billsportsmaps.com

August 15, 2016

2016–17 Football League Championship (2nd division England, incl Wales): map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./+ 3 promoted clubs for the 2016-17 2nd division (Wigan Athletic, Burton Albion, Barnsley).

2016-17_football-league-championship_map_w-2016-crowds_titles_seasons-in-1st-division_post_b_.gif
2016–17 Football League Championship (2nd division England, incl Wales): map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division





By Bill Turianski on 15 August 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links
-2016–17 Football League Championship (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…CHAMPIONSHIP [Summary] (soccerway.com).
-New font and logos for Football League…2016-17 English Football League [new logos and new font, with branding info] (switchimageproject.blogspot.com, from May 2016).
-New crests for Sheffield Wednesday and QPR and Aston Villa (among others)…New season, new badges: We take a look at club crests which have changed for 2016/17 (skysports.com/football).
-Kits…Sky Bet Championship 2016 – 2017 [Kits of teams in 16/17 Championship] (historicalkits.co.uk).

    Below: the 3 promoted clubs for the 2016-17 2nd division (Wigan Athletic, Burton Albion, Barnsley)

Wigan won the 2015-16 League One title and return straight back to the 2nd division, while the 3rd-division play-offs winner Barnsley return to the 2nd division after a two-season spell in the third tier. Burton Albion finished in 2nd place in the 3rd division last season, and now have won back-to-back promotions – and so Burton Albion find themselves in the 2nd tier for the first time in their 66-year history.

• Wigan Athletic FC.
Est. 1932. Nickname: the Latics. Colours: Light Royal Blue and White [usually with blue/white vertically-striped jerseys]. Location: Wigan, Greater Manchester, situated (by road) 41 km (27 mi) NW of Manchester; and situated (by road) 37 km (23 mi) NE of Liverpool. Population of Wigan: town-population is around 97,000; borough-population is around 318,000 {2011 census}.

Wigan has been, historically, much more of a rugby league town than a football town….
The rugby league (Super League) club from Wigan – Wigan Warriors – are the most-successful English rugby league club, and are one of the higher-drawing teams in Super League (drawing around 14 K per game/see this). So, like as with Hull City AFC, because of all the rugby fans in town, it has always been an uphill battle for the association football club of Wigan. In fact, before Wigan Athletic were formed in 1932, no less than 4 earlier attempts had been made to establish a Wigan-based football club (Wigan County [1897-1900/defunct], Wigan United [1890s-1908/defunct], Wigan Town [1905-08/defunct], and Wigan Borough [1919-31/defunct]).

Wigan applied 34 times for election to the Football League, until they were finally voted in, in 1978…
Wigan Athletic were almost elected in to the Football League in 1950 (when Scunthorpe United and Shrewsbury Town were voted in). Wigan would have to wait another 28 years to be allowed to join the Football League. Wigan Athletic was kept out of the 92-team Football League all that time, despite trying on 34 applications to get elected to the Football League, and despite setting the record for the largest crowd at an FA Cup match which involved a Non-League-club versus another Non-League-club [in 1954, when Wigan hosted Hereford United at their old Springfield Park, in front of 27,000]. Wigan Athletic were not voted in to the Football League until the 1978-79 season. (There was no automatic promotion to the Football League until 1986-87.) Wigan drew 6.1 K in their first season in the Fourth Division in 1978-79, which was, and still is, a very good crowd-size for a team that had just shed its Non-League status. {Wigan Athletic League-attendance history at the following link at E-F-S site, here.}.

Then in 1995, sporting-goods millionaire Dave Whelan bought Wigan Athletic, and started pumping considerable sums into the club. Eight years later, in 2003, Wigan were promoted to the 2nd division. Two years later, in 2005, Wigan won promotion to the Premier League (thus beginning their 8-season spell in the top flight). After all those decades of not being allowed in the Football League, and then having a bit of a meteoric rise in the decade of the 2000s, Wigan were never really able to grow a fan-base, as they moved up the football pyramid. Wigan were drawing 7.2 K when they won promotion to the 3rd tier in 2003. Then Wigan were drawing 11.5 K two years later when they won promotion to the 2nd tier in 2005. The next season, in their Premier League debut, Wigan drew 20.2 K, which is their peak crowd-size…so they have never drawn above 80-percent-capacity (their ground holds 25.1 K). Wigan Athletic have the unusual status of not being a very big club (I mean, they drew just 9.4 K last season), but nevertheless they are a club which has one similarity to all the big clubs and successful clubs in England. And that is the fact that Wigan Athletic have spent more seasons in the 1st division [8 seasons] than they have spent in the 2nd division [5 seasons]. {Wigan Athletic League history, here (footy-mad sites).}

Manager: Gary Caldwell (age 32).
Gary Caldwell is Scotland-born, from Stirling (in the Central Belt). Caldwell is a former defensive back who played 106 league matches for Celtic (2006-10), and finished his playing career with 102 league matches for Wigan Athletic (2010-15). Caldwell, as team captain, helped Wigan avoid relegation in 2011-12, and was voted Wigan’s Player of the Year. The following season, he jointly lifted the FA Cup [with playing-captain Emerson Boyce] after Wigan shocked Manchester City 1-0 in the 2013 FA Cup Final. But then, a few weeks later, of course, Wigan became the first-ever club to win the FA Cup title yet be relegated in the same season. So after a 8-season stint in the top flight, Wigan were out of the Premier League in May 2013. Following Wigan’s relegation, Gary Caldwell remained part of the squad, but was hampered by injuries and only played 3 matches in 2013-14. For 2014-15, he re-signed with Wigan and was given coaching responsibilities. In February 2015, Caldwell retired from the pitch and joined the Wigan coaching staff. When Wigan were stuck in the 2nd division relegation-zone in April 2015, Caldwell became Wigan’s manager, replacing the sacked Malky Mackay. Caldwell was unable to prevent Wigan from relegation a few weeks later, but he got Wigan promoted straight back to the 2nd division in 2015-16, when Wigan won the 2015-16 League One, finishing 2 points above Burton Albion and 3 points above the play-off places. The 2015-16 Wigan Athletic campaign featured a 20-game unbeaten run in mid-season.

Will Griggs, 2015-16 League One leading scorer…
In 2015, for £1 million, Wigan Athletic bought FW Will Griggs (who is a Northern Ireland international), from 2nd-division-side-Brentford. In the 2015-16 season, Will Griggs helped propel Wigan to first place and promotion, as he led the league in scoring, with 25 league goals (26 goals in all competitions). During the 15/16 season, a Wigan fan made a video – ‘Will Grigg’s On Fire’ – using an old song from 19 years ago as the backing track (the track was from the band Gala’s 1997 rave hit ‘Freed From Desire’). The video went viral in a couple branches of social media, just in time for the 2016 UEFA Euros. Every time Northern Ireland got mentioned, it seemed it was obligatory to mention “will-griggs-is-on-fire”. Northern Ireland had a great tournament, advancing to the Knockout stages. (The ironic thing is, Will Griggs actually did not play one minute, in the whole tournament.)
wigan-athletic_dw-stadium_gary-caldwell_promoted-as-3rd-div-winners_may2016_will-grigg_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
2016-17 Wigan Athletic jersey, photo unattributed at footyheadlines.com, 1.bp.blogspot.com. Street-level shot of Wigan near the town centre, photo by razzmatazz at flickr.com. Rooftop-view of Wigan with DW Stadium in mid-ground, photo by graham at geograph.org. Aerial photo of DW Stadium, photo unattributed at burtonalbionfc.co.uk/getting-to-know-wigan-athletic. Interior shot of DW Stadium, photo unattributed at the72.co.uk,
Will Grigg, photo by James Bayliss/Getty Images at gettyimages.com.

Burton Albion FC.
Est. 1950. Nickname: the Brewers. Colours: Yellow and Black. Location: Burton upon Trent, south-east Staffordshire, situated (by road) 19 km (12 mi) SW of Derby; and situated (by road) 48 km (30 mi) NE of Birmingham. Population of Burton upon Trent is around 72,000 {2011 census}.

From the Guardian/football, by Jacob Steinberg on 5 August 2016, Burton living the impossible dream as patience and ambition stoke flames (theguardian.com/football).

Manager: Nigel Clough.
Nigel Clough is son of legendary player-and-manager Brian Clough. This is Nigel Clough’s second spell as manager of Burton Albion.

From the official Burton Albion site…”BURTON ALBION – a brief history. The formation of Burton Albion Football Club at a public meeting on 5th July 1950 brought senior football back to the town of Burton-Upon-Trent after a ten year absence. In the pre-war years Burton could proudly lay claim to three Football League sides in Burton Wanderers, Burton Swifts and Burton United. When Burton Town ceased to exist it left a void to be filled and the Brewers aimed to fill that gap.”…{excerpt from burtonalbionfc.co.uk/club/history}.

1998-99 to 2008-09 (Burton Albion in the 6th and then the 5th divisions)…
Nigel Clough’s first spell as manager of the Brewers lasted 11 years. As a 32-year-old, and still a player (MF), Nigel Clough began managing Burton Albion in October 1998, when the club was in the Southern League (which was then part of the 6th division [and is now part of the 7th division]). Four seasons later, in May 2002, following yet another Non-League re-alignment, when Burton Albion had been switched over into the 6th-division Unibond Northern League, Clough was able to win the then-52-year-old-club their first-ever promotion, into the Conference National (the 5th division). Clough then spent 6-and-a-half more seasons with Burton, with Conference finishes of 16th, 14th, 16th, 9th, 6th, and 5th [from 2002-03 to 2007-08]. Then in the 2008-09 season, with Burton Albion 13 points clear at the top of the Conference in January 2009, Nigel Clough was given the chance to manage the 2nd-division/recently-relegated Derby County (a job his father once had, when Brian Clough led Derby County to the first of the club’s two English titles [in 1972]). With Nigel Clough’s departure, caretaker manager Roy McFarland then led Burton Albion (haltingly) to promotion to the Football League in May 2009, with the Brewers winning the Conference by 2 points over Cambridge United. And that began Burton Albion’s 6-season-spell in the 4th division.

2009-10 to 2015-16 (Burton Albion in the 4th division)…
With managers Paul Peschisolido (who was eventually sacked in March 2012), and then Gary Rowett at the Brewers’ helm, from [half-way-through] 2009-10 to [part-way-through] 2014-15, Burton Albion had League Two finishes of 13th, 19th, 17th, 4th, and 6th. In November of 2014, with the Brewers doing very well in 5th place, manager Gary Rowett left the club to take over at 2nd-division-side Birmingham City. To fill the vacancy, Burton Albion hired ex-Dutch and Premier League star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager (Hasselbaink had been manager of the Belgian 2nd division club Royal Antwerp). Hasselbaink then guided Burton further up the table, and Burton clinched their historic first-ever promotion to the 3rd division in their third-from-final match of the season, on 15 April 2015, beating Morecambe away 1-2. Two weeks later they won the League Two 2014-15 title.

Hasselbaink continued on as Burton’s manager in 2015-16, when the club played their first season in the 3rd division. As measured by average attendance, Burton Albion were the smallest club in the 3rd division last season (they drew just 2.7 K in 2015-16). Yet the Brewers had no trouble at all adapting to the higher league-level, with a defensive style of play that shut down opposition scoring threats. In fact, in the first week of December 2015, the quasi-minnows Burton Albion were shock-League-One leaders, 2 points clear at the top of the table. That’s when Hasselbaink suddenly departed for a bigger club, signing on as manager of 2nd-division-spendthrifts Queens Park Rangers. But as the Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg points out in his article on Burton Albion, …”One of Burton’s strengths has been recovering from losing managers to bigger clubs.”

Meanwhile, Nigel Clough found he could make little progress at Derby County…
In the 4-and-a-half-seasons (2009-13), that Nigel Clough managed Derby, he could not get the Rams out of mid-table (with finishes of 18th, 14th, 19th, 12th, and 10th). He was sacked in September 2013, after Derby lost 3 matches in 8 days. But a month later in October 2013, Nigel Clough got another shot at managing a decent-sized club, when he took the reins at Sheffield United, who were (and still are) mired in the 3rd division. As with Derby, Clough could not move the Blades up the league ladder. But he did get Sheffield United into the FA Cup Semifinals in 2013-14, and Clough was awarded, by the League Managers Association, the FA Cup Manager of the Season award in 2014. After finishes of 7th and 5th (when the Blades lost in the play-offs 1st round to Swindon Town), Clough was let go by Sheffield United in late May 2015. Seven months later, in December 2015, Clough got his second appointment as Burton Albion manager, replacing Hasselbaink.

Nigel Clough returns to Burton Albion, and the Brewers are promoted to the 2nd division 6 months later…
So in December of 2015, the board at Burton Albion looked to their longest-ever-serving manager – Nigel Clough – and Clough began his second spell as Burton manager. It might have been a laboured run-out of the season for Burton, one which featured several 0-0 draws (and Burton had the least goals-allowed in the 3rd tier last season, with just 37). But, on the 8th of May 2016, on the last game of the season, away to Doncaster Rovers, Clough led Burton Albion to (another) 0-0 draw, which clinched promotion. Meaning the Brewers finished in second place, and, most importantly, Burton Albion had achieved an historic first-ever promotion to the 2nd division. And then, there at the Keepmoat Stadium in South Yorkshire, a nice away-fans pitch invasion was had by the Burton Albion faithful (see it below). Burton Albion drew 4,089 per game in the 3rd division in 2015-16 (making them only the 77th-highest-drawing club in England & Wales last season). With that in mind, and as measured by crowd-size, Burton Albion are the smallest 2nd-division-club in England in 10 years (since Colchester United, in 2006-07). [Colchester Utd drew 3,982 per game in 2005-06, when they won promotion to the 2nd division, which was about 100 per game less than Burton Albion drew in 2015-16.]

Let’s hear it for minnows in the second division !
Burton Albion have sacked just one manager in the last 20 years. Burton Albion have ambition to burn, yet have never paid more than £20,000 for a player. Burton Albion play in a modern 6.9-K-capacity stadium, and are steadily growing their fanbase. Burton were drawing 3.2-K two seasons ago, drew 4.0-K last season, and now are drawing 5.0 K 2016-17 LC table, w/attendance}. Burton Albion have now achieved back-to-back promotions…and have went up 3 divisions – from Non-League football to the League Championship – in 8 years flat. Go Burton Albion !
burton-albion_the-brewers_pirelli-stadium_burton-upon-trent_back-to-back-promotions_k_.gif
Photo and Image credits –
Burton Albion 16/17 jersey, photo unattributed, from some lame site that NEVER ATTRIBUTES SOURCES. Old black-and-white photo of the early days at Burton Albion’s old ground, The Lloyd’s Foundry Ground – Wellington Street, photo by Burton Albion FC at burtonalbionfc.co.uk/club/history. Aerial shot of Burton upon Trent by Martin Handley at fickr.com, Burton-upon-Trent [Dec. 2011]. Aerial shot of the Pirelli Stadium, photo unattributed at footballtripper.com/pirelli-stadium-burton-albion-fc. Shot of Pirelli Stadium brick-work, photo from burtonalbionfc.co.uk. Street-view shot of main entrance to the Pirelli Stadium, photo by Alan Slater at geograph.org.uk.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, photo by Press Association (PA) via dailymail.co.uk. Nigel Clough, photo by Empics via bbc.com/football
Lucas Akins, photo [from March 2016] by James Bayles/Getty Images at gettyimages.com. Mark Duffy, photo by Burton Mail at burtonmail.co.uk/burton-albion-duo-pfa-league-team-year. Jon McLaughlin, photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images at gettyimages.co.uk. 1st photo of Visiting Burton fans’ pitch invasion at Doncaster on 8 May 2016, photo by Press Association (PA) via

• Barnsley FC.
Est. 1887. Nickname: the Tykes. Colours: Red and White. Location: Barnsley, South Yorkshire, situated (by road) 26 km (16 mi) N of Sheffield. Population of Barnsley: town-population is around 91,000 {2011 census}.

Barnsley have played one season in the 1st division (in the 1997-98 Premier League)…
{Barnsley League history, here.}
Barnsley have only played one season of first division football, when they finished in 19th place in the 1997-98 Premier League, and went straight back down to the second division. But…Barnsley have played more 2nd division seasons than any other club in England – Barnsley have played 77 seasons in the English 2nd division (last in 2013-14). {See this article I wrote 6 years ago,
The English 2nd Level (currently known as the Football League Championship) – All-time 2nd Level…the clubs that have spent the most seasons in the 2nd Level, which has been called…the Second Division (1892-93 to 1991-92) / Football League Division One (1992-93 to 2003-04) / Football League Championship (2004-05 to 2010-11). Also included is a chart of All-time 1st Level.

Barnsley have 1 major title – the 1912 FA Cup title…
In the 1911-12 season, Second Division side Barnsley FC, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, became the 4th team from outside the First Division to win the FA Cup title. (Note…All-time [1872 to 2016], there have been eight clubs from outside the 1st division who ended up as winners of the FA Cup that season…{See this, FA Cup Finals/ look for green-shaded winners in italics… [Notts County/1885, Tottenham/1901, Wolverhampton/1908, Barnsley/1912, West Bromwich/1931, Sunderland/1973, Southampton/1976, West Ham United/1980].}

Barnsley won the 1912 FA Cup title on Wednesday the 24th of April 1912, when they beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0, in a Cup final replay at Brammall Lane in Sheffield, before an over-flow crowd of 35,888. (The replay was necessary because of the rules of the day and because, four days previously it had went: Barnsley 0-0 West Bromwich Albion, at Crystal Palace in south London, before a full-capacity crowd of 54,434.) The lone goal in the replay was not scored until the 118th minute, when Barnsley Inside Right Harry Tufnell, at the half-line, received a pass from Half Back George Utley, then Tufnell went on a breakaway after he executed a proto-nutmeg on WBA captain and full-back Jesse Pennington (bypassing Pennington by kicking the ball ahead to his right, and then running to his left around the defender). It was a footrace to the West Brom goal now, and Tufnell’s pace allowed him to speed clear of the last defender, and then he rounded the Goalkeeper and rifled a low shot that found the left corner. The Barnsley squad held on for the final few minutes, and the second-division side were FA Cup champions. The Barnsley team then took the trophy, travelling the sixteen miles up the road back to Barnsley, in a new-fangled motor car coach (see it below). As they entered Barnsley, the streets were packed with joyful residents, and they held the Cup up, to show the cheering crowds, as they made their way to the Barnsley town centre. To claim the Cup, Barnsley had beaten Birmingham City, Leicester Fosse, Bolton Wanderers, Bradford City [in the fourth replay], Swindon Town [in a semi-finals replay], and then West Bromwich Albion [in the replay of the final].

Below: Second Division team Barnsley FC – the FA Cup champions of 1911-12…
1912_fa-cup-replay_barnsley_1-0_west-bromwich-albion_brammall-lane_harry-tufnell_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
1912 FA Cup finalists’ kits from historicalkits.co.uk/English_Football_League/FA_Cup_Finals/1910-1915.
Screenshots from 1912 FA Cup Final Replay – Barnsley Victorious (4:13 video at youtube.com uploaded by glavino4).

Barnsley go from last place (on 28 November 2015) to play-offs winners (in May 2016)…
-From the Observer, from 28 May 2016, by Nick Miller, Conor Hourihane at heart of Barnsley’s rise from bottom of table to Wembley (theguardian.com/football).

Barnsley’s Manager: Paul Heckingbottom, (age 39), born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and grew up in suburban Barnsley (in Royston). Heckingbottom had a long career as a Defender in the Football League and the Premier League, including winning the Player of the Year for Bradford City in 2004, and a two-season stint with his hometown team Barnsley from 2006-08, where he helped Barnsley win the League One play-offs final over Swansea City in May 2006 (scoring in the penalty shoot-out win). After retiring in 2011, Heckingbottom went into coaching, and then became part of the Barnsley set-up, becoming the U-21 team coach in 2012-13, then the senior development coach the following season. During this time, Heckingbottom had two separate spells as caretaker-manager of Barnsley. Heckingbottom had taken over as caretaker-manager when Danny Wilson was sacked in February 2015; and one year later, Heckingbottom was also installed as caretaker-manager in February 2016, after Lee Johnson left to take over at Bristol City.

As mentioned, Barnsley went from last-place to the play-off-places in a six-month span in 2015-16…first under Lee Johnson, then not missing a beat when Johnson moved on to a (marginally) bigger club (Bristol City), and so Heckingbottom took over as caretaker again. The Barnsley squad of 2015-16 was notable for their relative youth (averaging about age 23). Their switch over to a 4-4-2 ended up allowing a key player to shine – the Ireland-born MF and captain Conor Hourihane (age 25). Hourihane was involved in about one-third of the Tykes’ goals last season (10 goals and 11 assists in league matches). From New Year’s Day to the season’s close, Barnsley went 18 wins in 23 games…which, as it happens, was exactly what two other successful lower-League clubs did in the same time period (Wigan and Northampton). After Barnsley won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final in April 2016 (over Oxford United), their confidence was unshakable. Then they squeaked into the play-offs, edging out Scunthorpe United for 6th place, on goal-difference. And in the League One play-offs 1st round, Barnsley crushed Walsall 6-1 aggregate. Then, on 29 May 2016, at Wembley Stadium, Barnsley defeated the heretofore play-offs-finals-lock Millwall 3-1, before a crowd of 51,277. So after two seasons in the third tier, Barnsley had returned to their longtime level, the second division. As Heckingbottom told BBC, “If I hadn’t been on the bench I’d have been here watching.” And just over a fortnight later, Barnsley gave Paul Heckingbottom a well-deserved full-time contract.

barnsley_oakwell_sam-winnall_conor-hourihane_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Barnsley 16/17 jersey, photo by Barnsley FC at barnsleyfcdirect.co.uk/replica/home-kit. Barnsley town centre [view to the north], photo by alamy.com via thesun.co.uk. Aerial view of Oakwell, photo unattributed at community.sigames.com/topic [Barnsley FM 2016 thread]. 1st street-level view of Oakwell, photo by red92 at redrumpo.blogspot.com. Street-view shot of Oakwell, photo unattributed at espnfc.com/blog/barnsley-fan-has-a-day-to-forget. Photo of Oak Stand, photo by red92 at redrumpo.blogspot.com.
Sean Winnal, photo unattributed at rudysroundup.com. Conor Hourihane, photo by Keith Turner/Rex/Shutterstock via theguardian.com/football. Barnsley squad with cheering supporters, at Wembley, following an early goal by Ashley Fletcher – the first of 3 goals by Barnsley in their 3-1 win over Millwall in 2015-16 League One play-offs Final, photo by Matthew Ashton/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.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.

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

July 25, 2015

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

Please note: to see my most recent map-and-post of the English 2nd division, click on the following: category: Eng-2nd level/Championship.
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2015-16_football-league-championship_post_b_.gif
England: 2015-16 League Championship [2nd division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed.




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

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

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

-Relegated to the Championship from Premier League for 2015-16:
Hull City (after a two-season spell in the Premier League, Hull City are back in the 2nd division).
Burnley (a yo-yo club, going up then back down).
Queens Park Rangers (a serious yo-yo club, going up then down then back up then back down once again).
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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.
-2013-14 stadium capacities (for league matches) from soccerway.com, us.soccerway.com/national/england/championship/20152016/regular-season/r31555/.

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

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

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_2014-attendance-map_74-clubs_all-drawing-above-4k_post_d_.gif
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

July 24, 2013

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

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



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

Football League Championship – Fixtures, Results, Table (soccerway.com).

From bbc.co.uk, from 19 June 2013, ‘Championship fixtures 2013-14: QPR start against Sheff Wed‘ (bbc.co.uk/sport/football).

From bbc.co.uk, from 31 July 2013, by Phil Maiden, ‘Championship 2013-14 season: Club-by-club guide‘ (bbc.co.uk/sport/football

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, the lowest-drawing club that is in the 2013-14 Championship is, of course, second-tier-debutantes Yeovil Town, of Yeovil, Someset (population of around 52,000 {2002 figure}). Yeovil Town drew 4,071 per game last season in League One. 72 other clubs in the Premier League or the Football League (the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th divisions) or the Conference (the 5th Level) drew higher than Yeovil Town drew last season {note: you can see each club’s 12/13 attendance-rank at the center of the attendance-data-chart on the map page]. Yeovil Town, nicknamed the Glovers, tried for years and years to get elected to the Football League back when you couldn’t play your way in (pre-1986-87). They found other ways to get their foot in, by turning into a Cup-specialist club (once beating Sunderland in the 4th Round of the FA Cup [in 1949]). 11 seasons ago, in 2002-03, Yeovil Town finally got into the League, winning the Conference National, led by a young Gary Johnson during his first spell (2001-05) as Yeovil’s manager. Then when Gary Johnson got them promoted to the 3rd tier, in 2004-05, folks were saying this little club from the West Country were punching above their weight. Now, a season after Johnson’s return and another promotion, the Glovers are REALLY punching above their weight. One usually does not see such a small club in the English second division…certainly not in the last 25 years. We haven’t seen such a small club from such a small town as Yeovil in the 2nd tier since current-4th-division-side Scunthorpe United were relegated from the Championship in 2011 (and Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire is a bit bigger – it has a population about 20,000 larger than Yeovil, at around 72,000 {2010 figure}). Before that, Crew Alexandra of Crewe, Cheshire were in the second division from 2003-04 to 2005-06 (Crew has a population of around 65,000 {2011 figure}). Before that, Bury FC of Bury, Greater Manchester were in the second division for a 2-year-spell from 1997 to ’99 (Bury has a borough population of around 60,000 {2001 figure}). Before that, Shrewsbury Town, of Shrewsbury, Shropshire were in the second division for a couple of spells, last in 1988-89 (Shrewsbury has a population of around 70,000 {2011 figure}. Before that, Carlisle United, of Carlisle, Cumbria were in the second division for a 4-season-spell from 1982 to ’86 (Carlisle has a population of around 71,000 {2001 figure}. So that is going back 30 years, and all these towns just listed above are all bigger than Yeovil. You have to go all the way back to 1982-83 (31 years ago) to find a second division club from a city smaller than Yeovil – and that is Wrexham, North Wales, home of the current-Non-League-side Wrexham FC (Wrexham, Wales has a population of around 42,000 {2001 figure}).
[sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_League_Championship ;
http://www.myfootballfacts.com/Second_Division_Tables_1946-47_to_1991-92.html; http://www.footymad.net.]

For Yeovil Town FC and their supporters this season, there will be good times in store at the 9,565-capacity Huish Park, there in south Somerset… even if the green-and-white hooped Glovers, led-by ex-Latvia and ex-Bristol City gaffer Gary Johnson, go straight back down (please don’t).

As to the kit badge facsimiles I have assembled, one club – Bolton Wanderers – have a new design for their official crest and their kit badge. It is actually a re-working of an older design, with those silly streaming red-and-blue ribbons now gone, and a more traditional horizontal-red-ribbon-with-red-rose-of-Lancashire device added, see this, ‘The Rose returns: Bolton Wanderers’ brand new badge is real‘ (lionofviennasuite.com [SB Nation]). Another club, the just-promoted AFC Bournemouth, have re-vamped their official crest {see it here at their Wikipedias page, but have kept the old one on their 13/14 kits. With the Cherries’ new crest, gone is the ribbon-banner that contained the club’s name, and gone are the red/white vertical-stripes. With the new crest, the shield is larger and contains the club’s name, which is now at the top of the shield and in a modern gold sans-serif font; also there are now some red/black vertical-stripes (to reflect the home jersey-style of recent years). Bournemouth’s main crest element – the player’s-head-with-stylized-motion-streaked-hair-who-is-heading-a-ball – remains, but now the red in the crest is darker and very slightly more raspberry-reddish – to reflect the shade of red that the Dorset-based club has been wearing the past few years {see this, http://www.afcb.co.uk/news/article/2013-06-01-cherries-launch-championship-kits-851694.aspx}.

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

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

From en.wikipedia.org, ‘2013–14 Football League Championship‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
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Thanks to Football League site for 2012-13 attendance figures, football-league.co.uk//DivisionalAttendance. Thanks to European-Football-Statistics.co.uk, for the 2012-13 attendance figures of the 3 relegated teams (QPR, Reading, Wigan), european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.

Thanks to Derby County online store for the photo segment of the 2013-14 home kit, dcfcmegastore.co.uk/item/mens-replicakit-homekit_1314-home-shirt.

Thanks to garibaldired for uploading a photo of the 2013-14 Nottingham Forest home kit at forestforum.co.uk/thread [image later scrapped, see comment #1 & 2 below]. / Thanks to nottinghamforestdirect.com for the Nottingham Forest 13/14 home kit badge photo, http://nottinghamforestdirect.com/stores/forest/products/kit_selector.aspx?selectorid=302&CMP=KNC-Google2&portal=nottppc&cur=USD..

Thanks to bogdan at lufctalk.com/forums for uploading a photo of the Leeds United kit badge at lufctalk.com/forums/index.php?topic=5589.

Thanks to FootyHeadlines.com for this gallery of the new Middlesbrough kits, http://www.footyheadlines.com/2013/05/middlesbrough-13-14-2013-14-home-and.html.
Thanks to FootyHeadlines.com for the photo of the Millwall 2013-14 badge, http://www.footyheadlines.com/2013/06/millwall-13-14-2013-14-home-and-away.html

Thanks to QPR shop, http://www.shop.qpr.co.uk/gb/item/adult-pre-match-jacket-102508.

Thanks to Footballkitnews.com, for photo of Watford 2013-14 kit badge, http://www.footballkitnews.com/9112/new-watford-kit-2013-2014-puma-watford-fc-home-shirt-13-14-138-com-sponsor/.

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

September 13, 2012

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

2012-13_football-league-championship_location-map_2011-12attendance-data_segment_b.gif
2012-13 League Championship – Location-map, w/ attendance data



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

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

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

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

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

August 5, 2011

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

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League Championship attendance map



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 12, 2011

League Championship, 2010-11 season: the 2 automatically-promoted clubs, and the 4 play-off clubs.

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2010-11 Football League Championship, Top of the Table


2011 Football League Championship Play-off Final – at Wembley Stadium in London, on Monday 30 May, Swansea City v. Reading, 3pm GMT/10am ET.
From Guardian.co.uk, on Wed. 18 May 2011, by Smon Burnton,’Reading possess the crucial ingredient for play-off final – form…Brendan Rodgers’ Swansea have enjoyed the double over Reading this season but the best stat belongs to his rivals‘.

Other 2011 English football promoted club(s)/play-off clubs maps …
6th Level/2011 Conference North – map posted Thursday, 28 April, at 12midnight GMT/7pm ET. – {click for post on Conference North}.
6th Level/2011 Conference South – map posted Sunday, 30 April, at 12noon GMT/7am ET. – { click for post on Conference South }.
5th Level/2011 Conference National – map posted Tuesday, 3 May, at 12midnight GMT/7pm ET. -{ click for post on Conference National }.
4th Level/2011 Football League Two – map posted Saturday, 7 May, at 7pm GMT/2pm ET. – { click for post on Football League Two }.
3rd Level/2011 Football League One – map posted Monday, 8 May, at 12midnight GMT/7pm ET. – ( a click for post on Football League One }.
2nd Level/2011 Football League Championship – map posted Thursday, 10 May, at 12noon GMT/7am ET.

From Guardian.co.uk/football, from Press Association on Saturday, 7 May, ‘
QPR crowned champions and promoted after escaping points deduction
• FA punish QPR with £875,000 fine
• London club escape points deduction
‘.

From Guardian.co.uk/football, from 3 May 2011, by Barney Ronay, ‘Paul Lambert one step ahead as he steers Norwich to Premier League‘.

Final 2010-11 Football League Championship table (Soccerway.com).


Top Scorers -Leading scorers in 2010-11 Football League Championship -
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Photo credits – Danny Graham photo from London Evening standard site (thisislondon.co.uk), ‘here‘. Shane Long photo from GetReading.co.uk. Grant Holt photo from Football365.com, here. Lucciano Becchio photo by PA via DailyMail.co.uk, here. Scott Sinclair photo by John Walton/EMPICS Sport/guardian.co.uk, here. Max Gradel photo from uk.eurosport.yahoo.com, here. Adel Taarabt photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Europe/zimbio.com, here. Jay Bothroyd photo by Action Images from telegraph.co.uk, here [from article 'The 10 best footballers in the Coca Cola Championship in pictures'].

Photo credits on map page -
QPR/Loftus Road…Exterior photo of Loftus Road from FussballInLondon.de, here. Interior photo by ynysforgan_jack at Flickr.com, here. Interior photo of main stand from AwayGrounds.com, here. Aerial image of Loftus Road from Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

Norwich City/Carrow Road…Mskau at Panoramio.com, here. AwayGrounds.com/Championship Grounds. ColonelBlinker.blogspot.com.

Swansea City AFC/Liberty Stadium…Exterior photo of Liberty Stadium from 100 Football Grounds Club, http://100groundsclub.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-matchday-242-liberty-stadium.html. Tims92, ‘Swansea City – Liberty Stadium‘. InterestingPhoto.com. Aeral image of liberty stadium from Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

Cardiff City/Cardiff City Stadium…Interior photo with crowd by Phil Tucker at Flickr.com, Phil Tucker’s photostream @ flickr.com. Interior photo of empty stadium from Cardiff Blues.com, Cardiff Blues and Cardiff City FC sign stadium contract. Exterior photo from Cardiff City FC.co.uk, Cardiff City Stadium. Aerial photo from Colorcoat-online, Cardiff City Stadium, project summary/gallery.

Reading/Madejski Stadium… Exterior photo by LeamDavid at Fickr.com, here. East Stand photo by Shaun at 100GroundsClub.blogspot.com, ‘My Matcday – 150 Madejski Stadium‘, via Picasaweb.google.com, here. North Stand photo [from final home match in promotion season of 2005-06] by Jason Platt at Panoramio.com, here. Aerial image from Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye S\satellite view, here.

Nottingham Forest/City Ground… Aerial photo of Notts County and Nottingham Forest grounds from BBC/Nottingham, Aerial photographs of Nottingham. Photo of irregular-shaped roof of Main Stand from Inderendent Yeovil Town fansite Ciderspace.co.uk, Ciderspace-the independant Yeovil Town FC website. Photo of City Ground exterior from across the Trent River by NffcChris at en.wikipedia.org, City Ground by NffcChris. Aerial image of City ground from Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

Thanks to Historical Football kits for the kit illustrations, http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘Football League Championship‘.
Thanks to FootballGroundGuide.com, for stadium capacities.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for attendance figures.

December 20, 2010

England: Football League Championship, 2010-11 – Stadia map.

Please note: to see my most recent map-and-post of the English 2nd division, click on the following: category: Eng-2nd level/Championship.
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League Championship Stadia map


Football League Championship table, here (Soccerway.com).
The map page, as is usual with this category of map, shows an aerial or exterior shot of each club’s stadium. Included in each club’s profile box are club info…the year the club was established, location, name of their football ground and it’s capacity, major domestic titles, and seasons spent at this level. ['This level', in this case of course means the 2nd Level of English Football.] At the far right on the map page are the clubs’ locations on the map, and below that are 2009-10 attendance figures (average attendance of home league matches). Also listed is percent change in attendance from 2008-09.

Queens Park Rangers have held the lead since late August, but have now lost two straight matches. They were QPR’s first two defeats of the season, and came a week ago against mid-table Watford, and last weekend, versus Leeds United. There were 29,426 at Elland Road Saturday to see Leeds beat QPR 2-0 (on a brace by 23-year old Ivorian MF Max Gradel), which is a darn good turnout for United, especially when one considers the horrible weather that had descended upon Britain that day. Leeds are now unbeaten in 9 league matches (6 wins and 3 draws), their last defeat was at home versus Cardiff City. Few would have thought Leeds would be in such a good position come Christmas, after that 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Bluebirds in mid-October. The following article explains what has happened since (basically manager Simon Grayson has got the midfielders and forwards to better support the defenders)…from The Guardian.co.uk/Football League blog, 20 December, 2010, by Richard Rae, ‘Great expectations as Leeds begin to see good times‘.

Clubs have played from 20 to 22 matches at this point in the season. QPR leads with 41 points (and a league-best +22 goal difference) and have a game in hand on second-place Leeds, who are at 38 points. Third are Cardiff City (also with a game in hand) at 37 points/+13 goal difference. The Bluebird’s fellow Welsh club and hated rivals Swansea City sit fourth at 37 points/+9 goal difference. Rounding out the playoff spots are the Canaries of Norwich City in 5th place, at 36 points; and the Sky Blues of Coventry City, who sit sixth and who are at 34 points. Coventry City are perhaps the biggest surprise of the top 6. Coventry are managed by Aidy Boothroyd, who got the job after his strong performance managing League One’s Colchester United to 5th place last season. His reputation was as a purveyor of ugly Route 1 football…hoof it up and smash and grab a goal. That’s how he got Watford into the Premier League 6 seasons ago. This reputation seems to be changing a bit, as he has Coventry City playing a more flowing game.

Back to Leeds United. The squad is playing with assurance under Simon Grayson, and features 3 players that look to have bright futures: Argentinian FW Luciano Becchio, hometown talent MF Jonny Howson, and Glasgow-born (but strangely overlooked as a Scotland international) MF/FW Robert Snodgrass. I think Leeds are going up. If you asked me a week ago, I must confess that my one lock for promotion would be Neil Warnock’s QPR, but that midweek, 3-nil home loss to Watford puts the Hoops in a less flattering light. The criticism about QPR is that if their mercurial wunderkind Adel Taarabt is not ‘on’, the team is not nearly the threat as when the Moroccan midfielder is on all cylinders. At any rate, QPR are a lot easier for the neutral observer to pull for, now that the egregious Flavio Briatore is gone from the QPR ownership ranks. Do you think it’s any coincidence that the now-three-years-on-’richest club in the world’-QPR finally got it’s on-field act together only once that imperious, bimbo groping, micro managing, blue-tinted-sunglasses-wearing, Formula 1 race-fixing sack of lard was forced to step down as chairman and drop his share in the club? There were ten managerial changes in less than 2 1/2 years at Loftus Road when Briatore was running the show.

Here are current average attendances…note: click on ‘Attendance’ which is above the league table, on the far right click here {Soccerway.com}. Cardiff City are the one club in the second tier this season that has seen a significant, more-than-two-thousand-per-game attendance increase…the Bluebirds are pulling in 23,150 this season, which is 2,433 better than last season, when they finished 4th. Of course this increase can be attributed mostly to the fact that this is the first full season that the Bluebirds are playing in their new ground. But Cardiff are doing well, and might finally have it in them to become the first Welsh club to play in the Premier League. Those capacity crowds will certainly energize the Bluebirds in their promotion campaign. The second-best numerical attendance increase is by QPR, who are drawing 1,547 more per game this season than last season. They still are only filling the bandbox that is Loftus Road to just 78% capacity, though, at 14,896 per game.

Last season only one second level club drew higher than Derby County – the en route-to-promotion Newcastle United. Currently, Derby County are the highest-drawing club in the Championship, only this season they are actually decent. They feature one of the league’s top scorers in Kris Commons, a Mansfield, Nottinghamshire-born Scottish international, who has 12 league goals. [That tally is currently second best, behind Cardiff's Jay Bothroyd...photos of the top 8 goal leaders can be seen below.] The funny thing is attendance is down by 3,059 per game at Pride Park, despite the fact that the Rams were in the playoff places prior to their current 4-game losing slump (yet are still just 4 points off the playoff places). The Derby v. Nottingham Forest match has yet to be played, though, so that will fill the place up and push up that average gate.

As Yorkshire’s biggest club, the just-promoted Leeds United would be expected to see attendance increases, and Leeds has the third biggest numerical attendance increase in the league this season, up 1,139 per game. They are drawing the second best in the league this season, currently seeing an average of 25,957 pass their turnstiles. Third best drawing club are perennial capacity-fillers Norwich City. I think they could add 5,000 seats to Carrow Road and the Canaries would still be playing to an above 90% capacity. Rounding out the top five best drawing clubs this season are the aforementioned Cardiff City, then Leicester City. No, I am not going to talk about the charmed Swedish lothario who runs the Foxes these days (well I guess I just did). Incidentally, Leicester’s gates are down, but that can be explained by the fact that their gates were up last season because they had just won promotion, and this season they started out horribly.

Leading scorers in the League Championship…
[Note: Below are leading scorers as of 25th December, 2010/Current leading scorers can be seen here (BBC)]
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Photo credits for leading scorers- Yahoo Sport/PA images; Ross Kinniard/Getty Images at zimbio.com; SkySports.com; BBC/Getty Images. PA at DailyMail.co.uk; unattributed; ThisIsNottinghamshire.co.uk; Independant.co.uk.

Photo credits for map page…
Thanks to the Daily Mail.co.uk (Bristol City/Ashton Gate photo, here).

Thanks to Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view [set at Swansea City/Liberty Stadium, here].

Thanks to Colorcoat-online.com (Cardiff city/Cardiff city Stadium photo, here ).

Thanks to Noostairz at Skyscrapercity.com, in the Preston/Deepdale Redvelopment Thread ~May, 2008, for the Preston North End/Deepdale photo, here.

Thanks to Rob Dannatt at WorldStadia.com, for the Doncaster Rovers/Keepmoat Stadium photo, here.

Thanks to Premier Football Books.co.uk (Scunthorpe United/Glanford Park photo, here).

Thanks to the Norwich online newspaper The Pinkun.com (Norwich City/Carrow Road photo [wallpaper, second from bottom, here].

Thanks to SouthBank at the Skyscrapercity.com thread ‘Favorite Small Stadium (-20,000)’, here (Millwall/The Den photo, here).

Thanks to the E-F-S site, for attendance figures.
Thanks to Historical Football Kits site for the kits, historicalkits.co.uk.

November 22, 2010

The English 2nd Level (currently known as the Football League Championship) – All-time 2nd Level…the clubs that have spent the most seasons in the 2nd Level, which has been called…the Second Division (1892-93 to 1991-92) / Football League Division One (1992-93 to 2003-04) / Football League Championship (2004-05 to 2010-11). Also included is a chart of All-time 1st Level.

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[Note: to see my latest map-&-post on the English 2nd division (the Football League Championship), click on the following, category: Eng-2nd level cham'ship.

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Please note: All information below is accurate up to the close of the 2010-11 Football League season [June 2011].

    The English 2nd Level (aka the Football League Championship) – All-time 2nd Level…

The clubs that have spent the most seasons in the 2nd Level, which has been called…the Second Division (1892-93 to 1991-92) / Football League Division One (1992-93 to 2003-04) / Football League Championship (2004-05 to 2010-11)…
By Bill Turianski on 22 November 2010; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

The first chart is shown in partial form further above, with just the top 10 all-time 2nd Level clubs. Click on it and the full first chart will show the 35-club All-time 2nd Level list. Clubs which have the tan horizontal bar running across are the 16 clubs that are on the All-time 2nd Level list and are currently in the 2nd Level (2010-11 season).
Those 16 Clubs on the all-time 2nd Level list that are currently [2010-11] in the 2nd Level are…
Barnsley, Leicester City, Hull City, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City, Derby County, Burnley, Sheffield United, Preston North End, Cardiff City, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Millwall, Swansea City, Crystal Palace, and Norwich City.

Below is the full, 5-level chart. It is also for 35 clubs, and has full League history…5 columns (1st Level, 2nd Level, 3rd Level, 4th Level, and Non-League). So when you click to go to the full chart, if you focus on the greyish-blue vertical stripe in the center, you will see the seasons spent in the 2nd Level. I will explain why the chart goes to 35 clubs, below, 2 paragraphs down.

england-2nd-level_all-time-40-clubs_w-league-history_segment.gif


The second tier began as the English Football League Second Division, in 1892-93. That name held for exactly 100 years (89 seasons, minus the war years [ with 4 seasons stricken due to WW I; and then 7 seasons stricken due to WW II ]). When the Premier League was formed, in the summer of 1992, the second tier became known as Division One. This lasted just 12 seasons, from 1992-93 to 2003-04. Then the current name of the Football League Championship began. With sponsor name, the 2010-11 season of the 2nd Level of English Football is known as the N-Power League Championship.

As I began compiling the 2nd Level All-time list, while keeping one eye on the much-easier to compile First Level All-time list [ data sources at bottom of this post ], it became apparent that there would be overlap. 9 clubs are on the 1st Level All-time top 20 list, and are also in the top of the All-time 2nd Level list. Clubs which fall into this category are Nottingham Forest (56 seasons in 1st Level/47 seasons in 2nd Level), Birmingham City (57 seasons in 1st Level/47 seasons in 2nd Level), Wolverhampton Wanderers (62 seasons in 1st Level/45 seasons in 2nd Level), Derby County (65 seasons in 1st Level/43 seasons in 2nd Level), Sheffield United (60 seasons in 1st Level/42 seasons in 2nd Level), Middlesbrough (60 seasons in 1st Level/39 seasons in 2nd Level), West Bromwich Albion (73 seasons in 1st Level/37 seasons in 2nd Level), Blackburn Rovers (71 seasons in 1st Level/36 seasons in 2nd Level), and Sheffield Wednesday (66 seasons in 1st Level/34 seasons in 2nd Level). All of these clubs have spent 60 or more seasons in the 1st Level, and are among the top 20 in that category, and are also among the top of the All-time 2nd Level list.

So I am going to stick to the Physics 101 principle that you can’t be in two places at one time. So those aforementioned 9 clubs that are near to the top of the all-time 1st AND 2nd Level lists…they go to the 1st Level All-time list of 20 clubs. That opened up 9 more spaces in the All-time Second Division. Then this All-time 2nd Level, which would logically be a 24 club-theoretical league…became a temporary 26-team league due to a three-way tie for the 24th spot, between Norwich City, Lincoln City, and Luton Town…all with 34 seasons spent in the second tier.
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All-time 1st Level
(20 football clubs)…
First, we will start with the 20 English football clubs with the most seasons spent in the 1st Level (aka the top flight, aka the first division), which is currently known as the Premier League -
All-time 1st Level…

england_all-time-1st-level-chart-segment_.gif

Here are the 20 clubs with the most seasons spent in the 1st Level…
1. Everton, 108 seasons.
2. Aston Villa, 100.
3. Liverpool, 96.
4. Arsenal, 94
5. Manchester United, 86.
6. Manchester City, 82.
7. Newcastle United, 80.
7. Sunderland AFC, 80.
9. Tottenham Hotspur, 76.
9. Chelsea, 76.
11.West Bromwich Albion, 73.
12.Bolton Wanderers, 72.
13.Blackburn Rovers, 71.
14.Sheffield Wednesday, 66.
15.Derby County, 65.
16.Wolverhampton Wanderers, 62.
17.Middlesbrough, 60.
17.Sheffield United, 60.
19.Nottingham Forest, 57.
20.Birmingham City, 56.

just missing out on the All-time 1st Level list…Stoke City, 55 seasons; West Ham United, 54; Burnley, 52; Leeds United, 50; Leicester City and Preston North End, 46.

That makes this the all-time 2nd Level…
(ideally 24 football clubs, but currently with a 3-way tie for 24th-most seasons, making it a temporary 26-club list)…
1. Barnsley, 74 seasons.
2. Leicester City, 59.
3. Hull City, 54.
4. Grimsby Town, 52.
5. Fulham, 50.
6. Blackpool, 46.
7. Bristol City, 45.
8. Burnley, 42.
8. Preston North End, 42.
10.Stoke City, 41.
10.Charlton Athletic, 41.
10. Leyton Orient, 41
10.Port Vale, 41.
14.Cardiff City, 40.
14.Plymouth Argyle, 40.
16.Portsmouth, 39.
16.Bury, 39.
18.Southampton, 38.
19.Notts County, 37.
19.Swansea City, 37.
21.Millwall, 36.
21.Oldham Athletic, 36.
23.Crystal Palace, 35.
24.Lincoln City, 34.
24.Luton Town, 34.
24.Norwich City, 34.

Just missing out on the All-time 2nd Level list…Huddersfield Town, 33 seasons; Leeds United and West Ham United, 31; Ipswich Town and Bradford City, 29.

The club that has spent the longest time in the 2nd Level is the South Yorkshire-based Barnsley FC. Barnsley have spent 74 seasons in the second tier, yet only one season in the top flight…in the sixth season of the Premiership, in 1997-98.
{Barnsley League History, from one of the 116 Footy Mad siteswww.barnsley-mad.co.uk, here}. That’s gotta be a tough thing to swallow for longtime Tykes fans, but at least the club, and it’s supporters, got that one season in the sun. Unlike Port Vale, who are the football club in England which has spent the most seasons, 41 seasons, in the 2nd Level without ever winning promotion to the top flight. Or Plymouth Argyle, who have spent 40 seasons in the 2nd Level without ever winning promotion to the top flight.

barnsley-fc_oakwell_74seasons-in-2nd-levelmost.gif

Thanks to Lanterne Rouge, who writes for the excellent Football League site, The Two Unfortunates.
Lanterne Rouge coined the phrase ‘The Greater Championship’ earlier this year. In the following article, from 9th January, 2010, he talks about the idea of which teams belong in ‘The Greater Championship

Since then, I had been thinking about compiling the stats. Before I got too deep into this, I contacted Lanterne Rouge, and he responded with the caveat that…’I must admit [the article] was shamelessly speculative and designed partly to wind up friends who support other clubs!’
Btw, Leeds is talked about in the article, but Leeds United are not on the All-time 1st or 2nd Level lists, due to Leeds United AFC’s somewhat late formation. Leeds United were established in 1919, and were elected to the Football League Second Division in 1920-21, and first won promotion to the First Division in 1924-25. So Yorkshire’s biggest club is not in the top 20 of the All-time 1st Level list (Leeds have spent 50 seasons in the 1st Level, 6 seasons shy of being in the top 20), nor are Leeds United in the top 24 of the All-time 2nd Level list (Leeds has spent 31 seasons in the 2nd Level).

Here are the lists and the data source I used. The best I could find for all-time / all clubs was from 9 seasons ago, at the Football365 site, here (http://stats.football365.com/hist/tier2/attable.html).

First Division seasons list, at RSSSF.com, under ‘Historical Domestic League History – Countrywise’ / then at ‘England – First Level All-Time Tables’, here.

For all-time season-by-season histories by club, I referred to the ‘League History’ section at each club’s Footy-Mad.net page… http://www.footy-mad.net/championship-news/ .

August 4, 2010

England: The Football League Championship, 2010-11 season – attendance map, with average attendances and percent capacities (from 2009-10).


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From The Two Unfortunates site,
Previews of League Championship clubs
{Part 1 – Barnsley through Leicester City}
{Part 2 – Middlesbrough through Watford}

You can find each club’s 2009-10 percentage capacity on the far right of the chart on the map page. The figures are hard to pin down, because a stadium’s total seat-capacity is always going to be slightly larger than the stadium’s capacity for a Football League Championship match, because rows or columns of seats are left empty, in order to separate home and away fans The same procedure, of course, also applies in the Premier League [as well as in Football Leagues One and Two, but there are rarely sell-outs in the two lower leagues of the Football League]. I used the Football Grounds Guide.com for stadium capacity figures {www.footballgroundsguide.com}.
I like percentage capacity because it sort of provides a bit of a picture…it’s one thing to say that a club draws 17,308 per game, but to also say that that club is playing to just a 53.3% capacity, well that sounds like the club has real problems. I’m talking about you, Coventry City…who own the worst 2009-10 percentage capacity figure for clubs in the League Championship this season. How does a relatively big club like Coventry City manage such a dismal capacity rate? 1. Prolonged stay in the 2nd Level without a reasonable hope of promotion. 2. Lackluster play and a manager on his way out. 3. A charmless stadium built outside the city center and in the middle of nowhere. 4. The generally poor economy.

The fact that the Championship is the 2nd Level of English football means that the clubs’ percentage capacity numbers will be, almost by definition, sort of low…more in the high 50% to low 70% range, for a majority of the clubs. That’s because usually most of the supporters of the lion’s share of clubs in the Championship believe their club to be worthy of the Premier League, and when they are not in the top flight, or do not seem to be progressing towards that goal, attendances go down. And the Championship clubs that had the ultimately most successful seasons the previous year are now in the top flight (certainly in 2 of the 3 cases of the promoted clubs each season). So high capacity-percentage clubs in the Championship are very often just-relegated clubs from the Premier League, and just-promoted clubs from the Football League One, In other words, a club that had never been in the Premier League and that only stays a season or two there before relegation back to the Championship (like both Burnley and Hull City); and conversely, a club with a devoted fan base that was immediately promoted back from the 3rd Level (like Norwich City). Another instance of a healthy percentage-capacity number would be a small club with a small stadium, punching above their weight in a division few thought they could survive in… like both Doncaster Rovers and Scunthorpe United, but actually, both these clubs were not in the top half of the percentage-capacity ranking…a better example would be Colchester United, who in one of their two seasons of second division football, in 2007-08, played to 87.2% capacity in their tiny, former ground, Layer Road. Another example of a high percentage-capacity club in the second tier is one that basically has excellent and virtually unwavering fan support, even if the club did not fare so well the previous season. Sheffield United and Ipswich Town have been in this category in recent seasons, but the best example of this from last season is Derby County, who had the second-best average attendance at 29,230 per game last season, even though they were pretty bad. [The best-drawing club in the Championship last season was, of course, Newcastle United, who drew 43,388 per game in their promotion-winning campaign.] That Derby County average attendance figure translates to a solid 87% capacity last season, even though the Rams won less than a third of their matches and finished in 14th place.

3 of the clubs mentioned above, Norwich, Hull, and Burnley, had percentage-capacity figures of over 90% last season. But you just know that lots and lots of those people who attended matches at Burnley’s Turf Moor last season did it believing that it could very well be the only season in their lifetimes that they could see Burnley play in the Premier League. After all, Burnley were drawing in the 11,000 to 13,000 per game range for over a decade before their shock promotion season of 2008-09. The crowds at Burnley will probably dwindle unless they remain competitive and mount another promotion campaign.

Hull is very different, because as they climbed the league pyramid from 2004 to 2008, their average crowds rose in tandem. It’s astounding to realize that in 2003-04, Hull City drew 16,847 in the fourth division (which was called the Nationwide Division Three). So I am sure that Hull will keep more of their paying customers this season than does Burnley. The other relegated club, Portsmouth, I am not sure what to expect. Pompey (and their supporters, including old Bill, here) had the season-from-hell in 2009-10 [FA Cup run notwithstanding], but Portsmouth still played to a respectable 88.4% capacity. Maybe some of those Pompey fans were attending games last winter and spring thinking they better go now because there might not be a next time, what with the real threat of Portsmouth being wound up early in 2010. Well, Portsmouth dodged that HMRC bullet, and they’re still around. I can see Portsmouth getting simillar-sized, 18,000 per game crowds this season. But really, who knows. They may end up unable to field a competitive squad. Administrator Andonikou says the club can’t pay above 10,000 pounds per week for players {see this (specifically the last sentance in the article), by Neil Allen, from the News (portsmouth.co.uk), from 4 August, 2010, ‘Recruitment drive begins despite uncertain future‘.). Pompey may end up being unable to field a competitive squad. If this happens, I fear plummeting crowds, and another relegation for Portsmouth.
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Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, 2010-11 Football League Championship.
Thanks to Mike Avery’s site at http://www.mikeavery.co.uk.
Thanks to The Football Ground Guide (for capacities of grounds), http://www.footballgroundguide.co.uk

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