5 years ago, via a source (at Football 360 site) that is now sadly gone (and has not been replaced, anywhere, it seems, on the Internet [I am talking about comprehensive League histories of all English football clubs who have been in the Football League]). Some of the info I have used here on the chart on the map page came from Footy-Mad sites, such as Bury-mad, here, bury-mad.co.uk/league_history…but that means you basically have to literally count, by hand, the seasons a club has spent in each division (it is a lot of thankless work, I’ll tell you). Also, some info was found at some clubs’ Wiki pages (some clubs’ Wiki pages have their League histories spelt out, such as w/ Sheff Utd, here, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheffield_United_F.C.#League_history).

July 3, 2015

Canadian Football League: CFL location-map for 2015, with 2014 attendances, percent-capacities, and titles-listed-by-team./ Plus illustrations for the 3 new stadiums in the CFL (Ottawa, Hamilton, Winnipeg)./ Plus an editorial on the present-day Montreal Alouettes’ bogus claim to the 4 CFL titles won by the original Montreal Alouettes (I) (1961-81).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Canada,Canadian Football League — admin @ 6:12 pm

canadian-football-league_2015-map_2014-attendances_titles-by-team_post_h_.gif
Canadian Football League: CFL location-map for 2015, with 2014 attendances and percent-capacities & titles-listed-by-team




Links…
-Teams…Canadian Football League/Teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-Official site…http://www.cfl.ca/.
-Schedule, scores, standings, etc…flashscores.co.uk/american-football/canada/cfl/.

    Canadian Football League: location-map for 2015, with 2014 attendances and percent-capacities & titles-listed-by-team./
    Plus illustrations for the 3 new stadiums in the CFL (Ottawa, Hamilton, Winnipeg)./
    Plus an editorial on the present-day Montreal Alouettes’ bogus claim to the 4 CFL titles won by the Montreal Alouettes (I) (1961-81).

By Bill Turianski on 3 July 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

2014: the completely renovated 24,000-capacity stadium and an expansion-CFL-team in Ottawa (the Ottawa RedBlacks)…
First and second photos below: on July 18, 2014…after a 9-year absence, the CFL returns to Canada’s capital – opening day at TD Place Stadium at Lansdowne Park, with the completely renovated (and not at-that-point completely re-built) stadium, playing host to 24,000 football-starved fans. The Ottawa RedBlacks beat the Argonauts 18-17. But the RedBlacks only won once more in their debut season (going 2-16). Here is the wiki page off the Ottawa RedBlacks, Ottawa RedBlacks (en.wikipedia.com).
ottawa-redblacks_cfl_td-place-stadium_opening-day_18-july-2014_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Long-view aerial shot, photo by aerialphotographs.ca. Helmet photo from morethanjustcaps.com. Aerial shot with construction sites L R & Ctr, photo by Front Page Media Group at frontpagemediagroup.ca. RedBlacks jerseys (illustration circa 2014), by Cmm3 at File:CFL OTT Jersey.png (en.wikipedia.org).

2014: new stadium in Hamilton for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats…
At the following link there are lots of photos of, and info on, the Tiger-Cats’ nice new 24,000-capacity stadium: Tim Hortons Field…Tim Hortons Field/Stadium experience (ticats.ca).

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were formed in 1950 as a result of a merger of two football teams from Hamilton, Ontario: the black-and-gold-clad Hamilton Tigers (established in 1869 as Hamilton Football Club, with 5 Grey Cup titles [1913, 1915, 1928, 1929, 1932]), and the red-and-white-clad Hamilton Flying Wildcats (established in 1941, and winners of the 1943 Grey Cup title). All of the 6 Grey Cup titles in the last sentence are not claimed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have won 8 Grey Cup titles (1953, 1957, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1972, 1986, 1999).

Traditional Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ cheer:
Oskie Wee Wee, Oskie Wah Wah.
Holy Mackinaw !
Tigers eat ‘em RAW ! !
-traditional Tiger-Cats’ cheer
Traditional Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ cheer (Hamilton Tiger-Cats Alumni Association). Oski Yell/Oskee Wee Wee (en.wikipedia.org).

The Oskie-Wee-Wee, Oskie-Wah-Wah cheer is kind of corny, but it also is definitely great fun. The Hamilton faithful sing it every game, and it serves as a rallying cry. In the third photo below, you can see most everyone in the stands there in Canada’s Steel City belting out the goofy cheer at the top of their lungs. Here is the wiki page off the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (en.wikipedia.com).
hamilton-tiger-cats_cfl_tim-hortons-place_2014_s_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Helmet illustration by mghelmets.com/canada. Aerial shot from Calgary Stampeders’ Twitter account, https://twitter.com/calstampeders/status/500359211578970114. Interior field & crowd shots by Hamilton Tiger-Cats at ticats.ca/tim-hortons-field-overview. Ti-Cats jerseys (illustration circa 2014), by Cmm3 at File:CFL HAM Jersey.png (en.wikipedia.org).

Here is the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ new stadium, which opened in May 2013…
Winnipeg Football Club was formed in 1930, as Winnipeg Rugby Football Club. Their original colors were green and white. Two years later, in 1932, the club merged with St Johns Rugby Club of Winnipeg, retaining the name ‘Winnipeg Football Club’, but changing their colors to dark blue and gold. In 1935, the team got their nickname after the sportswriter for the Winnipeg Tribune, Vince Leah, began referring to them as the ‘Blue Bombers of Western football’. That same year the team won their first Grey Cup title, beating the Hamilton Tigers 18-12 (thus becoming the first team from Western Canada to win the Grey Cup title). Winnipeg Football Club (aka the Blue Bombers) have won 10 Grey Cup titles (1935, 1939, 1941, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1984, 1988, 1990). As seen on the sign on the stadium exterior in the second photo below, to this day the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are officially known as the Winnipeg Football Club.
Here is the wiki page off the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (en.wikipedia.org).
winnipeg-blue-bombers_cfl_investors-group-field_2013_m_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Helmet illustration by mghelmets.com/canada. Aerial shot of stadium by Winnipeg Blue Bombers at stadiumdb.com/stadiums/can. Blue Bombers jerseys (illustration circa 2014), by Cmm3 at File:CFL WPG Jersey.png. Exterior shot of the stadium: photo by Phil Hossack at winnipegfreepress.com.

Notes on the map page…
The flags on the map page at the lower-center are provincial flags. Here is Wikipedia’s page on the Provinces and Territories of Canada.

The chart on the right-hand-side of the map page shows the average attendances of CFL teams from the last 3 seasons (2012, 2013, 2014). Also shown are 2014 stadium-seated-capacities and each teams’ 2014 percent-capacities (Percent-capacity equals Average Attendance divided by Stadium-seated-capacity).

Titles are listed at the far right of the chart. Notes below that chart touch upon how 1). Hamilton has opted to not claim titles won by the original Hamilton Tigers football club (because that is what the folks in charge of the football club back then felt was the proper thing to do); and 2). how Montreal Alouettes (III) are trying to pretend they won 4 titles as the original Montreal Alouettes (I), despite the fact that that original team folded in 1987 (because the current Alouettes franchise is trying to re-write history/ see editorial at the foot of this post).

Grey Cup titles (aka CFL titles) that are listed for each team on the 2 charts on the map page are for that franchise, not for other franchises that a current CFL franchise is trying to pass off as their own history (see previous sentence above). See below, for why the CFL’s claim and the Montreal Alouettes (III) claim to the 4 CFL titles won by the original Montreal Alouettes (I) is dishonest and should not be acknowledged.

    Regarding the present-day Montreal Alouettes’ bogus claim on the 4 CFL titles won by the Montreal Alouettes (I) (1961-81)…

On the map, the Montreal Alouttes (III) are listed as having won 4 CFL titles, and not the 7 CFL titles they claim, for the reasons elaborated below…

The following two excerpts are from the Wikipedia page on the CFL team called the Baltimore Stallions…”However, when it became apparent that the CFL was writing off its American experiment as a lost cause, the [Baltimore Stallions owner Jim Speros] decided to relocate the Stallions franchise to Montreal as the now third incarnation of the Montreal Alouettes. Speros kept the Alouettes for only one year before selling the franchise to current owner Robert C. Wetenhall in 1997.”… /…”The CFL does not officially consider the Stallions to be part of the Alouettes’ history. According to official league records, Speros canceled the Stallions franchise after the 1995 season and reclaimed the dormant Alouettes franchise. Consequently, when Speros moved the team to Montreal, all of the Stallions’ players were released from their contracts, though [General Manager Jim] Popp managed to resign many of them…”{end of excerpts at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_Stallions}.

The extra titles (the 4 CFL titles won by the original Montreal Alouettes) that this present-day Montreal Alouettes (III) franchise claims were won by a separate franchise, namely Montreal Alouettes (I), which existed from 1946 to 1981, and won 4 CFL titles (in 1949, 1970, 1974, 1977). [Note: Montreal Concordes/Alouettes (II), which existed from 1982-86, won zero CFL titles and folded in June 1987, 2 days before the start of the 1987 CFL season.]

Both those earlier Montreal Alouettes franchises folded. The [2015] present-day Montreal Alouettes (III), which first played as the Baltimore CFLers and the Baltimore Stallions, played 2 CFL seasons when they were located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (in 1994 and 1995), and did win a CFL title (in 1995). This is the only other CFL title that Montreal Alouettes (III) should be claiming, besides, of course the 3 CFL titles that the franchise has won as the third version of the Montreal Alouettes (III) – in 2002, 2009, and 2010. Because that CFL franchise, that spent its first 2 years in Baltimore, was (and still is) the team which moved from Baltimore to Montreal in 1996. The present-day Montreal Alouettes franchise has always had nothing to do with those two earlier CFL franchises in Montreal other than occupying the same location, and so therefore as dictated by logic and pro sports convention, the present-day Montreal Alouettes should not get to claim those titles.

And if that doesn’t convince you, they why don’t the present-day Ottawa Senators NHL team (est. 1991, and with zero Stanley Cup titles) claim the 11 Stanley Cup titles won by the original incarnation of the Ottawa Senators ? (The original Ottawa Senators (I) existed from 1883 to 1934 and won the last of their 11 Stanley Cup titles in 1926-27. Declining attendance and the Depression forced the Senators to sit out the 1931-32 NHL season, then a couple years later, the franchise left Ottawa and moved to St. Louis, MO as the St. Louis Eagles, in 1934-35, and then the franchise folded 8 months later in April 1935, as one of the very many pro sports teams in North America which fell victim to the Great Depression.)

I’ll tell you why the present-day Ottawa Senators (II) don’t claim the Original Senators’ 11 Stanley Cup titles…because it would be stupid and false and cheap – in other words, it would be fraudulent – to claim titles that your organization had nothing to do with, other than later occupying the same location under the same name as the original title-winning organization. Take two people from the same town with the same name – one in the present-day and one from the distant past…that latter-day person has no right to claim the accomplishments of that earlier person. Duh. This is not rocket science. And sentimentality has no place in this discussion. The Oakland A’s own the 5 MLB World Series titles won by the Philadelphia Athletics. The Los Angeles Dodgers own the 1 MLB World Series title won by the Brooklyn Dodgers (in 1955). The San Francisco Giants own the 5 MLB World Series titles won by the New York Giants. The Indianapolis Colts own the 3 NFL titles (incl. 1 Super Bowl title) won by the Baltimore Colts. And yes, although Canadian puck-heads do not like to talk about it, the Arizona Coyotes, and not the new version of the Winnipeg Jets (II), own the 3 WHA Avco Cup titles that the original Winnipeg Jets (I) won in the 1970s, when that franchise was in the WHA, a decade before the Winnipeg Jets (I) slunk off to the desert in Arizona in 1996. Period.

In all these aforementioned cases, the organization in question – the organization which won the title(s), is a distinct entity. The city did not win the title, regardless of the support that that city gave the pro team. The pro team won the title…and if that pro team moves, than the titles go with them. And if that pro team folds, the titles still exist, but they now go unclaimed in perpetuity. Too bad for the residents of the cities whose title-winning franchises either folded or absconded from that city – but there you have it. Sometimes life sucks. To say that the present-day Montreal Alouettes (III) deserve to claim the legacy (including the 4 Grey Cup titles) of the original Alouettes teams – teams that folded and thus ceased to exist – is to say that it is OK to re-write history to serve selfish and sentimental needs.

Here is what the NHL media guide has to say about why the present-day Ottawa Senators do not claim the 11 Stanley Cup titles of the original Ottawa Senators who existed from 1883 to 1934…
NHL Media Guide 2010. …“The original Senators (also known as the Ottawa Hockey Club) organization won eleven Stanley Cups, not the current organization founded in 1990. Neither the NHL or the Senators claim the current Senators to be a continuation of the original organization or franchise. The awards, statistics and championships of both eras are kept separate and the NHL franchise founding date of the current Senators is in 1991.”…”… {end of excerpt at footnote at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_Senators#cite_note-1 (en.wikipedia.org)}.

The one CFL title that the franchise of the Montreal Alouettes (III) should be claiming…the 1995 CFL title of the Baltimore Stallions…just happens to be the only Grey Cup title won by a CFL team not located in Canada. Nice try re-writing history, CFL. And don’t give me this story about how the second iteration of the Alouettes, who folded in 1987, went into dormancy. How come you (the CFL) never announced that in 1987 ? Where is there any fact to the effect that the Montreal Alouettes’ franchise was in dormancy in the 1987-to 1995 time period ? You just made that “dormant franchise” BS up, when it suited your needs. Here is a Youtube video of a CBC broadcast from June 24 1987, the day the Montreal Alouettes (II) folded…the 7-minute video contains a very thorough discussion about the demise of the Montreal Alouettes (II)…and there are exactly zero mentions that the franchise has gone into a “dormant” state…Alouettes Fold (1987) {7:23 video uploaded by retrosask at youtube.com)}. At the 0:18 point in the video, the CBC newsreader says, “…mark a dark day in the Canadian Football League’s history: commissioner Doug Mitchell, in the CFL’s headquarters in Toronto, announcing that the Montreal Alouettes are no longer…” {quote transcribed from CBC broadcast of 24 June 1987}. You get that, CFL front office circa-1995-&-96? You guys said that the Alouettes were dead on June 24, 1987. In a press conference. So, CFL-front-office-of-1995-&-96, how did you revive this DEAD FRANCHISE ? How? That franchise was pronounced dead in 1987 – and you guys said it. Dead is dead, you weasels in the CFL front office. What, CFL, you think eight years later we all forgot that you read the last rites to the Montreal Alouettes franchise? I guess the Alouettes franchise-mark-three-and-born-in-1996 are actually the Undead – like a frigging zombie-franchise or something. Or maybe the Montreal Alouettes-mark-three think they actually are the Only Begotten Son, and the CFL are actually a magical Sky Wizard. Because by declaring, 8 years after the team folded, that the Montreal Alouettes were in fact a “dormant franchise” means that the CFL thinks that they can bring back the dead.

Here is the gist of what the CFL said to the Baltimore Stallions’ franchise in early 1996, as that franchise was in the process of relocating to Montreal:
‘We can’t be ever mentioning or reminding Canadian sports fans that one of our current franchises won its first CFL title while located in the USA. So let’s pretend this new version of the Alouettes is connected to the original version of the Alouettes. We’ll make it legit by saying your franchise, the Baltimore Stallions, have folded, and have taken over the Alouettes’ franchise that was in dormancy. Yeah, that’s it – dormancy. You know, like how the Cleveland Browns fans got the NFL to re-write their history after Baltimore stole their team. Then you guys in the Baltimore Stallions front office can just change you business cards to read ‘Montreal Alouettes’, and you guys can just pretend that you released all your players, then you can re-sign most of them as Alouettes, as you see fit. Heck, Mr Piros, here, have those 4 old titles the original Alouettes won…they’re just laying around collecting dust. Let’s buff them up and put them on your mantlepiece, and pretend that you new guys earned those 4 Grey Cup titles. And while we’re at it, let’s all conspire to pretend that your franchise never won the Grey Cup in the States. In a few years, people will start to forget about that harebrained scheme we had to try to expand into the USA. And up here in Canada, hopefully most sports fans will forget you guys originally came from America.’

Nomenclature aside, the new guys who are using the old Alouettes name had nothing to do with the original Alouettes, and they certainly did not earn those 4 Grey Cup titles that the original Montreal Alouettes won. The CFL cheapens their biggest asset -the Grey Cup itself – by this cavalier behavior, and by its historical revisionism on the matter of the Baltimore/Montreal franchise shift.
_____
Thanks to…
Globe-map of Canada by: Aquarius.geomar.de at File:Canada (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Blank map of Canada by: S Tyx and Sémhur and Riba, at File:Blank map of Canada.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Provinces-map of Canada by E Pluribus Anthony at File:Political map of Canada.png.

Helmet illustrations at CFL-league-&-teams banner on lower-centre-of-map-page by: Cmm3 at en.wikipedia, such as File:CFL MTL Jersey with alternate.png.
Helmet illustrations on that banner of 2014 champs (Calgary) & all-time-most-titles-won (Toronto) are by: MG Helmets; mghelmets.com.

2014 Attendance figures from stats.cfldb.ca/league/cfl/attendance/2014.
Past seasons of CFL attendance figures from cfl-scrapbook.no-ip.org/CFL-Attendance.php.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ 2014 home attendances, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Hamilton_Tiger-Cats_season.
Several CFL team logos were found at sportslogos.net/Canadian_Football_League.

June 22, 2015

Map and chart of supporter-owned football clubs in the English football league system [England & Wales] (37 clubs as of 28 June, 2015) / Plus illustrations for Portsmouth FC (highest-drawing supporter-owned club), and FC United of Manchester (new stadium which opened 29 May 2015).

Filed under: >2015-16 English football,Eng. Supporter-owned Clubs — admin @ 7:11 pm


england_june-2015_map-of-supporter-owned_football-clubs_37-clubs_h_.gif
Map and chart of supporter-owned football clubs in the English football league system [England & Wales] (36 clubs as of June, 2015)




By Bill Turianski on 22 June 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Primary sources for the map and chart:
1).Category:Fan-owned English League football clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
2).List of fan-owned sports teams/England (en.wikipedia.org).

This map with charts, and this post, features the 37 supporter-owned clubs in the English football pyramid [as of 28 June 2015]. There will be no further updates of this map (for further updates of new Supporter-owned clubs in England & Wales after July 2015, see links above).

Criteria for being called supporter-owned:
For the purposes of this map and post, the definition of supporter-owned club is as follows…
Supporter-owned clubs in England & Wales with majority ownership, with either:
1). a majority of seats on the Board (such as in the case of 7th-level-club Chesham United),
2). or being a club which is 50%-to-100% supporter-owned (ie, 36 of the 37 clubs on this map and post),
3). or being a club whose ground is supporter-owned (zero clubs, but which is what Wycombe Wanderers’ supporters trust, who currently still own the club, intend to do).

[Please note: Clubs like 5th-division-club Lincoln City (25%-owned by the LCFC Supporters' Trust), or like Premier League club Swansea City (21%-owned by the SCAFC Supporters' Trust/ see this) or like 6th-level-club Cambridge City (10% supporter-owned) are not shown on the map.]

Generally speaking, Supporter-owned clubs in England & Wales fall into 3 categories:
1). Supporter-buyout clubs,
(17 clubs / those 17 clubs’ crests can be seen at top of map page just below the sky-blue-lined icon).
2). Phoenix-clubs
(15 clubs / those 15 clubs’ crests can be seen at top of map page just below the ash-grey-lined icon).
3). Protest clubs
(5 clubs / those 5 clubs’ crests can be seen at top of map page just below the blood-red-lined box-icon).

The vast majority of clubs who are on the map here are clubs that came to be supporter-owned via a financial crisis at the club (such as with 4th-division clubs Exeter City and Portsmouth, among many others). Or, the financial crisis at the original club caused the club to become liquidated, and that club was then replaced – by supporters – with a Phoenix-club (such as with Telford Utd, and with Chester, and with Darlington, and with Rushden & Diamonds, among many others). Or because of supporter outrage (such as with 5 clubs…Enfield Town, AFC Liverpool, FC United of Manchester, 1874 Northwich, and AFC Wimbledon).

But there looks to be a new trend of clubs who became supporter-owned not through crisis, but because enough supporters were able to accomplish the takeover. Specifically, 5th division/Conference club Wrexham of North Wales, who were taken over by their supporters’ trust in December 2011. Two years later, the club became debt-free {see this, ‘Wrexham: Club now debt free under fan ownership‘ (supporters-direct.org); and see this, ‘AGM – Press Report‘ (wrexhamafc.co.uk)}.

When I first covered the subject of supporter-owned clubs in Britain – in the early autumn of 2011 – there were 20 supporter-owned clubs in the English football pyramid. Now, just under four years later, there are 37 supporter-owned clubs (4 of which are in the Football League, and 9 of which draw over 1 thousand per game). There is no doubt at all that this trend will continue and that there will be more clubs that become Supporter-owned. And there are many other clubs that have partial ownership by supporters. And now there is a bill being presented to the House of Commons intending to further the trend: {see this, from 8 July 2015 from When Saturday Comes.com, Bill to give fans a right to buy ten per cent of club (wsc.com)}.

    Portsmouth FC – the highest-drawing supporter-owned club in England

Portsmouth’s 2014-15 avg. attendance: 15,242 per game {from home league matches}.
Portsmouth became the largest supporter-owned club in England, after the Pompey Supporters Trust successfully gained possession of Fratton Park in April 2013. After finding themselves drawn into the 13/14 League Two relegation battle, Portsmouth went undefeated in their last 6 matches (winning 4), and finished in 13th place. Previously, Portsmouth had suffered their third relegation in 4 seasons following a 7-year-spell in the Premier League, where they had finished as high as 8th place in 2007-08 and won the FA Cup that same season. Due to automatic points deductions while being in administration, a cash-strapped Portsmouth had suffered back-to-back relegations in 2012 and 2013 during the messy and protracted supporters-trust-takeover-battle. It looked like yet another relegation loomed until academy director Andy Awford stepped back in the caretaker-manager’s role in late March 2014, and shook up the squad. Awford was appointed full-time manager in May 2014 [but left in April 2015]. Pompey underachieved again in 2014-15, finishing only 16th; but their 15 thousand per game crowds continue to top the 4th division, and the south-coast club continues to be the highest-drawing Supporter-owned club in the UK, by a considerable margin. Ex-Chesterfield manager Paul Cook, who got the Spireites promoted to the 3rd division in May 2014 (and led the team to a 6th-place/play-off finish in 14/15), took over the reins as Portsmouth’s new manager in June 2015.

portsmouth-fc_fratton-park_best-drawing_supporter-owned-club_england_15k-in-2014-15_d_.gif
Photo credits above -
Aerial photo, unattributed at pompeychimes.webs.com/frattonpark.
Exterior photo, by PA via telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/portsmouth.
Fratton End fans’ TIFO/team huddle photo, from pompeytrust.com.
(-Note: PFC League history data from: portsmouth-mad.co.uk/league_history/portsmouth.)

    FC United of Manchester – a supporter-owned club that has built their own stadium

Updates
1). FC United win promotion to the Conference North !… FC United of Manchester win promotion to Conference North
• Fourth promotion in 10-year history of breakaway club
• Manager Karl Marginson: ‘The Football League is possible
(from theguardian.com/football on 21 April 2015).

-FC UNITED PROMOTION WIN 2015 BBC COVERAGE (2:12 video at youtube.com uploaded by MattMCR).

2). The stadium FC United are building in Moston [3 mi NE of Manchester city center], the Broadhurst Park, had seen its completion delayed by almost a year, but it is now [May 2015] completed, as can be seen in the photos at the following link…richardsearle.smugmug.com/Moston-the-Build-2014/1st-May-Broadhurst-Park/ (richardsearle.smugmug.com).

Further update (2 June 2015)…New stadium photos at the opening of Broadhurst Park (a friendly versus SL Benfica on 29 May 2015)…from Guardian.com/footballl, from 1 June 2015, by Guardian readers and Tom Stevens, Open for business: readers’ FC United of Manchester photos.

FC United of Manchester and their new home, Broadhurst Park…
FC United of Manchester, aka FC United, were a 7th level/Northern Premier League club [and now are a 6th-divsion club] that has been supporter-owned since the club’s formation in 2005. They have just moved in to their own stadium, Broadhurst Park, in Moston, Manchester, about 3 miles (5 km) north-east of Manchester city center. Construction began in November 2013. Capacity will be 4,400 (672 seated). FCUM had been averaging around 2 K per game (2,155 per game in 2014-15), which is over 1.8 K higher than the median-average of the Northern Premier (its median crowd-size for 14/15 was 314; figures here, nonleaguematters.co.uk/divisions/[Northern Prem]).

FC United of Manchester were of course formed by disaffected Manchester United fans in the wake of the widespread anger at the Glazers’ debt-leveraged takeover of Manchester United in May 2005. They entered the English football leagues pyramid at the 10th level in 2005-06, and won promotion three consecutive seasons. But then, FC United became stuck in the Northerm Premier League for 6 seasons. FC United lost in the Northern Prem playoffs for four straight seasons (including playoffs finals losses in 10/11 to Colwyn Bay, in 11/12 to Bradford Park Avenue, and in 12/13 to Hednesford Town). But the light is at the end of the tunnel now for FC United. They have finally won another promotion (their fourth), after a six-year delay. And simultaneously, their quest to secure their own ground has been accomplished – and accomplished with flying colours, because Broadhurst Park is simply a jewel.

Once FC United finally move into their new ground and start their first season in the sixth tier, the club will almost certainly see an increase in attendances more towards the 2 K to 3 K crowd sizes (and beyond) which they were getting in their first 2 seasons. {FCUM league & cup history+attendances, here}, and hopefully it will propel them up the football pyramid further.

FC United’s manager is the Manchester-born Karl Marginson, who was a MF with Rotherham (as well as with several Non-League clubs). Marginson, who is 44 years old, has been managing the squad since Day 1 (2005). With their new, supporter-owned ground, FC United will probably find it easier to resume their advance up the English football pyramid. As their gaffer says, reaching the Football League (which requires 2 more promotions) is an attainable goal for the club.
fc-united-of-manchester_broadhurst-park_opening_friendly-v_sl-benfica_may2015_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
1st photo, aerial-view of stadium build circa fall 2014, photo by Airviews Photography via bbc.com/news. 2nd photo, exterior photo of new stadium – Broadhurst Park – on its opening (friendly v. SL Benfica on 25 May 2015), photo by Matthew O’Dowd/GuardianWitness via guardian.com/football . 3rd photo, of FCUM fans on opening day at Broadhurst Park, with banner reading: ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’, photo by Ian Hodgson via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-FC-United-Manchester-0-1-Benfica-B-Diogo-Goncalves-bags-winner-hosts-enjoy-proper-match.
___
Thanks to all at the following…
-Thanks to the contributors to the following page at en.wikipedia.org, especially a Gigantic Thank You to Neil from Tasmania, who is a Wikipedia editor [and a club-member of the supporter-owned club AFC Rushden & Diamonds]…Neil was a big help in getting the list of supporter-owned clubs (as it would pertain to this map) organized, as well as general details about the many clubs on the map – ‘Category:Fan-owned English League football clubs‘ (en.wikipedia.org); Neil also re-edited and organized, into the three categories (Supporter-buyout clubs; Phoenix-clubs; Protest-clubs) the list of Supporter-owned clubs of England, at List of fan-owned sports teams/England (en.wikipedia.org).

-Thanks to Non-League Matters.co.uk, for the hard-to-get attendance figures in (most) lower-level leagues below the 6th level in Non-League football.
-Thanks to the always-reliable and very comprehensive European-Football-Statistics.co.uk site…I got the 2014-15 attendance figures of the 4 Supporter-owned Football League clubs from there, {here}. [Note: E-F-S site also has Non-League attendances/ see top-right-hand, there, after you click on 'England'.]

Thanks to Supporters Direct for existing.

June 15, 2015

England: 2015-16 League Two [4th division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed.

2015-16_football-league-two_map_crowd-sizes_seasons-in-1st-div_titles_post_f_.gif
England: 2015-16 League Two [4th division], location-map with 14/15 attendances




Links…
Teams…2015–16 Football League Two (en.wikipedia.org).
News, fixtures, results, table, etc…Football League Two page at BBC.com (bbc.com/football).
Kits…Sky Bet League Two 2015 – 2016 [home, away & alternate kits] (historicalkits.co.uk).

    England: 2015-16 League Two [4th division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 15 June 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

New template for English Football League & Premier League maps, for the category ’2015-16 English Football’…
Map…
The map is a basic location-map which includes the traditional counties of England and Wales, and I have also listed the 9 largest metro-areas which emanate from a single city (London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Nottingham, Bristol). I have included regional names like the East and West Midlands, East Anglia, the West Country, the Black Country, etc. There is also an enlarged inset map of Greater London, at the lower-right-center of the map page. I have included a few extra details for the Greater London inset map – the City of London’s small confines are noted, as are the locations of the following: Regent’s Park; Hyde Park, Parliament [Westminster]; Wembley Stadium; the Royal Observatory, Greenwich [home of 0 degrees longitude (the Prime Meridian), and Greenwich Mean Time]; and the Dartford Crossing. (The Dartford Crossing is a vital and heavily-traveled dual-tunnel/bridge crossing located on the River Thames just east of Greater London, which connects Dartford, Kent to Thurrock, Essex, and is the only fixed-road crossing of the Thames east of Greater London; the busiest estuarial crossing in the UK, it services around 130,000 vehicles daily). The three largest municipalities adjacent to Greater London are also noted (Watford in Hertfordshire, the Medway Towns [incl. Gillingham] in Kent, and Slough in Berkshire).
Chart…
As for the chart, that will always be on the right-hand-side of the map page. The chart template is a bit different from ones I have used in the past. For the first time, I have included the last two seasons of league placement data – for all the clubs in the league – as well as the last two seasons of attendance data. Basically, the chart shows, from left to right, the following seven items…
1). light-grey column…league placement and average home attendance from 2 years ago (2013-14 season);
2). Club name/crest;
3). darker-grey column…league placement and average home attendance from last season (2014-15 season);
4). change in home average crowd size (2014-15 avg attendance subtracted from 2013-14 avg attendance);
5). percent-capacity (avg attendance figure divided by stadium capacity);
6). blue column…all-time seasons spent in the English first division (with date of last 1st div appearance listed);
7). major domestic titles listed…English titles [aka Football League First Division titles to 1992/Premier League titles], FA Cup titles, League Cup titles (with dates of last titles listed).
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK traditional counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Attendance, at soccerway.com, us.soccerway.com/national/england/league-two/20142015/regular-season/r25245.
One crest on the map is partially from a photo [Leyton Orient crest], at leytonorient.com/news/article/new-kit-290714-1789322.aspx.

June 8, 2015

England, second division rugby league, 2015 RFL Championship (aka Kingstone Press Championship): location-map with all-time English RL titles list; plus a preview of the new Super 8s promotion/relegation play-off mini-league.

Filed under: Rugby,Rugby>England — admin @ 5:12 am

2015_rugby-league_england_2nd-division_kingstone-press-championship_map_w-rl-titles-list_post_f_.gif
English RL 2nd div map 2015





Links…
-New competition structure explained, rugbyleaguechampionships.co.uk/['2015 - A New Era'] [from the Official site].
-Teams, etc…2015 RFL Championship (en.wikipedia.org).
-Fixtures, results, table(s), etc…rugbyleaguechampionships.co.uk/match_day/fixtures [Official site].
-BBC.com’s rugby league page/results (which includes 2nd div RL attendance figures for most matches), bbc.com/sport/rugby-league/championship/results.
-A good RL site is Total RL.com, and here is their page on 2nd division English RL…totalrl.com/category/kingstone-press-championship.
-Another good RL site is Love Rugby League, and here is their page on 2nd division English RL…loverugbyleague.com/championship.
-My most-recent map & post on 1st division English RL (from Feb. 2015),
Rugby League: 2015 Super League XX location-map, with all-time English RL titles list & attendance figures from 2014./ Plus a season-preview article on 2015 Super League XX, written by James Nalton./ Plus illustrations of the 4 semifinalists from last season, including 2014 champions St Helens RLFC (billsportsmaps.com).

    England, second division rugby league, 2015 RFL Championship (aka Kingstone Press Championship): location-map with all-time English RL titles list; plus a preview of the new Super 8s promotion/relegation play-off mini-league

By Bill Turianski on 8 June 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
The 12-team second division in rugby league in the United Kingdom, called the Kingstone Press Championship for sponsorship reasons, is pro/semi-pro; attendances range in the ~500-to-2.5-K-per-game range, with an average crowd size of around 1.2 K or so. (Last years’ average crowd figure is unavailable, however 2 years ago in 2013 the average crowd size was 1,199 {see this}.)

The 1st division in English RL draws similar crowd-sizes to the 3rd division in English football;
while the 2nd division in English RL draws similar crowd-sizes to the 5th division in English football…

A convenient way of getting a picture of what crowd-sizes tend to be in the top two tiers of English rugby league is to compare it to English football attendances within the English football pyramid. So, from current and recent figures (from 2013, 2014, 2014-15)…the 1st division in English rugby league (Super League) is akin to Football League One [the 3rd division] in terms of crowd-size (~7-to-9-K per game range of league averages); while the 2nd division in English rugby league is akin to the Non-League football Conference National [the 5th division] in terms of crowd-size (~1.1-K-to-1.9 K per game range of league averages). (Figures {& sources}: 2014 Super League avg total attendance: 8,153 {source} versus 2014-15 Football League One avg total attendance: 7,043 {source} ; 2013 RFL Championship avg total attendance: 1,199 {source} versus 2014-15 5th div Non-League football avg total attendance: 1,855 per game {source}.)

There are some recent exceptions, such as the 7.4 K that Leigh Centurions drew on the 2015 season opener (versus newly-relegated Bradford Bulls). [Bradford Bulls probably had well over 1 K traveling fans cross the Pennines to attend; the distance between Leigh in western Greater Manchester and Bradford in West Yorkshire is 73 km (or 45 mi) by road.] It just so happens that there is an excellent write-up (with gallery of photos) from that match (which Leigh won 36-24), at the awesome site known as The Onion Bag – Travels around Non League Football & Rugby League Grounds…
Leigh Centurions – Sunday 15th February 2015. Kingstone Press Championship. Leigh Centurions 36 Bradford Bulls 24. Atten 7499 (onion-bag.blogspot.co.uk).

Attendances will almost certainly increase in the English RL 2nd division this year, because of the re-introduction of promotion/relegation into the format…
[Note: very first link at the top of this post has the official site's page on the new format, again, here.}
Basically, the new format, which has re-introduced promotion/relegation, will see some 2nd division matches with attendance increases, especially come August and September 2015, after the 23rd game, once the season morphs into the Super 8s, when the top four 2nd division clubs get re-grouped with the bottom 4 Super League clubs. Those 8 teams then fight it out in what is essentially a 7-match round-robin mini-league...with the 4 best from that set-up earning the right to play in the 1st division in 2016 (Super League XXI), and with the 4 worst from that set-up being placed in the 2nd division for 2016.

{For a more detailed description, see this excerpt from Wikipedia, ..."Following the split into the Super 8's, the top four teams in the Championship 2015 will join the bottom four teams of the Super League 2015 in "The Qualifiers". This group will see each team play each other once each, totaling seven extra games, with points reset to zero for the qualifiers. After 7 extra rounds the top 3 teams will earn a place in the Super League competition for 2016, thus either retaining or earning a place in the top competition. The teams finishing 4th and 5th in the qualifiers will play off in an extra fixture, at the home of 4th, for the final place in the 2016 Super League competition. The loser of this fixture, along with teams finishing 6th, 7th, and 8th in the qualifiers will either remain or be relegated and will play in the Championship in the 2016 season."...{end of excerpt from 2015 RFL Championship at en.wikipedia.org}.

In other words, with the new RL set-up in England, as many as 4 but as few as zero 2nd division clubs can gain promotion to the top flight.

Below: Leigh Centurions, who sit first in the second tier as of 6 June 2015...
leigh-centurions-r-l-c_leigh-sports-village_2015_a_.gif
Photo credits above -
Aerial photo of Leigh Sports Village by Leigh Centurions RLFC, at leighcenturions.com/club/contact.
Action photo from 15 Feb. 2015 (Leigh 36, Bradford 24), photo by Onion-Bag.blogspot.com at onion-bag.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/leigh-centurions.html; and at onion-bag.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/leigh-centurions.html.

So, come mid-August, who will be in the 2015 Super 8s promotion/relegation mini-league?
...Note: below is a brief look at the tables from 8 June 2015 (or after about three-quarters of the regular seasons have been played [~15 to 17 games-played per team])…
2nd div teams…
-{Here is the RL 2nd div/Championship table (bbc.com)}.
Two-time national RL champions Leigh Centurions and 6-time-champions the Bradford Bulls sit even on 28 points (14-1/ with Leigh having a better points-difference of 365 [v 360 p-d for Bradford]). Leigh were undefeated prior to their surprise loss on 7 June away to London Broncos. Some observers feel Leigh look like the best of the second tier by a considerable margin, but meanwhile, Bradford’s’ objective of bouncing straight back to Super League remains on-course. Leigh and Bradford are now virtual locks to make it to the Super 8s round. As to the other two teams who will qualify for the promotion/relegation/ mini-league, it is starting to look like the 3rd spot will go to the Sheffield Eagles, with the fourth spot being a toss-up between the Dewsbury Rams, Halifax RLFC, and Featherstone Rovers, with London Broncos now looking to also have a chance of squeaking in. The London Broncos (aka the formerly-worst-drawing 1st div English RL club) are now poised to move up the table, because they play hapless and winless Doncaster RLFC next Sunday the 14th of June.

1st div teams…
-{Here is the RL 1st div/Super League table}
(Leeds Rhinos lead the table at 12-1-4 with St Helens and Wigan 1 and 2 points behind respectively.}

As far as which 4 basement dwellers from the 2015 top tier will join the top 4 of the second tier, well, if you look at the current Super League table, you will see that the now-lowest-drawing 1st div English RL club, the Wakefield Wildcats (who drew ~4.3 K per game in 2014) look to have all but guaranteed that they will be fighting for their top-tier existence in the Super 8s come August and September. Wakefield have just 2 wins after 16 games, and are 14 points from safety. The other 3 that will be joining Wakefield in the promotion/relegation Super 8s is still very uncertain, but if the season were to end today, it would be: Salford, Hull KR, and Widnes. However, 5 more clubs are not by any means safe yet (Catalans, Hull FC, Castleford, Warrington, Huddersfield).

The 2nd Division in English RL is currently comprised of the following…
Currently [2015 regular season/Feb-to-July], of the 12 teams in the RL 2nd division in the UK, 11 are from the north of the England, with the exception being the London Broncos (whom were relegated in 2014, along with Bradford Bulls). So, just like in the first division in RL in the UK (Super League), the second tier is currently is comprised almost completely of rugby league clubs from the historical ceremonial counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, but also in the second tier currently there are two clubs from Cumbria in the far northwest of England (Workington Town and Whitehaven), and as recently as 2014 there was representation from the north of Wales (the North Wales Crusaders, who were relegated to the 3rd division last year [2014]).

In 1895, a split in Rugby football created the two codes…
History of rugby league/The schism in England (en.wikipedia.org).
In 1895, a split in Rugby football created the two codes (pro Rugby League to the North / amateur Rugby Union to the South). This resulted in the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union, which was of course the precursor to Super League rugby (est. 1996), in particular, and was also the precursor of all Rugby League leagues in general.

The list below shows which of the 22 founding Rugby League clubs who formed the NRFU (for the 1895-96 season) are currently in the 2nd Division as of 2015 (5 clubs)…
Batley RLFC (est.1880).
Bradford FC * (est. 1863/ re-est. 1907 as Bradford Northern RLFC/see note below).
Halifax RLFC (est. 1873).
Hunslet RLFC (est. 1883).
Leigh RFC (est. 1878).
*Note:
*Bradford FC played rugby (and later on by 1879 also played cricket) in the 1863 to 1906 time period. In 1907 the club was split in 2 branches:
1). An association football club, Bradford Park Avenue AFC.
2). A rugby league club, Bradford Northern, which joined the 1907-08 Northern Rugby Football Union (their name was later changed to Bradford Bulls RLFC, in 1996.)

Title-winning clubs currently in the RL second division...
[Source for the list below, Rugby Football League Championship/League Leaders and Champions; Super League/Super League Champions (en.wikipedia.org).]

7 of the 12 clubs currently in the RL second division have won national English RL titles:
Bradford Northern/Bulls (with 6 titles, last in 2005),
Halifax RLFC (with 4 titles, last in 1985-86),
Leigh Centurions (with 2 titles, last in 1981-82),
Hunslet Hawks (with 2 titles, last in 1937-38),
Featherstone Rovers (with 1 title in 1976-77),
Workington Town RLFC (with 1 title in 1950-51),
Batley Bulldogs (with 1 title in 1923-24).
___
Thanks to the contributors at 2015 RFL Championship (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to D-maps.com, for blank map of the UK, http://d-maps.com/pays.php?num_pay=218&lang=en.

May 29, 2015

Brazil, 2015 Brasileiro location map: w/ 2014 attendance, 2015 teams-by-state, all-time titles-by-state & titles by club./ With editorial: Brazil basically deserved to be humiliated by Germany (7-1), because Brazilian football is a goon-show run by corrupt clowns.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Brazil — admin @ 8:49 pm

brazil_brasileiro-2015_map_campeonato-serie-a_2014-attendance_2015-teams-by-state_brasileiro-titles-list_post_h_.gif
2015 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A location map



Links…
-Teams…2015 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
-Tabela…http://globoesporte.globo.com/futebol/brasileirao-serie-a/.
-Scores, fixtures, table… http://www.flashscores.co.uk/football/brazil/serie-a/.
-Blog on Brazilian football, which is run by one of the contributors to billsportsmaps.com, James Nalton…http://thebotafogostar.com/.

    Brazil – 2015 Série A location map: with 2014 attendance, 2015 teams-by-state, all-time titles-by-state & titles by club

By Bill Turianski on 29 May 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
On the map page
The left-hand side of the map page features a simple location-map of the 2015 version of the confusingly-named Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (it is easier to just refer to the competition as the Brasileiro).

In the center of the map page is a two-part chart which shows representation in the 2015 Brasileiro by state, with a list below that which shows the all-time list of Brasileiro titles by state. (Note: there are 28 States in Brazil, plus a Federal District [Brasilia]. 8 of those states have representation in the 2015 Brasileiro, with Sao Paulo state, as usual, having the most teams in it – 5 teams, and, with, surprisingly, the small-but-relatively-wealthy southern state of Santa Catarina having the second-most teams in it – 4 teams. [Rio de Janeiro state only has 3 teams in the 2015 Brasileiro, because Botofogo was relegated in 2014]).

At the right-hand side of the map page is a chart which shows 24 clubs (the 20 from last season and the 4 promoted up from Série B for the 2015 season), and it features 4 bits of information…
1). How the clubs finished in 2014 and if they are playing in the Copa Libertadores or the Copa Sudamericana for 2015.
2). The 24 clubs’ 2014 average attendances (from domestic league matches/ paid-tickets+free-tickets counted [aka publico]).
3). Brasileiro titles (incl. previous Brazilian national titles, from 1959-1970/1971-2014), with year of last title noted.
4). Copa Libertadores titles, with year of last title noted.

Poor attendance plagues Brazilian pro football
Brazilian first division attendance – league-wide – has increased by slightly more than 3,500 per game in two years. 2012 was the modern-day low-point of crowd-size in Brazilian pro football, when the Brazilian first division averaged a paltry 12,970 per game (paid attendance; publico attendance was 13 per game higher at 12,983; seen here at sidebar there). In 2013, the league-average increased (by 15.2 percent) to 14,951 per game. Last season [2014], aided by the continued introduction of several new or renovated stadiums (some of which were built or were renovated for the 2014 FIFA World Cup), attendance increased again (by 10.7 percent) to 16,555 per game.

There is little doubt that the quality-level of Brazilian top flight football has eroded over the past decade. The fact that more fans are now in attendance – a 27.6 percent increase in 2 years – is good sign. But the stadiums that host Brazilian first division matches are very dangerous places, and large sections of the sporting-fan-public have made the conscious decision to stay away from the stadiums, stay home, watch football on TV, and be safe. According to Brazilian media giant Globo, 23 people died in 2012 at Brasileiro games; and in 2013, 30 died {see this article, Why Brazil’s footballers play to half-empty stadiums (guardiam.com/football by Jonathan Watts on 25 Feb. 2014)}.
-See this, Soccer’s Deadliest Fans: The Troubled World of Brazil’s ‘Organizadas’ (rollingstone.com by James Young on 28 May 2014).
-See this, article 5 facts about Brazil’s soccer hooligans (by Daniel Milan at Matador network from 9 June 2014);
that last article, linked to above, points out 5 salient points about fan violence in Brazilian pro football…
1. Problems typically unfold outside the stadiums.
2. Different sets of hooligans can team up.
3. Players aren’t immune.
4. It’s a super homophobic scene.
5. They really like Carnaval.

Brazilian pro football is a colossal mess, with all the best Brazilian players leaving as soon as they can, for the moneyed clubs in Europe, or for anywhere else, for that matter {see this, Brazilian clubs in crisis as wages unpaid and debts rocket (insideworldfootball.com by Ricardo Seaton on 23 November 2014)}. The clubs there in Brazil often literally have nothing…they usually don’t own their stadiums, and they usually don’t even own the full transfer-rights to most of their best players (thanks to the insidious rise of third-party-ownership). As to TPO (third party ownership), measures look to be implemented which will impose more restrictions on the practice. As James Young points out in the article linked to at the end of this paragraph, “In the short term, a ban on third-party ownership is likely to create serious cash-flow issues for financially strapped Brazilian clubs, which frequently rely on the sale of percentages of their promising young players to third parties just to pay the bills. In the longer term, however, the move may be a positive step since it forces clubs to stir from their collective torpor and encourages much-needed reform of the underperforming domestic game, which is plagued by financial woes, low attendance and an archaic fixture calendar.”…{excerpt from
Brazilian football faces battle to emerge from third-party ownership (espnfc.us by James Young on 8 Oct. 2014)}.

Brazil has won the most FIFA World Cup titles of any nation (6 WC titles), but there are 14 other pro leagues in the football world that currently [2014] outdraw Brazil’s first division
Brazil’s first division is only the 13th-highest drawing in the world, and fourteenth highest if you count all leagues (see next sentence). Using 2013-14 figures, here are the countries in the world whose top flight in football (aka soccer aka association football) outdraws Brazil’s top flight (note: the second division in Germany, 2-Bundesliga, also outdraws Brazil’s top flight).
1). Germany
2). England (incl. Wales)
3). Spain
4). India [Indian Super League]
5). Italy
6). Mexico
7). Argentina
8). France
9). Netherlands
10). USA/Canada
11). China
12). Germany, 2nd division (2-Bundesliga)
13). Japan
14). Brazil
{Source – List of attendance figures at domestic professional sports leagues (en.wikipedia.org).}

Empty stadiums in Brazil…
Very few people in Brazil really actually go to 1st division matches – I mean, the first divisions in China and in USA/Canada both outdraw Brazil’s first division. And those two leagues (MLS & China’s 1st division) both pretty much suck. The fact that the talent-poor/ rigged-by-its-single-entity-ownership-system/ closed-shop-Union-busting-cartel known as Major League Soccer outdraws Brazil’s first division should tell you all you really need to know about the sad state of professional Brazilian football. (In 2014 MLS drew 19.1 K per game, 2.6 K more than Brazil’s Série A.) The fact that the spectacularly talent-poor and ersatz Chinese Super League outdraws Brazil’s first division is just more salt on the wound. (In 2013-14, the Chinese Super League drew 18.9 K per game, 2.4 K more than Brazil’s Série A.)
{Sources of 2014 league-wide attendance data,
O público do Brasileirão-2014 (globoesporte.globo.com/futebol)
Major League Soccer/attendance/Season averages (en.wikipedia.org)
2014 Chinese Super League (en.wikipedia.org)}

    Brazil deserved to be humiliated by Germany (7-1), because Brazilian football is a goon-show run by corrupt clowns

Last June [2014], the Brazil national team embarrassed themselves in front of the whole world, on their own home turf. They lost by the score of 7-1 to Germany. It was a so-very-public humiliation, and it was well deserved, and it was a long time coming. In the aftermath of that brilliant German demolition, the following comment, made on an article on the 7-1 mauling that is linked to further below, sums it all up quite nicely…

“…Delighted for Brazil. They got exactly what they deserved. From the first game against Croatia when it was delicately poised at 1-1, a Brazilian theatrical dive results in a penalty. Neymar scores. Brazil win 3-1. They then carried on kicking and gouging their way to the finish line hoping it would be enough because Neymar will provide. Scolari’s a thug tactician. The Colombian game was meant to be a blugeoning warm up excercise for this game. David Luiz was sent out on the pitch every game with the specific instructions to elbow and tackle from behind after the ball’s gone etc. Yes he scored a great free kick against Colombia, but lucky as hell. He’s missed about 100 of those for Chelsea. Tonight he elbowed a player deliberately at 0-0. And they were all at it. Hulk is one of the most selfish stuck up players there is. A team of mercenary thugs playing as a loosely held together rag tag bunch, missing it’s two lynchpins Silva and Neymar. Rough-housing, cheating, bullying and in the end ruthless, efficient pragmatism and no little skill sensationally obliterated them. This is a watershed moment in terms of a match result…” (comment by Russell at {rte.ie/sport/soccer/worldcup/germany-hammer-hosts-brazil-to-advance}).

Losing 7-to-1 to Germany…that is your new legacy, Brazil. The beautiful game has passed you by, Brazil. David Luiz, aka Capitulator-in-chief-to-the-German-onslaught…that is your new symbol, Brazil. David Luiz, now of petro-dollar club PSG. David Luiz, who is flashy and ridiculous to look at, and who is a dirty hack and goon of a player and who is way too expensive…and who is also fundamentally incompetent. {See this, Meet soccer’s most expensive loser (nypost.com by Cameron Tomarchio on 8 July 2014).}

David Luiz pretty much sums up your whole act, Brazil national team. Flashy, expensive, and incompetent goons playing for a directionless giant republic, with no plan and no clue whatsoever. As Tony Jimenez points out in the article linked to below…”This is a player [Luiz] that Gary Neville…described as performing as though he was a player being controlled by a 10-year-old kid on a Playstation.”…”If it wasn’t for his gimmick hairstyle, I highly doubt that he [Luiz] would be turning out in the upper echelons of European football, much less leading out his country at a World Cup finals – and that he is able to strut about so arrogantly, blaming everyone else for his mistakes, and pocketing a small fortune, is more fool us.”…{excerpts from Why Calamitous David Luiz Represents Football’s Conman Economy (huffingtonpost.co.uk by Tony Jimenez on 20 July 2014).}

The Brazilian football team’s only plan is to play like goons (Brazil had the most fouls of any team in the 2014 WC), then cry when another team responds to their goonish behavior with the same. After Colombia mauled Neymar in response to the goon-show that was Brazil-2014, some saw the sweet payback coming (see this, Brazil’s goonish tactics won’t work against Germany at World Cup (latimes.com by Kevin Baxter on 7 July 2014)}.

The Brazilian football authorities have SOLD THE SELECTION OF THE NATIONAL TEAM TO SPONSORS!…
And selections for the Brazil national team are not even based on choosing the best players. No, Brazil chooses the most marketable players. You think I am making this up? Well check out this: Leaked contract reveals how national federation auctioned the Brazilian National Team. from that link, “…
[Criteria for selecting Brazil national team squad members]…
-The list of players called must match criteria established by commercial partners. Any change on the squad must have the consent of the companies involved.
-When a player is replaced, the one to get in his place must have the same marketing value.
-The contract is held between CBF (the brazillian national football federation) and a private company called Internacional Sports Events, a company with zero employees and no headquarters, located in the Cayman Islands.
-The ten years contract gives ISE exclusive rights to manage the team’s games and ownership of all transmission rights.
-The contract states that the top players, considered part of the main team, must start every single match, with no space for newcomers whatsoever, until they have a proper “marketing value”.
-The responsible for this contract is Ricardo Teixeira, former president of CBF and son-in-law of Joao Havelange. Teixeira and Havelange received more than 40 million dollars worth of bribes from marketing agency ISL, which collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001.

The sport we love is very sick, my friends.”…{end of excerpt at http://us.reddit.com/r/soccer/comments/368jm0/leaked_contract_reveals_how_national_federation/ [posted by conffra]}.

A similar story has recently been reported by the Brazilian newspaper Estadão, here, Report: Marketing Firm Owns Rights To Select Brazil National Team Squad (screamer.deadspin.com article from 18 May 2015 by Billy Haisley).

You have no answers, Brazil, and you still have a bunch of corrupt old-white-folks running your show and standing in the way and blocking progress and stuffing their pockets while the beautiful game and the nation of Brazil itself withers on the vine. Brazil has now sold the selection of its national team squad to outside interests. In other words, Brazilian football has sold its soul to the devil. Brazilian football is run by corrupt clowns.

And the geniuses who run the Brazil national team found a pretty lame “solution” to that 7-1 humiliation. Their “solution” was to re-hire the goon they had as coach before (Dunga). Seven-to-One, and the solution is to re-hire the last-goon-in-charge.

And the Brazilian pro league is hamstrung by its actual calendar (a May to December season), because Brazil lets all those corrupt old-white-guys keep their sweet gigs, which are useless, as the corrupt old-white-guys run the pointless state leagues, which act in a parasitic way on the game, sucking the lifeblood out of Brazilian pro football, while playing pointless and fundamentally stupid state championships in February and March and April. Come the August transfer window, squads in Brazil are often thrown into disarray. {See this, Historical Brazil state championships a drag on rest on of league season (espnfc.us by James Young on 24 March 2015).}

The useless empty stadiums Brazil built for the 2014 World Cup…
Reporting from Natal, Brazil, from 18 May 2014, by Paulo Prada, Brazilians left wanting by flawed World Cup investments (reuters.com).
For the World Cup they hosted, Brazil spent a mint (~$11 billion) – building useless 2014 WC venues, in places they never should have built 2014 WC venues. Venues that will now always remain empty, such as the one smack in the middle of the Amazon in Manaus, which doesn’t even have a third-division club. It now sits empty and under-utilized.

Then there is the stadium Brazil built for the 2014 World Cup in a city of just 550,000 [Cuiabá], whose highest-placed club is in the third division. It now sits empty and under-utilized.

Then there is the stadium Brazil built for the 2014 World Cup in Natal, which has never had a first division club and whose highest-drawing clubs can’t even draw 4 K (homeless people were recently found living in the dressing rooms there). It now sits empty and under-utilized.

They (the-old-white-folks-in-charge) spent and lined their pockets on instantly-useless White Elephants, while millions and millions of Brazilians still live in favela shacks and have no way to get to work – because they spent all the public-transportation money on stupid stadiums that no one will use now. They spent the whole wad on instantly-useless stadiums where there are no teams to fill the stadiums now, instead of spending those billions of dollars on absolutely-needed public improvement projects (see second link below for the 4 biggest White Elephants Brazil built for the 2014 WC, three of which I just mentioned above).

-See this, World Cup leaves Brazil with bus depots and empty stadiums (bbc.com/sport/football by Bruce Douglass on 29 March 2015).
-See this, The Four Biggest Stadium Boondoggles Of Brazil’s World Cup (thinkprogress.org by Travis Waldron on 14 July 2014).

brazil-is-run-by-clowns_a_.gif
Photo credit above – Jefferson Bernardes at latimes.com

Then there’s the Petrobras scandal, which is a kickback conspiracy involving building those useless stadiums and government big-shots and the largest corporation in the whole country. In relation to the Petrobras scandal, the treasurer of the administration of the Brazilian president was recently arrested.
-{See this, In Brazil, arrest brings Petrobras scandal closer to President Rousseff (LA Times.com, by Vincent Blevins on 15 April 2015)}.
-{See this, Brazil Builder Collapse Jeopardizes World Cup Stadiums (bloomberg.com by by Tariq Panja on 31 March 2015).}
-{See this, Brazil’s Slumping Economy and Bribery Scandal Eat Away at Dilma Rousseff’s Popularity (nytimes.com by Simon Romero on 25 March 2015).}

But Brazil has a solution to one of those problems…it looks like the authorities have figured out how to make that White Elephant in Manaus pay off…”there has been talk that the government might convert it into a jail, and given the issues around Brazil’s law enforcement, perhaps that’s not a legacy a sporting event should aspire to leave behind.”…{quote from The Four Biggest Stadium Boondoggles Of Brazil’s World Cup (thinkprogress.org by Travis Waldron on 14 July 2014)}.

What a joke.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Brasileiro league average attendance and team-by-team 2014 attendances (Serie A and Serie B) can be found at the links below….
Thanks to Globo Esporte/futebol for Brazilian first division attendance figures (público), http://globoesporte.globo.com/futebol/brasileirao-serie-a/publico-brasileirao.html; and second division attendance figures, http://globoesporte.globo.com/futebol/brasileirao-serie-b/publico-serieb.html.

Thanks to NordNordWest at File:Brazil location map.svg, for blank map of Brazil.
Thanks to the contributors at 2015 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (en.wikipedia.org).

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