January 13, 2014

England (and Wales), 5th division: Football Conference National – 2013-14 Location-map, with 2013-14 home kit badges & with 2-and-a-half-seasons of attendance data./ Plus, illustrations for 1st and 2nd place clubs, as of 15 January 2014: Luton Town and Cambridge United.

England (and Wales), 5th division: Football Conference National – 2013-14 Location-map, with 2013-14 home kit badges & with 2-and-a-half-seasons of attendance data

Conference National – Fixtures, results, tables (

At the top of the map page are facsimiles of 2013-14 Conference clubs’ home jersey badges. Below that is a location-map. The map page also includes an attendance data chart which shows each clubs’ 2011-12 and 2012-13 average attendance figures (from home league matches), as well as current average attendance figures (inclusive to 12 January 2014), and the numerical change since then (approximately two-and-a-half seasons ago). [Each club currently has played from 24 to 29 matches, and each club has currently played from 11 to 15 home matches.]

Below are the clubs in the 2013-14 Conference that have shown the largest attendance increases, and the worst attendance drop-offs, since 2011-12.
Largest numerical increase in average home crowds since 2011-12 (inclusive to 12 Jan. 2014)…
Increase of +708 per game – Cambridge United (who are averaging 3,512 per game currently/ in 2nd place/ relegated 9 seasons ago [2004-05]).
Increase of +598 per game – Luton Town (who are averaging 6,709 per game currently/ in 1st place/ relegated 5 seasons ago [2008-09]).
Increase of +400 per game - Nuneaton Town (who are averaging 1,179 per game currently/ in 9th place/ promoted 2 seasons ago [2011-12]).
Increase of +204 per game – Grimsby Town (who are averaging 3,512 per game currently/ in 5th place/ relegated 4 seasons ago [2009-10]).
Increase of +202 per game – Salisbury City (who are averaging 935 per game currently/ in 10th place/ promoted 1 season ago [2012-13]).
Increase of +190 per game – Lincoln City (who are averaging 2,537 per game currently/ in 18th place/ relegated 3 seasons ago [2010-11]).
Increase of +164 per game – Welling United (who are averaging 840 per game currently/ in 14th place/ promoted 1 season ago [2012-13]).
Increase of +160 per game – Braintree Town (who are averaging 1,061 per game currently/ in 11th place/ promoted 3 seasons ago [2010-11]).

Worst numerical drop-off in average home crowds since 2011-12 (inclusive to 12 Jan. 2014)…
Decrease of -888 per game – Hereford United (who are averaging 1,665 per game currently/ in 16th place/ relegated 2 seasons ago [2011-12]).
Decrease of -886 per game – Aldershot Town (who are averaging 1,978 per game currently/ in 20th place/ relegated 1 season ago [2011-12]).
Decrease of -510 per game – Wrexham (who are averaging 1,665 per game currently/ in 13th place/ relegated 4 seasons ago [2011-12]).
Decrease of -507 per game – Chester (who are averaging 2,280 per game currently/ in 22nd place/ promoted 1 season ago [2012-13]).

    2013-14 Luton Town. First place in the Conference as of 15 January, 2014.

Photo and Image credits above –
13/14 Luton Town home jersey badge, photo from
Kenilworth Road, satellite image from’s Eye View.
Kits, from ‘Luton Town F.C.‘ (
Kenilworth Road, photo uploaded by biscuitman88 at
John Still, photo from
Luke Guttridge, photo from
Andre Gray, photo from
Paul Benson, photo from

    2013-14 Cambridge United. Second place in the Conference as of 15 January, 2014.

Abbey Stadium, photo by Bill Blake at
Richard Money, photo from via
Adam Cunnington, photo from
Kwesi Appiah, photo by Keith Heppell at [slideshow].
Luke Berry, photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images Europe via

Thanks to kevinstaylor at {’s photostream}, for 13/14 Dartford home jersey badge [125th Anniversary year for Dartford FC, shirt here] at

Thanks to JD Sports site for photo of 13/14 Luton Town home jersey badge,

Thanks to the Gateshead FC official site and Jeff Bowren there, for match reports which included GTFC home attendances. Gateshead played at 7 different venues in 2012-13, due to pitch problems at their normal venue, Gateshead International Stadium. From February to May (and comprising their last 11 home matches) Gateshead were basically homeless and played at Hartlepool; at York; at Blyth, Northumberland; at Boston, Lincolnshire; at Carlisle, Cumbria; and at Middlesbrough. Gateshead played 6 of those home matches at Victoria Park in Hartlepool, while they played one home match at each of those other 6 locations.

Thanks to, for attendance data,

Thanks to the Football League official site for previous seasons’ attendance data,,,10794~201226,00.html.

Thanks to the Northern League for Chester FC 2011-12 attendance,

Thanks to the contributors at, ‘2013–14 Football Conference‘.

December 19, 2013

England and Wales: Premier League – 2013-14 home kit badges, with 13/14 location-map, and attendance data from the last 2.4 seasons. / Plus, illustrations for: the 2013-14 Everton crest controversy, the new 2013-14 Crystal Palace crest, and the 2012-14 Cardiff City jersey and crest controversy.

Premier League – 2013-14 home kit badges, with 13/14 location-map, and attendance data from the last two-and-a-half seasons

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

After 8 home games for all 20 Premier League clubs, the club which is currently filling its stadium the closest to full capacity is Norwich City, who are playing to 99.2 percent-capacity at their 27,033-capacity Carrow Road in Norwich, Norfolk. Last season (2012-13), Arsenal had the best percent-capacity at 99.5 {see this}; two seasons ago (2011-12) the best was a 3-way tie at 99.4 between Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham {see this}.

The biggest numerical increases in attendance from 2011-12 (2.4 seasons ago)…
Crystal Palace, +8,054 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.
Cardiff City, +5,378 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.
Hull City AFC, +4,998 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.
All 3 of those clubs were of course promoted to the Premier League last season (2012-13).

The clubs with the biggest numerical increases in attendance from 2011-12 which were not involved in a promotion since then are:
Everton, +3,276 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.
Aston Villa, +3,100 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.
Sunderland AFC, +2,833 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.

The worst drop-offs in attendance:
Stoke City, down -1,646 per game since 2011-12.
Fulham, down -747 per game since 2011-12.

Below, Everton FC bows to fan pressure, and the club back-peddles on their crest change

From Daily Mail, from 3 October 2013, by Elliot Bretland, ‘Everton reveal new crest for 2014/15 season after original design was met with anger by Blues supporters‘ (

With the ill-fated 2003-14 Everton crest re-design, the biggest issue most Everton supporters had was the dropping of the club motto, Nil satis nisi optimum, (which is Latin for ‘nothing but the best is good enough’). The club explained that they needed to re-design the crest because their crest was appearing in truncated forms at some media outlets, with the shield-shape shown but not the ‘Everton’ text block; and also that the color-shift in the centre of the shield (blue-to-lighter-blue) was not reproducing properly in some reproductions of the crest.

So Everton FC wanted to move the ‘Everton’ text element to within the shield, and streamline the whole image. On the then-new 2013-14 design, the motto wouldn’t fit (nor would the two wreaths). The 1878 formation date remained, as did Prince Rupert’s Tower (aka the Everton Lock-up, built in 1787 [as a holding cell for miscreants], on Everton brow in Everton, Liverpool, and is still standing today/ see below). For the then-new 2013-14 crest, the Tower illustration was also re-worked, and despite what one might think of the modernist detailing of the brick-work on the ill-fated 2013-14 crest, the actual depiction of Prince Rupert’s Tower on the 2013-14 crest was the first time the Tower was accurately drawn on an Everton badge – showing the correct roof details and the correct proportion of conic roof to cylindrical body (the turret). Previously, the turret of the Tower was drawn too tall and thin in the badges from the 1978 to 2013 time period (see below). And on the previous Everton crest before this season – the crest the club had been wearing for the last 22 seasons (1991-92 to 2012-13) – the Everton Lock-up is depicted as multi-storied, with the turret actually above and below a spiraled structure (which has never existed on the actual Everton Lock-up). That fictional spiral structure on the 1991-2013 crest looks for all the world like an exterior spiral staircase. I mean, come on, what else can it be? It is not a fence that is sitting on a slanted hill…because you can see part of the turret BELOW the diagonal staircase structure. That is not the Everton Lock-up on the 1991-2013 crest, that is a three-story structure with a spiral staircase running around the outside of it making it look like a castle’s turret. It is totally made up. The edifice shown on the 1991-2013 Everton badge is an extremely fictionalized depiction of the Everton Lock-up. So is the earlier one (the 1983 to 1991 Everton crest). That one has turned the flat conical roof of the Everton Lock-up into a baroque witches-hat design, the sort of architecture one would find in illustrated fairy tales.

Furthermore, on 2 of the 3 the previous crests (the 1978-1983 crest and the 1991-2013 crest), the pinnacle of the conical roof was depicted not with the actual thing which was and still is there on the Tower – a ball (or spherical-shaped top cap), but with two crossed diagonal bits forming a V-shape (which makes no sense if you convert that to three dimensions). That V-shape did not exist at the top of the Tower. In past centuries the Eveton Lock-up did have a short spire (or maybe a lightning rod) {see this (}, but not a V-shaped ornament.

I was honestly starting to think that whomever drew the Tower for the 1978-1983 crest, or for the subsequent two Everton crests, did not even actually stroll over to the Everton brow and have a look at what the Tower really looks like, let alone take a look at any photo of the real Prince Rupert’s Tower. Either that, or the illustrators were told by EFC top brass to not let the depiction look too literal, and err on the side of a more-attractive-looking Tower (ie, taller, thinner, and looking more like a fairy-tale castle than a typical old English village lock-up). It is one or the other, and I am now inclined to believe that 35 years ago, and 30 years ago, and 22 years ago, and 3 months ago, Everton top brass were trying to sugar-coat the depiction of their iconic edifice on their crest by making it look more benign. In other words, they were trying to make the jail house (gaol house) that is on Everton’s crest look less like an old English overnight lock-up for recently arrested common criminals (which it was), and more like a nice-looking turret on some quaint old castle. Or made it look more like a lighthouse, which I initially thought it was when I first started following English football a decade ago.

To prove that there was no change in the shape nor in the pinnacle detail of the actual Prince Rupert’s Tower since those gussied-up and fanciful depictions of the Tower which existed on Everton’s badge from the 1978-2013 era, here is an old photo, ‘Old Police Lockup‘ (photo by Ken Rose at, from about 1948, that shows that same squat dimensions of the Tower and the ball at the pinnacle of Prince Rupert’s Tower, and not the fictional elongated tower-shape and the odd V-shape at the top of the Tower. Here is a photo that shows how short and squat the Everton Lock-up is, as you can see that the top of the lock-up’s doorway is only a few feet (not even a meter) from the roof-line {‘Prince Rupert’s Lock-Up‘, photo by Andrew Merryweather at}.

The new Everton crest for 2014-15 (voted for by Everton supporters in October 2013) restores the club motto and the wreaths to the crest. The Tower, however, is once again erroneously drawn as too tall and too thin, and the fact is for the new 2014-15 badge, the Everton Lock-up is depicted as a two-story structure. But at least the ball is up there at the pinnacle of the Tower like it always should have been.

From 29 May 2013, from The Football Attic – the Football Attic podcast #9, ‘Team Badges [with info and opinions on the Everton FC 2013-14 badge re-design]‘ (

Image and Photo credits above –
Everton crests through the years from
Prince Rupert’s Tower images on Everton crests from
Photo of Prince Rupert’s Tower by ColGould at

Below, the Crystal Palace FC crest re-design for 2013-14

From Cafe Thinking blog, from 8 May 2013, ‘New Crystal Palace FC badge scores with the fans‘ (

The new Crystal Palace crest was voted upon by Crystal Palace fans before the decision was made, not after, like at Everton, so no controversy ensued.

I like the 1955 Crystal Palace crest the best (see below). First of all, the eagle never existed in Crystal Palace FC tradition at all before 1973 – when the bombastic Malcolm Allison re-named the club’s nickname as ‘the Eagles’ instead of ‘the Glaziers’, and an eagle-with-football crest was introduced (the club also switched from white jerseys with claret-and-sky-blue trim to blue-and-red-vertical-striped jerseys in 1973-74). So for CPFC, the eagle really was just invented iconography and invented terminology, and is not an organic (or relevant) part of the club’s history, and smacks of the dreaded Americanization of English football nomenclature (see also, currently, the Hull Tigers controversy). And why does a club with so rich a history also need an eagle as a nickname and as the prominent crest element, when the club is named after a unique and storied and innovative and awe-inspiring Victorian era crystal-and-iron structure?

The Crystal Palace in South London was the first home of the club, and several members of the original squad were in fact glaziers and maintenance workers at The Crystal Palace back in the first decade of the 20th Century (ie, circa 1905). That to me is way more impressive than a random-but-supposedly-dignified nickname (the Eagles), which some big shot in a ridiculous big white hat (Allison) simply made up when he was in control there for a brief 3-and-one-quarter seasons spell in the Seventies. First off, he doesn’t deserve all the blame for being the manager who oversaw Crystal Palace’s relegation from the First Division in 1973 (Palace were too far behind that season too be realistically expected to survive the drop when Allison took over there in March 1973). However, Palace did lose 5 of their last 7 games that year, so he gets the blame for that I would imagine. Furthermore, the rest of Allison’s record as Crystal Palace needs to be pointed out. The following season, his first full season in charge at Palace, he got them relegated to the third division, in May 1974. So they went from the first division to the third division with Allison in charge. And they were still stuck in the third tier when he walked away from the job in 1976. And when Malcolm Allison was manager of the club for the second time, in 1980-81, when Crystal Palace were back in the First Division but were once again in a doomed relegation battle, Crystal Palace once again found themselves relegated with Allison at the helm. It must be pointed out that as in 1973, Palace in March 1981 were many points off safety when Allison took over. Palace were relegated to the second division, in May 1981. But then he waltzed off again. And that to me is the most damning. Talk about not being able to finish a job. So let me get this straight – this is the guy who gave Crystal Palace their nickname and their visual identity? A guy who dressed like a pimp and who got the club relegated three times in the 5 seasons he was in charge there at Selhurst Park? But then just left both times, with Palace worse off from when he started?

One could argue that The Crystal Palace is still there in the CPFC crest to this day (as you can see below). But I would counter that The Crystal Palace structure as it appears in the current CPFC crest has become a secondary aspect of the crest, by virtue of it being depicted in pale grey, at the bottom of the badge, dwarfed by the eagle.

Here is an excerpt from the Historical Kits page on Crystal Palace, written by Dave Moor,
{excerpt}…’FA Cup finals were staged at the Crystal Palace in South London a unique football venue set in extensive parkland, between 1895 and 1914. The original Crystal Palace was an enormous glass and cast iron structure built in Hyde Park for Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition in 1851 and represented Victorian engineering at its finest. When the exhibition closed, the palace was dismantled and rebuilt in South London where it formed the centrepiece of the world’s first entertainment theme park, surrounded by landscaped garden, lakes, spectacular fountains and concrete dinosaurs.’…{end of excerpt}.

Before Crystal Palace FC were allowed to join the Football League in 1920, and when the club was initially a member of the Southern League, the club played at The Crystal Palace in South London from the club’s inception in 1905 until mid-1915, when, at the onset of World War I, the ground was seized by the Admiralty (the British Navy) for the war effort. Crystal Palace FC found a ground nearby (at a velodrome), and a decade later the club moved into the nearby site where Selhurst Park was opened, in Croydon Park, South London, in August 1925. The Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire in 1936. ‘The Crystal Palace‘ (

Old CPFC crests from

Below, the ongoing fiasco that is the divisive re-branding of Cardiff City FC

The Cardiff City jersey-and-crest controversy of 2012 can be summed up this way…as soon as Vincent Tan is gone, Cardiff City will wear blue again. End of story. I give it 2 more seasons, then when Tan realizes the extent of the enmity he has created and the lack of actual support he has within Cardiff, then the ego-inflated, sycophant-surrounded, football-clueless Malaysian will get bored with his new toy, sell the club, and slouch off back to the corrupt regime from whence he sprung. In the meantime, Tan’s juvenile insistence on changing Cardiff City from red to blue has distracted and divided the fans during what should be a joyful time for all Cardiff supporters, with the club’s first top flight appearance in 51 years.

From The Guardian, from 2 Nov. 2013, by Daniel Taylor, ‘Vincent Tan’s antics leave Cardiff’s faces as red as their shirts…We’ve seen the sort of boardroom buffoonery taking place before – and it rarely ends well for the fans‘ (

Image and Photo credits above –
Old CCFC crests from;
[Template for CCFC crests from last 25 years from].
Photo of Tan, from Getty Images via
Photo of Cardiff City fans from Reuters via
Photo of ‘Tan Out’ T-shirt uploaded by mugitmugit at,
Photo of Cardiff City fans’ protest banner from

Here are the photo credits for the jersey badges on the map page –
Photo of Arsenal 2013-14 home jersey badge from
Photo of Crystal Palace 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at
Photo of Everton 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at
Photo of Liverpool 2012-14 home jersey badge (liverbird with L.F.C in gold), by Pub Car Park Ninja at; Pub Car Park Ninja’s photostream.
Photo of Manchester City 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at
Photo of Manchester United 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at
Photo of Southampton 2013-14 home jersey badge from
Photo of Sunderland 2013-14 home jersey badge from
Photo of Tottenham 2013-14 homes jersey badge from:
Photo of West Bromwich 2013-14 home jersey badge from

Thanks to the the contributors at, ‘2013–14 Premier League‘.

Thanks to the following sites for average attendance figures -
Thanks to, for current attendance figures,
Thanks to, for 2012-13 Premier League attendance figures.
Thanks to the Football League official site for 2012-13 Football League Championship attendance figures,,,10794~20127,00.html.

Thanks to Chris O. and Rich J. at the Football Attic site and podcast, for pointing out that the ill-fated Everton 2013-14 badge actually has the most realistic depiction of Prince Rupert’s Tower that any Everton badge ever had (regardless of whether EFC fans liked it or not).

November 20, 2013

England, 4th division: Football League Two – 2013-14 Location-map, with attendance data & 2013-14 home kit badges, featuring top 4 in the table after 16 games: Oxford United, Chesterfield, Rochdale, Fleetwood Town.

England, 4th division: Football League Two – 2013-14 Location-map, with attendance data & 2013-14 home kit badges

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

On the map page
Facsimiles of each clubs’ home jersey badges for the 2013-14 season are shown, in alphabetical order, across the the top of the map page. Below that, at the lower left, is a location-map of the clubs in the 2013-14 Football League Two. At the right-hand side of the map page is attendance data for current League Two clubs from the two previous seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13). Change (by percent), as well as percent capacity (ie, how much the club filled their stadium on average), from last season, are shown. League movement (if any) of the clubs is shown as well.

The 2013-14 League Two
The 2013-14 League Two has been a very tightly-contested affair, with just over one-third of the season having been played so far (16 games played out of 46, for most clubs). To give you but one example of how evenly-matched the clubs in the fourth division are currently – and not just the clubs in the top half of the table – last week’s league leaders Fleetwood Town lost away to last-place Northampton Town 1-0 on Saturday 16th November 2013 (with a goal by the Cobblers in the 93rd minute)…and Fleetwood dropped clear out of the three automatic promotion places into 4th place with the loss, as Oxford United, Chesterfield, and Rochdale all won.

So currently, Oxford United, Chesterfield, and Rochdale all have 29 points and are separated at the top of the table by goal difference. Clubs like Portsmouth and Cheltenham Town, who are currently in 16th and 17th places on 20 points, find themselves in a simultaneous promotion campaign/relegation battle, both being at present 6 points above the relegation zone and 6 points below the play-off places. I wouldn’t say anyone could win promotion this season in the fourth tier, but there are certainly more than a dozen sides with a good chance of being one of the 4 clubs to gain promotion, and there are probably more than 16 sides that could feasibly win promotion.

Below are brief illustrated profiles of the top four clubs in League Two as of 17th Nov. 2013, with: a brief write-up of each club’s manager and 2 featured players; a photo and caption for each club’s manager; a photo for each club’s current top scoring threats; a photo or two of each club’s ground; plus each club’s league history (with Non-League history noted), as well as a look at each club’s home league average attendance from the last two seasons, plus current average attendance listed (current home league average attendance to 17 Nov. 2013 {via, here}).

    Below, the top 4 in League Two after one-third of the 2013-14 season…

Oxford United FC, currently 1st place (29 points/+12 goal difference).
46-year-old Sheffield-born Chris Wilder, manager of Oxford United since December 2008 (back when they were in the middle of their 3 season spell in Non-League football), has been managing for over a decade now, having got his managerial start with the then-9th-Level (now Conference club) Alfreton Town, back in 2001-02, when Alfreton were in the Northern Counties East Football League, and the then-35-year-old Wilder got them promoted into the Northern League. Wilder then managed then-Conference side Halifax Town for 6 seasons (2002 to 2008), up until Halifax went broke and were liquidated (the Phoenix-club FC Halifax Town is now back in the Conference as of 2013-14). Wilder then worked as Alan Knill’s assistant at Bury in the first part of 2008-09 before getting the job at Oxford. Flash forward 3 years and 11 months later, and Chris Wilder is currently the third longest-serving manager in the Football League {see this, List of English Football League managers‘ (}. In Wilder’s first full season at the helm at Oxford (in 2009-10), the U’s won promotion via the play-offs (beating York City in the final at Wembley). Since then, Oxford United have finished in 12th, then in 9th, and then in 9th again last season (2012-13).

Throughout last season there were calls for Wilder’s dismissal by some supporters, and Wilder knows that probably only promotion will keep him at Oxford past this campaign. With a population of around 150,000 {2011 estimate}, Oxford is basically too big a city to only be hosting a fourth division side. Oxford United draw around 6K to 7K and in the past have gotten up to 10.3K (in 1986-7). Oxford fans would feel at the very least that their club should be in the third tier, and there are probably many gold-and-blue fans who dream of their club one day returning to the top flight – where Oxford United played for 3 seasons in the 1980s (86/87, 87/88, 88/89), when they were owned by Mephistophelian media baron Robert Maxwell, and when the U’s won their only major title, the 1986 League Cup.

Oxford United currently feature a striker who has had a longer spell there than Wilder – the Wiltshire-born 29-year-old James Constable, a classic lower-divisions bruiser of a forward, who has shaken off recent injuries and has scored 5 league goals this season so far. Overall, Constable has scored 85 league goals for Oxford in 216 games going back to the start of 2008-09, when he joined the then-Conference side on loan from Shrewsbury Town (Constable signed for Oxford 10 months later in the summer of 2009). Oxford fans will always love Constable for turning down the chance to almost double his wages – if he had went over to Oxford United’s much-hated nearby rivals Swindon Town. Here is what it says about that at James Constable’s page at Wikipedia…’Oxford accepted an improved offer for Constable from local rivals Swindon on 19 January 2012. Oxford allowed Constable to talk to the club, although he refused the opportunity to discuss the move with Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio.’…{end of excerpt}.

Just last week, Constable became only the third Oxford United player to have scored 100 goals in all competitions for the club {see this, ‘Constable’s century joy‘ (, from 18 Nov.2013, by David Pritchard)}.

An up-and-coming striker also features in Oxford’s current set-up, the 25-year-old Deane Smalley, who signed for Oxford originally in the summer of 2011, but suffered an injury-plagued 2012, then re-signed with Oxford on less terms following a goal-less loan out to Bradford City. Smalley scored 5 goals in 2012-13 for Oxford (such as the one he is seen celebrating below), and has scored 5 league goals this season so far.

Perhaps the biggest impediment to Oxford United’s progression is their stadium situation – they don’t own the Kassam Stadium, nor does the Oxford City Council. It is owned by a shell company of the former club owner Firoz Kassam, and as such is an ongoing thorn in the side of Oxford United (since 2005-06). A sizable chunk of revenue Oxford United makes on ticket sales gets lost because of rent charges. To make matters worse, for the second season now, Oxford United must endure a stadium share with the second division Rugby Union club London Welsh RFC. So the pitch gets torn up, Oxford are more susceptible to injuries, and any attempts at an on-the-turf-passing-style get bogged down (literally) by mid-season.

In the spring of this year, supporters fought back this way…’Oxford fans successfully safeguard their stadium‘ ( from 14 May 2013). In October 2013, this happened, ‘Kassam Stadium owners fail with appeal against community asset‘ (

Here is a recent article by Matthew Derbyshire from the Two Unfortunates site, about Oxford United’s stadium plight, ‘THE COMMUNITY VALUE OF FOOTBALL: OXFORD UNITED’S STADIUM BATTLE‘ (

Photo and Image credits above -
Exterior-view photo of the Kassam Stadium by nodale at ; photos by nodale at
Chris Wilder, photo from
Deane Smalley, photo from
James Constable, photo from

Chesterfield FC, currently 2nd place (29 points/+9 goal difference).
Liverpool-born Chesterfield manager and Football League veteran MF Paul Cook had to wait a while for his second shot at managing an English pro club. Cook had a rough go of it in 2006-07 as manager of Merseyside 5th-division club Southport, this right at the time when the former Football League club had decided to return to professional status after 28 years as an amateur side following their being elected out of the League in 1978. Many players were unable (or unwilling) to make the jump to full-time status, and Cook had to rebuild virtually from scratch, and Southport finished in 23rd and went down to the Conference South (Southport stayed pro and rebounded in May 2010). Cook then signed on as manager of Connacht, western-Ireland-based Sligo Rovers in April 2007, and stayed at the helm of Sligo Rovers for 4-and-a-half seasons, winning two FAI Cups and leaving Sligo in good hands (Sligo Rovers won the League of Ireland title later that season, their first in a quarter century). Cook had left Sligo in February 2012 to take over at his old club Accrington Stanley, and with Cook in charge Stanley survived another year in the League, finishing in 18th in 2011-12. Eight months later, in October 2012, Chesterfield needed a new manager after John Sheridan bolted off to Plymouth Argyle, and they chose Paul Cook to try to get the North Derbyshire club back to the third division (Chesterfield finished in 8th last season).

In the following off-season (last summer), one of Cook’s requests to the CFC board was to sign (on a free transfer) the 28-year-old Liverpool-born MF Gary Roberts, who was playing for Swindon Town then, and whom Cook knew from his latter playing days at Accrington (circa 2005-06). That signing has been paying dividends, as Roberts has scored 4 goals in 14 league matches and has also notched 4 assists this season so far. Another player Cook brought in after past association has also been contributing to the Spireites good form, and that is ex-Sligo Rovers and ex-Hibernian MF Eoin Doyle, who scored 10 league goals in the SPL last season for Hibs. The Dublin-born Doyle is 25. He has scored 3 league goals and made 3 assists this season so far.

Chesterfield, with a population of around 103,000 {2011 estimate} is about 43 km or 29 mi north of Derby and is about 17 km or 10 mi south of Sheffield. Chesterfield FC, which has not been in the second division since 1950, nevertheless has good potential. Both much-larger nearby League clubs from Sheffield – Sheffield Wednesday (in the 2nd division relegation places, currently) and Sheffield United (in the third division relegation places, currently) – are still stuck in the doldrums. So Chesterfield has a real opportunity to attract new fans from the Greater Sheffield/North Derbyshire area, especially because Chesterfield boasts nice new facilities now. After more than a century at the eventually decrepit Saltergate (see photo below), Chesterfield now has a fine new 10K-capacity/3-year-old stadium, which the club itself owns. Currently, Chesterfield can count on a solid 5-6,000-strong fan base, and their support might have the potential to grow. But the Spireites need to get back to the third division, and get ensconced there again, if they expect to grow their fan base any more (their last spell in League One lasted 1 year [2011-12]). Chesterfield first dropped into the 4th division in 1961 (that was the third season that the Fourth Division [est. 1958-59] had existed), and when you add up all their years of League football, Chesterfield are an historically-third-division club, with 52 seasons being spent there, including 12 of their last 20 seasons (going back to 1994-95 and recently having a 6 year stay in the third tier from 2002-03 to 2006-07 {data from CFC-footy-mad site here}). Here is a recent article on Paul Cook and Chesterfield, from from 14 Oct. 2013 by Johnny Phillips, ‘Chesterfield manager Paul Cook could be the next big thing in football, says Johnny Phillips‘ (


CFC’s old ground (Saltergate), photo from
Aerial photo of new stadium by Rob McGann (Robinson Steel Structures of Derby) via
Paul Cook, photo from
Gary Roberts, photo from
Eoin Doyle, photo from

Rochdale AFC, currently 3rd place (29 points/+5 goal difference).
Rochdale AFC play at Spotland Stadium, in Rochdale (which is in the north-eastern part of Greater Manchester, but was historically in the south-eastern part of Lancashire). Rochdale borough has a population of around 95,000 {2001 census figure}. Spotland has a capacity of 10,249, was opened in 1920, and was last renovated in 1999-2000. Ownership of the ground is a three-way split between Rochdale Borough Council, Rochdale AFC, and the (just-promoted) second-division rugby league club Rochdale Hornets RLFC. Rochdale AFC, aka the Dale, draw 2.5 K or so in mediocre years and up to 3.5K in good seasons, and have done so for over two decades now {attendances from E-F-S site, here}.

Rochdale AFC manager Keith Hill (age 44), was born in Bolton, Lancashire. Hill was a defender who had 388 league appearances and 11 goals, playing for Blackburn Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Rochdale (for 5 seasons), Cheltenham Town, Wrexham, and Morecambe from 1987 to 2003. Hill is now in his second spell managing Rochdale, after previously getting the club promoted to the 3rd division for the first time in 36 years (in May 2010, seen in photo below). Following that 4-and-half-year spell running Rochdale, Hill was hired by second division club Barnsley in June 2011, but was sacked in December 2012 as Barnsley languished in the relegation zone (Hill’s then-number-two, David Flitcroft [who was also assistant under Hill at Rochdale], took over, and did a fine job of keeping Barnsley in the Champiionship by the skin of their teeth last May).

Keith Hill returned to Rochdale in January 2013, with one objective – to get the Dale back to the third division. Rochdale currently feature twin scoring threats in the Norfolk-born ex-Colchester FW Ian Henderson (age 28), who has tallied 5 league goals this season so far; and a young potential phenom in the 21-year old striker Scott Hogan, who is Manchester-born and previously played for Conference side Hyde. Hogan has scored 6 league goals so far this season.

Photo and Image credits above -
Exterior-view of main stand at Spotland, photo by David Dixon at
Photo of 13/14 RAFC home jersey badge from
Interior photo of Spotland by
Keith Hill celebrating May 2010 Rochdale promotion (during pitch invasion), photo from
Ian Henderson, photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images Europe via
Scott Hogan, photo from

Fleetwood Town, currently 4th place (28 points/+9 goal difference).
Fleetwood has a population of around 26,000 {2001 census figure}. Fleetwood is just north of Blackpool on the Fylde coast of west-central Lancashire.

Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander played 21 years for Scunthorpe United, Luton Town, Preston North End, and Burnley, as a defender and a holding midfielder. Alexander became the oldest player to make his Premier League debut at the age of 37 (when he played right back/defensive midfielder for Burnley in the 2008-09 Premier League). Alexander was also the third oldest goal scorer in Premier League history. A dead-ball specialist, he retired in 2012 with 837 league appearances and 107 league goals (130 goals in all competitions). In Graham Alexander’s final match in April 2012, he scored a 92nd-minute equalizer at Deepdale versus Charlton. Graham Alexander played well over one thousand games in all competitions, second-most as a pro in the English leagues only to Tony Ford {see this ‘Tony Ford (footballer born 1959)‘}.

Alexander made his coaching debut in December 2011 while still a player, as a joint-caretaker manager of Preston North End (along with David Unsworth), following Preston’s sacking of Phil Brown. That position only lasted 5 games, though, as Preston brought in tough guy Graham Westely, to poor results (Westley has slunk back to 3rd-division-but-relegation-threatened Stevenage now). Alexander was appointed manager of Fleetwood Town in December 2012, following the surprise sacking of Mickey Mellon. Mellon had gotten Fleetwood Town into the Football League in May 2012. Fleetwood Town is a former 9th- and 8th-division club which has won 5 promotions in the last decade. This is a club that was drawing just 206 per game nine seasons ago in 2004-05, and now draws in the vicinity of 2,800. Actually, at the time of his sacking last December, Mellon had the Cod Army in the play-off places (in 7th place). But Mellon’s squad had just lost 3 matches in a row including an FA Cup 2nd Round match to Aldershot. Graham Alexander didn’t exactly have too poor a run-in managing Fleetwood for the latter half of last season, but, for all intents and purposes, once the Fleetwood squad knew they were safe from relegation, they coasted, and Fleetwood finished in 13th place in 2012-13, losing their final 4 matches. In the off season there were a few key personnel moves. The headline-maker was the club’s biggest signing ever, of Jamaican-born almost-23-year-old FW Jamille Matt (bought from Kidderminster for an undisclosed sum above £200,000). There was also the signing of 21-year-old play-maker Antoni Sarcevic, a MF with real potential, who was instrumental in getting Phoenix-club Chester FC up into the Conference last season. Both have produced so far, with Matt scoring 5 league goals in 12 appearances and Sarcevic netting 3 times with 3 assists.


Photo and Image credits above -
Aerial photo of Highbury Stadium, from
Photo of Graham Alexander, from
Photo of Jamille Matt, by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe via
Photo of Antoni Sarcevic and Fleetwood teammates celebrating from

Thanks to and Igloo Films, at, for image of Portsmouth 13/14 home jersey badge.
Thanks to for photo of Rochdale 13/14 home jersey badge,
Thanks to Torquay United shop for images which allowed me to assemble a 13/14 TUFC home jersey badge facsimilie { ; }.

Thanks to the contributors at, ‘2013–14 Football League Two‘.

October 14, 2013

England, 3rd division: Football League One – 2013-14 Location-map, with attendance data & 2013-14 home kit badges. / Plus 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place as of 14 Oct. 2013: Leyton Orient, Peterborough United, and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Note: to see my latest map-&-post of the English 3rd division, click on the following, Eng-3rd Level/League One.
England, 3rd division: Football League One – 2013-14 Location-map, with attendance data & 2013-14 home kit badges

On the map page
Facsimiles of each clubs’ home jersey badges for the 2013-14 season are shown, in alphabetical order, across the the top of the map page. Below that, at the lower left, is a location-map of the clubs in the 2013-14 Football League One. At the right-hand side of the map page is attendance data for current League One clubs from the two previous seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13). Change (by percent), as well as percent capacity (ie, how much the club filled their stadium on average) from last season, are shown. League movement (if any) of the clubs is shown as well.

Below, top 3 clubs in the League One table, as of 14 October 2013…

    Leyton Orient, 1st place as of 14 October 2013.


Photo credits above -
Aerial photo of Brisbane Road from
Interior photo of Brisbane Road by Chris Eason at & at
Photo of Kevin Lisbie from
Photo of Russell Slade from
Photo of David Mooney by Simon O’Connor at
Photo of the old gabled Orient sign at Brisbane Road with a view of Waltahm Forest borough in the background, photo fro Getty Images via

Leyton Orient are a traditionally lower-leagues Football League club that is located in East London and who play at the 9,271-capacity Brisbane Road. Brisbane Road is also known as the Matchroom Stadium, and has, since 2007, multi-story apartment buildings in each of the 4 corners of the ground – see this photo from the following article by John Ashdown at, ‘At which grounds can you watch football for free?‘). [Note: the ground is named after Leyton Orient chairman Beary Hearn's sports promotion company, Matchroom Sport.].

The club now known as Leyton Orient was originally formed by members of the Glyn Cricket Club in 1881. The club began fielding a football team in 1888, under the name Orient Football Club. This name change came about on the suggestion of a player, Jack R Dearing, who worked for the Orient shipping line (later the P&O Line). This was a fitting moniker, as ‘orient’ means east and the club has always called East London its home. The club’s name was changed again to Clapton Orient in 1898 to represent the area of London in which they played at the time (their location back then was a few km. west of the O’s current location). As Clapton Orient FC, the club were, along with 5 other clubs, allowed to join the newly-expanded Second Division in 1905-06, when the Football League expanded by 4 teams (from 36 to 40) – with both the First Division and the Second Division expanding from 18 to 20 teams. {See this, ‘1905-06 Football League/Second Division‘ (}. Clapton Orient finished dead last in their first season in the League (there was no automatic relegation out of the League until 1986-87). Leyton Orient did end up being relegated 23 years later (in 1928-29), to the Third Division (South) [which had been instituted in 1920-21]. While still in the 3rd-division-South, the club (still known as Clapton Orient) moved a few kilometres east to their present location in Leyton, which was at that time a borough of Essex (see 2 sentences below), and into Brisbane Road, where the club have played ever since. A decade later, in 1947, to properly reflect their somewhat-recent location-change, their name was belatedly changed to Leyton Orient. That only lasted two decades, because there was yet another name change in 1966, to simply Orient FC – this after the borough of Leyton (which was at that point situated in Essex) was absorbed into the London Borough of Waltham Forest. 21 seasons later, in 1987, partly as the result of the wishes of many longtime Orient supporters, the club returned to their Leyton Orient name. The club has undergone several crises in its history, and another crisis might be looming on the horizon (see 4 paragraphs below).

Leyton Orient are the second-oldest League club in London, behind Fulham, and are the 24th-oldest club currently playing in the Football League. Leyton Orient have spent exactly one season in the first division. That was in 1962-63, at the early part of the Swinging London era, under the management of Johnny Carey, who got Leyton Orient into the top flight by finishing in second in the 1961-62 Second Division (Liverpool won the Second Division that season). Leyton Orient struggled in the top flight in 62/63, and were relegated as last-place-finishers with only 6 wins in 46 games. But they did defeat local rivals West Ham United at home that season. So there was at least that.

When Leyton Orient played that one season in the first division they wore blue and white colors – Leyton Orient wore blue jerseys and white pants from 1947-48 all the way to 1966-67 (19 seasons). In 1967-68, red jerseys were adopted once again (the club had started out in red jerseys back in the late 1800s/early 1900s, then played for around two decades with white-jerseys-featuring-a-large-red-V [from 1910 to 1931]). In 1970-71, the mythical beast the Wyvern first appeared on a Leyton Orient crest. {See this, Leyton Orient kit & crest history here (}.

{note, attendance data for the following two sentences found here (}.
When Leyton Orient had that solitary first-division season-in-the-sun in 62/63, they drew drew 16,206 per game, which is more than 3 times what the club draws these days. The club’s all-time biggest average crowd was in 1956-57, at 17,524 per game (56/57 was the first season that Leyton Orient were back in the second division after 20 seasons in the third tier [since 1928-29]). Compare that to last season [2012-13], when Leyton Orient drew just 4,006 per game. Last season, Orient started poorly under ex-Brighton and ex-Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade (who has been in charge at Brisbane Road since April 2010), but Leyton Orient’s second-half form was among the best in the third division, and they ended up just short of a play-off place in 7th (4 points behind Swindon). This season, Orient are continuing the fine form they displayed in the latter half of the last campaign. For their first 5 home matches in 13/14, attendance had picked up around 600 per game to a then-average of 4,605 per game. Then Orient drew 6,300 on 12 Oct. 2013, beating the reviled MK Dons 2-1, and so after 6 home matches this season, Orient’s current (12 Oct. 2013) average attendance is 4,940 per game.

After 10 or 11 games played by all League One clubs this season, the undefeated (9-2-0) Leyton Orient have scored the most, with 27 goals. David Mooney and Kevin Lisbie are Orient’s main scoring threats, and they boast a solid playmaker in the French 28-year-old MF Romain Vincelot (ex-Dagenham & Redbridge). David Mooney is a 28-year-old Dublin, Ireland-born ex-Shamrock Rovers, ex-Norwich City, ex-Charlton, and ex-Colchester FW. Mooney has scored 9 league goals for Orient this season so far, and [as of 14 Oct. 2013] is tied for second-most goals in League One along with MK Dons’ Patrick Bamford – behind only Coventry City’s Callum Wilson, who has scored 10 goals {click on the following for 13/14 League One top scorers (}. Mooney’s strike partner is the 34-year-old East-London-born/former Jamaica international, and ex-Colchester/Ipswich/Millwall FW Kevin Lisbie, who also is among the top scorers in the third tier this campaign – Lisbie has 7 league goals so far, including the winner on 12 October v. MK Dons. That goal, which was set up for Lisbie by Mooney, via a neat through pass in the 67th minute, put the score at 2-1 and kept the O’s in first place. There was 6,359 in attendance at Brisbane Road for that match last Saturday, which is about 2,300 more than Leyton Orient had averaged last season. This bodes very well for the traditionally low-drawing O’s, and if they can keep drawing this well and start to attract folks who don’t usually consider going to Brisbane Road, and if the Mooney/Lisbie strike partnership can continue to find the back of the net, the sky might be the limit for this un-fancied, chronically cash-strapped and oft-ignored East London club. Leyton Orient have not been in the second division in 32 years (since 1981-82). Leyton Orient’s fine form in 2013 is even more surprising when one considers this fact – Russell Slade has not spent one pound on any transfer in assembling his current squad. See this article, ‘Russell Slade: I don’t half get a buzz from a good free transfer – How are Leyton Orient top of League One and unbeaten, despite their manager having never paid for a player?‘ ( from 11 October 2013 by Paul Doyle).

Leyton Orient in the League Championship next season would be brilliant, especially when you consider what is in store for this neck of the woods in the coming few years (see following link). From, from 19 Sept.2013, ‘Leyton Orient could fold over West Ham move” (

Here is a nice feature (it has lots of photos), on Brisbane Road, from Who Ate All The Pies site, by Chris Wright, from 22 November 2013…’Around The Grounds: Brisbane Road, Home Of Leyton Orient (whoateallthepies).

    Peterborough United, 2nd place as of 14 October 2013.

Photo credits above -
Exterior view of London Road, photo from
Aerial view of London Road, photo (unattributed) from
Britt Assombalonga goal celebration, photo from August 2013 from
Britt Assombalonga, action photo from

Peterborough United are managed by Darren Ferguson (son of SAF), who is in his second spell as manager of the Posh. In January 2011, Darren Ferguson reconciled with Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony, and replaced current-Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson. In his first spell at the helm at Peterborough, from 2007 to 2009, Ferguson had gotten the club promoted in consecutive seasons, both times getting automatic promotion by finishing in second (in League Two in 07/08, and then in League One in 08/09). Now back in the third tier, the Posh currently [14 October 2013] sit second in League One, 1 point behind Leyton Orient.

Peterborough entered the Football League from the old Midlands League and into the old Fourth Division in 1960-61, after having been elected into the League in June 1960 {see this,}.The club’s home ground is London Road, which has an interesting mix of old stands and a relatively new stand (the Main Stand). London Road, which opened in 1913, has a current [league-game] capacity of 14,640 (with room for around 5,000 standing). A decade ago, Peterborough were only drawing in the 4 K to 5 K range, though around 20 years ago, during their first-ever spell in the second division (2 seasons in 1992-93 and 1993-94), the Posh were drawing around 6,000 per game. Since 2007-08, Peterborough have been drawing in the 6 K to 9 K range. Last season they drew 8,215 per game. Their highest average gate in the modern era was achieved 3 seasons ago in 2011-12, when they averaged 9,111 per game and finished 18th in the Football League Championship. Peterborough’s highest finish was in 10th place in the second tier in 1992-93.

Since 2007-08, when Peterborough were in the 4th division and won promotion (finishing in 2nd place, 5 points behind MK Dons), the Posh have either moved up or went down in 5 of the last 6 seasons (3 promotions and twice relegated). That makes Peterborough a 2nd division/3rd division yo-yo club, and their current form is only cementing that tag. The Posh can score seemingly at will, but they have in recent years fielded a sieve-like defense. It always seems like Peterborough play in 6- or 7-goal matches. In 2010-11, the season after relegation back to the third tier, they scored the most goals in the Football League that season, with 106 (but they conceded 75) – and bounced straight back up to the Championship via the playoffs. In 2011-12, the Posh scored 70 goals and finished 18th in the Championship – they managed to stay up that year despite the 77 goals they conceded (which was tied, with Ipswich Town, for second-worst in the league that season; only Doncaster was worse, giving up 80 goals).

Last season [2012-13], the Posh scored 66 goals and conceded 75 goals and were once again relegated back to the 3rd tier. Peterborough ended up just just one point away from safety, conceding an 89th-minute goal to eventual play-off winner Crystal Palace in the last game of the season. That late goal in south London allowed fellow-relegation-threatened Barnsley and Huddersfield – who were playing each other that day up in West Yorkshire and discovered the Posh’s 2-3 score – to collude a draw by spending the last 5 minutes of the match not attacking each other and passing only sideways-or-back…and thus seal Peterborough’s relegation. Those 77 goals allowed last season by Peterborough was only better than the last-place-finisher, Bristol City (with 84 goals allowed). The 2012-13 League Championship was a very tight affair, with just 14 points separating the play-off places from the relegation places (ie, 6th place had 68 points, while 22nd place had 54 points). {See this, ‘2012-13 League Championship league table‘ (}. In other words, Peterborough were hardly a typical relegated side last season.

Now, after addressing the squad’s deficiencies, Peterborough naturally splurged not on a defender (what fun would that be ?), but on a striker, breaking the club-record tranfer-fee (price undisclosed) with the July 2013 signing of ex-Watford, ex-Braintree Town, and ex-Southend FW Britt Assombalonga, who is only 20.8 years old and who scored 15 league goals in League Two for the Shrimpers in 2012-13. {See this from, from 31 July 2013, ‘Britt Assombalonga joins Peterborough in club record deal‘}. Assombalonga has scored 7 times in 11 league games for Peterborough this season. The 2013-14 Posh also feature 28-year-old ex-Crawley Town FW Tyrone Barnett, who has 6 goals so far this season (including the winner in their 0-1 victory in Burslem over Port Vale on 12 Oct.); as well as 24-year-old Winger Lee Tomlin, who previously played for the now-defunct Rushden & Diamonds (I), and who has made over 120 appearances for the Posh since 2010, and who has 2 goals and 4 assists this season so far. Anchoring the Posh midfield is old hand and Northern Ireland international Grant McCann, who is 33 years old (with over 100 appearances for Cheltenham Town, for Scunthorpe United, and for Peterbotough). McCann and has netted 4 times this season, with one assist.

    Wolverhampton Wanderers, 3rd place as of 14 October 2013 (with a game in hand).

Speaking of odds-on-favorites for automatic promotion this season in League One, Wolves still have their 18 million pounds per season parachute payments, from when they got relegated from the Premier League in May 2012. They now have a proven League Championship-caliber manager in Kenny Jackett, and Wolves have finally brought back, from loan, Leigh Griffiths (who tore up the SPL last season, with 23 goals for Hibs). If they are not running away with it by the Holidays, look for the Black Country’s biggest club to splurge come the January transfer window.

Photo credits above –
Leigh Griffiths, photo from
Kenny Jackett, photo from

From Bradford City fansite/badge pin purveyors, ‘Summary history of club crests and characters adopted by Bradford City AFC since 1903‘ (

Thanks to Bradford City official site for photo-segment of 13/14 City home kit,
Thanks to Crawley Town official site for photo-segment of CTFC kit badge [gold-thread-outer-disc stitching], from banner ad at & for photo of large CTFC home kit badge [~wallpaper],
Thanks to Crewe Alexandra official site for photo-segment of Crew Alexandra 13/14 home jersey [background colors of red-&-dark-red-checkerboard] from
Thanks to Walsall broadcast journalist Jonathan Sidway for the image of the Walsall 125th anniversary kit badge, ‘Walsall FC 125th Anniversary: One To Remember?‘ (

Thanks to for attendance data.

Thanks to the Football League official site for attendance figures,,,10794~201225,00.html.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2013–14 Football League One‘ (

Thanks to the Footy-Mad sites for league histories -
Leyton Orient League history,
Peterborough United League history,

Thanks to Jonathan Kaye at Leyton Orient Fans Trust site, for information on the shell game that is the Brisbane Road lease arrangement (Brisbane Road is ultimately owned by the London Borough of Waltahm Forest, which was leased to LOFC for 999 years, who then ‘sold’ the lease and naming rights to Matchroom Sport, which then ‘sold’ back a temporary lease to LOFC).

August 12, 2013

England & Wales: Premier League, 2013-14 – location-map with attendance data. / Plus, a chart of metropolitan-area populations in the UK – the 40 largest Urban Areas in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), with clubs in the 2013-14 Premier League listed.


2013-14 Premier League map & attendance chart (12/13 attendances)

PREMIER LEAGUE – Fixtures, Results, Table (

2012-13 – a banner year for pro football in Wales.
Of the 20 clubs in the Premier League this season, 2 are based in Wales – the newly-promoted Cardiff City, and the third-year-Premier League-club Swansea City AFC, both of South Wales (and separated by only 55 km. or 34 miles). It is the first time in the history of the English 1st division (which was established in 1888-89) that 2 Welsh clubs are playing in the top flight at the same time. This will be the 16th season in the top flight for Cardiff City (Cardiff City’s total seasons spent in the 1st division: 1921-22 to 1928-29 [an 8 season spell]; 1952-53 to 1956-57 [a 5 season spell]; 1961-62 to 1962-63 [a 2 season spell]; 2013-14). This will be the 5th season that Swansea City are playing in the top flight (Swansea City’s total seasons spent in the 1st division: 1981-82 to 1982-83 [a 2 season spell]; 2011-12 to 2013-14 [a 3 season spell so far]). No other Welsh club has played in the English top flight, but Wrexham spent 4 seasons in the Second Division from 1978-79 to 1981-82; while Newport County (I) played the 1946-47 season in the Second Division. {To see a post I made a couple years back about the 6 Welsh football clubs which are in the English football league pyramid, click here.}

More positive news for Welsh pro football can be seen in the fact that last season, Newport County (II) of South Wales won promotion to the Football League. So after a 25-year absence, the city of Newport, Wales again has a club in the Football League. Newport County accomplished this by defeating Wrexham (of North Wales) in the 2013 Conference National Play-off Final at Wembley. Congratulations to Newport City AFC and supporters of the Exiles. And congratulations to the the Bluebirds’ faithful (I refuse to call Cardiff the Red Dragons)…for their club’s first top-flight-promotion in 51 years. And congratulations to 20%-supporter-owned Swansea City, and its fans, for winning the League Cup, and for demonstrating that playing attractive passing football in the first division – and actually staying up and winning silverware – can still be achieved by modest clubs from relatively small cities. Swansea is a pretty small city to be having a successful first division club, and now Swansea City are advantageously set-up to become the first Welsh club to qualify for a European competition {see this, ‘2013–14 UEFA Europa League/Play-off Round‘.

The smallest cities to have an English 1st Division football club (since 1946-47)
Please note: all populations discussed below are not city populations, but rather metropolitan-area populations (which are also known as Urban Areas, and which are also known as Built-up areas). Why? Because there are not walls around these cities. People who live outside, but still nearby, any given city can and very often do attend home matches of a club in that city. Besides, some clubs (like Grimsby Town) don’t even play in the city or borough they are named after. This exercise is to look at what sort of population each club has as its potential catchment area. If I were to use populations from just within the city-limits of all these settlements, it would not accurately reflect the total population from which the club could reasonably expect (or hope) to draw upon as ticket-paying customers.
Here is my data source for metro-area populations – Source of data:
The Swansea Built-up area is the 27th-largest in the United Kingdom, with a metro-area population of only around 300,000 {2011 figure; see the chart I made further below}. (Actually, it might be surprising to some that Swansea’s metro-area is slightly smaller than the metro-area of Newport, Wales.). At present [2013-14], the only Premier League club from a metropolitan-area smaller than Swansea is Norwich City. The Norwich, Norfolk Built-up area has a population of around 213,000, and is the 38th-largest in the UK. It must be mentioned that Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire – home of just-promoted Hull City AFC – is slightly larger than Swansea, as is Sunderland, Wearside – home of Sunderland AFC. Hull has a metro-area pop. of around 314 K, making Hull the 24th-largest metro area in the UK; Sunderland has a metro-area pop. of around 335 K (that figure does not include any part of the Newcastle metro-area), making Sunderland the 21st-largest metro area in the UK.

In the past and recent past (going back to the post-War period [from 1946-47 on]), there have been 8 First Division/Premier League clubs from cities smaller than Norwich (ie, smaller than around 200,000). Below are listed the smallest cities to have an English 1st division football club since the post-War period (1946-47 to 2013-14), with each club’s total seasons and their last season in the top flight noted, and current metro-area populations listed…
{all figures from the following link unless otherwise noted –}.
-Swindon Town, 1 season in the 1st division (in 1993-94): Swindon, Wiltshire is the 40th-largest built-up area in the UK at 185,000 metro-population currently;
-Ipswich Town, 26 seasons in the 1st division (last in 2001-02): Ipswich, Suffolk is the 42nd-largest built-up area in the UK at 178,000 metro-population currently;
-Wigan Athletic, 8 seasons in the 1st division (last in 2012-13): Wigan is the 43rd-largest built-up area in the UK at 175,000 metro-population currently;
-Oxford United, 3 seasons in the 1st division (last in 1987-88): Oxford, Oxfordshire is the 45th-largest built-up area in the UK at 171,000 metro-population currently;
-Burnley, 52 seasons in the 1st division (last in 2009-10): Burnley, Lancashire is the 54th-largest built-up area in the UK at 149,000 metro-population currently;
-Blackburn Rovers, 72 seasons in the 1st division (last in 2011-12): Blackburn, Lancashire is the 56th-largest built-up area in the UK at 146,000 metro-population currently;
-Grimsby Town, 12 seasons in the 1st division (last in 1947-48): Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire is the 58th-largest built-up area in the UK at 134,000 metro-population currently;
-Carlisle United, 1 season in the 1st division (in 1974-75): Carlisle, Cumbria is about the 108th-largest settlement in the UK at around 73,000 {that and its city-size-ranking is from 2008, obtained here (}.

    Chart: Metropolitan-area populations in the United Kingdom – the 40 largest Built-up Areas in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). With clubs in the 2013-14 Premier League listed.

Click on image below.
Chart: Built-Up Area populations in the UK – the 40 largest Built-up Areas in the United Kingdom, with clubs in the 2013-14 Premier League listed

Source of data:

This chart was uploaded onto by iam8mai, one day after I posted it… here is the thread – Thanks to all the 90+ folks who commented there, and thanks to those who spotted my errors, and thanks to that St Mirren fan [portaccio] who pointed out that Motherwell should have been listed in the list of clubs currently in the Scottish 1st division which are located in Greater Glasgow, which he did after he pointed out to the other (disgruntled) St Mirren fan that Paisley is indeed officially considered part of Greater Glasgow].

Thanks to, for the blank map of the UK,

Thanks to, for 2012-13 Premier League attendance figures.

Thanks to the Football League official site for 2012-13 Football League Championship attendance figures,,,10794~20127,00.html.

Thanks to for stadium capacities.

Thanks to the Footy-mad sites for their invaluable League Histories of every club in Levels 1 through 5, such as ‘Cardiff City’s complete league history‘ (; and ‘Swansea City’s complete league history‘ (

July 24, 2013

England, 2nd division: Football League Championship – 2013-14 Location-map, with attendance data & 2013-14 home kit badges.

League Championship – 2013-14 Location-map, with attendance data & 2013-14 kit badges

Note: to see my latest map-&-post of the English 2nd division, click on the following, category: Eng-2nd Level/Champ’ship.

Football League Championship – Fixtures, Results, Table (

From, from 19 June 2013, ‘Championship fixtures 2013-14: QPR start against Sheff Wed‘ (

From, from 31 July 2013, by Phil Maiden, ‘Championship 2013-14 season: Club-by-club guide‘ (

From Historical Football Kits site, ‘Sky Bet Championship 2013 – 2014 [Kits of all 24 Championship clubs in the 2013-14 season]‘ (

From The Two Unfortunates, from 24 July 2013, by Lanterne Rouge, ‘TTU GO PREDICTING: A CLUB-BY-CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW‘ (

From, from 27 July 2013, by Sachin Nakrani, ‘Twenty things to look out for in the Football League this season
How will Brighton fare without Gus Poyet, can Yeovil’s incredible rise go on and can Gianfranco Zola stir up the Hornets again?
‘. (

    League Championship – 2013-14 Location-map, with attendance data & 2013-14 home kit badges.

Facsimiles of each clubs’ home jersey badges for the 2013-14 season are shown, in alphabetical order, across the the top of the map page. Below that, at the lower left, is a location-map of the clubs in the 2013-14 League Championship. Included on the map, this time, I have listed which historic county or metropolitan-area each club comes from. At the lower right of the map page is attendance data from the 2 previous seasons. Last season, of these 24 clubs which comprise the 13/14 Championship, Brighton & Hove Albion drew best at 26,236 per game (and with an impressive 85 percent-capacity at their excellent new two-year-old venue, the Amex at Falmer).

Meanwhile, the lowest-drawing club that is in the 2013-14 Championship is, of course, second-tier-debutantes Yeovil Town, of Yeovil, Someset (population of around 52,000 {2002 figure}). Yeovil Town drew 4,071 per game last season in League One. 72 other clubs in the Premier League or the Football League (the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th divisions) or the Conference (the 5th Level) drew higher than Yeovil Town drew last season {note: you can see each club’s 12/13 attendance-rank at the center of the attendance-data-chart on the map page]. Yeovil Town, nicknamed the Glovers, tried for years and years to get elected to the Football League back when you couldn’t play your way in (pre-1986-87). They found other ways to get their foot in, by turning into a Cup-specialist club (once beating Sunderland in the 4th Round of the FA Cup [in 1949]). 11 seasons ago, in 2002-03, Yeovil Town finally got into the League, winning the Conference National, led by a young Gary Johnson during his first spell (2001-05) as Yeovil’s manager. Then when Gary Johnson got them promoted to the 3rd tier, in 2004-05, folks were saying this little club from the West Country were punching above their weight. Now, a season after Johnson’s return and another promotion, the Glovers are REALLY punching above their weight. One usually does not see such a small club in the English second division…certainly not in the last 25 years. We haven’t seen such a small club from such a small town as Yeovil in the 2nd tier since current-4th-division-side Scunthorpe United were relegated from the Championship in 2011 (and Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire is a bit bigger – it has a population about 20,000 larger than Yeovil, at around 72,000 {2010 figure}). Before that, Crew Alexandra of Crewe, Cheshire were in the second division from 2003-04 to 2005-06 (Crew has a population of around 65,000 {2011 figure}). Before that, Bury FC of Bury, Greater Manchester were in the second division for a 2-year-spell from 1997 to ’99 (Bury has a borough population of around 60,000 {2001 figure}). Before that, Shrewsbury Town, of Shrewsbury, Shropshire were in the second division for a couple of spells, last in 1988-89 (Shrewsbury has a population of around 70,000 {2011 figure}. Before that, Carlisle United, of Carlisle, Cumbria were in the second division for a 4-season-spell from 1982 to ’86 (Carlisle has a population of around 71,000 {2001 figure}. So that is going back 30 years, and all these towns just listed above are all bigger than Yeovil. You have to go all the way back to 1982-83 (31 years ago) to find a second division club from a city smaller than Yeovil – and that is Wrexham, North Wales, home of the current-Non-League-side Wrexham FC (Wrexham, Wales has a population of around 42,000 {2001 figure}).
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For Yeovil Town FC and their supporters this season, there will be good times in store at the 9,565-capacity Huish Park, there in south Somerset… even if the green-and-white hooped Glovers, led-by ex-Latvia and ex-Bristol City gaffer Gary Johnson, go straight back down (please don’t).

As to the kit badge facsimiles I have assembled, one club – Bolton Wanderers – have a new design for their official crest and their kit badge. It is actually a re-working of an older design, with those silly streaming red-and-blue ribbons now gone, and a more traditional horizontal-red-ribbon-with-red-rose-of-Lancashire device added, see this, ‘The Rose returns: Bolton Wanderers’ brand new badge is real‘ ( [SB Nation]). Another club, the just-promoted AFC Bournemouth, have re-vamped their official crest {see it here at their Wikipedias page, but have kept the old one on their 13/14 kits. With the Cherries’ new crest, gone is the ribbon-banner that contained the club’s name, and gone are the red/white vertical-stripes. With the new crest, the shield is larger and contains the club’s name, which is now at the top of the shield and in a modern gold sans-serif font; also there are now some red/black vertical-stripes (to reflect the home jersey-style of recent years). Bournemouth’s main crest element – the player’s-head-with-stylized-motion-streaked-hair-who-is-heading-a-ball – remains, but now the red in the crest is darker and very slightly more raspberry-reddish – to reflect the shade of red that the Dorset-based club has been wearing the past few years {see this,}.

Not counting background color or colors, this season, the League Championship has 9 clubs which sport home kit badges that are different from their official crest – here they are…
-Barnsley: a dark-red-bordered shield device frames the distinctive crest of the Tykes of South Yorkshire.
-Blackpool: the usual color-reverse for the text elements on the outer-rim of the Seasiders’ crest.
-Derby County: like last year, the Rams sport just the minimalist-ram-in-profile, shown larger and without the framing disc or the text elements. With black collars on their traditional whites, its a great look.
-Huddersfield Town: as with the last couple of seasons, the Terriers of West Yorkshire have a shield framing their crest, plus a three-star device at the top (the stars are for the cub’s 1923, 1924, and 1925 English titles); this year the shield has a dark blue border and the stars are gold (last season both were black).
-Ipswich Town: like last year, the Tractor Boys of Suffolk, East Anglia have a white three-star device at the top of their work-horse-in-crenellated-shield crest (the stars are for the cub’s 1962 English title, their 1978 FA Cup title, and their 1981 UEFA Cup title).
-Millwall: celebrating 20 years at their Bermondsey, South London home of the New Den, the Lions have a disc encircling their rampant-lion-crest, with the words [in all-caps] ‘Twenty Years At The New Den – 1993 -2013′; plus the home jersey features a nice double-thick-pinstripe effect in white-on-navy-blue.
-Nottingham Forest: as the club did last year, atop their singular modernist-tree-on-river crest [which is a color reverse of their official crest], there are 2 white stars for Forest’s two European titles (won in 1979 & 1980 when the legendary Brian Clough was their manager).
-Watford: here is the club’s announcement on their new kits: ‘Watford’s new kits for 2013/14 will feature stylish monochrome club crests – although the official club crest will remain absolutely unchanged’. So, this season, for the Hornets of Hertfordshire, in their home kit there is no red trim (besides sponsor logo), and in the club’s head-of-Hart-of-Hertfordshire-in-a-polygon crest their home kit badge has no red – only black-and-yellow. Why? Maybe their Italian owners think the stag on their crest looks more stylish this way.
-Wigan Athletic: this is the second straight year Wigan have featured a gold-disc-outline on their Wigan-Tree-in-crown badge. The disc-outline of the Latics’ official crest is in their ‘electric blue’ color; but actually, Wigan are sporting a darker shade of light royal blue this season, and have a thinner-vertical-stripe-pattern on their nice-looking home jersey {see this from ( – old school style, harking back to Wigan’s late ’70s/early ’80s-first-years-in-the-Football-League era.

The just-relegated Wigan Athletic, of Wigan, Greater Manchester, have now become the only club in the history of association football to have won the FA Cup title and to have been relegated in the same season. Manager Roberto Martinez has moved on to a bigger club nearby (Everton), and ex-St. Johnstone, ex-Burnley, and ex-Bolton manager Owen Coyle is at the helm. Maybe another new arrival, burly-but-deft-touch-striker Grant Holt, will power Wigan right back to the Premier League so they can reclaim their 4-out-of-8-seasons’-status as the lowest-drawing top-flight club (QPR were the lowest-drawing club in the Premier League last season and in 2011-12, while in 2005-6 it was Portsmouth, and in 2010-11 it was Blackpool).

From, ‘2013–14 Football League Championship‘ (

Thanks to Football League site for 2012-13 attendance figures, Thanks to, for the 2012-13 attendance figures of the 3 relegated teams (QPR, Reading, Wigan),

Thanks to Derby County online store for the photo segment of the 2013-14 home kit,

Thanks to garibaldired for uploading a photo of the 2013-14 Nottingham Forest home kit at [image later scrapped, see comment #1 & 2 below]. / Thanks to for the Nottingham Forest 13/14 home kit badge photo,

Thanks to bogdan at for uploading a photo of the Leeds United kit badge at

Thanks to for this gallery of the new Middlesbrough kits,
Thanks to for the photo of the Millwall 2013-14 badge,

Thanks to QPR shop,

Thanks to, for photo of Watford 2013-14 kit badge,

Thanks to at for 2013-14 Huddersfield Town kit badge.

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