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April 29, 2013

England (and Wales): Conference North: 2012-13 Location-map with final attendance figures for top 5 finishers, including champions Chester FC, and the 4 play-off clubs (Guisely AFC, Brackley Town, Altrincham, FC Halifax Town) / With photos of the 5 clubs’ grounds.

Filed under: 2012-13 English football,Eng. Non-League,Football Stadia — admin @ 8:12 pm

england_conference-north_2012-13_final-table_4-play-off_clubs_champions_chester_post_d.gif
England: Conference North, map with 2013 champions Chester FC, and the 4 play-off clubs.



2012-13 Conference North & Conference South Play-offs – Fixtures, Results (soccerway.com).

The Conference North is one of 3 leagues in the Non-League Football Conference. It is a 6th Level league, and its sister league is the Conference South. Both were instituted in 2004-05. The 22-team Conference North and the 22-team Conference South are the highest regional leagues in the English football pyramid – promotion is to the 5th level and the Conference National (which is the lowest-level national league in the English football ladder, and the highest level in the Non-League pyramid). 2 clubs each from Conference North and from Conference South are promoted each season – one automatic promotion (1st place) and the play-offs winner. The play-offs are comprised of the 4 clubs which finished in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th places. The play-offs final in both Conference North and Conference South are played at the ground of the finalists with the better regular-season finishes.

This post features a location-map with attendance data for 5 clubs… the 1 promoted club from Conference North this season – Chester FC, and the 4 play-off clubs – Guisely AFC, Brackley Town FC, Altrincham FC, and FC Halifax Town. Also featured are captioned illustrations of the 5 clubs’ grounds, which include League histories for the 2 re-born Phoenix clubs (Chester and Halifax).

    Promoted to Conference National for 2013-14 – Chester FC.

Since forming in 2010 as a Phoenix-club, Chester FC, a wholly supporter-owned club, have won 3 straight promotions, and will now play in the Conference National (5th Level) in 2013-14. The club is on a definite trajectory back to the Football League, where the club it succeeded, Chester City FC (defunct in 2010) spent 69 seasons (last in 2008-09).

Chester FC are from Chester, which is in the western part of Cheshire, about 25 km. (15 miles) south of Liverpool and right on the Welsh border. Chester FC were formed in May 2010, immediately after Chester City FC were liquidated. Subsequently, in the three years that have followed, Chester FC became the highest-drawing Non-League club outside of the Conference National, pulling in around 2,400 to 2,700 per game. Now in August 2013 Chester FC will join the Conference National, making it 3 straight promotions for the 3-year-old club. So the trend of ‘how hard it is to get out of the Conference and back into the Football League’ looks to be getting a new wrinkle. Now, somewhat big clubs (for 5th Level standards) are not only dropping down into the Conference (such as Luton Town and Grimsby Town and Stockport County and Lincoln City and Cambridge United; as well as recent Non-League escapees such as Oxford United and York City and Mansfield Town [among others]), but now, sizable clubs (most of whom are re-born Phoenix-clubs) are getting promoted up into the Conference – such as in the recent past the re-born Phoenix-club AFC Wimbledon, and now Chester FC, and soon, probably, FC Halifax Town (plus there’s also another club that fits into this category, Boston United; plus, Stockport County and Lincon City [both of whom are now stuck in the Conference North/South after being relegated this season] also fit this category). This trend, in my opinion, is just one more reason why the Conference National is so interesting to follow these days. It is literally getting bigger by the inevitable inclusion of sizable clubs coming into the 5th Level from both directions these days.

The following article gets into a detailed breakdown of all the recently promoted and recently relegated clubs between the Conference and the Football League … from The Two Unfortunates site, from 20 March, 2013, by Gary Andrews, ‘RELEGATION FROM THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD‘ (thetwounfortunates.com).

Chester FC are managed by Neil Young, a 38-year-old who is Birkenhead-based. Prior to his being re-signed as full-time manager in late 2012, Young also worked for Merseyrail (the commuter-rail network based in Liverpool) as a manager. As the Chester Chronicle has described him, Neil Young is ‘a fully paid-up member of the Liverpool pass-and-move school’ {see this interview of Neil Young by Paul Wheelock, ‘Chester FC: The Chronicle interview with new Blues boss Neil Young‘ from May 2010 (chesterchronicle.co.uk)}.

Neil Young had started as a midfielder in the Tranmere Rovers set-up but was forced to retire in 1999 at age 24 while at Droylsden FC. Entering the coaching profession, Young got his first job as manager in Sept. 2008 with English-league-affiliated-Welsh club Colwyn Bay FC (of Colwyn Bay, North Wales), who were in the 8th Level Northern Premier League Division One North at the time [Colwyn Bay have since risen 2 levels higher, and have been a Conference North side since 2011-12, and just avoided relegation in 2012-13 by winning their last 6 matches and finishing in 18th place].

Young’s first year at the helm saw Colwyn Bay make the play-offs but fall short. The following season (2009-10), Young’s Colwyn Bay made the play-offs for the second straight time, and beat Curzon Ashton and Lancaster City to secure promotion to the 7th Level Northern Premier League. At this point (Spring of 2010), the brand-new Chester FC approached Young to become the first manager of the club, whom were at that point slated to begin in the 9th Level. In May 2010, Young signed a contract to manage Chester FC. Chester FC then successfully appealed to the Football Association with regards to their initial league placement – and their appeal was successful and the new club were placed one level higher – in the same level and same league that Young had just gotten Colwyn Bay out of – the 8th Level Northern Premier League Division One North. For the newly re-formed club, that ‘upgrade’ in 2010 on the initial level & league placement was only logical, because it has become plain to see in the subsequent 3 years that Chester FC has inherited most if not all of the original Chester City fan base. Chester FC has been drawing crowds which dwarf the 8th and 7th Levels – like over 1,500-per-game higher than the usual crowds in the Evo-Stick leagues. At their compact and tidy and all-roofed Deva Stadium (which opened in 1992 and has a capacity of 5,300 [4,500 seated]), Chester FC draw in the mid-2,000-per game range (2,582 per game in 2012-13 {home league matches}), while the Northern League’s top division [7th Level] is comprised of clubs who usually draw in the 200 to 500 per game range (with around 330 per game as the median); while the Northern Premier League Division One North [8th Level] is comprised of clubs who usually draw in the 100 to 300 per game range (with around 160 per game as the median) {see this site for data I used in this sentence (nonleague.co.uk/leagues)}.

12 months later, in late April 2011, for the second straight season, Neil Young got a club promoted from the Northern Premier League Division One North, as Chester FC squeaked past Skermersdale United on goal difference of 2 goals. 12 months later, now in the 7th Level 2011–12 Northern Premier League, Young’s Chester FC won promotion again – this time by a whopping 17 points (over Northwich Victoria [the Vics were later relegated that season for financial mismanagement]).

12 months later, now in the 6th Level 2012–13 Conference North, Young’s Chester FC have won promotion for the 3rd successive year – again by a wide margin as they finished 16 points ahead of Guiseley AFC. So Chester FC now progress to the highest level of Non-League football, the 5th Level Conference National. They will be among the five or six biggest clubs in the Conference National next season. I say that because if they can draw 2.5 K per game in the 6th Level, then Chester FC will probably be able to draw near to 3,000 per game in the Conference. And only 4 clubs in the Conference this past season [2012-13] drew above 3,000 per game, and one was relegated – Luton Town, Grimsby Town, Wrexham, and Stockport County drew above 3K per game in 2012-13, with Stockport County being relegated this season. As to the clubs being relegated from League Two into the Conference, both Aldershot Town and Barnet drew under 2.5K per game in 2012-13. Aldershot will almost certainly see a further drop off in crowds next season, while Barnet might see a bit of attendance increase despite relegation and their having to move out of their borough into the adjacent borough of Harrow – because Barnet will be moving into a new purpose-built stadium there, ‘The Hive Stadium‘ [provisional name]. The problem being that a significant portion of Barnet supporters have made it known they won’t be attending matches anymore because Barnet are no longer playing in the borough of Barnet.


Here is a thread from the When Saturday Comes forum that was supposed to be about the plight of south-England-based clubs that were stuck in the Conference North (such as Bishop’s Stortford) – but it turned into a discussion about Chester FC…’TOPIC: Defying Geography; Conference North 2012/13‘ (wsc.co.uk/forum); (wsc.co.uk).

From Borussiabeefburg.wordpress.com, from 12 Dec. 2012, ‘Deva Stadium‘.

Promoted to Conference National for 2013-14 – Chester FC.
chester-fc_the-deva-stadium_neil-young_nathan-jarman_antoni-sarcevic_b.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Photo, AltusImaging at panoramio.com.
Illustration of Chester FC 2012-13 kits from ‘Chester FC‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Photo of Chester manager Neil Young from chesterchronicle.co.uk.
Photo of Narhan Jarman was unattributed at leaderlive.co.uk.
Photo of Antoni Sarcevic by Andy White at thenonleaguefootballpaper.com.

    The 4 Play-Off Teams in 2012-13 Conference North…(Guisely AFC, Brackley Town, Altrincham, FC Halifax Town)

Guiseley AFC.

Guiseley is a suburb of Leeds (located 14 km, or 9 miles NW of Leeds). In 2009-10 Guiseley won the Northern Premier League Premier Division and were promoted to the 6th Level for the first time. Guiseley’s first appearance in the Conference North saw immediate success, with a 5th place finish in 2010-11 (losing to Crawley Town in the first round of the play-offs). In their second season in the Conference North, Guiseley improved to second place, just 5 points shy of automatic promotion, but again lost in the first round of the play-offs (to Nuneaton Town). Now Guiseley hope that third time’s the charm in their quest to win promotion to the Conference National. Guiseley’s manager is Steve Kittrick, who has been managing the Lions’ squad since November 2007.

guiseley-afc_nethermoor-park_f.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Guiseley A.F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
footballgroundsinfocus.com.
guiseleyafc.co.uk.

Brackley Town FC.
brackley-town_st-james-park_d.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Brackley Town F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Unattributed at tottonstags.blogspot.com.

Altrincham FC.
altrincham_moss-lane_e.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Altrincham F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
dubsteps.blogspot.com/2005/02/altrincham-1-barrow-0.html.

FC Halifax Town.
fc-halifax-town_the-shay_halifax-town-afc-league-history_c.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
F.C. Halifax Town‘ (en.wikipedia.org/wik).
thedribblingcode.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/tue-19-april-2011-fc-halifax-town-v-frickley-athletic-npl-prem/.

___
Thanks to soccerway.com for attendance figures, http://int.soccerway.com/national/england/conference-n–s/20122013/north/.

Thanks to Statto.com for Halifax Town AFC League history, statto.com/football/teams/halifax-town/history/modern.
Thanks to http://evostikleague.pitchero.com/archive-737/ for Chester FC attendance figure (2011-12).
Thanks to http://www.southern-football-league.co.uk/ for Brackley Town attendance figure (2011-12).

April 25, 2013

England: Conference South: 2012-13 Location-map with final attendance figures for top 5 finishers, including champions Welling United FC, and the 4 play-off clubs (Salisbury City, Dover Athletic, Eastleigh, Chelmsford City) / With photos of the 5 clubs’ grounds.

Filed under: 2012-13 English football,Eng. Non-League,Football Stadia — admin @ 9:09 pm

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/england_conference-south_2012-13_final-table_4-play-off_clubs_champions_welling_post_c .gif
England: Conference South: map with 2013 champions Welling United FC, and the 4 play-off clubs


2012-13 Conference North & Conference South Play-offs – Fixtures, Results (soccerway.com).

The Conference South is one of 3 leagues in the (Non-League) Football Conference. It is a 6th Level league, and its sister league is the Conference North. Both were instituted in 2004-05. The 22-team Conference North and the 22-team Conference South are the highest regional leagues in the English football pyramid – promotion is to the 5th level and the Conference National (which is the lowest-level national league in the English football ladder, and the highest level in the Non-League pyramid). 2 clubs each from Conference North and from Conference South are promoted each season – one automatic promotion (1st place) and the play-offs winner. The play-offs are comprised of the 4 clubs which finished in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th places. The play-offs final in both Conference North and Conference South are played at the ground of the finalists with the better regular-season finishes.

    Promoted to Conference National for 2013-14 – Welling United.

Welling United are nicknamed the Wings and from south-east London in the District of Welling, which is in the London Borough of Bexley, near the Kent border. Before the railroads, Welling was a village on the main road from London to Kent, and legend has it that the town got its name because once you had traveled from London into the town, you were ‘Well in’ to Kent {see this article from thetravellingfan.blogspot.com from June 2012}. Bexley is around 18 km. (or 12 miles) southeast of the City of London, and about 5 kilometres east of the District of Charlton, where Charlton Athletic’s ground, The Valley, is located, and where the founder of Welling United FC, Sydney Hobbins, played football about 6 decades ago. Welling United were formed in 1963 by former Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Sydney Hobbins – Welling were formed as a youth team for Hobbins’ two sons. A senior team was later organized, and the club began playing in Saturday leagues in the early 1970s, playing in Eltham in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, in south-east London.

In 1977, Welling United moved a few kilometres east to Welling, Borough of Bexley, and into Park View Road (this after the ground’s former tenant, Bexley United, had folded, in 1976). In 1978, Welling United joined the now-defunct Athenian League. In 1981, Welling United progressed to the Southern League’s second division. The Southern League’s 1982 re-organization saw Welling United progress further, with a credible 3rd place finish in the new Southern League Premier League in 1982-83. The Southern League Premier was a 6th Level league then [it is now a 7th Level league]. Three years later in 1985-86, Welling United won promotion to the Conference (the 5th Level).

Welling United would play 14 seasons in the Conference, but finished only twice above 11th place (with their highest-ever finish being 6th place in the 1989-90 Conference). Wellling United were relegated from the 5th Level in 1999-2000.

Back in the Southern League, Welling were one of the 44 Non-League clubs who earned placement in the newly-instituted 6th Level, which comprised Conference North and Conference South, in 2004-05. Welling have been in Conference South for all 9 seasons that the league has played (2004-05 to 2012-13).

Recent history of Welling United
Recent history of Welling United saw then-30-year-old Bexley native and current player/manager MF Jamie Day’s appointment as the first team manager in November 2009. In August 2010, the club was threatened with being liquidated, as Welling were served with a winding-up petition by HRMC. The club escaped primarily thanks to funds raised by supporters. Here is an excerpt from en.wikipedia’s page on ‘Welling United F.C.‘…{excerpt}…’The Wings were given 14 weeks to pay the outstanding debt to the HMRC, and thanks almost entirely to the supporters were able to raise £60,000 to clear all monies owed. During this period, in a Football Conference Hearing on 16 September 2010, Welling United admitted to a misconduct charge in connection with the outstanding HMRC debt. Resultantly an immediate deduction of 5 points was enforced on the club together with a suspended £5,000 fine.’…{end of excerpt}.

In 2010-11, despite a 5-point deduction and a transfer embargo, Jamie Day’s Welling United finished in 6th place, missing out on the play-offs by one point. In 2011-12, Welling improved to 3rd and made it all the way to the Conference South Play-offs Final, but fell to nearby Kent-based club Dartford FC 0-1, at Darford’s Princes Park on 13 May 2012.

On 22 April, 2013, after a season-long run of 21 undefeated games at home, fourth-year player/manager Jamie Day’s Welling United all but mathematically clinched promotion to the 5th Level Conference National with a 1-1 draw versus Boreham Wood. Here is an article on that from BexleyTimes.co.uk, by Robin Cottle, ‘Welling United clinch first league title for 27 years‘ (bexleytimes.co.uk).

The following day, Monday the 23rd, Salisbury’s failure to win at Sutton clinched it for the Wings, and so in August 2013, Welling United will be back in the 5th Level for the first time since the spring of 2000. The final match this season on Saturday 27 April 2013 versus play-offs qualifier Eastleigh will be a formality, and a time for a bit of celebration for the Wings’ faithful. That 60 thousand pounds that Welling supporters contributed 3 years ago to save the club from liquidation has now paid dividends, and Welling are back in the top tier of Non-League football for the first time in 14 years. Back when Welling were in the Conference circa the late 1990s, very few clubs in the 5th Level then were full-time professionals. That situation had changed drastically in the decade-and-a-half since, and now the lions’ share of clubs in the Conference National are full-time pro squads (around 70 to 80 percent of the clubs are full-time pro in the Conference these days). There is no word yet on whether Welling United will turn from a part-time squad to a full-time squad. But chances are the club will remain semi-pro seeing as how the Wings were hard-pressed to pull in more than 600 per game in 2012-13. In other words, if Welling stay semi-pro, they will have their work cut out for them next season.

welling-united_park-view-road_jamie-day_ross-lafayette_i.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Photo, onion-bag.blogspot.com/2011/02/welling-united.
Illustration of Welling United 2012-13 kits from ‘Welling United‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Action Photo of player/manager Jamie Day from bexleytimes.co.uk.
Action Photo of FW Ross Lafayette by Keith Gillard at pitchero.com/clubs/wellingutd via pitchero.com/clubs/wellingutd.

    The 4 Play-Off Teams in 2012-13 Conference South…

Play-offs: Salisbury v. Chelmsford, and Dover v. Eastleigh.

Salisbury City FC.
salisbury-city_raymond-macenhil-stadium_c.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
putajumperon.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/old-sarum-the-purple-tweenie.
Salisbury City F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Dover Athletic FC.
dover-athletic_crabble-athletic-ground_b.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Dover Athletic F.C.’ (en.wikipedia.org).
Empics via bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21142875.
Aerial photo by Geoff Hall at dover-athletic.co.uk.

Eastleigh FC.
eastleigh-fc_silverlake-stadium_stoneham-lane_13_c.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Eastleigh F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
PA at fcindependence.tumblr.com.

Chelmsford City FC.
chelmsford-city_melbourne-stadium_c.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Chelmsford City F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

___
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2012–13 Football Conference‘.
Thanks to Soccerway.com for attendance data, http://int.soccerway.com/national/england/conference-n–s/20122013/north/.
Thanks to the Welling United official site, http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/wellingutd.

April 20, 2013

England and Wales: Conference National (aka Blue Square Bet Premier League) 2012-13 Location-map with final attendance figures for top 5 finishers, and promoted & relegated clubs listed / Plus photos of the 5 clubs’ grounds & their managers, and their League histories.

Filed under: 2012-13 English football,Eng. Non-League,Football Stadia — admin @ 3:09 pm

conference-national_april-2013_.gif
England & Wales: Conference National (aka Blue Square Bet Premier League) 2012-13 Location-map with final attendance figures for top 5 finishers



2013 Conference National PLAY-OFFS. [All times Greenwich Mean Time.]
SEMI-FINALS:
Tuesday 23rd April 2013, 19:45
Wrexham v Kidderminster.

Wednesday 24th April 2013, 19:45
Grimsby v Newport.

Sunday 28th April 2013, 13:30
Kidderminster v Wrexham.

Sunday 28th April 2013, 16:30
Newport v Grimsby.

PROMOTION FINAL:
Sunday 5th May 2013, 15:00 pm, at Wembley Stadium,
Newport County v. Wrexham in the Play-offs Final – meaning their will be a Welsh team joining the Football League, League Two next season…

From Two Hundred Percent site, from 29 April 2013, by Ian King, ‘Wrexham & Newport County: Salutary Tales Of Struggle & Redemption‘ (twohundredpercent.net).

From The Guardian, from 5 May 2013, by Stuart James, ‘Newport County victory over Wrexham puts them back into Football League‘ (guardian.co.uk/football).

Fixtures, (bbc.co.uk/sport/football/conference/fixtures).

Note on relegated clubs listed in the small chart section on the right-hand side of the map page – The reason why there is a question mark next to just-relegated AFC Telford United is because AFC Telford United will most likely be one of 3 ex-Conference-National clubs now placed in Conference North, with a re-shuffling of current Conference North clubs resulting in either Bishop’s Stortford or Gloucester City being placed (or re-placed, in Stortford’s case) into Conference South for the 2013-14 season. This is all, of course, pending which 6th Level and 7th Level clubs, exactly, find themselves in Conference North/Conference South (ie, in the 6th Level) in the following few weeks.

From bbc.co.uk/football, from 20 April 2012, ‘Mansfield 1-0 Wrexham‘.

    Champions of the 2012-13 Conference National,and returning to the Football League after 5 seasons in Non-League football, Mansfield Town FC.

Mansfield Town. Est. 1897 as Mansfield Wesleyans/ changed name to Mansfield Town FC in 1910. The Stags.
Field Mill [aka One Call Stadium], Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Opened circa 1861. Mansfield Town began playing at Field Mill in 1919-20. The first stand was built in 1922. The stadium was last renovated in 1999 to 2001. The provisional capacity is 7,574 (with one of the main stands temporarily closed for safety reasons).
Mansfield Town average attendance: 2,764 per game. (From 2012-13 home league matches in Conference National/5th Level).

mansfield-town_field-mill_paul-cox_matt-green_e.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Mansfield Town F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
bing.com/maps.
100groundsclub.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-matchday-241-field-mill.html.
crosbyherald.co.uk.
PA at bbc.co.uk/football.
Unattributed at thisisnottingham.co.uk

    Below: the 4 play-off clubs (#2 v. #5; #3 v. #4 in the 1st Round of the 2013 Conference National Play-offs)…

#2, Kidderminster Harriers.
kiddermisnster-harriers_aggborough_steve-burr_h.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Kidderminster Harriers F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Screenshot of satellite view of Aggborough from bing.com/maps.
harriers.co.uk.
harriers.co.uk.

#3, Newport County AFC.
newport-county-afc_rodney-parade_justin-edinburgh_k.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Newport County A.F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Pwimageglow at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:West_Stand,_Rodney_Parade,_Newport.jpg.
Unattributed at thefa.com.
Photo from Play-offs final at Wembley by Andrew Couldridge at thetimes.co.uk/

#4, Grimsby Town FC.
grimsby-town_blundell-park_rob-scott_paul-hurst_joint-managers_e.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Grimsby Town F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
insidefutbol.com.
wrexhamafc.co.uk.
mtfc.co.uk.
EMarketing.co.uk via facebook.com/OfficialGrimsbyTown.

#5, Wrexham FC.
wrexham_the-racecourse-ground_andy-morrell_e.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Wrexham F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
uk.eurosport.yahoo.com.
Huw Evans/PA via bbc.co.uk/football.

___
Thanks to this group of sites for clubs’ League histories (Footy-mad.co.uk sites, such as http://www.wrexham-mad.co.uk/league_history/wrexham/index.shtml.
Thanks to this site for data on clubs’ League histories, http://stats.football365.com/hist/tier2/attable.html.

Thanks to Soccerway.com, for 2011-12 attendance data, http://int.soccerway.com/national/england/conference-national/20122013/regular-season/r18216/.
Thanks to ESPN Soccernet for current attendance figures, http://espnfc.com/stats/attendance/_/league/eng.5/english-conference?cc=5901.

November 18, 2012

England: Conference National – 2012-13 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data.

Note: to see my most-recent map-and-post on the English 5th division (now called the National League), click on the following…category: Eng-5th level.
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conference-national_location-map_attendance_badges_post_.gif
England: Conference National – 2012-13 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data & 2012-13 home jersey badges



The Conference National is the 5th Level of English football. It is the highest level in Non-league football. For sponsorship reasons it is known as the Blue Square Bet Premier. 2 clubs get promoted each season to the Football League, into League Two. Promoted are the league winner and the winner of the four-team play-offs. The bottom 4 clubs each season get relegated to the 6th Level, into either the Conference North or the Conference South.

Conference National table, with fixtures and results (soccerway.com).

Below are the top five clubs in the Conference National as of 19 November, 2012, with current average attendances listed (most clubs have played 9 or 10 out of 23 home matches so far); [current attendance figures for Conference clubs can be found at the link above]…

1st place in the Conference as of 19 Nov. 2012, Grimsby Town. Grimsby Town FC, Blundell Park, Cleethorpes, Northeast Lincolnshire.
grimsby-town_fc_blundell-park_b.gif" Photo credit above - mtfc.co.uk.

2nd place in the Conference as of 19 Nov. 2012, Newport County. Newport County AFC, Newport, South Wales, Wales.
newport-county-afc_rodney-parade_f.gif
Photo credits above –
agroundhoppersdiary.blogspot.com/2012/08/newport-county-rodney-parade.html.
Action photo from Newport v.Hereford, 28 Aug. 2012 by bullsnews.blogspot.com/2012_08_01_archive.html.

3rd place in the Conference as of 19 Nov. 2012, Forest Green Rovers. Forest Green Rovers FC, Nailsworth, Stroud Valley, Gloucestershire.
forest-green-rovers_the-new-lawn_d.gif""
Photo credits above –
photodivauk.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/away-with-the-rovers/.
buildingdesign-news.co.uk/mar-12/mitsubishi-forest-green-rovers.htm.

4th place in the Conference as of 19 Nov. 2012, Wrexham. Wrexham FC, Wrexham, North Wales, Wales.
wrexham-fc_racecourse-ground_north-wales_c.gif
Photo credit above –
soccerway.com/teams/wales/wrexham-fc/venue/.

5th place in the Conference as of 19 Nov. 2012, Dartford. Dartford FC, Dartford, Kent, on the south bank of the River Thames, 22 km. (13 miles) east of central London.
dartford-fc_prines-park_.gif
Photo credits above –
esi.info/Glulam-individually-designed-wood-solutions.
Keith Gillard at newsshopper.co.uk.
Steveboswell at en.wikipedia.org.

Thanks to soccerway.com for Conference attendance figures, http://www.soccerway.com/national/england/conference-national/20122013/regular-season/.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘Conference National / Conference National clubs 2012–13‘.

October 24, 2012

England: League Two – 2012-13 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data.

2012-13_football-league-two_location-map_2011-12attendance-data_.segment_.gif
England: League Two – 2012-13 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data




Note: to see my most recent post on the English 4th division, click on the following: category: Eng-4th Level/League 2.

At the top of the map page, the 2012-13 home jersey badges of the clubs in England’s 4th division are shown in alphabetical order. I added the clubs’ names under the badges mainly because if I had not, I am pretty sure I would have confused a few folks because, for the club’s Centenary, Gillingham’s kit badges and jersey colors this season are very different than their usual. Gillingham 12/13 Centenary Vandamel Football Shirt Design (Footballshirtculture.com). The badge is the Kent-based club’s original kit badge from 1911-12, and their home jersey color this season is not the Gills’ present-day royal blue, but the 1911-12 version – red-with-royal-blue-sleeves.

Here are the other League Two clubs this season which have home kit badges that are different from their official crests…
Bradford City sport a star (for their 1911 FA Cup title) – black stars seem to be a new kit-design trend, as both Huddrsfield Town and Man City also feature black stars on their home kit badges this season. Like Nottingham Forest, Southend United’s badge is, as usual, a reverse of their official crest. For 2012-13, Exeter City sport a striking shield device, with their flanking-winged-horses-coat-of-arms sitting in a larger version of the black-and-red-shield that is in the center of the crest itself. Exeter City’s badge has a sort of MC Escher feel about it {see it here (exetercityfcshop.co.uk)}. Since 1986, Torquay United have had, for most seasons, a seagull-in-disk device on the kits which is different, and more simplified – in a good way, I feel – than their official crest. Torquay United’s official crest, with its tacky color-blend effects, looks too much like a cheap clip-art design. Finally, League 1/League 2 yo-yo club Wycombe Wanderers are celebrating their 125th anniversary, and on their badge this season they sport gold olive branches flanking their chained-goose-with crown-in-disk device (which is based on the Buckinghamshire coat of arms). You can see it here (jerseyrevival.com).

Gillingham FC, League Two leaders as of 24 October 2012 -
After 14 games played for most of the clubs in the fourth division, Kent’s only Football League club, Gillingham FC, hold a 2-point lead in League Two, ahead of Port Vale in second place. Gillingham have spent the lions’ share of their years in the 3rd Level (ie, League One), with 56 seasons in the third division (last in 2009-10). Gillingham’s highest league placement was in 2002-03, when they finished in 11th place in the second division. That was during a 5-season-spell when Gillingham were, for the only time in their history, a second division club. That era coincided with the almost complete redevelopment of Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium [known since 2011 as MEMS Priestfield Stadium for sponsorship purposes].

Much-traveled motivator/quick-fixer Martin ‘Mad Dog’ Allen is the Gills’ manager, after he helped keep Barnet from dropping out of the League in May 2012. This was a good karmic ending because you could say Allen was atoning for his sin against Barnet 13 months earlier, when he bolted from the the small North London-based club after just 3 games, leaving Barnet twisting in the wind and needing to find another way to once again save off relegation (which they did – just). The reason Allen bolted then was because Notts County, then in a relegation-battle of their own in League One, made Allen a better offer. Allen kept Notts County up in 2011-12, but poor league form the next season saw the Notts County board sack Allen in February 2011. So Allen then went back to Barnet and Barnet avoided relegation on the last day of the season for the third straight year. Then in July 2012 Allen made it nine job hires as manager in 9 years, with his appointment as the manager of Gillingham. [Clubs managed by Martin Allen - 2003–04, Barnet. 2004–06, Brentford. 2006–07, MK Dons. 2007, Leicester City. 2008–09, Cheltenham Town. 2011, Barnet. 2011–12, Notts County. 2012, Barnet. 2012, Gillingham.]. With the blossoming of Kent-born Gillingham striker and captain Danny Kedwell, Gillingham have held the top spot in League Two for virtually the whole season. Some observers feel Kedwell can forge a similar path to the top level like another rough-and-tumble ex-Non-league striker – Grant Holt, of Norwich City. The only problem with that scenario is that Kedwell is 29 years old.
Below, Danny Kedwell, Martin Allen, Priestfied Stadium…
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Image and Photo credits above – kentonline.co.uk. businessforkent.co.uk. bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view. Interior photo of Priestfield from PA via dailymail.co.uk.

New Stadium in Rotherham
The good news for Millers fans up in South Yorkshire is that Rotherham United have a new stadium, the 12,021-capacity New York Stadium, which was built by, and is owned by Rotherham United FC. The bad news for Millers fans is that their new manager is the felonious controversy-magnet Steve Evans, late of Crawley Town. Evans’ latest dust-up sees Evans banned and fined (the FA.com). Well, once Evans eventually takes his act elsewhere, RUFC supporters will still have their shiny new ground, which, as you can see below, looks rather nice. First of all, the New York Stadium is located in the city-center of Rotherham, not out in some god-forsaken lot many kilometers outside the town’s core, like with Coventry City’s Ricoh Stadium or Colchester United’s Colchester Community Stadium. And as far as the design of the New York Stadium goes, you can see in the photo below how the stands are very close to the pitch and they have a steep incline, making for excellent sight-lines. The staggered roof line prevents the stadium from having a bland, cookie-cutter look. Plus, Rotherham top brass didn’t pull a Notts County and over-expand – 12,000 capacity suits Rotherham United just fine. Rotherham is only 9.5 kilometers (or 7 miles) from Sheffield in South Yorkshire. So it has always been an uphill battle for Rotherham United to build a larger fan base. That is because the club is situated right in the midst of the fan bases of Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, both of whom can draw in the the high 20K-range when playing in the upper reaches of the football ladder. The last time Rotherham United were in the second division was a 4-season spell from 2001-02 to 2004-05, and they drew in the mid-7,000-per game range then. In their new stadium this season, Rotherham are currently averaging 8,135 per game and will probably end up averaging around 7 or 8 thousand this season, maybe a bit higher than that if they can maintain a promotion drive (Rotherham are currently just within the play-off places in 7th place).

Rotherham’s new ground is called the ‘New’ York Stadium because the RUFC chairman Tony Stewart insists that this was what this section of Rotherham was nicknamed a century ago. Whatever. He just thought that the name would garner attention, and maybe it would lead to some sponsorship tie-in with the actual city of New York or even the New York Yankees (dream on). The stadium was built on the former site of the Guest and Chrimes Foundry {which you can still see via Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here}.

Below, The New York Stadium, Rotherham, South Yorkshire. Opened 18 August, 2012. Capacity 12,021 (all seated). Built and owned by Rotherham FC.
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Photo credit above – unattributed at rotherfm.co.uk/news/local-news/new-york-stadium-good-for-rotherham/.

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Thanks to Soccerway.com, for attendance figures and stadium capacities, http://www.soccerway.com/national/england/league-two/20122013/regular-season/ .
Thanks to Footballkitnews.com, for info on 2012-13 jerseys- http://www.footballkitnews.com/category/english-football-league-two/.
Thanks to Footballfashion.org, for info on 2012-13 jerseys – http://footballfashion.org/wordpress/category/201213-kits-jerseys/.
Thanks to Footballshirtculture.com, for info on 2012-13 jerseys – http://www.footballshirtculture.com/.
Thanks to Wycombe Wanderers site for 125th anniversary crest – http://www.wwfcshop.co.uk/collections/all-products/products/kuk01703 .

September 25, 2012

England: League One – 2012-13 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data, and 2012-13 home kit badges.

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League One map with attendance data & kit badges




Note: to see my latest map-&-post of the English 3rd division, click on the following, Eng-3rd Level/League One.

Tranmere Rovers are from the suburb of Tranmere in Birkenhead, Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside – just a short ferry-ride away from Liverpool. The population of Birkenhead is around 83,000 {2001 census figure}. Tranmere Rovers sit atop the 2012-13 League One table after 8 matches, 3 points ahead of Notts County in 2nd place, and 4 points ahead of Stevenage in 3rd. League One Table, Fixtures, Results (soccerway.com).

From Liverpool Echo, from 21 Sept.2012, by Nick Hilton, ‘Tranmere Rovers FC manager Ronnie Moore focusing on his own team‘. As of 25 September, Tranmere Rovers are undefeated, with 6 wins including a 2-5 win at Crawley Town last weekend. Birkenhead-born Tranmere MF/winger Andy Robinson was voted League One player of the month for August 2012, and Liverpool-born manager Ronnie Moore was voted the League One manager of the month for August. Both are seen below, along with 19-year old Wolves’ loanee Jake Cassidy, a North Wales-born striker who has also scored 7 league goals so far for Tranmere this season – all of them in the month of September.

Tranmere Rovers were in the second division for a 10-year spell from 1991-92 to 2000-01. Except for one season – 1938-39 – that 10 season stint in the old Second Division/Football League Division One was in fact the only other time the club has ever been as high as the second tier in English football. Tranmere Rovers’ gates back then were in the 8,000-range when they went up in 1991-92, and the club maintained an 8K to 9K-per-game average pretty much throughout that whole decade in the second division. These days, now 12 seasons back in the third division, Tranmere draws in the 5,000-range, but their gates will probably start increasing if they continue this solid start and if they keep playing the attractive passing football that Ronnie Moore has got them playing. 13 years ago Moore brought Rotherham United up for a 4-season-spell in the second division (from 2001-02 to 2004-05), and Moore could very well do it again with a similar-sized club, this time, with a club from his home region.
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Photo credits above – Prenton Park, wirralglobe.co.uk. Anfy Robinson with ‘Justice for 96 / YNWA’ shirt, sportinglife.com. Andy Robinson, photo by PA at itv.com/sport/football/article/2012-08-08/league-one-season-preview-tranmere/. Photo of 2012-13 TRFC badge, footballkitnews.com/6089/new-tranmere-kit-12-13-fila-tranmere-rovers-home-shirt-2012-2013. Ronnie Moore, clickliverpool.com. Jake Cassidy, Paul Redding/Action Images via sportsdirectnews.com.

From Historical Football Kits, ‘Npower League One 2012-13 [all 24 clubs' kits]‘.

Facsimilies of each clubs’ home jersey badge (2012-13) are shown at the top of the map page, placed alphabetically, left to right. I assembled them using photos as reference – photos obtained either from each club’s website, or at footballfashion.org/wordpress or at footballkitnews.com/ League One. Using my drawing program I sampled the colors of the jerseys to make the background rectangles which the badges at the top of the page are sitting in. For this map (of the English third division), I didn’t have to use any photos of home jersey badges which are different from the club’s official crest, like I had to do on my 2 previous maps within this category – the 2012-13 Football League Championship or the 2012-13 Premier League. But I did have to do a bit of work on a few of the badge designs. Tranmere Rovers’ badge on their 2012-13 home kit bafge is in a slightly lighter (and slightly blue-greenish) shade of blue {see it here (footballkitnews.com)}. A couple of the clubs have more elaborate striping than usual – Colchester United’s usual light-electric-blue-vertical-stripes are accented by thin pale-metallic-gold stripes on either side, while Sheffield United’s red vertical stripes are edged on either side by thin black lines. Two clubs have devices that their official crest sits in. Coventry City’s 2012-13 home jersey badge has it’s official crest inside a deep-powder-blue-with-lighter-blue-edged rounded-rectangle. Stevenage’s badge this season features a basic shield in white edged by a thick band of dark red. Then there were the 3 clubs whose badges this season features text elements that are different from the clubs’ official crests. Hartlepool United’s home jersey badge (a very underrated badge in my opinion) has text elements that are a reverse of their official crest, and the same applies to Crewe Alexandra’s home jersey badge this season, plus the Crewe badge does not include the shield. So I had to cut and paste areas, and I also had to make letters (in Arial font), then kern and angle each letter. [ 'Kerning' (en.wikipedia.org) ]. The hardest was Yeovil Town’s badge, because besides having to kern and angle every letter, I first had to figure out what the inscription said, and this was the best image I had to work with (it says ‘Celebrating 10 Years In The Football League – Yeovil Town FC’).
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Thanks to footballkitnews.com/english-football-league-one, for info on 2012-13 League One kits.
Thanks to footballfashion.org/english-football-league, for info on 2012-13 League One kits.

Thanks to soccerway.com for attendance data and stadium capacities, http://www.soccerway.com/national/england/league-one/20122013/regular-season/.

September 13, 2012

England: League Championship – 2012-13 Location-map, with attendance data, and 2012-13 home kit badges.

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2012-13 League Championship – Location-map, w/ attendance data



From Historical Football Kits site, ‘Npower Championship 2012 – 2013 [Kits of all 24 Championship clubs in the 2012-13 season]‘.

Facsimilies of each clubs’ home jersey badges (2012-13) are shown at the top of the map. I assembled them using photos as reference – photos obtained either from each club’s website, or at footballfashion.org/wordpress or at footballkitnews.com/Championship kits. Using my drawing program I sampled the colors of the jerseys to make the background rectangles that the crests (at the top of the page) are sitting in.

First off, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the biggest news this season in Football League Championship kits – the PR disaster that is Cardiff City’s switch from blue to red home jerseys. Here are 2 articles on the subject…
From buzzfeed.com, from 25 August 2012, by Mark Hudson, ‘The Biggest Insult Owners Can Inflict Upon Their Team’s Fans‘.
From mindofmaus.wordpress.com, from 7 June 2012, ‘Cardiff City Jersey Debacle: A Taste of the Future Far Beyond Football‘.

On the top of the map page are facsimile images of the 24 home jersey badges of the clubs in the current iteration of the English second division – the 2012-13 Football League Championship. The crests are displayed in alphabetical order from left to right. In case you are wondering why Bristol City’s crest is sitting in a charcoal-black-colored rectangle instead of a red one, well, the Robins are sporting home jerseys this season that have a black band that covers the top third of the jersey. The same thing is the case with Hull City (same Adidas template). Burnley has a pale blue horizontal band at the level of the badge, so that explains why there is not a claret-colored rectangle there. Derby County’s kit badge has gone back to the classic angry-ram-in-profile-done-in-minimalist–thick-line-style, with no inscription or surrounding disc or ribbon flourish, just the ram, and it looks pretty sharp (the ram looks pretty cool on the away kit, too – it is in white on the black jersey, {see it here (footballfashion.org)}. Speaking of Derby, a couple of images at the top of the map page are actually photos (that I then drew on, or did a bit of cut and paste on, to make the image sharper)…the Derby County 2012-13 home jersey badge is from footballfashion.org/wordpress/derby-county-home-kit/, and the Nottingham Forest 2012-13 home jersey badge is from nottinghamforestdirect.com. The only place I could find an image of the Barnsley 125th anniversaey crest (sorry it’s a bit fuzzy) was at historicalkits.co.uk/Barnsley/, so thanks to historicalkits.co.uk. With Ipswich Town’s jersey badge, this photo by KrisLissimore at flickr.com was very useful. You can see all the clubs’ kits at the link at the top of this post, or at the following link, at Historical Football Kits’ 2012-13 League Championship page.

Thanks to soccerway.com for attendance data and stadium capacities, http://www.soccerway.com/national/england/championship/20122013/regular-season/.

August 20, 2012

England: Premier League – 2012-13 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data, and 2012-13 home kit badges.

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England: Premier League – 2012-13 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data, and 2012-13 home kit badges





Please Note: to see my most recent Premier League map & post, click on the following category, Eng>Premier League.

From dailymail.co.uk, from 26 July 2012, ‘PREMIER LEAGUE NEW KIT SPECIAL: The strips your team will be wearing in 2012-13‘.

Old content disclaimer – the map and the attendance data parts of the map page was posted in July {here/ 3rd gif}.

This is a new category (and can be found in in the Categories section as ‘Engl. & Scot.- Map/Attendance/Kit Badges’). What I am trying to do is simply show each club’s home jersey badge, as it appears on the jersey. The badges are placed in alphabetical order across the top of the map page. The procedure is that I get the official crest, or (as the case may be) a photo of the current home jersey crest, then I place the image in a rectangle that is the color, or colors, of that section of the home jersey. To get the background (jersey) colors right, I use my drawing program to sample sections of a photo of the home jersey. Please note that some of the badges at the top of the map page wiil be different than some of the club’s tiny crests within the location-map and within the attendance data. That is because several clubs this season have home jerseys with different badges than their official club crest. This is a trend which one can see throughout football leagues in Britain. Celtic and Rangers have done it for years. Celtic’s official crest is a primarily white clover leaf {Celtic FC official crest, here}, but their home kit badge, since 1977-78, is a primarily green clover leaf {2012-13 12th anniversary Celtic FC home jersey (footballfashion.org)}. Rangers have a red-rampant-lion-in blue-football as their official crest {Rangers FC/Rangers ‘newco’ official crest, here}, but have, since 1968-69, worn an R-F-C retro-font-acronym-crest (often with a 5-stars device) on their kits (2012-13 Rangers FC newco home jersey (footballfashion.org)}. Everton uses white, instead of blue letters spelling out the words ’1878′ and ‘Everton’ on their home kit badge. Nottingham Forest’s official crest is a reverse of their home jersey badge. The following are other examples across the globe of clubs with different home jersey badges than their official crest {click on the 4 club names to see crest and kits at each club’s wikipedia page}… Chilean club Universidad de Chile (large-red–block-letter-U instead of stylized red and blue owl with ‘U” on owl’s chest), the Brazilian club CR Vasco da Gama (red iron-cross instead of shield device including 15th century ship with red iron-cross insignia on its main sail), the Portuguese club CF Belenenses (red iron-cross instead of shield-device with cross inside it), and the Greek club Panathinaikos (plain, large white three-leaf clover instead of circular-device with green clover inside it).

And meanwhile, for years now, there have been widespread instances of a club’s away or third kit badges being monochromatic or just generally different (for example, with respect to Ajax, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Everton, and Liverpool away kits in recent seasons, to name just a few). Now you see it even more with home jersey badges. For the 2012-13 season, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Swansea City all have different home jersey badges than their official crests. And, although it is not a change in badge design, the 2012-13 Manchester United’s homage-to-Manchester’s-textile-industry-gingham-plaid-jersey makes for a decidedly different look. From manutd.com, ‘United unveil new kit‘. The Man U gingham-jersey look has been poked fun at in a number of places, such as this post featuring a Photoshop send-up at Who Ate All the Pies, ‘Man Utd Post Teaser For Disgusting New ‘Gingham’ Kit On Facebook‘. To finish off the point, Fulham and Southampton both feature home jerseys this season that are different from the clubs’ usual style (both are pinstriped).

As mentioned, Chelsea has been using monochromatic crests on away and third kits for several years now, but their 2012-13 home jersey badge is the first time in four decades that Chelsea does not have their official crest as their home jersey badge. For 2012-13, their home kit badge is their regular rampant-lion-with-giant-key-in-circle device, done up in a subdued metallic gold.

Liverpool’s 2012-13 home jersey badge is a retro themed one, and it is pretty much their classic 1970s liverbird-atop-L.F.C.-acronym badge, done in metallic gold. This style crest first appeared on a Liverpool jersey in 1968-69, originally done in white, and was in bright gold from 1976-77 to 1984-85. That design lasted on Liverpool’s jersey until 1986-87, when Liverpool started tinkering with their crest, adding more flourishes to the liverbird – first a basic shield, and then an intricate design featuring a Hillsborough memorial (the two torches) and the Shankly Gates (done in green, at the top of the crest). Liverpool has worn this present-day official crest on their home jerseys from 2002-03 to 2011-12 {here is Liverpool’s page at Historical Football Kits, ‘Liverpool [kits, 1892 to 2012]‘ (historicalfootballkits.co.uk).

Manchester City’s home jersey badge this season is, bizarrely, almost completely black (which is an unusual way to celebrate their winning the Premier League title last season, but you have to admit that the look is, at the very least, distinctive).

Swansea City are celebrating their Centenary, and have a sublime home kit badge in three shades of gold. The swan-in-profile design is different than their official crest design [official Swansea City crest, here (brandsoftheworld.com)}, and that same new design can be found in Welsh colors (green and red) on their stunning away kit. From caughtoffsides.com, ‘Swansea City Launch Red Adidas 2012/13 Away Kit: New Shirt Looks Pretty Sharp‘. From thisissouthwales.co.uk, ‘New Swansea City away shirt is proving red hot with fans‘.

You can see all the new 2012-13 Premier League jerseys via the Daily Mail link at the top of this post, or via this link to Historical Football Kit’s 2012-13 Premier League page – ‘Barclays Premier League 2012 – 2013‘ (historicalkits.co.uk).

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I assembled the home jersey badge facsimiles at the top of the map page using photos as reference – photos obtained either from each club’s website, or at footballfashion.org/wordpress or at footballkitnews.com/Premier League. Several of the badges at the top of the map page are simplly photos (that I might have cleaned up or sharpened, or fine-tuned the colors on, using my drawing program).

Here are the photo credits for the jersey badges –
Photo of 2012-13 Chelsea home kit badge from chelseamegastoreasia.com. Photo of Liverpool 2012-13 home kit badge {liverbird with L.F.C in gold) by Pub Car Park Ninja at flicker.com; Pub Car Park Ninja’s photostream. Manchester City 2012-13 home jersey badge from footy-boots.com/manchester-city-home-shirt-2012-13. Photo of Manchester United 2012-13 home jersey badge from store.manutd.com.

One jersey crests was hard to duplicate as a facsimile crest…
Thanks to http://sports-logos-screensavers.com/Everton.html.

Thanks to whoever, sometime in late 2012 or early 2013, uploaded the 2012-13 Swansea City AFC home kit badge at the Swansea City page at en.wikipedia.org, here.

Thanks to http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/ for the dates of jersey designs.

July 28, 2012

England: 2012-13 Premier League – Top of the Table chart, featuring 2011-12 champions Manchester City / Plus 2012-13 Premier League Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data.


(Note – to see my latest map-&-post of the Premier League, click on the following: category: Eng>Premier League.)

    2011-12 English champions, Manchester City.

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Manchester City – 2011-12 Premier League champions
Manchester City Football Club.
Est. 1880 as St. Mark’s (West Gorton) FC; name changed to Ardwick AFC (from 1887-93); name changed to Manchester City FC in 1894.
Manchester, England.
City of Manchester Stadium (aka Eastlands, aka Etihad Stadium), capacity 47,726. Built in 2002, for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Running track removed and a third (lowest) tier installed in 2003.
2011-12 average attendance: 47,015 per game [home league matches], with a 99.1 percent-capacity/ attendance was up +2.4% from 2010-11.
3 English Titles (2012).
5 FA Cup Titles (2011).
Manchester City have played 84 seasons in the English first division [out of 105 seasons total (1888-89 to 1914-15; 1919-20 to 1939-40; 1946-47 to 2012-13)], with 11 consecutive seasons in the 1st Level (2002-03 to 2012-13).


On the final day of the 2011-12 Premier League season, on Sunday 13 May 2012, Manchester City beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2. Man City’s Sergio Agüero scored the title-winning goal in the 95th minute, which allowed City to win the Premier League title over Manchester United on goal difference. You can go on all you like about the pernicious influence of petro-dollars distorting the competitive balance in English football (and Man City would most likely still be the hapless under-acheiving club they were prior to their infusion of United Arab Emirates-based money). And I would agree to a certain extent. Chelsea, and now Manchester City have bought their way to a title. But it is nice to see someone other than the ‘Big Four’ win it in England. And it is also nice to say good riddance to the phrase Big Four. So now what do we call the exclusive group of clubs that are legitimate contenders for the Premier League title? The Big Six? How about the Five with a Chance, because Liverpool won’t be winning it. Actually, Arsenal’s board has shown their unwillingness to spend, so they really don’t figure to win it either. And Tottenham as champions is just too far-fetched. So it really is just 3 – Man City, Man U., and Chelsea – with legitimate title chances, and 4 more (Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Tottenham) fighting for that fourth coveted Champions League Group Stage spot. I hope I am wrong on this, and some other dark horse candidate emerges, like Newcastle did last season.

    English clubs playing in Europe for 2012-13 -
    Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, Liverpool…

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Below is the top of the 2011-12 Premier League final standings with respect to clubs qualifying for Europe for 2012-13…
1st place – Manchester City qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage by winning the 2011-12 Premier League.
2nd place – Manchester United qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage by finishing in 2nd place in the 2011-12 Premier League.
3rd place – Arsenal qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage by finishing in 3rd place in the 2011-12 Premier League.
4th place – Tottenham qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League Group Stage by finishing in 4th place in the 2011-12 Premier League. Tottenham would have qualified for a Champions League qualifying spot, but they lost their spot to Chelsea, after Chelsea won the spot automatically by winning the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, over Bayern Munich, 1-0.
5th place – Newcastle qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League Play-off Round by finishing in 5th place in the 2011-12 Premier League.
6th place – Chelsea qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage despite finishing in 6th place in the 2011-12 Premier League. Chelsea won a spot in the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage automatically, by winning the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, over Bayern Munich, 1-0.
7th place – Everton finished in seventh place, but did not qualify for Europe.
8th place – Liverpool finished in 8th place. Liverpool qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round by winning the 2012 Football League Cup title.

    2012-13 Premier League location-map with attendance data

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2012-13 Premier League location-map with attendance data
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Image and photo credits for chart page – [Note: there is a Gallery of the Man City title parade in the link at Mancini's photo below, also in the following link - web.orange.co.uk/sports/gallery/6635/pics-of-man-citys-title-win-and-parade.
Manchester City -
Title-winning goal - Agüero scores, Alex Livesey/Getty Images via bloomberg.com.
Agüero & Dzeko celebrate (as do City fans in the stands), sharpmag.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/barclays-premier-league-2011-12-best-signing/.
Manager - Mancini, web.orange.co.uk/sports/gallery/6635/pics-of-man-citys-title-win-and-parade.
Players (l to r) - Agüero: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Dzeko: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Balotelli, mariobalotelli.it/mario-show/foto-gallery.
Silva, Clive Rose/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Nasri, Press Association via Manchester City FC - Official at flickr.com.
Touré, Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Man City stadium photos - Interior, arup.com/_assets/_download/download153.pdf.
Aerial, thesun.co.uk.
Photo of two tiers full of Man City fans with banners and flags from edition.cnn.com/2012/05/22/sport/football/football-manchester-city-value.
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Manchester United/Old Trafford - MUFC fans w/ green and gold from Getty Images via DailyMail.co.uk, here. Interior photo of Old Trafford from CNNconsumernews.com, CNNconsumernews.com. Aerial photo of Trafford and Old Trafford from http://thesoccerwallpaper.com/theatre-of-dream-stadium/.
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Arsenal/Emirates Stadium - Fans with Arsenal flags at Emirates Stadium by World of Good at Flickr.com, here. Exterior, gound-level photo of Emirates Stadium by Lumjaguaari at en.wikipedia.org, here. Exterior aerial photo of Emirates Stadium from ByrneGroup.co.uk, here.
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Tottenham/White Hart Lane - Fans with flags at White Hart Lane from FootballQS.com, here. Interior photo of White Hart Lane from soccerway.com,. Aerial photo of White Hart Lane by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
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Newcastle/St. James' Park - Interior photo of fans in Jackie Milburn Stand at St.James' Park by PA via uk.eurosport.yahoo.com. Photo of interior of St. James' Park by poity_uk at flickr.com. Aerial photo of Sports Direcrt Stadium aka St. James' Park from wspgroup.com.
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Chelsea/Stamford Bridge - .Photo of part of West Stand and part of Matthew Harding Stand by travelbadge R-in-circle s.com at Panoramio.com, here. Photo of Chelsea fans in the Matthew Harding Stand by cyberdees at Flickr.com, here. Exterior photo of Stamford Bridge with hotels in foreground from Ted's Premier League Blog/Aerial photos of Premier League Stadiums [2009] (scroll three-quarters of the way down the page for photos).

Liverpool/Anfield – Photo of fans in the Kop with flags, banners, and scarves – unattributed at tomdeavellar.com. Photo of Shankly Gates by semnomecriativo.wordpress.com/2008/08/14. Aerial photo of Anfield by Simon Kirwan/ lightboxphotography.com.

Manchester City 2011-12 home jersey segment from primosoccerjerseys.com/manchester-city-fc-home-2011-12-soccer-jersey-kit.
Champions League icon from iconarchive.com.
Thanks to soccerway for attendance data, http://www.soccerway.com/national/england/premier-league/2011-2012/regular-season/.

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