billsportsmaps.com

July 17, 2017

2017-18 Premier League (1st division England, including Wales) – location-map with chart, including 16/17-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./+ the three promoted clubs for 2017-18 (Newcastle Utd, Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town).

2017-18_premier-league_map_w-2017-crowds_all-time-seasons-in-1st-div_titles-listed_post_c_.gif
2017-18 Premier League (1st division England, including Wales) – location-map with chart with: 16/17-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division




By Bill Turianski on 17 July 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-2017–18 Premier League (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…SUMMARY – Premier League [2017-18] (us.soccerway.com).
-theguardian.com/premier-league.
-Kits…Premier League 2017 – 2018 (historicalkits.co.uk).

A brief re-cap of 2016-17…
Champions…Chelsea: under their new manager Antonio Conte, Chelsea won the 2016-17 English title with ease, clinching with 2 games to spare and finishing 7 points above Tottenham.
Teams that qualified for Europe…Champions League Group Stage: Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United (via winning Europa League title). CL GS play-off round: Liverpool. Europa League Group Stage: Arsenal. EL GS 3rd qualifying round: Everton.
Teams that were relegated to the 2nd division…Hull City, Middlesbrough, Sunderland.
Teams that were promoted from the 2nd division to the Premier League…the 3 clubs profiled below…

    Below: illustrated articles for the 3 promoted clubs
    (Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town)

Newcastle bounced straight back to the Premier League as 2016-17 EFL Championship winners. Brighton & Hove Albion finished in second and won the other automatic promotion to the Premier League, meaning Brighton will play in the top flight for the first time in 34 years. Huddersfield Town won the 2017 Championship play-off Final at Wembley, beating Reading 0-0/4-3 in penalties; this means Huddersfield will play in the top flight for the first time in 45 years…

    •Newcastle United FC.

Est. 1892. Nicknames: the Magpies; Geordies; the Toon (or the Toon Army). Colours: Black-&-White [vertically-striped jerseys]. Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, situated (by road) 289 miles (465 km) N of London; and situated (by road) 98 miles (158 km) N of Leeds. Population of Newcastle: metro-area population of around 1.6 million (6th-largest in the UK) {2011 census}.

NUFC, est. 1892: location, colours, nicknames…
Newcastle United are from Newcastle upon Tyne, in the county of Tyne and Wear. Newcastle is the 6th-largest metro-area in the UK (with a population of around 1.6 million). Newcastle is located in the north east of England, a few miles inland from the North Sea, about 30 miles south of the Scottish border, and 15 miles north of their hated rivals, Sunderland AFC. {NUFC and SAFC contest the Tyne and Wear derby/ Newcastle vs Sunderland: Why is the Tyne-Wear derby such a big deal? (by Luke Edwards at telegraph.co.uk/football, from Dec. 2014).}

Newcastle wear Black-&-White [vertically-striped jerseys], and have done so since 1894 {since their 3rd year of existence/see NUFC home-kit-&-crest-history (historicalkits.co.uk)}. Newcastle are nicknamed the Magpies (magpies, a large bird from the Corvid [crow] family, have black-and-white feathers). Newcastle United, and especially their local supporters, also go by the name Geordies (a term dating back to the 18th century, see this, Geordie/Etymology). There is a third moniker for NUFC (and their fans), and that is Toon (or Toon Army)…Toon is how Geordies (Newcastle-area locals) pronounce the word “town”. {See this, quora.com/Why-is-Newcastle-United-called-Toon-Army.}

Newcastle United: a gigantic club, with cobwebs in their trophy cabinet…
‘The club has been owned by Mike Ashley since 2007, succeeding long term chairman and owner Sir John Hall. The club is the seventeenth highest revenue producing club in the world in terms of annual revenue, generating €169.3m in 2015.’ {-excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newcastle_United_F.C.}. Newcastle’s stadium, St James’ Park is the 7th-largest football venue in England (seated capacity: 52,405; last expanded in 1998-2000). Newcastle United have a gigantic fanbase, and usually draw between 49-and-52-K. Newcastle are the sixth-highest-drawing club in England (after Manchester Utd, Arsenal, West Ham Utd, Manchester City, and Liverpool).

Newcastle United have 4 English titles and 5 FA Cup titles to their name, but they have not won a major domestic title in over 60 years…no domestic titles since 1955 (1955 FA Cup title). (Though Newcastle did win an international title in 1969 – the Fairs Cup, which was the predecessor to the UEFA Cup/Europa League.) So, I’m not gonna say it – but this guy will…Newcastle United – Specialists in failure (by Matt North on 13 Feb. 2015 at themag.co.uk [the Independent voice of Newcastle Utd since 1988]).

Newcastle United have been relegated from the Premier League twice in the last 8 years (in 2009 and in 2016)
Newcastle have been relegated twice in the last 8 years, but have immediately bounced back from the 2nd division both times. In 2009-10, they won the 2nd division easily (by 11 points), under current-Brighton-manager Chris Hughton. But then they sacked Hughton half a year later, despite being a just-promoted side which was sitting in 11th place in the Premier League in mid-December of 2010 (see more on this time-period in the Chris Hughton part of the Brighton & Hove Albion section, further below).

Newcastle finishd in 12th that season (2010-11). The following season, under Alan Pardew, Newcastle finished 5th, and it looked like Newcastle were on the cusp of returning to the solid form they had in the early years of the 2000s (when they qualified for the Champions League in 2002 and in 2003, under Sir Bobby Robson). But the next season the bottom fell out, the atmosphere poisoned, and Newcastle finished in 16th place…they went from competing for a Champions League spot to a relegation-scrap in less than 12 months. Newcastle finished in 10th place the following season (2013-14), but it was much worse than it looked on paper, because the team ended the season losing 15 of their last 21 Premier League matches, and the Toon Army heaped further abuse on Pardew. A website called SackPardew.com was created. However, Pardew maintained the support of owner Mike Ashley into the following season (2014-15), but then Pardew jumped ship to Crystal Palace in January 2015…“with assistant manager John Carver taking over until the end of the season. He presided over some of Newcastle’s worst ever league form, including a run of eight consecutive defeats. A win over West Ham on the final day of the season ultimately secured Newcastle survival.” {-excerpt from 2014–15 Newcastle United F.C. season}. Overrated manager Steve McClaren was hired by Newcastle in June 2015. Bad move. By March 2016, Newcastle were in jeopardy of relegation, with only 24 points from 28 Premier League matches (an all-time club low). And this, despite the fact that Newcastle had spent about £100m in the past two transfer windows (Aug. 2015/Jan. 2016).

Enter Rafael Benitez as manager, replacing the sacked McClaren on 11 March 2016. But it was too late, and Newcastle went down to the 2nd division as 19th-place finishers, despite going 3 wins/4 draws/3 losses under Benitez. The one bright spot was that Benitez, who won two Spanish titles with Valencia, the Champions League and the FA Cup with Liverpool, and who could get a top flight job in most any league on the planet, decided to stay with the project at Newcastle. So in 2015-16, under Rafa Benitez, Newcastle won automatic promotion straight back to the top flight by winning the EFL Championship (edging out Chris Hughton’s Brighton, for the 2nd division title, on the last day of the season). Newcastle were in the automatic-promotion-places virtually the entire season. And they actually drew about 1.7-K-per-game higher in the 2nd division last season than they did 2 seasons ago in the Premier League (51.0 K in 16/17 versus 49.7 K in 15/16). Stand-out players for Newcastle in their successful promotion-campaign of 2016-17 were midfielder/playmaker Jonjo Shelvey, and striker Dwight Gayle, both of whom were selected to the EFL Championship Team of the Year {see photos/captions of both Shelvey and Gayle, further below}.

Newcastle United, 1st-place-finishers in the 2016-17 League Championship (automatic-promotion to the 2017-18 Premier League)…
newcastle-utd_st-james-park_promoted-2017_rafa-benitez_jonjo-shelvey_dwight-gayle_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
NUFC 2016-17 jersey, photo from u90soccer.com. Aerial shot of St James’ Park, photo unattributed at pinterest.com. sc. Distant-exterior shot of Newcastle with St James Park in background, photo by Getty Images at gettyimages.com jpg Exterior/panorama shot of St James’ Park, photo unattributed at openbuildings.com. Exterior/close-up shot of St James’ Park, photo by Getty Images via chroniclelive.co.uk. Toon fans outside St James Park, pre-match, photo unattributed at themag.co.uk/the-siege-of-st-james-park.
Jojo Shelvey gives shout-out to cheering Toon fans, photo by Reuters via hitc.com/poll-who-is-the-best-centre-midfielder-in-the-championship jpg. Jonjo Shelvey, photo by Getty Images via express.co.uk/football. Dwight Gayle celebrating goal with teammates, photo unattributed at chroniclelive.co.uk/football. Inset: Dwight Gayle after an away-goal, photo by Reuters via the s*n. Rafael Benitez with players, celebrating away win at Brighton (Feb. 2017), photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Screenshot of image from video in caption-form [chant by Toon fans mocking Mackems/Toon fans as NUFC clinch promotion], image by mirror.co.uk/football. Newcastle players celebrating in dressing room after clinching promotion, photo by Getty Images via the s*n.

    • Brighton & Hove Albion FC.

Est. 1901. Nickname: the Seagulls. Colours: Blue-&-White [vertically-striped jerseys]. Location: As the crow flies, Brighton & Hove is situated 47 miles (76 km) S of central London/By road, Brighton & Hove is situated 77 miles (123 km) S of central London. Population of Brighton & Hove: city pop., around 273,000/ metro-area pop., around 769,000 (15th largest in UK) {2011 census figures}.

-From the Guardian.com/football, Brighton’s long march ends in Chris Hughton’s completion of a job well done
- Twenty years ago it looked all over but an unflappable manager, a sparkling French winger and special team spirit have taken them back to the promised land
(by Nick Miller on 18 April 2017 at theguardian.co.uk/football/blog).

Question: Why is the city (and the club) called Brighton and Hove ?
Answer: “The towns of Brighton and Hove formed a unitary authority in 1997 and in 2001 were granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II. “Brighton” is often referred to synonymously with the official “Brighton and Hove” although many locals still consider the two to be separate towns.” (-excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton_and_Hove). Also, Brighton & Hove Albion’s original ground, the Goldstone Ground (which the club played in from 1902 to 1997), was located in the town of Hove (and not in Brighton), so the club has always gone by the Brighton & Hove moniker.

Brighton & Hove Albion were founded in 1901…
Brighton & Hove Albion played in the Southern League for two decades before they and the rest of the 1919/20 Southern League Division 1 were absorbed into the Football League as the new Third Division, in 1920-21. Since then, overall (and counting 2017-18), Brighton has played 91 seasons of League football, with the vast majority of its Football League seasons as a 3rd division side – 53 seasons in the 3rd division, most recently in 2010-11 {all-time Eng. Div. Movement (1888-2016), here at rsssf.com}. Before 2017-18, Brighton had only played 4 seasons in the 1st division, and that was in one 4-year spell in the early 1980s.

Before 2017-18, Brighton & Hove Albion had only played 4 seasons in the English 1st division (1979-80 to 1982-83).
Brighton drew decent as a First Division team in the 1979-to-’83 time period, averaging 19.1 K per game, in that four year span {source: E-F-S site}. But the Seagulls never reached the top-half of the table in that 4-season stint, and 34 years ago, the frustration of finishing in last place in the First Division in 1982-83 was compounded by the fact that Brighton made it to the FA Cup Final that season, only to lose to Manchester United 2-2/0-4 in the replay {1982-83 FA Cup Final (en.wikipedia.org)}.

In the following 13 seasons, Brighton gradually slid down the divisional ladder, and fell into the 4th division, in 1995-96. The 1996-97 season in the fourth tier was the start of the club’s most difficult period. Not only were the Seagulls in jeopardy of losing their League place, but the club had severe financial problems, and owners that were only looking for profits…profits at the expense of the club itself (see next paragraph). Brighton were at one point 13 points adrift that season, and only avoided relegation out of the 4th division of the Football League by drawing with Hereford United on the final match of 96/97.

But for the Brighton faithful, their troubles were far from over. Because right at this point in time (spring of 1997), ownership sold their home, the Goldstone Ground, to developers (it is now the site of a row of retail outlets including a Toys R Us and a Burger King). In 1997, the mephistophelian owners of Brighton & Hove Albion (Greg Stanley, Bill Archer, and David Bellotti), sold their ground and pocketed the money… despite the team having NOWHERE ELSE TO PLAY. And the local council in Hove did nothing to stop this outrageous act. So Brighton & Hove Albion were made homeless – by their owners. (There was precedent for the local authorities to stop this, because, back in the mid-1980s, the local government in southeast London where Charlton Athletic play effectively saved Charlton Athletic from becoming homeless…“[The local council] told the builders they could build whatever they wished but not until [Charlton Athletic] had played their first league fixture in their new stadium, obviously never built, in the same borough. The ground stood derelict for a number of years while Charlton played at Palace and West Ham, before the developers realised they had been outfoxed and sold the ground back to a now solvent club. So why didn’t Hove Council do the same thing? It was all legal and above board, yet not one local political figure even suggested such a move.”…{-excerpt from Still missing the Goldstone Ground from 2007 at worthingherald.co.uk}.)

Thus began Brighton & Hove Albion’s homeless years – 14 seasons without a ground…
-Here is a youtube video, 20 REMARKABLE YEARS AT BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION (3:43 video uploaded by Official Brighton & Hove Albion FC on 24 April 2017 at youtube.com).
First Brighton played two seasons at Gillingham’s charmless Priestfield Stadium in Kent (from 1997-to-’99), which was an unworkable 75 miles away. Then for 12 long seasons, they found accommodation at a local municipal venue, one that was completely unsuitable. That was the much reviled Withdean Stadium, which was a converted athletics facility that still had a running track, and which seated only 7-K, and which was not at all suitable for a Football League team, let alone any Non-League club worth its salt. The stands at the Withdean were at a shallow incline and were, thanks to the stupid running track, over 50 feet from the touchline {here is a shot of the North Stand at the Withdean}. In 2004, the Withdean was declared, by the Observer, the 4th-worst Football League venue {see this, Simply the worst, by Gemma Clarke on 9 Oct. 2004 at theguardian.com/football)}.

In 1998, the site for Brighton’s new venue at Falmer was identified. (Falmer is located 5 miles north-east of central Brighton.) But delays in getting planning permission kept pushing the start of the construction back. Meanwhile…“Because of the cost of the public enquiry into planning permission for a new stadium, rent on Withdean Stadium, fees paid to use Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium, and a general running deficit due to the low ticket sales inherent with a small ground, the club had an accumulated deficit of £9.5 million in 2004.” {-excerpt from Brighton & Hove Albion F.C./Stadium (en.wikipedia.org)}. This debt was paid up by late 2005, which was also when the planning for the Falmer project was approved. Another delay set the project back even further, when it was revealed that some of the projected venue’s parking lot would be in the adjacent town of Lewes. Finally, construction of the Falmer Stadium began in 2008. A year later, in May 2009, new ownership (and the cash to fuel the ambitious new stadium project), came into Brighton and Hove Albion: Brighton-born property-investor/-pro-poker-player/-bookmaker Tony Bloom. “Since 2009 Bloom has been the chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion…/…He succeeded Dick Knight after securing a 75% shareholding in the club and investing £93 million in the development of the club’s new ground, the American Express Community Stadium at Falmer.” {-excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Bloom}.

So instead of the early-to-mid-2000s, it wasn’t until the summer of 2011 that Falmer Stadium was completed…
As you can see in the illustration further below, Falmer Stadium is breathtaking. The venue, with a 30-K-capacity, is both space-age and fan-friendly. Through some asymmetrical design features (see 3rd stadium-photo below), it avoids the cookie-cutter look that afflicts some modern football stadiums in England (like Bolton’s stadium). And Seagulls fans have responded to the long-sought-after venue by producing some of the largest attendances in England outside of the top flight…
20.0 K in 2011-12,
26.2 K in 2012-13,
27.2 K in 2013-14,
25.6 K in 2014-15,
25.5 K in 2016-17,
27.9 K in 2016-17.
Basically, the only perennially-2nd-division club that has drawn higher than Brighton in the last half-decade (2012-13 to 2016-17) has been Derby County, and even so, Brighton drew highest in the 2nd tier in 12/13 and 13/14. Now that they have a proper football ground again, and after a 34-year absence from the 1st division, Brighton’s return to the top flight in 2017-18 will probably end up producing a percent-capacity figure above 95%.

Manager of Brighton: Chris Hughton (age 58).
Chris Hughton was born in Forest Gate, Essex (which is now situated in East London), the mixed-race son of a Ghanaian postman. Hughton was a left-back, making 361 league appearances (with 12 goals). Because of Irish roots on his mother’s side, Hughton was able to play for the Republic of Ireland (1979-91), with 53 caps (and 1 goal). Hughton’s whole pro playing career was spent with London-based clubs…primarily with Tottenham Hotspur (1977-90), but also with West Ham, and then with Brentford, the latter being where he hung up his boots in 1993. Hughton had always been a bit different than most footballers, and that manifested itself early on in his football career, in the late 1970s, with a sideline as a writer for the Workers Revolutionary Party (UK). These days, as it says in his Wikipedia page, Hughton plays down the Trotskyist aspect of that gig, saying “it’s probably not as dramatic as it sounds. I’ve always had strong views on social issues such as hospitals – I think we should have a good health system – and the education system, too…These days, players can do as many interviews and columns as they want. Back in the day, it wasn’t like that. Anyway, I’m sure I wrote about football and football issues. Nothing else.”. Be that as it may, Hughton has retained his left-wing convictions – he is a member of the Labour Party.

After retiring from the pitch, Hughton got into coaching and returned to Tottenham…
Hughton was in the Spurs coaching set-up for 14 years (June 1993 to October 2007) – first as the U-21 team coach, then the reserves coach, then as first team coach in 2001. Serving under 10 different managers, Hughton also had 2 short stints as caretaker-manager with Spurs back then. He lost his job when Spurs’ boss Daniel Levy sacked both him and manager Martin Jol, after Spurs fell to Spanish minnows Getafe in the UEFA Cup, in October 2007. Hughton then was hired by Newcastle United 5 months later, in February 2008, again as a first team coach. This was during the last reign of Kevin Keegan, who at that point could not hack it, so when Keegan bailed out, in September 2008, Hughton got his third gig as a caretaker-manager. That did not work out, and he was replaced by the bonkers Joe Kinnear (Newcastle were particularly tumultuous back then, and ended up relegated in that 2008-09 season). As the season wore on, in desperation, Newcastle tried out another former-hero-who-ended-up-a-managerial-flop (Alan Shearer), and were relegated to the 2nd division as 18th-place-finisher that season. Then owner Mike Ashley once again went back to Hughton. This time, in the 2nd tier in 2009-10, things clicked for the calm-and-preparation-focused Hughton, and after back-to-back Manager of the Month awards, he was hired as Newcastle’s full-time manager in October 2009. Newcastle easily won promotion straight back to the Premier League on 5 April 2010, finishing 11 points above the 2nd-place-finishers (West Brom). Then in 2010-11, with Hughton as a top-flight manager for the first time, Newcastle did well enough in the first-40-percent of the season. But Ashley and the Newcastle top brass didn’t think so, and after the team lost to West Bromwich 3-1, they sacked Hughton, in December 2010…when Newcastle, a just-promoted-team, were in a respectable 11th place (what?). The move was widely condemned by the vast majority of observers, and by a significant amount of Newcastle fans…“Before the match against Liverpool, on 11 December, campaigners from United For Newcastle organised a protest outside St James’ Park as an opportunity for supporters to thank Hughton and to show their anger towards Ashley’s decision.” {-excerpt from Chris Hughton (en.wikipedia.org)}.

But Hughton landed on his feet, and after being linked to many clubs, he signed on with just-relegated Birmingham City in the summer of 2011. Hughton led Birmingham to a 4th place finish in the 2011-12 League Championship, but the Blues lost to eventual promotion-winners Blackpool, in the play-off semifinals in May 2012. When Birmingham gave him permission to talk to other clubs, Hughton was hired by then-top-flight-side Norwich City, in the summer of 2012. In 2012-13, inheriting a team that finished 12th in the top flight, he kept the Canaries at about the same position, finishing in 11th. That was actually Norwich City’s best finish in 24 years (since 1988-89). But the following season, Norwich reverted to their all-too-frequent relegation-embattled mode, and Norwich dismissed Hughton when the Canaries sat 17th, in early April 2014 (Norwich went down that season as 18th-place finishers).

Brighton hires Hughton after a disastrous start to their 2014-15 season…
Through the 2014 off-season, several upper-division clubs then offered Hughton a job as the second-in-command, but Hughton held out for a gaffer’s role, and 8 months later, in late December 2014, 2nd-division-side Brighton and Hove Albion hired Hughton as their manager. Brighton, who at that point had been back in the 2nd tier for a third season, were in total disarray. They were in the relegation zone, in 21st place, and had won only once in 18 matches under manager Sami Hyypia. This, after Brighton had had a solid 4th-place finish the previous season (in 2013-14). So starting in January 2015, Hughton righted the ship and lead the Seagulls out of danger, and Brighton finished in 17th place. The following season [2015-16], Hughton’s first full seaon at Brighton, they finished agonizingly close to automatic promotion, only losing out to Middlesbrough on a goal difference of just of 2. Then the disheartened Brighton squad flamed out in the 15/16 play-offs semifinals, losing to Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 aggregate.

2016-17: Brighton wins promotion to the Premier League…
But in the following season of 2016-17, there was no letdown on the south coast. Hughton shored up the Brighton squad, bringing back the aging-but-still-effective poacher Glenn Murray (who had scored 53 goals in 118 appearances for the then-3rd-tier Brighton in the 2007-11 time frame, and who had scored 30 goals in 12/13 to help get Crystal Palace promoted to the Premier League). Hughton also signed fullback Shane Duffy (an Ireland international), for Brighton’s highest-ever transfer fee (£4 million). Both have proven to be adept as 2nd division players. Hughton convinced much-in-demand mercurial French winger Anthony Knockaert to keep with the project, rather than opt for a transfer to a bigger club (such as Newcastle). With stellar contributions from both goalkeeper David Stockdale and the 25-year old centre-back/vice-captain Lewis Dunk, Brighton were joint-top-best-defense in the 2nd division last season along with Newcastle (both teams conceded just 40 goals, or 0.86 allowed per game). {See photos/captions further below of both David Stockdale and of the local-born/Brighton-youth-product Lewis Dunk.} The Brighton offense, while not the most prolific (Newcastle, Fulham, Norwich, and Brentford scored more), did enough to get the job done. The Seagulls’ attack featured the 2016-17 Championship Player of the Year, the aforementioned Knockaert, a 25-year-old playmaker with huge potential. Knockaert scored 13 goals, added 8 assists, and generally ran the opposition to distraction. {Knockaert and Murray were also selected by the EFL to the Championship’s best 11/see photos below. There were 4 Brighton players in the official Best 11, which was the most of any team in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th divisions in 2016-17.}

Had Brighton not clinched with 3 matches remaining, they probably would have ended up with an even better record, seeing as how they lost their last 3, and ended up being pipped by Newcastle for the 2016-17 EFL Championship title. But the bottom line is that, come mid-August 2017, Brighton and Hove Albion will be playing in the first division for the first time in 34 years. And in a majestic and state-of-the-art venue to boot.

Brighton & Hove Albion: 2nd-place-finishers in the 2016-17 League Championship (automatic-promotion to the 2017-18 Premier League)…
brighton-and-hove-albion_falmer-stadium_aka-the-amex_chris-hughton_anthony-knockaert_glenn-murray_lewis-dunk_david-stockdale_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
B7HAFC 16/17 jersey, photo unattributed at footyheadlines.com/jpg. Exterior shot of Falmer Stadium, photo by Graeme Rolf via footballgroundguide.com. Falmer Stadium at night, exterior shot by Dominic Alves at File:Falmer Stadium – night.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Interior shot of (empty) Falmer Stadium, photo by Daniel Hambury/Focus Images Ltd. via marcadorint.com. Interior shot of full house at Falmere [ca.2013], unattributed at images.cdn.stuff.tv/jpg. Chris Hughton, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football. David Stockdale (GK), photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Lewis Dunk (CB), photo from seagulls.co.uk jpg. Anthony Knockaert (RW) & Glenn Murray (FW) photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Screenshot of pitch invasion from video uploaded by Official Brighton & Hove Albion FC at youtube.com. Shot of Jiri Skalak and Anthony Knockaert taking a selfie during promotion/pitch invasion celebration, photo unattributed at pressreader.com/uk.

    •Huddersfield Town AFC.

Est. 1908. Nickname: the Terriers. Colours: Blue-and-White [vertically-striped shirts]. Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, situated (by road) 20 miles (33 km) SW of Leeds; and situated (by road) 191 miles (397 km) N of London. Population of Huddersfield: around 168,000 {2015 estimate}.

Huddersfield Town are from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, about 14 miles (as the crow flies) south-west of Leeds. They are nicknamed the Terriers and wear blue-and-white vertically-striped jerseys. They play at the John Smith’s Stadium (aka the Kirklees Stadium), which has a capacity of 24,500. Huddersfield Town has a ground-share with 1st division rugby league club Huddersfield Giants, and have been doing so since the venue opened in 1994. Last season [2016-17] Huddersfield Town drew 20.3 K, which was a whopping 7.5-K-increase over 2015-16. (In case you are wondering, Huddersfield Giants RLFC drew in the 7.0-K-to-7.7-K-range 6 years ago and have lost about 2.5-K of fans since then, now drawing around 5 K.)

Huddersfield Town won 3 straight English First Division football titles in the 1920s.
Counting 2017-18, Huddersfield have played 31 seasons of top flight football (previously in 1971-72). And although they have not played in the 1st division in 45 years, Huddersfield Town have a storied past. In the mid-1920s, Huddersfield Town became the first club to win 3 consecutive English titles (it has since been done by only 3 other clubs: Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United). Under manager Herbert Chapman, and for the third title, under manager Cecil Potter, Huddersfield Town won 3 straight English First Division titles in 1923-24, 1924-25, and 1925-26. Huddersfield also won the 1922 FA Cup title (also under the innovative Chapman). At Huddersfield in the 1920s, Herbert Chapman emphasized a quick, short passing game, and pioneered the use of the counter-attack as a scoring weapon. “The most opportune time for scoring is immediately after repelling an attack, because opponents are then strung out in the wrong half of the field.” – Herbert Chapman. Lured by a doubling of his wages (and no doubt the chance of a larger stage), Chapman joined Arsenal after Huddersfield Town’s second League title (following the 1924-25 season), and there, along with assistant coach Charles Buchan, went on to further tactical innovations {see this, The Question: Did Herbert Chapman really invent the W-M formation?, by Jonathan Wilson at theguardian.com/football}. In London, Chapman was instrumental in helping to turn Arsenal into the giant club they are today, leading Arsenal to their first FA Cup title (1930), and Arsenal’s first two English First Division titles (in 1930-31 and in 1932-33). But at the height of his success, Chapman died suddenly of pneumonia, at age 55, in 1934. The following two links touch on the huge legacy of Herbert Chapman.
-From Football Paradise.com, by Ashree Nande, The Gentleman from Kiveton Park – Herbert Chapman, part 1 (footballparadise.com).
-From the DailyMail.co.uk/football, Huddersfield Town may be the Premier League’s new boys, but they were once the best team in England… they dominated the 1920s during the reign of Herbert Chapman (dailymail.co.uk/sport/football).

Huddersfield Town of the 1920s: the first back-to-back-to-back champions of England…
huddersfield-town_1923-24_1924-25_1925-26_first-3-times-straight-champions-of-england_herbert-chapman_clem-peterson_charlie-wilson_edward-taylor_v_.gif
Image and Photo credits above – HTAFC 1st crest [1920], and HTAFC 1924-25 kit illustration, both images from historicalkits.co.uk/Huddersfield_Town. Arsenal 1932 crest from historicalkits.co.uk/Arsenal. Herbert Chapman, photo by Rex/Mail Pix via dailymail.co.uk/football. 3 players’ trading cards [Clem Stephenson, Edward Taylor, Charlie Wilson], from huddersfieldtowncards.co.uk/1924. 1924-25 Huddersfield team photo, from huddersfieldtowncards.co.uk/1925.

Manager of Huddersfield Town: David Wagner, age 45, born in Trebur, Greater Mainz, Hesse, West Germany. Wagner is the son of an American father and a German mother. Wagner was a striker who had 94 league appearances for Mainz (a then-2nd-division side) and played in 29 league matches (scoring 2 goals) from 1995-97 for Bundesliga side Schalke. Wagner made 8 international appearances for the USA national team (1996-98).

Upon retiring from the pitch, Wagner took up coaching, getting his start with the coaching set-up at then-2nd-division side Hoffenheim in the 2007-09 time frame. Wagner moved on to Borussia Dortmund, and had been coach of Dortmund’s reserves (Dortmund-II) under Jürgen Klopp (from 2011-15). Some thought he would follow Klopp to Liverpool, but Wagner signed on as Huddersfield Town manager in November 2015. Huddersfield finished in 19th place in 2015-16 (Town had finished in 16th place the previous season [2014-15]). {The following 3 sentences are an excerpt from Wagner’s page at Wikipedia.}… “In the summer of 2016, Wagner brought in 13 players from across the continent – with Danny Ward, Chris Löwe and Aaron Mooy amongst these. Wagner took his players on a bonding tour of Sweden, where they had to survive with only basic equipment for a few days. The team’s success in the early 2016–17 season was largely accredited to the squad’s tight bond, something that Wagner claimed was a direct result of this Sweden trip.”

So in his first full season as Huddersfield Town manager, David Wagner got Town promoted to the 1st division for the first time in 45 years (Huddersfield Town were last in the First Division in 1971-72). Wagner did this despite Huddersfield Town having a minus-2 goal difference. And that includes the play-offs, because Huddersfield Town drew all 3 of their 2016-17 play-off games, going to a penalty shoot-out in both the semifinals (v Sheffield Wednesday) and in the Final (v Reading). Making this the first time – ever – that a team has gotten promoted to the 1st division with a negative goal difference (I checked). In fact, this feat has never been done in the English 3rd division or the 4th division either: see this article, Terriers out to prove that points make the difference (by Kevin Pullein at racingpost.com).

Huddersfield Town may have a hard time of it staying in the top flight this season, but they have ensured that two of the key figures in getting them there will remain…Wagner has signed a new contract despite more lucrative offers from Aston Villa and Wolfsburg, and the fan-voted player of the season in 16/17, Australian MF Aaron Mooy (see photo below), has been bought outright from Manchester City. {See this article, David Wagner sticks with Huddersfield Town for Premier League adventure (by Paul Doyle at theguardian.com/football).}

huddersfield-town_promoted-2017_david-wagner_elias-kachunga_aaron-mooy_tommy-smith_christopher-schindler_k_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
16/17 HTAFC home jersey, photo unattributed at uksoccershop.com/blog. 16/17 HTAFC away (neon yellow) jersey, photo unattributed at footballshirtculture.com. Aerial shot of Kirklees Stadium, unattributed at the mag.co.uk. jpg Exterior shot of Kirklees Stadium, photo by tweek at 28dayslater.co.uk. Shot of roof-pylons, photo by Neil Turner at flickr.com. Elias Kachunga, age 25, b. Haan, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany [Rep. Congo national team], photo from htafc.com/news/2017/march/signing-kachunga-joins-htafc-permanently. Tommy Smith (DF), age 25, b. Warrington, Cheshire, photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Aaron Mooy (MF), age 26, b. Sydney, Australia [Australia national team], photo by John Clifton/Reuters via abc.net.au/news/one-way-or-another-aaron-mooy-destined-for-premier-league. Christopher Schindler scoring winning penalty kick, photo by Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley Livepic via thescore.com. David Wagner with trophy, photo unattributed at espnfc.com.
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Thanks to the following…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-England – First Level All-Time Tables 1888/89-2015/16 (rsssf.com).
-Thanks to the contributors at 2017-18 Premier League & Premier_League/2017-18 season (en.wikipedia.org).

Note on seasons in 1st division:
It is rather hard to pin down how many seasons any given club has been in the top flight, because so few places online seem to want the responsibility of maintaining an accurate and up-to-date list. It is even hard now to actually add up the seasons yourself, now that the Footy-mad sites have dumbed-down their entire network of sites and have scrapped their all-time-seasons lists for each club (you can find most via the Wayback Machine, though, such as this [Huddersfield Town-mad.co.uk/Club/League History from March 2016]).

The only error-free list that I have been able to find that is currently available online has not been updated since 2015-16 (two seasons ago), and that is at RSSSF.com {here}.

The current Wikipedia list of seasons in English 1st division {here: Premier_League/2017-18 season} has several errors…
West Bromwich Albion’s total seasons in 1st division is wrong, by 1 too many seasons (2017-18 will be West Brom’s 80th season in the 1st Div, not their 81st).
And Huddersfield Town’s total seasons in 1st division is wrong, by 1 too many seasons (2017-18 will be Huddersfield’s 31st season in the 1st Div, not their 32nd).
And Watford’s total seasons in 1st division is also wrong, by 4 too many seasons (2017-18 will be Watford’s 11th season in the 1st Div, not their 15th).
And Brighton & Hove Albion’s total seasons in 1st division is also wrong, by 1 too many seasons (2017-18 will be Brighton’s 5th season in the 1st Div, not their 6th).
And Leicester City’s total seasons in 1st division is also wrong, by 1 too few seasons (2017-18 will be Leicester’s 50th season in the 1st Div, not their 49th).

This list at MyFootballFacts.com is really nice {myfootballfacts.com/ClubLeagueHistorySummary}, especially because it doesn’t just show seasons in top flight, it also includes all-time seasons in all 4 divisions of the League…but it looks like this list, like Wikipedia’s list, has both West Brom and Leicester’s numbers also wrong (for Leicester: 50 seasons in top flight, not 49; for West Brom, 80 seasons in top flight, not 81). I’ve counted several times, but if you want to count for yourself, via the Wayback Machine, here is West Brom’s and Leicester’s old pages at Footy-mad, when League History of both clubs was there…
{https://web.archive.org/web/20160323150053/http://www.westbromwichalbion-mad.co.uk/league_history/west_bromwich_albion/index.shtml}
{https://web.archive.org/web/20160506213518/http://www.leicestercity-mad.co.uk:80/league_history/leicester_city/index.shtml}.

…So if you really want to know how many seasons a club has been in the English 1st division, don’t rely on Wikipedia, instead go here {http://www.rsssf.com/tablese/engalltime.html}, then add zero or one or two to that figure (depending on the club in question’s divisional status in 2016-17 and 2017-18).

July 31, 2016

2016–17 Premier League (1st division England, including Wales – location-map with chart: 14/15-&-15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./+ the 3 promoted clubs for 2016-17 (Burnley, Middlesbrough, Hull City AFC).

2016-17_premier-league_map_w-2016-crowds_titles_seasons-in-1st-division_post_b_.gif
2016–17 Premier League (1st division England, incl Wales): map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division




By Bill Turianski on 31 July 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-2016–17 Premier League (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…PREMIER LEAGUE [Summary] (soccerway.com).
-2016-17 Premier League kits (historicalkits.co.uk).
-New crests for Manchester City and West Ham United (among others)…New season, new badges: We take a look at club crests which have changed for 2016/17 (skysports.com/football).

    Below: the 3 promoted clubs for 2016-17 (Burnley, Middlesbrough, Hull City AFC)…

Burnley return straight back to the Premier League, as does the 2nd-division play-offs winner Hull City AFC. Middlesbrough finished in 2nd place in the second division last season, and now return to the Premier League after a 7-season absence.

    •Burnley FC

Est. 1882. Nickname: the Clarets. Colours: Claret and Sky-Blue. Location: Burnley, Lancashire, situated (by road) 45 km (28 mi) N of central Manchester; also, Burnley is situated (by road) 20 km (12 mi) E of hated rivals Blackburn. Population of Burnley is around 73,000 {2011 census}.

Manager: Sean Dyche (age 45, born in Kettering, Northamptonshire).

From Reddit.com/soccer, Team Preview: Burnley.

2015-16 Football League Championship winners Burnley return straight back to the Premier League. 2016-17 will be Burnley’s 54th season in the 1st division…but it will be only the Clarets’ 3rd season in the top tier in the last 41 years. (Burnley were a founding member of the Football League, and played in the inaugural season of the English First Division in 1888-89./ Burnley League history (1888-89-2015-16).) Burnley have won the English title twice – their first championship was won in 1920-21, and their second title was won in 1959-60. Burnley also have 1 FA Cup title (1914), as well a two more appearances as an FA Cup finalist (losing to Charlton in 1947, and losing to Tottenham in 1962).

In 1959-60, Burnley pipped Wolverhampton and Tottenham for the title…
Burnley had a well-developed youth team set-up in the 1950s, and almost the entire title-winning-squad of 1959-60 had came through the Burnley youth team. During this period, Burnley became innovators as the first English club to train on a purpose-built training complex nearby their ground (as opposed to what every other club was doing back then, which was to simply train on the pitch they played their matches on, churning up their own home-field-playing-surface in the process). In 1958, former Burnley FW Harry Potts became Burnley manager (Potts served two spells at the helm of Burnley [1958-70; 1977-79]). The Burnley squad of that era was built around the midfield duo of Northumberland-born team-captain and right-half Jimmy Adamson (you can see him in the squad photo below at front-centre directly behind the trophy), and attacking-midfielder Jimmy McIlroy. The County Antrim-born McIroy, dubbed the Brain of Burnley, was an attacking-midfielder/inside-forward with neat footwork and a finely-honed passing ability. Jimmy McIroy scored 116 league goals for Burnley from 1950-62, and was a Northern Ireland international (below, on the left, you can see a photo of McIlroy, and an illustration of him playing for Northern Ireland). In the tightly-contested 1959-60 season, Burnley chased Wolverhampton and Tottenham the entire campaign, and only reached first place on the final day of the season, when they beat Manchester City 1-2 at Maine Road. But in 1962, the chairman of Burnley, Bob Lord, sold McIroy to Stoke City for a cut-rate £25,000, a move that some Burnley supporters labeled ‘insane’, and the Burnley team never was the same. And that began Burnley’s decline, a decline which saw the Clarets out of the First Division/top flight for 33 seasons. There was no first tier football for Burnley from 1976-77 to 2008-09…and that included the club’s nadir of a 7-season spell stuck in the Fourth Division in the 1980s-and-early-1990s. In the late 1990s, the club named a newly-rebuilt stand after Jimmy McIlroy (photos of the Jimmy McIlroy Stand can be seen further below).
Below is an illustration in honor of the title-winning 1959-60 Burnley squad (which I first posted in March 2008/ image below first appeared here, http://billsportsmaps.com [Burnley FC].
burnley1960_j_mcilroy.gif
Image credits above – Jimmy McIroy photo unattributed at Clarets-Mad site, at clarets-mad.co.uk/ [article: We've wiped away our history]. Unattributed illustration of Jimmy McIroy playing for Northern Ireland, from NIFG site nifootball.blogspot.com/2007/04/jimmy-mcilroy. Photo of title-winning 1959-60 Burnley squad, photo unattributed at The Longside [Burnley fan-site] thefootballnetwork.net /[Burnley fan-site]. Photo of 59/60 Burnley jersey, from Toffs [image no longer there at...] toffs.com/retro-football-shirts/burnley. Burnley 1960 coach-top champions’ parade, photo from Lancashire Telegrapah, such as lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/Burnley Title win down to team effort.

Burnley FC have a very tiny catchment area…
When you look at a map of the highest-drawing clubs in England {here}, which shows how over-crowded with big and not-so-big clubs it is up in Lancashire, Merseyside, and Greater Manchester…and then when you look at how small the population of the town of Burnley is (about 73,000)…well, you can see why Burnley are a frugal club. Because, from where can Burnley hope to attract fans, what with Man U and Man City and Bolton and Wigan and Blackburn all within 30 miles of Burnley’s Turf Moor? And northwards, into central and northern Lancsashire and then into Cumbria and the Lake District, the population thins out considerably. And in the other direction, east, is the Pennines, which is a physical as well as a cultural barrier, because on the other side of the Pennines is Yorkshire, and you can forget about getting any people from Yorkshire to support a Lancashire club. So Burnley is boxed in, and the Clarets are doomed to have a very small catchment area for potential fans. And thus Burnley have become a club that is known for spending within its limited means. At the start of the 2014-15 Premier League season, some scoffed at the then-newly-promoted-Burnley for not spending any money at all on new players, and then they went straight back down. But now, two years later here they are back in the Premier League…and Burnley did it flying under the radar and once again without splashing the cash around. Although in July 2016 they did buy, from Charlton, an Iceland starter (the MF Jóhann Gudmondsson).

Burnley’s squad is notable for its preponderance of British-and-Irish-born players…
Over three-quarters of Burnley’s squad is from the United Kingdom or from Ireland. Take a look at their current squad and see what I mean…when I wrote this on 27 July 2016, Wikipedia listed 27 players on Burnley’s first team squad, 16 of which are England-born, 3 of which are Northern-Ireland-born, 2 of which are Republic-of-Ireland-born, one of which is Scotland-born, one of whom is also a key player on the Wales national team (Sam Vokes). If you do the math you find that that’s 22 of 27 Burnley players (81%) coming from the British Isles (England/Northern Ireland/Scotland+Ireland)}.
burnley_turf-moor_andre-gray_sam-vokes_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Screenshot of 2016-17 Burnley jersey, image by burnleyfootballclub.com. Aerial shot of Turf Moor with Burnley Cricket Ground alongside, photo by Simon Kirwan at the-lightbox.com. Shot of streets outside Turf Moor [Feb. 2014], with Jimmsy McIlroy Stand visible in background, photo by Richard Ratcliffe at summiteer.co.uk/2014/Feb2014/Burnley. Shot of club shop and cantilevered stand at Turf Moor with looming winter skies above, photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Interior/panoramic shot of Turf Moor, photo by Carlos Rosende at marcadorint.com/championship/burnley-turf-moor, Illustration of Burnley 2016-17 kits from en.wikipedia.org/Burnely_FC Andre Gray, photo by clitheroeadvertiser.co.uk. Sam Vokes, photo unattributed at theleaguepaper.com.

    •Middlesbrough FC

Est. 1876. Nickname: Boro. Colours: Red and White [usually with a wide band of white on their red jersey]. Location: Middlesbrough, Teesside, situated (by road) 65 km (41 mi) S of Newcastle. Population of Middlesbrough (borough-population) is around 138,000, while the Teesside built-up-area (aka Greater Middlesbrough) has a population of around 376,000 {2011 census}. That makes Middlesbrough the 18th largest Urban Area in the United Kingdom. {See this, List of urban areas in the United Kingdom (en.wikipedia.org).}

Manager: Aitor Karanka (age 42, born in Vitoria, Basque Country, Spain).

From Reddit.com/soccer, Team Preview: Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough finished in 2nd place in the second division last season, and now return to the Premier League after a 7-season absence (which was preceded by an eleven-season spell in the Premieer League, from 1998 to 2009). This season [2016-17] will be Middlesbrough’s 61st season in the top flight. (Boro’s first season in the 1st division was in 1902-03./ Middlesbrough League history here.) Middlesbrough has a scant League Cup in their trophy case (won in 2004), although they did make it to a UEFA Cup final (losing to Sevilla in 2006), as well as losing in both an FA Cup final and a League Cup final in the same disastrous season 20 years ago (in 1997, when Middlesbrough lost to Leicester City in the League Cup final, then were relegated by finishing in 19th place, and then lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup final).

Middlesbrough were under pressure to get back to the Premier League, and after a March locker-room-dustup, Boro finished undefeated (6-4-0)…
After Middlesbrough’s wrenching loss to Norwich City in the 2014-15 Championship play-offs final, and after a few years of considerable financial outlay by owner Steve Gibson, there was a great deal of pressure on the Boro squad and on the coaching staff to gain promotion last season. And the pressure almost got to manager Aitor Karanka. At one point in time in March 2016, it looked like Karanka was going to walk away from the club, after a dressing room row revealed that there were players secretly colluding against him. Karanka was actually not allowed at the training grounds the day after he stormed out of that meeting. But then, after Boro lost that weekend to relegation-doomed Charlton, and after another (emergency) meeting was called for by owner Gibson, Karanka and the players worked it out, and then Boro went 6 wins, zero losses and 4 draws in their final 10 games. {See this article posted right before the final match in May, from the Independent, Aitor Karanka has happy Middlesbrough on brink of big time after bump in the road (by Martin Hardy at independent.co.uk/sport/football).}

Boro’s cathartic pitch invasion of 7 May 2016…
And so getting that crucial result in the last match of the season (a 1-to-1 draw at home versus fellow-promotion-rivals Brighton, which clinched promotion), ended up in a joyous release of pent-up angst. And that release of anxiety manifested itself in one of the more exuberant pitch-invasions in recent memory. That pitch invasion was captured by visiting Seagulls fan and Instagram-ace Danny Last, in one of the best sports photos from the 2015-16 season {you can see that brilliant photo below, and you can see that photo along with others at: How Boro’s promotion party looked through the eyes of Brighton fans (Teesside Gazette at gazettelive.co.uk/football, by Graham Corking).}.

It’s great to see Middlesborough back in the Premier League. They might not have many titles, but they sure have devoted fans and they sure have history. This is the place where Brian Clough first made his mark (Clough, before he became legendary as Derby County and then as Nottingham Forest manager, played 12 seasons [1955-61], for a then-2nd-division Middlesbrough, scoring an astounding 197 league goals in 213 games). {Here is an article with illustrations that I posted in December 2007, Middlesbrough FC.} Beset by heavy industry, Middlesbrough is frankly charm-deficient and is not the sort of town that WAGS would want their top-shelf-footballer-partners to play for. The last thing Middlesbrough is, is glamorous. That’s why I can’t dislike them.
middlesbrough_promoted-7-may-2016_riverside-stadium_pitch-invasion_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Screenshot of 2016-17 Middlesbrough jersey, image from mfc.co.uk/news/article/2016/201516-home-and-away-premier-league-kits-revealed. Aerial shot of Riverside Stadium, photo unattributed at thejournal.co.uk, here. Entrance to the Riverside Stadium, photo by Chris Heaton at geograph.org.uk. 1st photo of Boro fans pitch invasion by Danny Last at instagram.com/p/BFHDUlGP91z/ and at How Boro’s promotion party looked through the eyes of Brighton fans (gazettelive.co.uk/sport). 2nd photo of Boro fans pitch invasion by Phil Noble/Reuters via theguardian.com. 3rd photo of Boro fans pitch invasion by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images via irishtimes.com/sport/soccer.

    •Hull City AFC

Est. 1904. Nickname: the Tigers. Colours: Amber and Black [usually with amber/black vertical-stripes on their jersey]. Location: Kingston upon Hull (aka Hull), East Riding of Yorkshire, situated (by road) 98 km (61 mi) E of Leeds. Population of Hull (borough-population) is around 257,000, while the Kingston upon Hull built-up-area (aka Greater Hull) has a population of around 314,000 {2011 census}. That makes Hull the 24th largest Urban Area in the United Kingdom.

Manager: ?

From Reddit.com/soccer, Team Preview: Hull City.

Hull City AFC return straight back to the top flight after having won the 16/17 League Championship play-off final. Hull is basically more of a rugby town than a football town. There are 2 first-division rugby league clubs in Hull – Hull City FC and Hull Kingston Rovers – and between them they average around 20-K-worth of fan support (or more). So it has always been an uphill battle for the Hull association football club to establish itself in the upper tiers of English football, because a sizable chunk of the local sports fans and a great deal of the local sports media are all oriented towards rugby. And the League history of Hull City AFC shows that plain as day, because the Tigers have been around for over 110 years, yet this is only their 5th season ever in the 1st division. (Hull’s first season in the top flight was in 2008-09./ Hull City AFC League history here.) Hull City have no major titles but were FA Cup finalist a couple of seasons ago (in 2014, losing to Arsenal).

Hull backed their way into the Premier League, and there are serious signs of fan-unrest up there on the Yorkshire coast…
Hull sort of backed their way into the Premier League last season, with a rather alarming minus-6.3-K-drop-off in attendance. That drop-off was basically twice-as-worse as they had the previous time they were relegated (they had a minus-3.2-K drop-off in 2010-11, after having been relegated in May 2010). That much larger drop-off in crowd size is mostly attributable to the continuing histrionics of owner Assem Allam (see the text-block in the crest-history section of the illustration below). There are a whole lot of longtime Hull City fans who have stopped going to games, because of the unhinged behavior of Allam. {To get a good look at the Hull City supporters many grievances with Allam, see this site, allamout.co.uk.} {Also see this, from the Hull City Supporters site, by Andy Mills, from March 2015, The divisive figure of Assem Allam.} Then on 21 June, manager Steve Bruce walked off the job. Bruce, who had been defending Allam for several years, now just seems to have had it. But by having bailed out less than 4 weeks before the start of the new season, Bruce has sullied his own legacy by bolting – thus leaving the club to twist in the wind. The widespread opinion is that Hull are a lock for going straight back down, again.

A Hull City fan at the comments section of a Guardian/football article, articulated the gloomy situation the best…
…”Thats why us fans are narked. We won’t sit by and watch a tinpot team. Remember the first time we got promoted to the prem? Packed out Wembley (highest play-off final attendance at that point) and won with a stunning volley from a local lad (Dean Windass). Filled the city centre to celebrate and painted the town black and amber. A few games in and we beat four London clubs on the trot to propel ourselves to joint-top part way into the season. We then made a fool of ourselves with a shocking dip in results and things like mid-pitch half-time team talks (entertaining non-the-less). But it was all fun and enjoyed with passion. This time around? Gruelling championship season with a niggling feeling of discontent and disengagement. Play-off final with less than 30,000 fans attending. :-( Numerous anti-Allam protests even though none of the Allam family attended the games. So, whats the reason for this build-up of discontent? Simply that we feel our club is being taken away from us. Made tinpot and plastic. Using it as a money-making machine, trying to market us to the middle east by renaming us Hull Tigers whilst completely alienating the existing fan-base. Telling loyal fans to join a membership scheme which scraps lower fees for kids and pensioners and telling us all to ‘earn your stripes’. I could go on. Steve Bruce provided a minor outlet for us with his great management through these difficult times, hence the big ‘In Bruce we Trust’ banners. Him leaving and no new appointment really is the final straw. From Hull: We will not accept a tinpot team as our local club, however successful you can make it. We want real passion, grit and pride. There’s still elements of those three attributes around, they’re just hard to find.”…(comment by whiterosetiger at Have Hull City suffered the worst-ever Premier League pre-season? by Louise Taylor at theguardian.com/football/blog).
hull-city-afc_the-kc-stadium_hull-city-name-and-crest-controversy_abel-hernandez_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Screenshot of 2015-16 Hull City AFC jersey, image from tigerleisure.com/jpg.
Hull City AFC crests through the years, most crest images from historicalkits.co.uk/Hull_City; 1979 badge is from a photo at Toffs, here ; 2000 tiger-in-white-shield crest is a photo from the Amber Nectar blog, [scroll down a bit for it at the following link...] ambernectar.org/blog/the-soul-of-hull-city. View of central Hull, screenshot from video uploaded by World Cities at youtube.com. Aerial image of the Humber Bridge, screenshot of video frame by Getty Images at gettyimages.co.uk/detail/video/aerial-humber-bridge-over-estuary-east-riding-stock-video-footage. Photo of the KS Stadium, unattributed a kooora.com. Abel Hernández, photo by yorkshirepost.co.uk/football.
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Thanks to the following…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Seasons in 1st division, England – First Level All-Time Tables 1888/89-2015/16 (rsssf.com).
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.

Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia, at 2016–17 Premier League.

August 7, 2015

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

Note: to see my latest map-&-post of Premier League, click on the following, category: Eng>Premier League (Eng. 1st division). Otherwise, if you really do want to see an out-dated map. scroll down.
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http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2015-16_premier-league_post_d_.gif
England: Premier League [1st division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed




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

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

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

Promoted from the League Championship for 2015-16…

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

Bournemouth were almost liquidated in Feb. 2008, when the then-fourth-division club were stuck with around £4 million in debts…and after the automatic 17 points penalty they were handed, they narrowly avoided relegation out of the Football League the following season (in 2008-09). So…from the brink of banishment from the League in May 2009, to three promotions in the next six seasons incl. a Premier League debut in August 2015. Holy Cow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2014-15 stadium capacities (for league matches) from soccerway.com, us.soccerway.com/national/england/championship/20152016/regular-season/r31555/.

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

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

October 12, 2014

England and Wales: Premier League – 2014-15 home kit badges, with 14/15 location-map & a chart of seasons spent in the English first division for the twenty 14/15 Premier League clubs.

Note: to see my latest map-&-post of Premier League, click on the following, category: Eng>Premier League (Eng. 1st division).
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England and Wales: Premier League – 2014-15 home kit badges, with location-map & a chart of seasons spent in the English first division for the twenty 14/15 Premier League clubs



At the top of the map page are facsimiles of 2014-15 Premier League clubs’ home jersey badges. The jersey-badge facsimiles were made by either finding a suitable photo of the club’s 14/15 home jersey-badge, or the club’s official badge itself, then placing that in a background which mimics the jersey design (jersey color(s), etc.) All credits for the jersey badge facsimiles are at the foot of this post (even if I simply sampled the club’s 14/15 jersey-color from a photo).

Below that on the map page is a location-map for 14/15. The map page also includes a list of seasons spent in the English first division for the twenty 14/15 Premier League clubs, that within a chart which also includes: 1). consecutive seasons spent in the top flight for these twenty clubs, and 2). these clubs’ English titles. I decided not to include attendance figures (from last season) for this map this year, because I have already posted that {here; also see this [click on England in the left-hand side-bar there]}.

The sources for the data on the chart are listed at the bottom of this post as well as on the map page, at the foot of the chart.
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Here are the photo/image credits for the jersey badges on the map page –
-Photo of Arsenal 2014-15 home jersey badge from arsenaldirect.arsenal.com.
-Photo of Aston Villa 2014-15 home jersey background design from shop.avfc.co.uk/shop.
-Color of Burnley 2014-15 home jersey sampled from burnleyfootballclub.com/news/article/burnley-fc-home-kit-201415.
-Photo of Chelsea 2014-15 home jersey badge from chelseamegastore.com.
-Color/pattern of Crystal Palace 2014-15 home jersey design sampled at retail.cpfcstore.co.uk.
-Photo of Everton 2014-15 home jersey badge from evertondirect.evertonfc.com/stores.
-Color/pattern of Hull City AFC 2014-15 home jersey sampled at footyheadlines.com/2014/07/new-umbro-hull-city-14-15-kits-leaked.html.
-Color of Leicester City 2014-15 home jersey sampled at leicestermercury.co.uk.
-Photo of Liverpool 2014-15 home jersey badge from unisportstore.com/liverpool-home-shirt-201415.
-Photo of Manchester United 2014-15 home jersey badge from fansedge.com.
-Photo of Manchester City 2014-15 home jersey kit badge background design from kitbag.com.
-Photo of Newcastle United 2014-15 home jersey badge from ebay.com.
-Photo of Queens Park Rangers 2014-15 home jersey kit badge background design from shop.qpr.co.uk/gb/item/2014-15-nike-adult-home-shirt.
-Photo of Southampton 2014-15 home jersey red-stripe-detail-pattern from store.saintsfc.co.uk.
-Color/pattern of Stoke City 2014-15 home jersey sampled warriorfootballasia.com.
-Photo of Sunderland AFC 2014-15 home jersey badge from safcstore.com/stores/sunderland/products/kit.
-Swansea City AFC crest (the one without the shiny edges [ie, the one on their badge]) from swanseacity.net/team/staff_profiles.
-Photo (unattributed) of Tottenham Hotspur 2014-15 home jersey badge from footyheadlines.com/2014/03/tottenham-hotspur-2014-15.
-Photo (unattributed) of West Bromwich Albion 2014-15 home jersey badge from footballkitnews.com/new-west-brom-kit-14-15.
-Color/pattern of West Ham United 2014-15 home jersey sampled at officialwesthamstore.com.

Thanks to all of the above, and thanks to the contributors at Premier League (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the Team sites’ League History pages at Footymad.net, such as http://www.manchestercity-mad.co.uk/league_history/manchester_city/index.shtml.

August 11, 2014

England & Wales: the highest-drawing football clubs within the English football leagues system (all clubs [74 clubs] that drew above 4 K per game in the 2013-14 season) / Plus a short illustrated article comparing English and German attendances last season, by division.

(Note – to see my latest map-&-post of the Premier League, click on the following: category: Eng>Premier League.)
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England attendance map 2014 (all English & Welsh clubs drawing above 4,000 per game in 2013-14 [74 teams])



This continues my new category of European football leagues attendance maps. This map is for England, including the Welsh clubs within the English football leagues system – of which there are 6, with 2 clubs from Wales on the map here/ {see this post I made from 2011 on Welsh clubs within the English system} [There are 2 Welsh clubs on this map - Premier League side Swansea City, and just-relegated Championship side Cardiff City]).

The map & chart here shows all football clubs in the English football leagues system which drew over 4,000 per game in the 2013-14 season (from home domestic league matches). The larger the club-crest is on the map, the higher the club’s attendance. The chart at the right-hand side of the map page shows 2013-14 average attendance, stadium capacity, and percent capacity. Also shown at the far right of the chart are: each club’s English titles (with year of last title), seasons spent in the English first division (with last year in the top flight listed if applicable), and FA Cup titles (with year of last title). [Some data found at Premier League/Clubs (en.wikipedia.org).]

In addition to the main map, there are 3 inset maps on the map page…for Greater London and Surrounding Area (12 clubs from Greater London on the map plus Watford in Hertfordshire); for the West Midlands including Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton (5 clubs on the map from the West Midlands [but not Coventry City]); and for a section of Northwest England, including Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester (4 Lancashire clubs, 3 Merseyside clubs and 5 Greater Manchester-based clubs on the map). I added an extra detail of listing the historic counties of England on the map(s).

    A brief comparison of English and German attendances by division (2013-14 figures)

england_and_germany_football-leagues_attendance_2013-14_by-division_c_.gif

{Note: 2013-14 English leagues football attendance [top 4 levels] can be seen at the following link, by clicking on “England” on the left-hand sidebar at: http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm}.

There were 74 clubs in the English system which drew over 4,000 [4 K] per game last season – all 20 Premier League clubs; all 24 Football League Championship clubs; 20 of the 24 Football League One clubs; 9 of the 24 Football League Two clubs; and 1 Non-League/Conference club. As far as clubs which draw over 4,000 go – that is the most in Europe (and in the world). Second-most is Germany, which had 52 clubs that drew over 4 K last season.

However, the German first division, the Bundesliga, draws much higher on average than the English Premier League does – over 6.5 K higher in 2013-14 (Bundesliga averaged 43,499 per game in 2013-14, versus 36,670 for the Premier League last season). Of course, the Bundesliga is the highest drawing association football league in the world. But Germany’s preeminence in crowd sizes changes as you go down the pyramid in their league system, especially below the second division. Before I get to that I should point out that while last season [2013-14], the second division in Germany outdrew the second division in England (by about 1.2 K), in the two seasons previous, the second division in England – the Championship – drew slightly higher than the second division in Germany – by about .2 K in 2012-13, and by about .5 K in 2011-12. That drop in League Championship attendance last season (down by about .8 K in 2013-14 compared to 2012-13) can mostly be attributed to the temporary inclusion of a rather small club into the second tier, the now-relegated Yeovil Town, combined with the temporary expulsion of a somewhat large club, the now-promoted-back-to-the-second-tier Wolves (switching Yeovil for Wolves in the second division was the equivalent to a -.63 K drop in Championship attendance, when you subtract 2013-14 Yeovil Town crowds [6.6 K] from 2012-13 Wolves’ crowds [21.2 K] and divide by 24).

The third division in England – League One – outdrew the third division in Germany – 3.Liga – by about 1.4 K in 2013-14, while two seasons ago [2012-13] England’s third tier outdrew the third tier in Germany by about .2 K, and three seasons ago [2011-12] England’s third level outdrew Germany’s third level by 1.7 K. So the average for the past three seasons is about +1.1 K more in England’s third division than in Germany’s. Below the third division, it is impossible to compare the two countries’ leagues on a like-for-like basis because Germany’s system is national for only the top 3 divisions and becomes regionalized from the 4th level on down, while the English system stays national all the way to the 5th division. Nevertheless, you can compare the two sets of lower leagues in this way… Germany’s 4th level (90 clubs within 5 regional leagues) could be compared with England’s 4th-through-6th levels (92 clubs in 3 levels [4th level /League Two/24 clubs + 5th level/Conference/24 clubs + 6th level/Conferences North & South/22 clubs in 2 regional leagues making 44 clubs]).

Generally, below the 3rd level, the German football system starts to be full of clubs drawing in the 1 to 2 K range (only 10 of the 90 clubs in the five German Regionalliga [4th level] drew above 2 K last season, and just 6 drew above 3 K, and a mere 4 of those 90 clubs drew above 4 K last season) {2013-14 German leagues football attendance can be seen at the following link, by clicking on “Germany” on the left-hand sidebar at: http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm}. Meanwhile, below the third tier, the English system has, usually, a plethora of clubs drawing above 2 K (there were 28 last season, with 21 League Two clubs drawing above 2 K last season, and a somewhat impressive 7 clubs in Non-League drawing above 2 K (all in the Conference/see these figures at soccerway.com}. Also, England’s fourth tier boasted a majority of clubs drawing above 3 K (16 clubs above 3 K in League Two last season). And, as alluded to two paragraphs above, last season those two divisions in England (4th and 5th levels) included 10 clubs drawing above 4 K (9 League Two clubs plus the now-promoted Luton Town).

So, Germany is king of big-league football attendance, but England’s league system has significantly more substantial support in the lower levels of the Football League and the in the top tier of Non-League football.


In case you are wondering, below are the clubs which came closest to being on this map…
(Below are all clubs in the English system that drew in the 3 thousands in 2013-14)…
York City (3.7 K per game in 2013-14 in League 2), Colchester United (3.7 K in League 1), Hartlepool United (3.7 K in League 2), Exeter City (3.7 K in League 2), Grimsby Town (3.5 K in 5th level/Conference), Wycombe Wanderers (3.4 K in League 2), Crawley Town (3.4 K in League 1), Mansfield Town (3.3 K in League 2), Bury (3.1 K in League 2), Cambridge United (3.0 K in 5th level/Conference).
-Attendance data sources – Premier League and Football League, European-Football-Statistics.co.uk; Non-League, http://us.soccerway.com/national/england/conference-national/20132014/regular-season/r21458/.

Finally, here are the winners of each of the top 5 divisions in England last season (with each club’s average crowd size).
1st division, 2013-14 Premier League, 36,670 per game (winner: Manchester City at 47.7 K).
2nd division, 2013-14 League Championship 16,609 per game (winner: Leicester City at 24.9 K).
3rd division, 2013-14 League One, 7,476 per game (winner: Wolves at 15.4 K).
4th division, 2013-14 League Two, 4,351 per game (winner: Chesterfield at 6.2 K).
5th division, 2013-14 Conference National, 1,864 per game (winner: Luton Town at 7.3 K).
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Thanks to the contributors at ‘Premier League‘, ‘Football League Championship‘, ‘Football League One‘, ‘Football League Two‘, ‘Conference Premier‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Thanks to European-Football-Statistics.co.uk, for attendance figures.

Thanks to the Footy-Mad sites [http://www.footymad.net/premier-league-news/], for club League Histories, such as http://www.derbycounty-mad.co.uk/league_history/derby_county/index.shtml

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.

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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‘ (dailymail.co.uk/sport/football).

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 (liverpoolhistorysocietyquestions.blogspot.com)}, 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 peoples-stories.com), 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 flickr.com)}.

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]‘ (thefootballattic.blogspot.co.nz).

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Image and Photo credits above –
Everton crests through the years from evertonfc.com/the-history-of-our-crest.
Prince Rupert’s Tower images on Everton crests from footyheadlines.com/2013/05/new-everton-crest-unveiled.
Photo of Prince Rupert’s Tower by ColGould at flickriver.com.

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‘ (cafethinking.wordpress.com).

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‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

crystal-palace_crests_1935-2013_b.gif
Old CPFC crests from http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Crystal_Palace/Crystal_Palace.htm.

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‘ (theguardian.com/football/blog).

vincent-tan_cardiff-city-owner_blue-shirts-and-crests_red-shirt-and-crest_h.gif
Image and Photo credits above –
Old CCFC crests from kassiesa.nl/uefa/clubs/html/C; uefa.wikidot.com/england:cardiff-city-fc.
[Template for CCFC crests from last 25 years from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff_City_F.C.#Club_logo_history.].
Photo of Tan, from Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2402081/Cardiff-owner-Vincent-Tan-adds-teams-kit-shirt-tie-combo.
Photo of Cardiff City fans from Reuters via mirror.co.uk/sport/football.
Photo of ‘Tan Out’ T-shirt uploaded by mugitmugit at ebay.com, ebay.co.uk/itm/Tan-Out-Cardiff-City-Bluebirds-t-shirt.
Photo of Cardiff City fans’ protest banner from msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/premierleague/story/cardiff-fans-stage-protest-against-owner-vincent-tan-before-boxing-day-fixture.

Here are the photo credits for the jersey badges on the map page –
Photo of Arsenal 2013-14 home jersey badge from dreamsoccerjerseys.com/arsenal.
Photo of Crystal Palace 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at footballkitnews.com/new-crystal-palace-kit-13-14-cpfc-home-away-shirts-2013-2014.
Photo of Everton 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at footballkitnews.com/new-everton-kit-1314-nike-everton-fc-home-jersey-2013-2014.
Photo of Liverpool 2012-14 home jersey badge (liverbird with L.F.C in gold), by Pub Car Park Ninja at flicker.com; Pub Car Park Ninja’s photostream.
Photo of Manchester City 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at footyheadlines.com/manchester-city.
Photo of Manchester United 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at tsmplug.com/manchester-united.
Photo of Southampton 2013-14 home jersey badge from ssl.saintsfc.co.uk.
Photo of Sunderland 2013-14 home jersey badge from footyheadlines.com/sunderland.
Photo of Tottenham 2013-14 homes jersey badge from: dreamsoccerjerseys.com.
Photo of West Bromwich 2013-14 home jersey badge from footballshirtculture.com/west-bromwich-albion.

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

Thanks to the following sites for average attendance figures -
Thanks to soccerway.com, for current attendance figures, int.soccerway.com/national/england/premier-league/20132014.
Thanks to european-football-statistics.co.uk, for 2012-13 Premier League attendance figures.
Thanks to the Football League official site for 2012-13 Football League Championship attendance figures, http://www.football-league.co.uk/page/DivisionalAttendance/0,,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).

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_location-map_attendances-from-2012-13_post_.gif

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




PREMIER LEAGUE – Fixtures, Results, Table (soccerway.com).

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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom.
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 – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom}.
-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 (citypopulation.de/UK-Cities)}.

    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.
2013/05/2013-14_premier-league_list-of-urban-areas-in-the-uk_20-clubs-and-their-hometown-populations_segment_e.gif"
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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom.

This chart was uploaded onto reddit.com/soccer by iam8mai, one day after I posted it… here is the thread – http://en.reddit.com/r/soccer/comments/1k9hoh/premier_league_team_population_size/. 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].
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Thanks to D-maps.com, for the blank map of the UK, http://d-maps.com/carte.php?num_car=5546&lang=en.

Thanks to european-football-statistics.co.uk, for 2012-13 Premier League attendance figures.

Thanks to the Football League official site for 2012-13 Football League Championship attendance figures, http://www.football-league.co.uk/page/DivisionalAttendance/0,,10794~20127,00.html.

Thanks to Soccerway.com 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‘ (cardiffcity-mad.co.uk/league_history); and ‘Swansea City’s complete league history‘ (swanseacity-mad.co.uk/league_history).

August 20, 2012

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

2012-13_premier-league_location-map_attendance-data_kit-badges_.segment_1.gif
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.

manchester-city_2011-12english-champions_.segment_.gif
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…

2012-13_premier-league_clubs-in-europe_segment_e.gif
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

2012-13_premier-league_location-map_attendance-data_segment_c.gif
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/.

August 11, 2011

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

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


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

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

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