billsportsmaps.com

May 1, 2012

Conference National, May 2011-12 – the 1 promoted club – Fleetwood Town FC – and the 4 play-off clubs / Plus a map of the 7 Lancashire-based Football League clubs in the 2012-13 season.

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2011-12 Conference (aka Blue Square Premier League), Top of the Table map



bbc.co.uk/Sport/Football//Non-League
Conference National Play Off fixtures.
2011-12 Conference National (aka Blue Square Bet Premier League) Play Offs
all times below are GMT (ie, Britain) / subtract 5 hours for Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Semi Finals,
First Leg,
York City v Mansfield Town 2nd May 2012. Kick Off 19:30.
Luton Town v Wrexham 3rd May 2012. Kick Off 19:30.
Second Leg,
Mansfield Town v York City 7th May 2012. Kick Off 14:00.
Wrexham v Luton 7th May 2012. Kick Off 16:30.
Play Off Promotion Final,
Sunday 20th May 2012- at Wembley Stadium – 3pm Kick Off.

2011-12 Promotion / Play-offs Map. Promoted to the Football League: Fleetwood Town FC, with second promotion spot to play offs winner.

From Guardian.co.uk/Football League blog, from 10 April 2012, by Jacob Steinberg, ‘Long-term planning leaves Fleetwood Town on verge of promised land – A win over Wrexham will take Fleetwood into the Football League for the first time in their turbulent history‘.

On the 16 April 2012 broadcast of the BBC London Non-League {Season 5 Episode 37 podcast here}, Fleetwood Town chairman and local businessman Andy Pilley confirmed that the club has actually turned a small profit for the 2011-12 season [interview with Micky Mellon and Andy Pilley at ~16:00 into BBC Non-League Football Show Season 5 Episode 37 (Mon. 16 April 2012)].

This despite the fact that Fleetwood Town had the highest wage bill in the league, and drew just 2,264 per game to their home league matches (9th-highest in the league). So Crawley Town they are not – unlike last season’s Conference champions Crawley Town, Fleetwood Town does not have undisclosed ownership which has plowed far more money into a promotion campaign than any other club in the league could ever hope to invest. FTFC’s money comes from a local source. From the fleetwoodtown.com site, ‘Andy Pilley is…the founder and managing director of Business Energy Solutions (BES). He founded the company in 2002 from a spare bedroom following the deregulation of the energy market.’ And sure they spent to get promoted – FW Jamie Vardy cost six figures to buy from Conference North club FC Halifax Town. But Fleetwood Town have still managed to live within their means, and thanks to their great FA Cup run, and broadcast revenue from their Third Round match versus Blackpool, they even managed to make a profit. Congratulations to Fleetwood Town FC, it’s chairman Andy Pilley and the board, it’s manager Micky Mellon, it’s players, it’s supporters, and all the folks who pitch in at the Highbury Stadium up there on the Fylde in coastal Lancashire…the Cod Army will now take their deserved place in the 2012-13 Football League’s League Two.

Below is a little chart I put together that shows the recent league history and average attendances of Fleetwood Town in the past 8 seasons. In that space of time, Fleetwood Town have been promoted 5 times and have seen their average attendance increase from 206 per game to 2,264 per game – a jump from the 9th Level to the 4th Level and a numerical increase at the gate of over two thousand a game. Also shown is Fleetwood Town’s Highbury Stadium before and after the Parkside Stand was opened in April 2011…
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Image and photo credits above – bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleetwood_Town_F.C.. fwpgroup.co.uk/projects.

Below – Fleetwood Town, 2011-12 Conference National champions -
Seen below are Fleetwood Town’s manager, Micky Mellon and the team’s top 2 leading scorers from the 2011-12 season, Sheffield-born Jamie Vardy (age 24), and Liverpool-born Andy Mangan (age 25).
fleetwood-town_micky-mellon_jamie-vardy_andy-mangan_h.gif
Photo credits above – Mickey Mellon, photo by Ian Hodgson at dailymail.co.uk .
Jamie Vardy, photo by Derick Thomas at fleetwoodtoday.co.uk.
Andy Mangan, photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

Map of the 7 Lancashire-based clubs in the Premier League/Football League

Fleetwood Town’s first-ever promotion to the Football League means there are now 7 clubs from Lancashire that are in the top 4 levels of English football (that is, of course, the Premier League (1st Level), Football League Championship (2nd Level), Football League One (3rd Level), and Football League Two (4th Level) -
Blackburn Rovers (Premier League or League Championship {TBD} for 2012-13),
Blackpool (League Championship for 2012-13,
Burnley (League Championship for 2012-13,
Preston North End (League One for 2012-13),
Accrington Stanley (League Two for 2012-13),
Fleetwood Town (League Two for 2012-13),
Morecambe (League Two for 2012-13).
Click on image below for map of 7 Lancashire-based clubs in the Football League/Premier League -
lancashire_football-clubs_2012-13_.segment_.gif
Photo credits above -
Morecambe, Tony Scholes at http:clarets-mad.co.uk/feature, league_two_[stadiums].
Fleetwood, fwpgroup.co.uk.
Blackpool, Terry Robinson at geograph.org via en.wikipedia.org’.
Preston, skyscrapercity.com/thread, PRESTON | Deepdale Redevelopment.
Blackburn, Blackburn Rovers/fussballtempel.net
Accrington, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Burnley, Simon Kirwan at lightboxuk.photoshelter.com.

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Photo credits on the map page –
Fleetwood Town/Highbury Stadium – placenorthwest.co.uk. fleetwoodtownfc.com. fwpgroup.co.uk.

Wrexham/Racecourse Ground – redpassion.co.uk

Mansfield Town/Field Mill – findaproperty.com. 100groundsclub.blogspot.com/2010/02/field-mill. bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.

York City/Bootham Crescent – bluesqfootball.com. campdavemorecambe at flickr.com. cqout.com/shop/Footy Postcards.

Luton Town/Kenilworth Road – SoccerWord.com. Stadiums.Football.co.uk. lutontoday.co.uk/’Grand designs for Kenilworth Road’. bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Football Conference‘.
Thankls to soccerway.com, for attendance figures.
Attendance data from 2005-06 to 2008-09 from: http://www.tonykempster.co.uk/gridsindex.htm.
Thanks to fleetwoodtown-mad.co.uk at League History for Fleetwood Town league history.
Thanks to FWP Group fgor the aerial photo of Highbury Stadium, http://www.fwpgroup.co.uk/projects/default_item.php?id=101.

April 30, 2012

England, Non-League Football/6th Level, 2011-12 – Conference South: the 1 promoted club – Woking FC – and the 4 play-off clubs.

Filed under: 2011-12 English Football,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 7:29 am

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2011-12 Conference South, Top of the Table


Conference South (aka Blue Square South) site, bluesqsouth.com.
From bluesqsouth.com, from 28 April 2012, ‘Saturday’s Blue Square Bet South Wrap – Chelmsford missed out on the play-offs with a 3-2 defeat to champions Woking on Saturday, while Maidenhead were relegated despite claiming a three-point haul‘.

Conference South and Conference South play-offs begin Wednesday 2 May, 2012footballconference.co.uk/play-offs fixtures.
Conference South Play Offs:
Dartford FC v. Basingstoke Town FC.
Welling United FC v. Sutton United FC.

Semi Finals,
First Leg – 2nd May 2012
Sutton United v Welling United. Kick Off 19:45
Basingstoke Town v Dartford. Kick Off 19:45

Second Leg – 6th May 2012
Welling United v Sutton United. Kick Off 15:00
Dartford v Basingstoke Town. Kick Off 1500

Play Off Promotion Final,
Sunday 13th May 2012 at the the highest placed Club.

The map page shows the top 5 finishers in the 2011-12 Conference South – the one automatically promoted club (Woking FC) and the four play off clubs (Dartford FC, Welling United FC, Sutton United FC, and Basingstoke Town FC). Photos of each club’s ground are shown at the far left, next to each club’s profile box. The profile box includes the basic club info plus highest league placement by the club, 2011-12 kits, and 2011-12 home kit badge. At the center of the map page is a location-map of the 5 clubs. At the upper right is attendance data (from home league matches) from the last 2 seasons for the 5 clubs (2011-12 average attendance, 2010-11 average attendance, and numerical change from 11/12 gates versus 10/11 gates).

After 3 seasons in the Conference South, Woking FC won promotion back to the Conference National, on 14 April 2012, with a 1-0 victory at Maidenhead United. 7 days later, in their next home match, in front of a crowd of 4,064 at the Kingfield Stadium, Woking and their supporters celebrated their 2011-12 Blue Square South title (see link to video below).

From getsurrey.co.uk, ‘VIDEO: Party time for Woking FC’s title triumph‘.

In the photo below, Woking teammates congratulate forward Giuseppe ‘Gez’ Sole, after scoring (on 21 April 2012). Sole is a 24-year-old former Woking youth academy player, who went on to lead Woking FC in scoring in 2007-08 (as a 19/20-year old) with 14 league goals [in the Conference], and then led Woking in scoring again in 2009-10 [in the Conference South]. Sole had loan spells at Newport County and Dorchester Town, before signing with Conference South side Havant and Waterlooville in 2010. Sole was brought back to Woking in the summer of 2011 by recently-hired manager Garry Hill. Gez Sole started the 2011-12 season out on loan to Basingstoke Town, and after coming back to Woking in January 2012, scored 19 goals in 20 league games, and set a club recored with goals scored in 9 strraight games.
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Photo credit above – David Holmes at wokingfc.co.uk.

Woking FC are from Woking, Surrey, which is 37 km. (23 miles) SW of London, and has a population of around 62,000 {2010 figure}. Woking, nicknamed the Cards (or Cardinals), have a 17-season history in the 5th Level/Conference National (from 1992-93 to 2008-09). Around fifteen years ago Woking had a big push for promotion that fell short – Woking finished in 2nd place for two consecutive seasons (1994-95 and 1995-96), back in the era when there was only one promotion-spot in the Conference (the 2nd promotion-spot, via the 4-team play-offs, was instituted for the Conference in 2002-03). In 1994-95, Woking finished 5 points behind Macclesfield Town. And in 1995-96, Woking finished 8 points behind Stevenage Borough (but Stevenage Borough were denied a promotion to the Football League because they did not meet Football League ground requirements, so nobody went up to the Football League that season).

Woking were relegated from the Conference National following the 2008-09 season, after finishing in 21st place. The next season, their first in the Conference South, Woking saw their gates dwindle from 1.7K to 1.3 K, and finished in 5th, then lost in the play offs final to Bath City in May 2010. Midway through the next season [2010-11], manager Gaham Baker was sacked after claiming the fans were expecting too much of the team. In January, 2011, former Rushden & Diamonds manager Gary Hill stepped in. For 2010-11, the Cards saw their attendance fall again, to 1,167 per game, and again they finished in 5th, and again they lost in the play offs, this time to Farnborough in the 1st round.

Now in Hill’s first full season with the club, he has ably guided Woking to a successful promotion campaign.

Woking’s Kingfield Stadium is unusual in that one of the goal-end stands – the Leslie Gosden Stand – is a modern roofed stand that completely towers over the other stands. So three quarters of the ground look definitely like a Non-League ground, while the Leslie Gosden Stand would not look out of place in League One. Woking draw very decent-sized crowds for a club with no League history. In their last season in the Conference National, in 2008-09, they had the 9th-best attendance in the 5th Level at 1,727 per game. This season, the Cards’ for-real-this-time promotion-run drew back many disaffected fans there in west Surrey, and the club pulled an average of 1,833 per game through the turnstiles. This figure was best in both Conference South and in Conference North by a considerable margin of over 400 per game (the second highest drawing club in the 6th Level in 2011-12 were FC Halifax Town at 1,422 per game).


Photo credits for the map page -
Woking/Kingfield Stadium – Salmonboy at panoramio.com.

Dartford/Princes Park – bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view. alexandersedgley.co.uk. groundtastic.co.uk/Ground Awards 2007.

Welling United/Park View Road – bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.footygrounds.blogspot.com/2011/06/welling-united-park-view-road. StephenHarris at panoramio.com.

Sutton United/Borough Sports Ground, Gander Green Lane – bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view. Chris Hayes Photography at flickr.com.

Basingstoke Town/The Camrose – bromleyfc.tv. dubsteps.blogspot.com/2009/04/basingstoke-town-2-havant-waterlooville.
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Football Conference‘.

Thanks to soccerway.com, for Conference South attendances.
Thanks to mikeavery.co.uk, for 2010-11 Sutton United attendance (in Isthmian League, here).

Thanks to David Holmes at wokingfc.co.uk for the photo from 21 April.
Thanks toi Salmonboy at panoramio.com for the nice panorama image of Kingfield Stadium, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/33893030.

April 28, 2012

England, Non-League Football/6th Level, 2011-12 – Conference North: the 1 promoted club – Hyde FC – and the 4 play off clubs.

Filed under: 2011-12 English Football,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 12:23 pm

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2011-12 Conference North, Top of the Table map


Conference North (aka Blue Square Bet North) site bluesqnorth.com.
From bluesqnorth.com, from 28 April 2012, ‘Saturday’s Blue Square Bet North Wrap – Nuneaton Town grabbed the final play-off spot while Hinckley United’s relegation was confirmed after the final round of Blue Square Bet North fixtures‘.

Conference North and Conference South play offs begin 2 May 2012footballconference.co.uk/play-offs fixtures.
Conference North Play Offs:
2nd place, Guiseley AFC v. 5th place, Nuneaton Town FC.
3rd place, FC Halifax Town v. 4th place, Gainsborough Trinity FC.
Semi-Finals,
First Leg – 2nd May 2012
Gainsborough Trinity v FC Halifax Town
Nuneaton Town v Guiseley

Second Leg – 6th May 2012
FC Halifax Town v Gainsborough Trinity
Guiseley v Nuneaton Town

Conference North Play Off Promotion Final,
Final – Sunday 13th May 2012 at the the highest placed Club.

Conference South (aka Blue Square Bet South) site, bluesqsouth.com.
Conference South Play Offs:
2nd place, Dartford FC v. 5th place, Basingstoke Town FC.
3rd place, Welling United FC v. 4th place, Sutton United FC.

Semi Finals,
First Leg – 2nd May 2012
Sutton United v Welling United
Basingstoke Town v Dartford

Second Leg – 6th May 2012
Welling United v Sutton United
Dartford v Basingstoke Town

Conference South Play Off Promotion Final,
Sunday 13th May 2012 at the the highest placed Club.

[ Note: post of 2011-12 Conference South/Top of the Table map incl. champions Woking FC will be posted on Monday 30 April at 12:30 pm GMT/7:30 am ET.]

The map page shows the top 5 finishers in the 2011-12 Conference North – the one automatically promoted club (Hyde FC) and the four play off clubs (Guiseley AFC, FC Halifax Town, Gainsborough Trinity FC, and Nuneaton Town FC). Photos of each club’s ground are shown at the far left, next to each club’s profile box. The profile box includes the basic club info plus highest league placement by the club, 2011-12 kits, and 2011-12 home kit badge. At the center of the map page is a location-map of the 5 clubs. At the upper right is attendance data (from home league matches) from the last 2 seasons for the 5 clubs (2011-12 average attendance, 2010-11 average attendance, and numerical change from 11/12 gates versus 10/11 gates).

Champions and the sole automatic promotion winner are Hyde FC, nicknamed the Tigers, who are from Hyde, which is in the eastern end of Greater Manchester, 11 km. (7 miles) east of Manchester city center. This is the second season (of a current 3-season agreement) in which Hyde FC have had a sponsorship deal with nearby Premier League club Manchester City, and the blue half of Manchester’s financial support of Hyde has done the trick, helping Hyde win their first-ever promotion to the 5th Level and the Conference National, one year after escaping relegation on the last day (of the 2010-11 season). The turn-around is especially striking, as Hyde have now gone from near-liquidation (circa 2009) to promotion in the space of three years.

Manchester City FC now uses Hyde FC’s Ewen Fields ground as the home of their reserves team. There were some raised eyebrows when Man City got Hyde to expunge all the red-half-of-Manchester references. So out went the red-painted stands of Ewen Fields (they are dark blue now), out went the red in the club badge and the kit of Hyde FC (for 2010-11 only, though, as Hyde are back in red now, but the badge still has sky blue, and not red, in it), and out went the name ‘Hyde United’. A big part of why it rankled many is that the club pretended that their sponsorship deal with Manchester City had nothing to do with the elimination of red, or ‘United’, from Hyde’s name and colors {see this article from twohundredpercent.net, by Ian King, from 17 July 2010, specifically the 3rd paragraph, ‘Manchester City Prepare To Turn Hyde Blue‘}.
hyde-united_change-to_hyde-fc_crest-change_red-to-sky-blue_.gif

In the summer of 2011, Hyde appointed Gary Lowe to lead the Tigers for 2011-12. Lowe spent 11 years as manager of western-Greater-Manchester-based Northern Premier League club Curzon Ashton [a 7th Level club].

On Saturday, 21 April, in front of a crowd of 1,036 at Ewen Fields, Hyde FC clinched promotion to the Conference National with a 4-1 win over Boston United. From thehydetiger.blogspot.com, by Paul Prole, ‘Champions!‘.

Hyde FC drew 7th-best in Conference North in 2011-12, at 645 per game, up an impressive +298 per game compared to 2010-11. And while that 645 per game is pretty low for a club going up to the 5th Level, with their working agreement with City, Hyde FC should probably be OK for survival in the 2012-13 Conference National.

Below, second-highest scorer in the league, Hyde FC forward Scott Spencer, who netted 32 goals in 33 league games for Hyde this season. The Oldham, Greater Manchester-born Spencer is 23 years old, and an England-C international, and among his travels he scored 4 goals in 17 games for League Two’s Southend United in 2010. Spencer is seen below in action from 8 October 2011, in a 1-1 draw at Ewen Fields versus Nuneaton Town.
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Photo credit above – Media Image Ltd. via eyeofthehydetiger.wordpress.com.
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Photo and Image credits on map page –
Hyde FC/Ewen Fields, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
tiny.url.com via http://www.twohundredpercent.net.
northernfootball.blogspot.com/2011/10/hyde-fc-1-nuneaton-town-1.
Paul Prole at thehydetiger.blogspot.com.

Guiseley AFC/Nethermoor Park – bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view. Matthew Wilkinson at flickr.com. [ Matthew Wilkinson's photostream ] .guisleyafc.com.

FC Halifax Town/The Shay – facupgroundhopper.blogspot.com/2010/10/fc-halifax-town-0-harrogate-town. wikistadiums.org/the-shay. Halifaxafc.co.uk.

Gainesborough Trinity/The Northolme, thedribblingcode.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/sat-15-oct-2011-gainsborough-trinity-v-frickley-ath. the66pow.blogspot.com/2011/08/gainsborough-trinity-0-v-worksop-town-1.

Nuneaton Town/Liberty Way (aka Triton Showers Community Arena) – nuneatontownfc.com. LeamDavid at Flickr.com.
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Football Conference/Conference North‘.
Thanks to soccerway.com, for Conference North attendances.
Thanks to mikeavery.co.uk, for 2010-11 FC Halifax Town attendance (in Northern League, here).
Thanks to Paul Prole for the nice photo of Hyde FC’s Danny Broadbent heading in a goal in their title-clinching win over Boston United (seen at the top of the map page, and here).

January 11, 2012

2011-12 Conference National – Location-map, with attendance data and league table chart (inclusive to 11 January, 2012).

Filed under: 2011-12 English Football,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 7:00 pm

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2011-12 Conference National


Conference National (aka Blue Square Bet Premier League) – results, fixtures, table (Soccerway.com).

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Photo credit – http://www.fleetwoodtownfc.com/club/highbury-stadium/.
As of 12 January, 2012, coastal Lancashire-based Fleetwood Town occupy the sole automatic promotion-spot and lead the Conference by a point over North Wales-based Wrexham, though the Red Dragons have a game in hand on the Cod Army. Fleetwood made a splash recently with their first-ever FA Cup Third Round Proper appearance, though they fell 5-1 to the second-tier club just down the road, Blackpool. Now Fleetwood, managed by the Scot Micky Mellon, can concentrate on their goal of gaining promotion to the Football League for the first time ever.

Wrexham have plenty of history in the League (80 seasons, last in 2007-08). Since late 2011, Wrexham has become the latest club in Britain to become fully supporter-owned, and they too have made a few headlines recently, being the sole remaining Non-League club still alive in the 2011-12 FA Cup. From Guardian.co.uk, from 11 Januarry 2012, by David Conn, ‘Wrexham hoping FA Cup run can complete Dragons’ rise from the ashes – Wrexham, now owned by a supporters trust, are making headlines for the right reasons again…‘.
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Image credit above – bing.com/maps/bird’s eye satellite view.
Wrexham are helmed by player/manager Andy Morrell, who at 37 is still putting balls into the net. Wrexham is seeing attendance up +23% (730 more per game than last season, to a 3,791 per game average). Wrexham’s gates are currently second-best in the Conference. {Attendance figures can be seen at the following link, just above the league table, here (Soccerway.com)}.

The biggest draw in the Conference is, for the third straight season, Luton Town, who found themselves relegated out of the Football League following financial meltdown and a 30-point deduction in 2008-09. Luton sit third, 6 points off the pace. Like another recent example of a rather large club to be marooned in Non-League football – Oxford United – Luton Town are finding it very hard to get out of the Conference and back into the Football Legaue. It must drive Hatters fans crazy knowing their club outdraws over 75% of fourth-division clubs [League Two] and over 60% of third-division clubs [League One], but still remain at the wrong side of the bottleneck at the top of the fifth division. Luton are averaging above 6,000 per game once again (6,127 per game as of 11 Jan. 2011), which is a spectacular figure for Non-League football.
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Image credit above – bing.com/maps/bird’s eye satellite view.

Rounding out the 4 play-off spots are two northern clubs – Gateshead, of Greater Newcastle, in 4th place; and North Yorkshire’s York City, in 5th place. Gateshead’s crowds are not that large for the Conference (where the median figure currently is 1,805 per game)…Gateshead are averaging 963 per game, but that is a +27% increase (an increase of +210 per game).
gateshead-fc_gateshead-international-stadium_c.gif
Image credit above – bing.com/maps/bird’s eye satellite view.
The problem for Gateshead, nicknamed ‘the Heed’ [a Geordie colloquialism for the word 'Head'), is that they play in a dire multi-purpose stadium, the Gateshead International Stadium, that is as charmless as a running track-scarred venue can get. York are drawing well these days (currently averaging 3,150 per game), despite the fact that the Minstermen's ground is inadequate in a different way - their Bootham Crescent (opened 1932) is a relic of a ground that harks to a bygone era. From York City official site, 'Why Not Bootham?'.
Here is a supporters' site dedicated to getting York City a new ground - http://www.astadiumforyork.com/
york-city-fc_boothan-crescent_b.gif
Photo credits above - yorkpress.co.uk. dubsteps.blogspot.com/2007/11/york-city-havant-waterlooville
That bygone era included no automatic relegation out of and promotion into the Football League, and York City, stuck in the Conference since 2004-05, could be seen as a prime example of a certain type of club - the once-seemingly-permanent-members of the 4th Division who must now labor in the wilds of the Non-League game. Back in the day (before 1986-87), the York Citys of the English football scene didn't really have to worry about losing their League status if they finished in last place, because the old boys' network of club owners would inevitably vote back in last place finishers almost year-in and year-out. In the 29 seasons from when the Fourth Division was formed, in 1958-59, to 1985-86 (which was the last season in the Football League with no automatic relegation out of the League), only three clubs got voted out of the Football League. So the last place finisher (or second-to-last place finisher, see below) in the Football League was spared 26 out of 29 times. It happened to York City in 1980-81, when they finished in last in the old Fourth Division, but were not voted out.

It was only if the club finished in or near last place in the Football League for two or three straight seasons that they risked being voted out - and this occurred with Bradford Park Avenue being voted out of the Football League in 1970, after 3 consecutive seasons at the bottom of the Fourth Division. Present-day Conference National club Cambridge United took Bradford Park Avenue's place in the Football League for the following season [in 1970-71, but CUFC were relegated in 2004-05, after a 36-season spell in the Football League].

The next club failing to be re-elected was Cumbrian club Workington, who were voted out of the Football League 7 years later in 1976-77, after two consecutive seasons at the bottom (and replaced in the Fourth Division for the following season [1977-78] by none other than Wimbledon FC). Interestingly, in that following season of 1977-78, Rochdale finished in last place in the Fourth Division, but 23rd place finisher Southport were voted out instead (Southport had finished in 23rd place for 3 consecutive seasons). The Merseyside-based Southport FC, currently a Conference National club, were the last club ever voted out of the Football League via election. That same election process in 1978 saw present-day Premier League club Wigan Athletic join the Football League, replacing Southport for the 1978-79 Fourth Division season. Wigan had never got a shot at playing League football until 1978-79, and they were a club back then who were able to draw from 4,000 to 6,000 per game [Southport were drawing just 1,873 per game and Rochdale just 1,275 in 1977-78, which were the two worst gate figures in the Football League that season]. Those 4K to 6 K per game figures that Wigan were drawing in their first 4 seasons in the Fourth Division is still higher than most clubs draw in League Two these days. It is an example of a club who was big enough to be in the Football League but for years couldn’t get voted in. One exception, in the other direction, to that state of affairs was Lincoln City, who were voted out of the Football League 3 different times in the early part of the 20th century, but each time were voted back in after just one season in Non-League football. In 1966-67, Lincoln City finished last in the Football League yet were re-elected for the following season. Then in 1986-87, the first season that the Football League allowed one automatic promotion/and one automatic relegation, Lincoln City got the unwanted distinction of being the first club to get the automatic drop to Non-League football.

Now, for the second time in their history, Lincoln City find themselves automatically relegated (along with Stockport County) out of the League [incidentally, Stockport County finished in last place in the Football League in both 1964-65 and 1973-74, and were re-elected both times].

This has added two to the ranks of the clubs with more than 65 years of Football League history that are now stuck in Non-League football. There are presently 8 clubs in this category – Lincoln City and Grimsby Town (with 104 seasons in the Football League each), Stockport County (with 99 seasons in the Football League), Luton Town (with 85 seasons in the Football League), Darlington (with 81 seasons in the Football League), Wrexham (with 80 seasons in the Football League), Mansfield Town (with 70 seasons in the Football League), and York City (with 68 seasons in the Football League). That list will probably expand in future seasons, as newcomers such as Fleetwood Town displace other clubs who have spent multiple decades in the lower divisions of the Football League.

The opening of the barred gate between the 4th Level and the 5th Level in 1986-87 will continue to have the knock-on effect of putting more clubs with no League history prior to 1987 into the Football League, at the expense of down-on-their luck clubs with vast League history. From en.wikipedia.org, ‘Former Conference clubs now in The Football League‘ [21 clubs]. Of the 21 clubs on the list, 13 had no Football League history prior to 1987, and 10 of those are not re-formed clubs (like Aldershot Town, Accrington Stanley, and AFC Wimbledon) and thus are absolute newcomers to the Football League thanks to the establishment of promotion/relegation between the Football League and Non-League football. Those 10 clubs are Barnet, Burton Albion, Cheltenham Town, Crawley Town, Dagenham & Redbridge, Macclesfield Town, Morecambe, Stevenage, Wycombe, and Yeovil Town.

The map page featutes a location-map of the 2011-12 Conference national, with 2 flanking sections. On the left of the map page is a chart which shows attendance data and League/Non-League history – total seasons spent by club in the Football League (ie, the top 4 Levels of English football) and in the Conference National (the 5th Level of English football), as well as how the club arrived into their current spell in the Conference, and how many seasons that spell has lasted.

On the right of the map page is a league table chart which shows the clubs in profile boxes arranged to reflect the standings from 11 January, 2012. At that point in time, most clubs had played 27 or 28 games of the 46-game season. The profile boxes feature the club’s home kit badge, their 2011-12 kits, and info on the club including formation date, nickname, stadium name and location, 2010-11 league finish, 2010-11 average attendance (from home league matches), best finish all-time, and seasons spent in the Football League.

Scoring leaders in the Conference (as of 11 January 2012)…
conference-scoring-leaders_jan-2012_john-shaw_liam-hearn_jamie-vardy_jason-walker_matt-green_e.gif
Photo credits for above – John Shaw (Gateshead), gateshead-fc.com. Liam Hearn (Grimsby Town), mansfieldtown.net/Gallery. Jamie Vardy (Fleetwood Town), fleetwoodtownfc.com/teams/jamie-vardy. Jason Walker (York City), yorkpress.co.uk. Matt Green (Mansfield Town), mansfieldtown.net/Gallery.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Football Conference‘.
Thanks to Soccerway.com for attendance data.
Thanks to E-F-S site for old attendance figures.
Thanks to this set of lists on the Football365 site – Club’s all-time season by league level [Levels 1 through 4, from 1888-89 to 2001-02].
Thanks to the Footy-Mad.co.uk sites, for their League History charts of each club {Levels 1 through 5], usually found at top menu bar under Club/League History; example, http://www.wrexham-mad.co.uk/.

December 26, 2011

2011-12 League Two – Stadia map, with galleries of the top 4 clubs in the table, 1st place Crawley Town, 2nd place Cheltenham Town, 3rd place Southend United, and 4th place Shrewsbury Town.

league-two_2011-12-stadia-map_post_d.gif
2011-12 League Two Stadia map


Football League Two – results, fixtures, table (Soccerway.com).

On Boxing Day, 2011, League Two is led by Crawley Town. The Red Devils of West Sussex were pretty much expected to be at or near the top of the table this season in the fourth division, because their transfer and wage bill (abetted by anonymous Far East investors) far exceeds other clubs in League Two. A 15-game unbeaten run was ended by Gillingham today, though, but it still looks like Crawley are in prime position to gain their second consecutive promotion under the mercurial Scot, manager Steve Evans. Crawley lead 2nd place Cheltenham Town by 3 points. Cheltenham Town in second place is a shock, seeing as most media outlets and bloggers pegged them for a relegation battle, not a promotion campaign this season. Ex-Robins MF and captain Mark Yates has been managing Cheltenham Town for 2 years now, and his squad plays some nice passing football, and only Swindon Town have less goals conceded (18) than Cheltenham (at 20, tied with Shrewsbury Town). Cheltenham have a stellar away record, boasting 8 wins, then a draw (to Barnet), in their last 9 matches away from Gloucestershire. Cheltehham Town have had two spells in the third tier (for a total of 4 seasons, last in 2008-09), and it’s starting to look like they could be returning to the third division. Perhaps the biggest impediment to their success could be the eventually-chewed-up-turf at Whaddon Road, the result of their groundshare with Gloucester City AFC (of the Conference North). Last year [2010-11], the poor pitch conditions played a part in Cheltenham’s struggles in the second half of the season, but maybe the mild winter, so far, will aid the Robins this season.

In 3rd place (which is an automatic-promotion-place in League Two) are Southend United. The Essex side, under much-travelled Scottish manager Paul Sturrock, shot out of the gate, but now seem to have flagged a little bit, with 4 straight defeats (two league and two cup losses). In 4th place are a club that was expected by most to be in (another) promotion campaign – Shrewsbury Town. The Shropshire-based club are run by longtime Hereford United manager Graham Turner, who returned in July 2010 to the place where he finshed his playing career and began coaching. In 5th place are the Staffordshire-based Burton Albion, who are managed by Canadian international Paul Peschisolido. In 6th place are the Kent/Thames Estuary side Gillingham, who are managed by Dartford, Kent-born Andy Hessenthaler. In 7th and in the final play-off spot are Wiltshire’s Swindon Town, who are managed by Rome, Italy-born West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio.

From Guardian.co.uk/Football League Blog, ‘League Two 2011-12: the bloggers’ half-term report
The people who really know their clubs give us the lowdown on the League Two season so far
‘.

On the map page, which you can see by clicking on the segment at the top of this post, you can see stadium photos of all 24 clubs in the 2011-12 season of the English Football League Two. Alongside each stadium image, club info is provided – club crest, year of formation, location, stadium capacity, 2010-11 average gate, list of the seasons spent by the club in each of the top 5 Levels of English football, and 2011-12 kits. At the far right on the map page is a location-map of the 2011-12 League Two. At the lower right of the map page are 2010-11 and 2009-10 average attendance figures (from home league matches), as well as league movement (if any) these last 2 seasons.

Below are photos of the grounds of the top four clubs in the League Two table as of 26 December, 2011 – 1st place, Crawley Town (Broadfield Stadium). 2nd place, Cheltenham Town (Whaddon Road). 3rd place, Southend United (Roots Hall). 4th place, Shrewsbury Town (Greenhous Meadow). Also included are photos of standout players on the squads (including team goals and assists leaders), as well as photos of the managers.

Crawley Town. Est. 1896. The Red Devils. Broadfield Stadium, cap. 4,996. Crawley, West Sussex.
First season in the Conference [5th Level], 2004-05. First season in the Football League: 2011-12.
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 2,535 per game (up +152.8%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 3,198 per game (up +26.0%).

crawley-town_broadfield-stadium_tyrone-barnett_matt-tubbs_steve-evans_segment_.gif
Crawley Town Image and Photo credits – Aerial view of Broadfield Stadium from bing.com/maps/. Entrance photo by Shaun at 100groundsclub.blogspot.com Photo of West Stand [at center] by Peer Pawelczyk via soccerway.com. Photo of terrace [at lower center] by Smidrophenia at flickr.com. Photo of Broadfield Stadium [at far left] from worldgroundhop.blogspot.com. Photo of West Sussex countryside by PhillipC at tripwolf.com. Matt Tubbs photo from skysports.com. Tyrone Barnett action photo by Frances Leader/Action Images via guardian.co.uk/football/football-league-blog; Tyrone Barnett photo in white kit from football365.com. Action photo including Kyle McFadzean from crawleytownfc.com/gallery. Andy Drury photo from thisissussex.co.uk. Steve Evans photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

Cheltenham Town. Est. 1887. The Robins. Whaddon Road, cap. 7,066. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
First season in the Conference [5th Level], 1988-89. First season in the Football League: 1999-2000.
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 2,980 per game (down -8.1%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 3,339 per game (up +20.%).

cheltenham-town_whaddon-road_mark-yates_jimmy-spencer_darryl-duffy_kaid-mohammed_marlon-pack_segment_.gif
Cheltenham Town Image and Photo credits – Aerial view of Whaddon Road from bing.com/maps. Small photo at upper right from wolves-stats.co.uk/Cheltenham_Town. Large photo of Cheltenham from the adjacent hillside by Adrian Pingstone at en.wikipedia.org/Cheltenham. Small photo of the three stands [at the center] by footix at Panoramio.com. Exterior photo [at lower left] from thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/. Photo from inside the stands [at lower left] from http://www.courtoffside.com/forum/album.php?albumid=15. Large photo of Main Stand by Shaun at 100groundsclub.blogspot.com.
Jimmy Spencer, Darryl Duffy, and Kaid Mohammed action photos from CTFC.com/galleries. Marlon Pack action photo from features.rr.com; Marlon Pack photo from teamtalk.com/cheltenham-town. Mohammed/Jombati/Smikle celebrating photo from ctfc.com/Gallerycirencesterpeople.co.uk. Photo of Mark Yates from http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/football.

Southend United. Est. 1906. The Shrimpers. Roots Hall, cap. 12,392. Southend-on-Sea, Essex.
First season in the Football League: 1920-21, charter member of the Third Division.
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 5,274 per game (down -31.6%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 5,801 per game (up +9.9%).

southend-united_roots-hall_liam-dickinson_kane-ferdinand_ryan-hall_paul-sturrock_segment_.gif
Southend United Image and Photo credits – Aerial view of Roots Hall, bing.com/maps. South Stand photo [at top, center] from footballstadiumguide.co.uk/southend-united. Roots Hall main entrance and camera gantry photos from portmanroadtothesansiro.blogspot.com. Fans in South Stand with flags from footybunker.com. Roots Hall photo at far left by Shaun at 100groundsclub.blogspot.com. Aerial photo of Southend-on-Sea by terryjoice at en.wikipedia.org/Southend-on-Sea. Liam Dickinson photos from southendunited.co.uk. Kane Ferdinanand photo from flblog.dailymail.co.uk, ‘Talent scout: Southend United’s Kane Ferdinand‘, by Joe Ridge. Ryan Hall photo from southendunited.co.uk/page/Gallery. Photo of Paul Sturrock with squad at Roots Hall from echo-news.co.uk/sport; Paul Sturrock photo from football.co.uk/southend_united.
Images of old Southend United kit badges are from Historical Football Kits site at http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Southend_United/Southend_United.htm.

Shrewsbury Town. Est. 1885. The Shrews. Greenhous Meadow, cap. 9,875. Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
First season in the Football League: 1950-51
(Shrewsbury Town were elected to the Football League, Division Three North in 1950, after being Midland League champions in 1949-50).
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 5,876 per game (down -7.5%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 5,436 per game (up +6.4%).
shrewsbury_town_greenhous-meadow_graham-turner_mark-wright_james-collins_lionel-ainsworth_segment_.gif
Shrewsbury Town Image and Photo credits – Aerial photo of New Meadow (aka Greenhous Meadow) from forums.electronicarts.co.uk. Main entrance photo from thegroundhog.wordpress.com. Pre-match photo of New Meadow by ynysforgan_jack at Flickr.com. The Old Market Hall in Shrewsbury photo by Asdfasdf1231234 at en.wikipedia.org/Shrewsbury. River Severn at Shropshire photo from sirpetespics.blogspot.com. Old kit badges of Shrewsbury Town from historicalkits.co.uk/Shrewsbury_Town. South Stand photo from the-prostar-stadium.blogspot.com. Mark Wright photo from shrewsburytown.com/Gallery. Lionel Ainsworth photo from AMA Sports photo agency via shropshirestar.com. James Collins photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Graham Turner photo from shrewsburytown.com.

After 22 matches played by most clubs in the 2011-12 League Two season, here are the 3 top scoring leaders and the top player in assists…
dec-2011-football-league-two_scoring-leaders_izale-mcleod_billy-kee_matt-tubbs_ryan-hall_e.gif
Photo credits above – Izale McLeod photo by Tom Jenkins at Guardian.co.uk. Billy Kee photo from burtonalbionfc.co.uk/gallery. Matt Tubbs photo from crawleytownfc.com/gallery. Ryan Hall photo from indiatimes.com.

Last season [2010-11], League Two as a whole averaged 4,175 per game, which was an 8.3% increase over 2009-10. Currently [26 Dec., 2011] League Two’s average attendance is 4,252 per game, which is a 1.8 percent increase from last season. [Current League Two attendance, including unofficial league average (ESPN Soccernet).

At the end of each League Two season, 4 clubs gain promotion to League One [which is the 3rd Level of English football]. First, second, and third place finishers get promoted automatically to League One each May, while the 4th through 7th place finishers compete in a play-off to determine the fourth promoted club. On the other hand, at the end of each League Two season, only 2 clubs are relegated to the Conference National [which is the 5th Level of English fooball, and the highest level in Non-League football]. League Two is the only level in the Fooball League that has a disparate number of promoted teams versus relegated teams [the other levels, the Football League Championship (the 2nd Level) and the Football League One (the 3rd Level), have 3 go up and 3 go down each season]. Currently, the clubs in the League Two relegation places are Plymouth Argyle and Northampton Town, with Dagenham & Redbridge, Hereford United, and Barnet within touching distance of the dreaded drop.

_

Photo credits on map page -

Accrington Stanley/Crown Ground, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
AFC Wimbledon/Kingsmeadow (aka Cherry Red Records Stadium), bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Aldershot Town/The EBB Stadium (Recreation Ground), bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Barnet/Underhill Stadium, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Bradford City/Valley Parade, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Bristol Rovers/Memorial Stadium, bing.com/maps/Bird’s eye satellite view.
Burton Albion/Pirelli Stadium, http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/4422509.jpg.
Cheltenham Town/Whaddon Road (aka Abbey Business Stadium), bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Crawley Town/Broadfield Stadium, bing.com/maps/Bird’s eye satellite view.
Crewe Alexandra/Alexandra Stadium, shepherd-gilmour.co.uk.
Dagenham & Redbridge/Victoria Road, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Gillingham/Priestfield, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Hereford United/Edgar Street, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Macclesfield Town/Moss Rose, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Morecambe/Globe Arena, sixtamesides.blogspot.com.
Northampton Town/Sixfields Stadium, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Oxford United/Kassam Stadium, footballaway.co.uk.
Port Vale/Vale Park, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Plymouth Argyle/Home Park, bing.com/maps/Bird’s eye satellite view.
Rotherham United/Don Valley Stadium, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Shrewsbury Town/Greenhous Meadow [aka New Meadow], James Humphries (aka Colds7ream) at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Meadow.
Southend United/Roots Hall, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Torquay United/Plainmoor, bing.com/maps/Bird’s eye satellite view.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Football League Two‘.

Thanks soccerway.com for current attendance figures.
Thanks to European-football-statistics.co.uk, for attendance data from previous seasons.

Thanks to these two sites…
1). Data for ‘Seasons spent in Levels’ lists, thanks to http://stats.football365.com/hist/tier3/attable.html [data up to 2001-02].
2). For league placement data from 2002-03 and on, plus general data on the clubs’ league placement through the years, thanks to Footy-Mad.co.uk sites of each club, usually [at the top menu bar there] at ‘Club/League History’. Example, Barnet-mad.co.uk.

Thanks to historicalkits.co.uk, for images of old kit badges.

Thanks to crawleytownfc.com.
Thanks to [Cheltenham Town] CTFC.com.
Thanks to southendunited.co.uk.
Thanks to shrewsburytown.com.

November 1, 2011

2011-12 League One: Stadia map.

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2011-12 League One, Stadia map


League One – Results, Fixtures, Table (Soccerway.com).

As of 1 November, 2011, after all clubs in the league have played 16 games, Charlton Athletic lead over Huddersfield Town by 3 points; with Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, MK Dons, and Notts County in the play-off places. Rochdale, Chesterfield, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town make up the clubs in the relegation zone.

charlton-athletic_the-valley_.gif
Large aerial photo by Dean Nicholas via SFist.com. Small aerial photo of The Valley by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via Zimbio.com/Aerial Views Of London Football Stadiums [Gallery].

Football League One is the 3rd Level of the English Football system. League One is the league which, most seasons, has the widest disparity of club size (as measured by average attendance). To be very general about it, you can divide the sort of clubs that are in any given League One season into 3 categories…

A) Medium-to-medium/large-sized clubs with more than 2 dozen seasons in the top flight, that have maybe won a few major titles, and have (and maybe at a stretch) the ability to average near or above 20,000 per game. In this category, this season, there are 5 clubs that fit this criteria – Charlton Athletic, Huddersfield Town AFC, Preston North End, Sheffield United, and Sheffield Wednesday. These clubs have fallen on hard times and now must rub shoulders with clubs who don’t even have stadiums larger than 10 or 12K capacity – clubs who have never even made it to the second division, let alone the top tier.

B). 3rd Level/League One mainstays. Clubs who have historically been found at the 3rd Level more than any other level, or who have slightly more seasons-spent in the 2nd Level (2 clubs, denoted in the following list by an asterisk). The 11 clubs in this category [for 2011-12] are Bournemouth, Brentford, Carlisle United, Chesterfield, Colchester United, Exeter City, *Leyton Orient, *Notts County, Oldham Athletic AFC, Tranmere Rovers, and Walsall. These clubs generally average between 4,000 to 7,000 per game. The higher-drawing of these 11 clubs are Bournemouth, Chesterfield and Notts County, who these days usually draw in the 6K to low-7K region. The middle-drawing of these 11 clubs are Tranmere, Exeter, Carlisle, Brentford, and Oldham, who usually draw in the mid-4K to mid-5K region. And the lower-drawing of these 11 clubs are Walsall, Colchester, and Leyton Orient, who these days usually draw in the high-3K to mid-4K range.

C). Clubs who have punched above their weight to get here, and who draw lower than the clubs listed above (usually drawing between 2,500 to 5,500 per game) and whose realistic goal, most seasons, is to remain at this level (7 clubs). Of course, these clubs can try to live the dream, as it were, and that is what you could call Scunthorpe United’s run for the last 6 seasons, which has included 2 spells and 3 seasons in the 2nd Level (the League Championship) for the plucky Norh Lincolnshire side – this from a club that has spent 39 seasons in the 4th Level, just 19 seasons in the 3rd Level, and only 9 seasons in the 2nd Level, 6 of which were before 1965. You also will find clubs in this category who have been in the 2nd Level somewhat recently (like Bury, last in 1999), or clubs that just fell short of a Cinderella-story promotion to the second division (like Yeovil Town, in 2006-07). You can sub-divide this category into C-1), Clubs who have been in the Football League for decades; and C-2), Clubs who never had a shot at the Football League until 1979-80, when automatic promotion/relegation was instituted between Non-League football and the 4th Level of the Football League. For the 2011-12 League One season, those C-1 clubs would be Bury, Hartlepool United, Rochdale AFC, and Scunthorpe United; the C-2 clubs are Stevenage, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town. It is worth noting that these latter 3 clubs have all spent more seasons in the 3rd Level/League One than in the 4th Level/League Two.

That’s 23 clubs, what about the 24th?. Well, MK Dons belong in a special category all their own (thank goodness) – a club that stole another club’s league placement and history (Wimbledon FC), then moved the ‘franchise’ out of that club’s area (South London) into another area (in 2004, to Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, which is around 71 km./44 miles north of London).

The map page shows an exterior or an aerial photo (or satellite image) of each football club’s ground. 2010-11 average attendances, 2009-10 average attendances, and league movement (if any) are listed at the lower right of the map page. Above that is a location-map of the 24 clubs in the 2011-12 League One season. By each club’s stadia photo is club and stadium info, 2011-12 kits, and the 5-level league history of the club.

I added 5th-Level-history because 3 clubs – Carlisle United, Colchester United, and Exeter City – have had a season or two (or five) in the wilderness of Non-League Football recently; and because 3 clubs – Stevenage, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town – never had any League history before 1979-80. That season was when election to the Football League was replaced by the more democratic on-field promotion and relegation system that had already been in place in the Football League then for almost a Century. Since the elimination of that barrier, clubs like Stevenage, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town have moved up the ladder and firmly established themselves in the Football League. You could call these 3 clubs the best argument for why there should be 3, and not just 2, clubs promoted from Non-League football each year.

Below are the top 3 scorers in the 2011-12 League One season after 16 games – Bradley Wright-Phillips, Gary Medine, and Jordan Rhodes…
football-league-one_scoring-leaders_1november2011_bradley-wright-phillips_gary-medine_jordan-rhodes_c.gif
Photo credits – CAFC.co.uk. SWFC/galley. Bruce Rollinson/thestar.co.uk.


Image credits on map page –
Carlisle United, aerial photo of Brunton Park from VisitCumbria.com.
Preston North End, http://www.deepdalestadium.co.uk/stadium_gallery/.
Huddersfield Town, satellite image from Bing.com/maps [found at each club's stadium page at en.wikipedia.org/click on the (blue-lit) coordinates of stadium/click on Bing.com's Bird's Eye satellite view, here.
Hartlepool United, Fanzone.co.uk.
Tranmere Rovers, Tranmererovers.co.uk.
Bury, 'Flightsandlessons.com'.
Rochdale AFC, Bing.com/maps.
Oldham Athletic AFC, Bing.com/maps.
Scunthorpe United, Bing.com/maps.
Sheffield Wednesday, the photo of Hillsborough was taken from by a camera suspended from the frame of a manned kite glider, Rob Huntley-Kite Aerial Photography.
Sheffield United, pparry at Photobucket.com.
Chesterfield, chesterfield-fc.co.uk.
Notts County, Bing.com/maps.
Walsall, Mediastorehouse.com/Bescot Stadium.
MK Dons, Bing.com/maps.
Stevenage, Bing.com/maps.
Colchester United, Colchester.gov.uk.
Wycome Wanderers, photo by DipseyDave at 'Adams Park' (en.wikipedia.org).
Brenrford, Bing.com/maps.
Leyton Orient, photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via Zimbio.com/Aerial Views Of London Football Stadiums [Gallery]
Charton Athletic, photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via Zimbio.com/Aerial Views Of London Football Stadiums [Gallery].
Exeter City, Bing.com/maps.
Yeovil Town, ytfc.net.
AFC Bournemouth, Bing.com/maps.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Football League One‘.

Thanks to European-football-statistics.co.uk, for attendance data.

Thanks to these two sites…
1). Data for ‘Seasons spent in Levels’ lists, thanks to http://stats.football365.com/hist/tier3/attable.html [data up to 2001-02].

2). For league placement data from 2002-03 and on, plus general data on the clubs’ league placement through the years, thanks to Footy-Mad.co.uk sites of each club, usually [at the top menu bar there] at ‘Club/League History’. Example, Carlisle United’s Footy-Mad page/Club/League History.

August 11, 2011

Premier League, Attendance map for clubs in 2011-12 season.

premier-league_2011-12_w-2010-11_attendance-data_post_d.gif
Premier League attendance map


Premier League – Results, fixtures, tables (Soccerway.com).

Here are all the clubs in the 2011-12 Premier League that had percent-capacities last season of above 90 percent-capcity (with average attendance from 2010-11 home league matches). [ Percent Capacity is arrived at this way...Average Attendance divided by Stadium Capacity equals Percent-Capacity. ] Also listed are each club’s average attendance last season, change from 2009-10, and how the club finished in 2010-11.
99.4%-capacity – Arsenal. Attendance (60,025 per game) was up +0.2 percent last season. 4th place finish/CL play-off spot.
99.1%-capacity – Manchester United. Attendance (75,109 per game) was up +0.3 percent last season. 2011-12 Premier League champions/Qualified for CL Group Stage.
98.6%-capacity – Tottenham Hotspur. Attendance (35,704 per game) was down -0.3 percent. 5th place finish/Europa League play-off spot.
98.3%-capacity – Fulham. Attendance (25.043 per game) was up +4.7 percent. 8th place finish/Europa League 1st qualifying round (via a Fair Play spot).
97.66%-capacity – Stoke City. Attendance (26,858 per game) was down -1.1 percent. 13th place/Europa League 3rd qualifying round (via FA Cup [finalist] spot).
97.61%-capacity – Chelsea. Attendance (41,435 per game) was up +0.3 percent last season. 2nd place finish/Qualified for CL Group Stage.
97.57%-capacity – Norwich City. Attendance (25,386 per game) was up +2.9 percent. 2nd place in 2nd Level/Promoted.
96.8%-capacity – Manchester City. Attendance (45,905 per game) was up +0.9 percent. 3rd place finish/FA Cup title/Qualified for CL Group Stage.
95.3%-capacity – Wolves. Attendance (27,925 per game) was down -1.6 percent. 17th place finish.
94.6%-capacity – Liverpool. Attendance (42,820 per game) was down -0.1 percent. 6th place finish.
93.1%-capacity – West Bromwich. Attendance (24,683 per game) was up +11.2 percent. 11th place finish.
91.2%-capacity – Newcastle United. Attendance was up +10.0 percent. 12th place finish.
_
Thanks to E-F-S site for attendance data.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011-12 Premier League‘.

August 5, 2011

English Football League Championship – attendance map and data for clubs in the 2011-12 League Championship season.

league-championship2011-12_attendance-from-2010-11_sized-logos_post_f.gif
League Championship attendance map


2011-12 Football League Championship‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
England – Championship, Resuits, Fixtures, Table (Soccerway.com).

From Guardian.co.uk/Football League Blog, ‘Championship 2011-12 season preview: the bloggers’ view‘.

On the map page, the map shows the locations of the clubs in the 2011-12 Football League Championship, which is the 2nd Level of English football. Flanking the map are the club crests of the 24 clubs in this season’s League Championship. The crests are sized to reflect the clubs’ 2010-11 average attendance (from home league matches). The larger the club’s average attendance, the larger the crest. On the left of the map page is a chart showing attendance data including 2010-11 average attendance, 2009-10 average attendance, percent-change from 09/10, stadium capacity, and percent-capacity. Each club’s movement (if any) in the past two seasons (up or down via promotion or relegation) is also shown on the chart.

Percent-capacity can be found on the chart in the column furthest to the right.
[Percent Capacity is arrived at this way...Average Attendance divided by Stadium Capacity equals Percent-Capacity.]

Below are the 10 clubs in the 2011-12 League Championship season that had a 70-percent-capacity or higher last season -

94.8%-capacity – West Ham United. Last spell in the second division lasted 2 seasons, from 2003 to 2005. The Hammers drew 31,167 per game in 03/04 in the second tier, then 27,403 per game in 04/05 when they got promoted out of the 2nd Level. That shows you that it is crucial for West Ham to get back to the Premier League this season, or see a 20 percent or so drop-off in fan support…not the best scenario if West Ham fails in their promotion-bid this season, then start playing in the White Elephant-with-running-track in 2012-13, with a dwindling fan support. What atmosphere will 27,000 generate in the 60,000 London Olympic Stadium ?
94.1%-capacity – Blackpool. Promoted in 2010 and relegated back to the Championship last season. Their now-fully renovated, 16,750-capacity Bloomfield Road was close to being completely full most of the time last season. Blackpool averaged 15,775 per game. It remains to be seen if the club can draw near that figure now that they are back in the second tier, and now that a large part of the starting squad from last year’s almost-fairy-tale season is gone. Ian Holloway has added striker Kevin Phillips to the team.
86.5%-capacity – Cardiff City. Played their first full season in the City of Cardiff Stadium (capacity 26,828), and being near the top of the table certainly contributed to their high attendance (23,194 per game). Now the squad has sputtered out at the end in two straight seasons, and new manager Malky Mackay has his work cut out for him.
84.8%-capacity – Birmingham City. A +0.9 percent increase from 2009-10 in average attendance (25,462 per game) as the West Midlands side began with the momentum of 09/10 [when they finished in 9th place in the Premier League]. En route to winning their second-only ‘major’ title by beating Arsenal 2-1 in the League Cup final in February, their form started dipping, and the Blues ended up on the wrong side of the log-jam at the bottom of the table. Maybe they would have avoided the drop if they shed their defensive shell once in a while. On the bright side, their new manager is Chris Hughton.
83.3%-capacity – Hull City AFC. It looks like Hull City has managed to maintain a considerable portion of their fan base after their 2-season stint in the Premier League, which ended in May 2010. Even though average attendance dropped minus-13.2% back in the Championship last year, the Tigers are still getting over 21,000 per game. This is how far the East Riding of Yorkshire club has come in a decade…10 seasons ago (2000-01), Hull City were a fourth division club drawing 6,684 per game. Now, after finally getting to the top flight, Hull are a mid-table second division club that gets over 20K a game.
83.1%-capacity – Brighton & Hove Albion. Gus Poyet has energized the squad and the 6 to 7 thousand Seagulls supporters who put up with the football purgatory that was the Withdean Stadium. And now their new stadium has energized the sleeping-giant fan base, and it looks like there will be close to sell-outs most every fortnight at Amex Stadium (capacity 22,500 for league matches). If they can avoid going straight back down, this south coast club will probably start drawing in the 18 to 20,000 range year-in, year-out. The club has made a couple good transfers: prolific striker Craig Mackail-Smith was bought from Peterborough for a club-record 2.5 million pounds; and MF Will Buckley was bought from Watford for 1 m. pounds {see this article from The Two Unfortunates from June 2011, by Lloyd, ‘The Monday Profile: Will Buckley‘.
77.5%-capacity – Derby County. Despite the decent percent-capacity number, average attendance (26,023 per game) was down over 3,000 per game from 2009-10, after another lackluster year for the Rams, who finished in 19th place. Derby supporters have got to be wondering about the ambition of the American ownership group.
76.1%-capacity – Nottingham Forest. Even though the club was in the promotion race all season, average attendance was still down minus-2.3 percent, to 23,275 per game. Maybe Forest fans could sense the impending post-season collapse, where, just like the season before, they looked bereft of ideas. The club’s new manager is Steve McClaren.
75.9%-capacity – Portsmouth. With a thread-bare squad after their near-financial meltdown, manager Steve Cotteril found a way to keep Pompey out of the relegation battle, with a 16th place finish, and the club drew 15,707 per game at the 20,700-capacity Fratton Park. Things like signing Luke Varney (for 1 m. pounds) are good signs from management.
73.1%-capacity – Reading. Their solid academy produces the talent to keep the Berkshire club living within their means and staying near the top of the table. It feels like one of these seasons, Reading will find a way to get back to the Premier League. They just fell short of promotion last season, losing 4-2 to Swansea City in an extremely entertaining play-off final at Wembley in May. Reading’s !7,682 per game average attendance at the 24,200-capacity Madejski Stadium was a 1.6 percent increase.

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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Football League Championship‘.
Thanks to European-Football-Statistics site, for attendance figures.
Thanks to FootballGroundGuide.com, for stadium capacities.

August 4, 2011

English Football League One – attendance map and data for clubs in the 2011-12 League One season.

league-one2011-12_attendance-from-2010-11_sized-logos_post_c.gif
League One attendance map

League One – Results, Fixtures, Table (Soccerway.com).
2011–12 Football League One‘ (en.wikipedia.org).


From Guardian.co.uk/Football League Blog – League One 2011-12 preview: the bloggers’ view.

From ‘The Seventy Two Unfortunates’ [dual-site collaboration of The Seventy Two.com and The Two Unfortunates.blogspot.com sites] – ‘The Seventy Two Unfortunates Football League season preview’ [GIANT 108 page pdf].
From Guardian.co.uk/Football League Blog, ‘League Two 2011-12 season preview: the bloggers’ view‘.

As I mentioned in my League Two post {here}, 5 clubs in the 2011-12 League One had a percent-capacity (for home league matches) of 60% or higher, last season [2010-11]. Here are the five…
67.0%-capacity – Chesterfield. A brand-new stadium (B2net Stadium, capacity 10,400) and a season-long-spell near the top of the table was a winning combination for the Spireites, who drew 6,972 per game in 2010-11. Chesterfield manager John Sheridan now has the task of making Chesterfield a viable third division side. The North Derbyshire club’s last spell in the 3rd Level lasted 6 seasons from 2001-02 to 2008-07, but Chesterfield never finished higher than 16th place.

66.4%-capacity – AFC Bournemouth. After avoiding financial meltdown, Bournemouth won promotion from League Two in 2010. The club lost manager Eddie Howe to Burnley in Jan. 2011, but still maintained good form and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost to Huddersfield Town in the first round. Caretaker manager Lee Bradbury got a 2 and-a-half year deal. The Cherries drew a solid 7,103 to their 10,700-capacity Dean Court.

63.1%-capacity – Sheffield United. A season from hell in South Yorkshire for Blades fans. Sheffield United sacked manager Kevin Blackwell after 3 games, hired Gary Speed, then he up and left them for the Wales job in December. The Blades never recovered. The solidity of the club’s fan base shows in their half-decent percent-capacity figure. They drew 20,632 per game to their 32,702-capacity Brammall Lane. Well, getting the drop to the third tier while still drawing over 20,000 per game worked out, in the end, for Norwich City. Blades supporters should just roll with it and treat this as an opportunity to finally visit places like Yeovil in Somerset, and Birkenhead in the Wirral [Tranmesre Rovers], and Carlisle in Cumbria.

61.07%-capacity – Exeter City. Exeter City, along with fellow League One club Brentford, are the highest-placed supporter-owned football clubs in England. Exeter City FC is wholly owned by Exeter Supporters Trust. The Grecians, despite their isolation in Devon, have been having a great run. Back-to-back promotions were followed last season by an impressive 8th place finish. Exeter drew 5,393 per game at their St. James Park, which has a capacity of 8,830. Attendance was actually down from 2009-10 (by minus-7.5%), but a good deal of that drop can be explained by the spate of cancellations and mid-week re-scheduled matches last winter, combined with Exeter’s isolated location.

60.4%-capacity – Scunthorpe United. Scunthorpe’s relegation was a blessing in disguise, because now the club doesn’t have to tear down a stand and re-build it as an all-seater. {See this, from Nov.2010, from The Two Unfortunates site, by Lloyd, ‘Keep Scunthorpe Standing‘}. Scunthorpe drew 5,548 per game last season at their 9,183-capacity Glanford Park. With up-and-coming manager Alan Knill (who played 130 games for Scunthorpe as a central defender in the 1990s), the club looks to be in a good position to compete for promotion once again. Maybe once they get back to the Championship and consolidate there, the Football League will have re-considered their rule that basically forces cash-strapped clubs to tear down perfectly good terraces. Germany does just fine with safe all-standing terraces, not just in the German second division (Bundesliga-2), but also in Bundesliga.

Here are the clubs that the oddsmakers have tipped to be promotion favorites…
From Statto.com, English League One – Promotion Odds. Top pick to get promotion is Huddersfield Town (of course). Second best pick is Sheffield Wednesday, followed by Preston North End, Sheffield United, and Charlton Athletic.

Hartlepool United’s cut-price season ticket scheme has been very successful, with the County Durham club selling 5,750 season tickets {See this, from HartlepoolMail.co.uk, ‘Pools season ticket push‘}. So Victoria Park, which has a capacity of just 7,787 for league games, will be seeing much higher percent-capacitry figures this season [note: their first home match on 13 Aug. drew 5,170]. Hartlepool is 41 km. (25 miles) SE of Newcastle, and has a population of around 90,000 {2006 figure}. Pools only drew 2,933 per game last season, and have been playing to mid-3,000-size crowds for half a decade now, yet have still managed to hang on in the third tier for 7 of their last 8 seasons. In the 2003-04 season, they drew 5,419, so it looks like some of those fans of the Monkey Hangers have come out of the woodwork for this deal.

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Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendance figures.
Thanks to the FootballGroundGuide.com, for stadium capacities.

August 3, 2011

English Football League Two – attendance map and data for clubs in the 2011-12 League Two season.

league-two2011-12_attendance-from-2010-11_sized-logos_post_f.gif
League Two Attendance Map


2011-12 Football League Two‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
League Two – Fixtures, Results, Table (Soccerway.com).

From ‘The Seventy Two Unfortunates’ [dual-site collaboration of The Seventy Two.com and The Two Unfortunates.blogspot.com sites] – ‘The Seventy Two Unfortunates Football League season preview’ [GIANT 108 page pdf].

From Guardian.co.uk/Football League Blog, ‘League Two 2011-12 season preview: the bloggers’ view‘.

I introduced this type of map and chart last year, but last season I only covered the top 2 divisions in England in this fashion. This post covers the English Football League Two, which is the lowest level in the Football League and is the 4th Level in the English football pyramid. At each season’s end, two clubs gain promotion into this level from the 5th Level (for this season, Crawley Town and AFC Wimbledon) and two clubs are relegated out of League Two to Non-League Football and the Conference National (those 2 clubs were Lincoln City and Stockport County). Meanwhile, four clubs gain promotion from this level to League One, that is, from the 4th Level to the 3rd Level (those 4 clubs were Chesterfield, Bury, Wycombe Wanderers, and Stevenage). Finally, 4 clubs are relegated from League One to this level (those 4 clubs were Bristol Rovers, Dagenham & Redbridge, Plymouth Argyle, and Swindon Town).

The map shows the locations of the clubs in the 2011-12 season of League Two. Flanking the map are club crests, with the crests sized to reflect 2010-11 average attendance (home league matches). The larger the average attendance, the larger the club’s crest. So, down at this level, most of the club crests are going to be pretty small. In case you are wondering why Bradford City has such relatively high attendance figures for this level, that is because Bradford City instituted a cut-rate ticket scheme 3 seasons ago, and their gates shot up well past the 10,000-per game mark. Even though this pricing scheme has been largely phased out, the crowd-sizes have not diminished that much there in West Yorkshire, despite the Bantams’ lackluster form of late (they finished in 18th place last season)

Percent-Capacity in the lower leagues
This is the first time I have listed percent-capacity statistics for the lower Leagues. On the chart, the far right column shows each League Two club’s percent-capacity figure from last season [ Percent-capacity is found this way...Average Attendance divided by Stadium Capacity = Percent-Capacity ].

Percent-capacity figures for most League Two clubs are usually at or below 50%-capacity. And where a 70-80 percent-capacity number would be a healthy figure for a League Championship club {see this post from August 2010}, and there are 10 clubs in the 10/11 Championship that are in the 70 to 80%+ category; and a where a 60-70 percent-capacity is a very healthy figure for a League One club, and there are 5 clubs in the 10/11 League One that are in the 60 to 70% category, the problem is that getting a percent-capacity figure above 70% or so when you are a fourth-division-club means the club has stadium issues. Namely, that the club won’t have room for growth, in terms of fan base size, if they are promoted – without a costly stadium expansion. And revenue is being lost, because such a high percent-capacity for a small stadium means that inevitably there will be sold-out matches, so average attendance begins to plateau. That is the problem AFC Wimbledon will face if they are able to consolidate their new-found status as a Football League club. A little-noted fact about AFC Wimbledon is that they had a drop-off of minus-2.8% in attendance last season. [The lack of an extra sell-out date because Oxford City was no longer in the Conference in 2010-11 certainly contributed to the fact that Wimbledon's average gate was below the previous seasons'.] Wimbledon drew 3,435 per game last season in the Conference at their Kingsmeadow ground, in southwest London near Surrey. Kingsmeadow only has a capacity of 4,772. So AFC Wimbledon had a 72.8%-capacity last season, which is the highest figure of all clubs in the 11/12 League Two (or the 11/12 League One, for that matter). The club would certainly have had a larger average attendance if their stadium was larger, because those sell-outs last season versus, say, Luton Town, would have drawn well over 5,000 [probably even 7,000] had the ground been larger. So Wimbledon faces the situation where they will be losing revenue because of inadequate stadium capacity. There is an expansion planned at Kingsmeadow in the near future, but AFC Wimbledon’s specific plans are still vague.

Second-best percent-capacity from last season of 2011-12 League Two clubs was by a club that actually was in a relegation battle last season – Northampton Town, who finished in 16th. The Cobblers’ decent 4,605 per game average attendance last season was boosted by a low-price youth ticket scheme the club had introduced last summer, plus by larger crowds attending some of the late-season relegation-battles at the Sixfields Stadium (capacity 7,653). Northampton had a 60.2%-capacity figure last season. Here is an article from NTFC.co.uk, about their good gate figures, ‘Sixfields Attendance On The Increase‘.

There are 3 other clubs in League Two this season that had percent-capacity figures near 60% last season…
Shrewsbury Town, at 59.5%-capacity. The Shropshire club, in yet another failed-promotion-run last season, have been drawing well since their New Meadow ground opened in 2007. STFC drew 5,876 per game last season in the 9,875-capacity ground.
Oxford United at 58.2%-capacity. Oxford United finished in 12th place in their first season back in the League, drawing 7,277 per game at their 12,500-capacity Kassam Stadium). That was second-highest in League Two last season.
The just-relegated Swindon Town, at 57.5%-capacity. This after a 2009-10 season that saw Swindon come agonizingly close to winning promotion the the League Championship, losing to Millwall 1-0 in the 2009-10 League One play-off final at Wembley. Last season, Swindon Town, helped by 9K and plus-10K gates at matches early on in the season, actually had a slight 0.8% increase in a season which ended up seeing them relegated. Swindon Town had an average attendance of 8,450 per game in their 14,700-capacity County Ground.

Odds for promotion
Not coincidentally, the three clubs with the highest wage bill in League Two this season are also the three highest-rated clubs to win promotion (by the bookmakers, at least). Those 3 clubs are Crawley town, Swindon Town, and Bristol Rovers.
From Statto.com, English League Two Promotion Odds.
Topping the list is actually Crawley Town, despite the West Sussex club having just been promoted from Non-League football for the first time. This is thanks to Crawley Town’s shadowy and deep-pocketed Far East investors. Last season, Crawley Town spent more on player transfers than any other club in their league or the division above them (ie, this division), and such lavish outlay for these levels continues at Crawley. Swindon Town is second-favorite for promotion, while Bristol Rovers, Oxford United, and Shrewsbury Town round out the top five best odds for promotion.
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Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendance figures.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011-12 Football League Two‘.

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