billsportsmaps.com

August 18, 2017

2017-18 Football League One (3rd division England): map w/ 16/17-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./+ 4 promoted clubs for the 2017-18 3rd division (Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool).

2017-18_football-league-one_map_w-2017-crowds_titles_seasons-in-1st-division_post_c_.gif
2017-18 Football League One (3rd division England): map w/ 16/17-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division




By Bill Turianski on 18 August 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-2017–18 EFL League One (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…LEAGUE ONE [Summary] (soccerway.com).
-Sky Bet League One 2017 – 2018 [kits] (historicalkits.co.uk).
-League One 2017-18 season preview (by Lawrence Ostleer at theguardian.com/football/blog).

-sports.vice.com/en_uk/article/passion-progression-and-the-future-of-fan-ownership-now-is-the-time-for-afc-wimbledon?.

A brief re-cap of 2016-17 League One [the 3rd division]…
Promoted to 2nd Div…Sheffield Utd, Bolton Wanderers, Millwall {see this post: 17/18 EFL Championship, featuring: Sheffield Utd, Bolton, Millwall}.

Relegated from the 2nd division down to the 3rd division are…Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Rotherham United.

Promoted up from the 4th division and into the 3rd division are the four clubs profiled below…

    Below: the 4 promoted clubs for the 2017-18 3rd division
    (Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool)…

Portsmouth won the 2016-17 League Two title, and now return to the 3rd division after being stuck in the 4th division for 4 seasons. Plymouth Argyle won automatic promotion as 2nd-place-finishers and return to the 3rd division after being stuck in the 4th division for 6 seasons. Doncaster Rovers won the third automatic promotion as 3rd-place-finishers and bounce straight back to the 3rd division. The fourth promotion place went to Blackpool, who won the 2017 League Two play-off Final at Wembley, defeating Exeter City 2-1; Blackpool also bounce straight back to the 3rd division.

    • Portsmouth FC.

Est. 1898. Nickname: Pompey. Colours: Blue shirts, White pants, Red socks. Location: Portsmouth, Portsea Island, Hampshire, situated (by road) 22 miles (36 km) SE of Southampton; and Portsmouth is situated (by road) 73 miles (118 km) SW of London. Population of Portsmouth: city-population: around 115,000 {2011 census}; urban-area-population: around 855,000 [Southampton, Portsmouth, Eastleigh, Gosport, Fareham, Havant, Horndean]. Portsmouth, along with Southampton and adjacent towns, are part of the South Hampshire Built Up Area, which is the 7th-largest Urban Area in the UK {en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom}.

Question: Why is Portsmouth FC nicknamed Pompey? Answer: “Portsmouth Football Club are nicknamed ‘Pompey’, a name which it shares with the English port city of Portsmouth and its historic naval base. The ‘Pompey’ nickname is thought most likely to originate from the historic nautical location known as Portsmouth Point, which is commonly abbreviated to ‘Po’m. P.’ when written in shortened form into a ships logbook.” {-excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portsmouth_F.C..} Portsmouth was the traditional home base of the British Navy, all through the years of Empire, and the naval presence there is still strong. It is a very working-class town, as opposed to the more upper-middle class Southampton, 15 miles northwest. Portsmouth’s colours are a nod to its naval presence and its military heritage, with the blue of their jersey symbolizing the British Navy, and their red socks represent the British Army (the home of the British Army is in Aldershot, Hampshire, 45 miles up the road from Portsmouth).

Portsmouth FC were formed in 1898, and joined the Southern League the following year. As of 2017-18, Portsmouth have played 33 seasons in the 1st division, and 91 seasons in the Football League/Premier League. Portsmouth were a non-League/Southern League side for a little over two decades. Then in 1920-21, Portsmouth, along with the entire 1919-20 Southern League Division One, joined the Football League, comprising most of the new Third Division. It took Portsmouth 7 seasons to win the two promotions that put them in the First Division, which Pompey first joined in 1927-28. In this time period, Portsmouth made it to two FA Cup finals, losing to Bolton 2-0 in the 1928 final, and losing to Manchester City 2-1 in the 1934 FA Cup final. Their third FA Cup final came in 1939, and this time Portsmouth were the victors, beating a heavily-favoured Wolves team 4-1, this despite the fact that Portsmouth were battling relegation, and ended up finishing only in 17th place in the league that season.

Back-to-back English titles for Portsmouth (1949 & 1950).
In 1946-47, with the resumption in Football League play following World War II, Portsmouth FC benefited from the town’s naval base…“Portsmouth capitalised on the footballers called up to serve in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines in the war years and recruited some of them. In this way, Portsmouth had the pick of some of the best.” {-excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portsmouth_F.C..} This was the start of Portsmouth’s glory days. Former chief scout Bob Jackson was appointed manager of Portsmouth in May 1947. The squad, which was filled with no recognised stars and very few international players, began to gel. Coming off a 12th-place finish in the first post-War season (1946-47), Pompey finished in 8th place with Jackson at the helm (1947-48). Then it all came together in 1948-49: Jackson had Pompey play in the W-M formation that Herbert Chapman (and his assistant coach Charles Buchan) had developed at Arsenal a decade earlier. Portsmouth had the best defense (1.0 goals allowed per game), and also led the league in scoring (84 goals/2.0 avg), with all 5 forwards racking up double figures and Portsmouth-born Outside-Right Peter Harris scoring 18, and Scottish Inside Forward Duggie Reid scoring 17. Portsmouth won the title with 2 games to spare, and ended up 5 points ahead of Manchester United. Then Portsmouth repeated as champions in 1949-50, though by a much tighter margin. Portsmouth had the second best defense (.90 goals allowed per game, behind 7th-place-finishers Blackpool’s .83 avg). And four other teams scored more. Portsmouth barely edged out Wolves for first place, thanks to a better goal-average of about 0.4 (but Portsmouth would still have won the title if the more-equitable goal-difference tie-breaker was used back then). Top scorer for Portsmouth’s repeat title-win was Kent-born Inside Forward Ike Harris, with 17 goals.

(In the post-War era, since Portsmouth’s back-to-back title wins, only 4 other clubs have won two straight titles: Manchester United [six times], Wolverhampton, Liverpool [three times], and Chelsea.)

Bob Jackson left Portsmouth in 1952, to manage Hull City. Portsmouth stayed competitive for the next few seasons, but by the late 1950s, their title-winning and locally-nurtured squad had aged, and were not replaced with enough quality players to keep the team in the top tier. Portsmouth were relegated out of the 1st division in 1959 (the same season that longtime Left Half Jimmy Dickinson played in his 500th game for Pompey). For the next 44 years (1959 to 2003), the club would only play only one season in the top flight (in 1987-88).

-From the Equaliser blog, 1940s Month: Bob Jackson’s Pompey (written on 9 Feb.2011 at equaliserblog.wordpress.com).

Portsmouth: back-to-back titles (1949 & 1950 First Division titles).
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Photo and Image credits above – Old Portsmouth kits, illustrations from historicalkits.co.uk/Portsmouth. Bob Jackson, photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images via gettyimages.com. Peter Harris, photo by Daily Mirror at mirrorfootball.mediastorehouse.com/peter-harris/print. Duggie Reid, photo unattributed at frattonparkhomeofportsmouthfc.wordpress.com/legends. Portsmouth 1948-49 tinted photo (team photo), unattributed at uttonfromuddersfield.blogspot.com.

Portsmouth, 2003 to 2010: 7 seasons in the Premier League, including one great escape (in 2006), and their second FA Cup title (in 2008).
Portsmouth, under former Bournemouth and West Ham manager Harry Redknapp, won promotion into the Premier League in 2003. Their ramshackle home cauldron, Fratton Park, was the smallest home-venue in the league back then (capacity 20,600). Pompey had a 7-year-spell in the Premier League. In their 3rd season there (2005-06), Portsmouth were almost relegated, but pulled off one of the great escapes in Premier League history, going from the bottom of the table and 8 points down in the relegation zone in March, to safety and a 17th-place-finish, in the last 10 games. A last-gasp 30-yard dipping volley by MF Pedro Mendes v Man City on the 11th of March ignited a 6-wins-2-draws-2-loss finish in 05/06, and they escaped the drop with 4 points to spare. {Here is Mendes’ brace that day [via a tweet from @premierleague].}. The next season (06/07), Portsmouth finished 8 places higher, in 9th. Pompey were averaging 19.8 K and playing to 96 percent-capacity at their fortress, Fratton Park. Portsmouth finished as high as 8th place, in the following season of 2007-08. And they won their second FA Cup title that same season, beating 2nd-division side Cardiff City 1-0 at Wembley, thanks to a Kanu tap-in. This, after beating Manchester United at Old Trafford in the 6th round, thanks to a Glen Johnson goal-saving goal-line tackle-and-block, a Glen Johnson goal-saving line-clearing header, a Sylvain Distin goal-saving goal-line block, two David James full-stretch diving glove-tip-saves, and a Sully Muntari penalty conversion. {Video highlights: Manchester United 0-1 Portsmouth – 2008 FA Cup Quarter-Final (8 March 2008) (6:39 video uploaded by DCDJ18 at youtube.com).}

But boardroom graft and incompetence led to financial problems which were worsened by the 2009 global economic recession. So, due to automatic points deductions while being in administration, a cash-strapped Portsmouth suffered back-to-back relegations in 2012 (to the 3rd division), and in 2013 (to the 4th division). This happened amidst the messy and protracted supporters-trust-takeover-battle. In April 2013, Portsmouth became the largest supporter-owned club in England, after the Pompey Supporters Trust successfully gained possession of Fratton Park. Even as a 4th division side, Pompey saw little drop-off in support, and Portsmouth drew in the 15-16-K-range in League Two. But Portsmouth, now a parsimonious supporter-owned club, needed four seasons to get out of the 4th division, and it was former Chesterfield manager Paul Cook who led them out. In 2015-16, Cook took the reins at Portsmouth, bringing MF/playmaker Gary Roberts over from Chesterfield. But Pompey could not stay in the automatic promotion places, kept on dropping points by conceding late goals, and then flamed out in the 2016 play-off semifinals, losing to Plymouth. The following season, Portsmouth fielded a squad that did catch fire late on. Pompey moved into the automatic promotion spots by March 2017, and won the 4th division crown on the last day of the season, pipping Plymouth for the title. 3 Portsmouth players made the 2017 League Two Team of the Year (GK David Forde, CB Christian Burgess, and CB Enda Stevens). Portsmouth had the best defense in the 4th division (40 goals allowed/0.86 avg), and the second most prolific offense (with 79 goals; only Doncaster scored more).

Then, 6 weeks after Portsmouth’s promotion, Paul Cook up and left – for a fatter contract at Wigan. It was during this time that Portsmouth Supporters Trust voted to sell their shares to an investment company headed by former Disney chairman Michael Eisner. The rationale for most of the shareholders’ ‘yes’ votes was this…Portsmouth would need a considerable cash outlay to fuel any more promotion-campaigns, and would probably not be able to do so as a supporter-owned club. Plus Fratton Park needs some serious upgrades to avoid closure – like £4.1m worth {see this}. In June 2017, former Millwall and Wolves manager Kenney Jackett was hired as Portsmouth manager, a choice widely applauded, as Jackett has had real success in the 3rd division (see next paragraph)…

Manager of Portsmouth: Kenny Jackett (age 55; born in Watford). Jackett was a DF/MF who played in 11 seasons for his home town club, Watford (1980-90/337 league app/35 goals). Jackett has previously managed: Watford (1996-97), Swansea (2004–07), Millwall (2007–13), Wolverhampton (2014-16), and Rotherham (2016). Jackett has gotten two of his teams promoted to the 2nd division: Millwall in 2010, and Wolves in 2014.

portsmouth_promoted-2017_fratton-park_christian-burgess_enda-stevens_gary-roberts_k_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
Portsmouth 16/17 jersey, photo from
pompeystore.com. Portsmouth Harbour, photo unattributed at newhistorian.com. Old Portsmouth viewed from Spinnaker Tower, photo by eNil at File:Old Portsmouth.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Fratton Park (aerial view, with new Tesco supermarket next door), by Shaun Roster via twitter.com/teamlocals. Fratton Park (aerial view), by 1080pfc at mobile.twitter.com/1080pfc jpg. Aerial view of Fratton Park main entrance, photo by PA at telegraph.co.uk/sport/football. Fratton Park main entrance, photo by manygameshaveiseen.blogspot.com. Facade at Fratton Park, photo from Paul Greer at bbc.co.uk/blogs/5live/2011/04/the-rjs-the-south-of-england… . David Forde, screenshot from video uploaded by officialpfc at youtube.com. Christian Burgess, photo by TSG Photo/Rex/Shutterstock via dailymail.co.uk/football. Enda Stevens, image from screenshot of video uploaded by officialpfc at youtube.com jpg. Gary Roberts, photo by Joe Pepler at portsmouth.co.uk/football. Promotion/league title-winners-celebration, screenshot from video uploaded by rjellcome at youtube.com jpg.

• Plymouth Argyle FC.
Est. 1886. Nicknames: Argyle, the Pilgrims. Colours: Dark-Green-with-Black (which is in honor of the colours of the flag of Devon). Location: Plymouth, Devon, situated (by road) 45 miles (72 km) SW of Exeter; and Plymouth is 237 miles (382 km) SW of London. Population of Plymouth: around 264,000 {2016 estimate}; urban-area-population: around 260,000 {2011 census}, making Plymouth the 32nd-largset Urban Area in the UK {en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom}.

Plymouth Argyle, located near the south-western corner of England, are one of the most isolated Football League clubs…
Probably the biggest hurdle Plymouth Argyle faces as a team in the Football League is the sheer isolation that Plymouth has with the rest of the teams in the League. There is only one League team close by to Plymouth, and that is Exeter City, which is 45 miles away. And Plymouth, way out on the south-west coast in Devon, is a whopping 237 miles down the road from London. Which means that it is further away from London (by road) than almost every other League club, including every Northern club except for Carlisle, Newcastle, Blackpool, Burnley, Accrington, and Morecambe. (Plymouth is only about 10 miles or so by road closer to London than Newcastle or Blackpool or Burnley are.)

Plymouth Argyle joined the Football League in 1920, along with the entire 1919-20 Southern Football League Division One. 15 of those 22 teams in that 1919/20 Southern League D1 have made it to the first division since then, including 5 current [2017-18] Premier League clubs (Brighton, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Swansea, Watford). But Plymouth Argyle is not among them. In fact Plymouth Argyle have played the second-most 2nd division seasons without ever winning promotion to the top flight – 40 seasons in the 2nd division. Only Port Vale has played more 2nd division seasons without ever winning promotion to the first division (41 seasons). {Source: see this list, myfootballfacts.com/ClubLeagueHistorySummary.}

The last time Plymouth Argyle were in the second division was a 6-season spell there from 2004-10, when Argyle drew primarily in the 13-K-range. They went down to the 3rd tier in May 2010 with serious financial problems, and that turned into a crisis in late 2010, with £760,000 in unpaid tax to HM Revenue & Customs. Plymouth went into administration in February 2011, with a 10 points deduction, and then they suffered their second-straight relegation in May 2011, down to the 4th division. The local council saved Plymouth by buying their ground, Home Park, in October 2011. At this point, new ownership came in, in the form of an investment/development company called the Akkeron Group, headed by James Brent. By this time (2011-12), support had dwindled to 6.9 K, and Plymouth escaped relegation out of the League by only a 2-point-margin, finishing in 21st place in League Two. The next season was an even closer relegation battle as Argyle escaped relegation by just a single point, again finishing in 21st. Argyle improved a great deal the next year to 10th place (in 2013-14). In 2014-15 Argyle made the play-offs as 7th place finishers, but lost to Wycombe in the first round. The next season (2015-16), under new manager Derek Adams, Plymouth improved enough again to be in the automatic promotion places for some of the season, but fell into the play-off places and finished in 5th, and then were beaten by AFC Wimbledon in the 2015 League Two play-off Final, 2-0. By this time, crowds had increased a couple thousand at Home Park, up to 8.7 K. In 2016-17, Plymouth Argyle improved once again, and led League Two for much of season, but again fell away – but only marginally, and Argyle ended up finally winning promotion back to the 3rd division, finishing in 2nd place, and drawing 9.6 K. An indication of the positive vibe down there on the Devon coast is that in 2016-17 Argyle drew one thousand more than they were drawing in 2011-12, when they went down to the 4th tier. It took Plymouth Argyle 6 seasons to get out of the 4th division, and they did so under Scottish manager Derek Adams.

Manager of Plymouth: Derek Adams (age 42; born in Glasgow, Scotland). Derek Adams played as a midfielder, primarily with Motherwell and a then-second-division Ross County. In his second spell at Ross County, Adams was player-manager (2007-10), then was briefly an assistant coach at Hibernian in 2010-11. He returned to Ross County as manager 6 months later (May 2011), and led the tiny Dingwall, Highlands-based club to its first-ever promotion to the Scottish 1st division. (Dingwall, Highland is a town of only around 5,400, located a few miles west of Inverness, and 180 miles N of Glasgow by road.) Then Ross County overachieved in the Scottish top flight, finishing in 5th place in 2012-13, and in 7th in 2013-14. Adams stepped down from the Ross County job in August, 2014, took a year’s hiatus, and then signed on as Plymouth Argyle manager in June 2015. A month later he brought over a Ross County play-maker/attacking-midfielder: Graham Carey (see photo/caption below). Plymouth were much improved in 2015-16, with Adams at the helm, and Carey was voted Player of the Year by Argyle fans in 2015-16, but they fell short of promotion. The following year (2016-17), Plymouth shot out of the gate and were at the top of the table by September. Graham Carey had another fine season, ending up with 14 league goals and 15 assists (second-most assists, behind only Accrington MF Sean McConville). Carey, and teammate Sonny Bradley (see photo/caption below), a 25-year old centre-back who scored 7 league goals, both made the 2017 League Two Team of the Year. On Monday 17 April 2017, Plymouth Argyle beat Newport County 6-1 in front of 13,971 at Home Park, and Plymouth Argyle clinched automatic promotion to the 3rd division, with 3 games to spare.
plymouth-argyle_promoted-2017_home-park_derek-adams_sonny-bradley_graham-carey_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
Plymouth Argyle 2016-17 jersey, illustration unattributed at footballkitnews.com. Aerial shot of Plymouth Harbour, photo unattributed at images.archant.co.uk. Plymouth Harbour, photo by devoncam.co.uk via pinterest.com jpg. Home Park, aerial photo unattributed at pinterest.com jpg. Argyle fans with giant PAFC/Green Army banner, photo by Getty Images via express.co.uk/football. Sonny Bradley, photo unattributed at sportskeeda.com/fa-cup-2016-17-liverpool-vs-plymouth-player-ratings. Graham Carey, photo from pafc.co.uk. Promotion-celebration, photo unattributed at upsu.com/media. Derek Adams, photo by Action Images via theleaguepaper.com.

• Doncaster Rovers FC.
Est. 1879. Nicknames: Donny; the Rovers. Colours: Red-&-White hoops [horizontally-striped jerseys]. Location: Doncaster, South Yorkshire, situated (by road) 23 miles (37 km) NE of Sheffield; and Doncaster is situated (by road) 177 miles (285 km) N of London. Population of Doncaster: around 109,000 {2011 census}.

Doncaster fanzine/podcast, Popular Stand (‘a football fanzine for the likes of Doncaster’).
-Great match report-with-photos from Doncaster’s promotion-clinching win in week 41, from a Mansfield Town fan, Doncaster Rovers 1 v Mansfield Town 0 – EFL League 2 (the66pow.blogspot.com)

Counting 2017-18, Doncaster Rovers have played 83 seasons in the Football League.
Doncaster have never played in the 1st division, but have played 16 seasons in the 2nd division, including 5 seasons in the recent past (2008-12; and in 2013-14). But for the majority of its time, Doncaster have been a lower-League club (with 35 seasons in the 3rd division, and 32 seasons in the 4th division). Doncaster Rovers were first elected to the Football League in 1901, but only lasted 2 seasons. They won re-election in 1903, but failed to be re-elected after a single season (1903-04). They had to wait two decades before returning to the League: Doncaster were elected back to the Football League in 1923 (replacing Stalybridge Celtic), and joined the Football League Third Division North in 1923-24. This time, Doncaster stayed in the League for a little over 8 decades. Their heyday was in the early 1950s, when, as a just-promoted-to-the-2nd-division side, in 1950-51, Doncaster drew a peak 20.8 K and finished in 11th. Donny played 8 seasons in the 2nd tier in the 1950s, but would not return to the second division for over half a century (51 years). After bouncing between the 3rd and 4th tiers all through the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, Doncaster were relegated out of the 4th division and into non-League football in 1997-98.

After 5 seasons in non-League football, in the 5th division/Conference National, Doncaster won promotion back to the Football League in 2003. That was the first season that there were 2 non-League teams promoted from the 5th division. And in the new Conference play-off Final of 2003, at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke, in front of 13 thousand, Doncaster beat Dagenham & Redbridge 3-2 in aet, with the winner scored in the 110th minute by Francis Tierney. Since then, Doncaster have remained in the League, and have had two spells in the 2nd division: a 4-season spell from 2008–09 to 2011–12, and in 2013–14. During this time period, as a second-division-side, Doncaster were drawing in the 9-to-10-K-range, at their 15.2-K-capacity ground, Keepmoat Stadium (which opened in 2007 and is owned by the club). But it all came unstuck in their most recent stint in the second tier: Doncaster ended up suffering 2 relegations in 3 seasons, and thus found themselves in the 4th division for 2016-17, with home crowds shrunk over four thousand, to 5.5 K. The thing about Doncaster is, they always seem to have just been relegated or promoted…and in fact, Doncaster have changed divisions 5 times in 6 seasons (2012: relegated to 3rd Div/ 2013: promoted to 2nd Div/ 2014: relegated to 3rd Div/ 2015: remained in 3rd Div/ 2016: relegated to 4th Div/ 2017: promoted to 3rd Div).

Manager of Doncaster: Darren Ferguson (age 45; born in Glasgow, Scotland). In October of 2015, Doncaster had hired Darren Ferguson as manager, when Rovers were hovering right above the relegation zone in the 3rd division. But Ferguson could not improve things, and Rovers went down. However, things changed in 2016-17, with Darren Ferguson’s first full year in charge at the Keepmoat Stadium. Consistency became their hallmark, and Doncaster did not lose two straight league matches all through the first 41 games of the season. On 8th April, 2017, with a 1-0 home win versus nearby rivals Mansfield Town, before 9.9 K, Doncaster clinched an immediate return to the 3rd tier (see photos and captions below). They did this with an impressive 5 games to spare. Darren Ferguson, son of Sir Alex, has now led his teams to promotion on 4 separate occasions: in 2008, 2009, and 2011 with Peterborough, and now in 2017 with Doncaster. Darren Ferguson was named League Two manager of the year. Two Rovers players (see photos and captions below) were named to the 2017 League Two Team of the Year: 36-year-old captain and attacking midfielder James Coppinger, and 25-year-old striker John Marquis. James Coppinger has been with Doncaster for 13 years now (since 2004), and the North Yorkshire/Teeside-born Coppinger has amassed over 500 appearances for Doncaster Rovers (most ever). To make the League Two Team of the Year at 36 years old is a remarkable accomplishment. John Marquis, who previously had 6 different loan spells as a Millwall player, was League Two joint-top-scorer (along with Barnet’s John Akinde), scoring 26 goals (and 2 assists). The 16/17 Doncaster Rovers had the most potent offense in the 4th division, scoring 85 goals (1.84 avg.). In addition to John Marquis, 3 other Rovers players scored in double figures: Tommy Rowe (13 goals/11 assists), Andrew Williams (11 goals/1 assist), and James Coppinger (10 goals/13 assists).
doncaster-rovers_promoted-2017_keepmoat-stadium_darren-ferguson_james-coppinger_john-marquis_tommy-rowe_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
Doncaster 16/17 jersey, photo unattributed at soccer365.com. Keepmoat Stadium, aerial photo unattributed at pinterest.com. James Coppinger, photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. John Marquis, photo from twitter.com/johnmarquis09 jpg. Goal (T. Rowe), photo by Davy Lamp at the66pow.blogspot.com/2017/04/doncaster-rovers-1-v-mansfield-town-0. Doncaster fans’ pitch invasion celebrating promotion: 1st photo [Doncaster 1-0 Mansfield Town, 8 April 2017], photo by PA via thes*n.co.uk; 2nd photo: by Davy Lamp at the66pow.blogspot.com. Darren Ferguson saluting Donny fans as Doncaster clinches promotion, photo by PA via yorkshirepost.co.uk/football.

• Blackpool FC.
Est. 1887. Nicknames: the Tangerines; the Seasiders. Colours: Tangerine [pale Orange] jerseys and White pants. Location: Blackpool, west Lancashire, situated (by road) 55 miles (86 km) N of Liverpool; and situated (by road) 248 miles (399 km) NW of London. Population of Blackpool: around 142,000 {2016 estimate}.

    Blackpool, winners of the 1953 FA Cup Final (aka the Matthews Final) (Blackpool 4-3 Bolton)…

1953 FA Cup Final (en.wikipedia.org).
blackpool_1953-fa-cup_winners_stan-mortensen_stanley-matthews_bill-perry_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -Stanley Matthews, photos: circa late 1940s, Matthews faking out defender, photo unattributed at dailymail.co.uk/football. 1953 tinted photo of Matthews in 1953 FA Cup Final, image unattributed at dailymail.co.uk/football; Matthews back at Stoke circa 1963, photo by PA at dailymail.co.uk/football.
Stan Mortenson: tinted print [ca. early 1950s], unattributed at ebay.com; 2nd photo (b/w), photo by PA via gettyimages.fi. Blackpool and Bolton 1953 badges from historicalkits.co.uk. Matthews dribbling in 1953 FA Cup final, photo by PA Wire/Press Association Images via dailymail.co.uk. Stan Mortensen scoring 2nd of 3 goals in 1953 FA Cup Final, photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images at theguardian.com/football. 2 shots of Matthews with winning cross (to Bill Perry in the 92nd minute): screenshot from video uploaded by Soccertackle at youtube.com; 2nd photo of Matthews’ cross to Perry, photo by PA via dailymail.co.uk/football. 2 shots of winning goal scored by Bill Perry, 1st photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images via gettyimages.de; 2nd photo of Bill Perry’s winning goal, by PA via dailymail.co.uk/football. Blackpool 1953 Cup final badge, photo by toffs.com/[Blackpool]. Captain Johnston, and Matthews, hoisted in celebration by Blackpool teammates, photo unattributed at intosport.co.uk/blackpool-1953-fa-cup-final-team-photo-memorabilia. Blackpool 1953 victory parade, photo unattributed at intosport.co.uk/blackpool-1953-fa-cup-final-open-top-bus-photo-memorabilia..

Manager of Blackpool: Gary Bowyer (age 46; born in Manchester).

Blackpool FC supporters’ boycott of Blackpool FC owners (the Oystons)…
Blackpool began fielding a threadbare squads which eventually saw back-to-back relegations to the 4th division by May 2016. Going back 7 years, when Blackpool had won promotion to the Premier League (in May 2010), there were over 35,000 Blackpool fans at Wembley, to watch their thrilling 3-2 League Championship play-off final victory over Cardiff City (total attendance that day was 82,244). This time, in Blackpool’s 2017 League Two play-off final versus Exeter City (which Blackpool won 2-1), there were only about 5,000 Blackpool supporters there (total attendance that day was 23,380). Now granted, a 4th-division play-off final at Wembley will invariably draw much less than a 2nd division final there would. But there should have been at least 40 K there, not the 23.3 K that were there.

And Blackpool’s home crowds at Bloomfield Road have dropped from 14.2 K to 3.4 K – a more than 10-thousand-per-game drop-off, in just 4 years. For context here are the last 7 seasons of home average attendance for Blackpool: 15.7 K in 2010-11 [1st Div]; 12.7 K in 2011-12 [2nd Div]; 13.9 K in 2012-13; 14.2 K in 2013-14 [2nd Div]; 11.1 K in 2014-15 [2nd Div]; 7.0 K in 2015-16 [3rd Div]; 3.4 K in 2016-17 [4th Div].

What changed? The answer is simply this: the absolutely poisonous atmosphere that the Oyston family has fomented up there on the Lancashire coast. A poisonous atmosphere which all began because the Oystons pocketed virtually all the millions in parachute cash after relegation out of the Premier League in 2011, and then went after fans who criticised their actions.
…“Oyston has had a poor relationship with Blackpool’s fans, mostly since the club’s relegation from the Premier League, due to a perceived lack of funding for the club’s stadium, playing staff and training ground. The relationship was described as being ‘at breaking point’ by Tim Fielding, the chair of the Blackpool Supporters Trust, in December 2014. Fielding resigned from his position the following month after the Oystons began legal action against him for comments he made on the internet, even though it was revealed that Karl Oyston had labelled Blackpool fan Stephen Smith a ‘massive retard’ and an ‘intellectual cripple’ in a text-message exchange two months earlier. The local newspaper, the Blackpool Gazette, subsequently decided to scrap Oyston’s weekly column ‘given such disgusting and offensive comments’. He was later charged with misconduct by the Football Association, a charge he appealed. The appeal was rejected by a tribunal, and he was given a ban from all footballing activities for six weeks and fined £40,000.” {-excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Oyston.}

-From Medium.com, Most Blackpool fans will boycott Wembley, you should know why (by Peter Wells on 21 May 2017 at medium.com)

Here is quote about the boycott of the Wembley match…“There’ll be plenty of Oyston Out scarves in the ground,” Andy Higgins, a member of the Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, [said]. “Most of us think that if you’re going to go and finance that family, who are intent on suing supporters, you’re financing litigation. That’s when they went too far. Litigation against your own fans is beyond the pale.” {-quote from article written by Jacob Steinberg at theguardian.com/football.}

And as John Ashdown at the Guardian said, “That so few Blackpool fans – only just over 5,000 – were here to witness what should have been a celebratory occasion is testament to the depth of resentment against the Oyston family’s ownership of the club. This result will prompt mixed feelings for those on the Fylde coast who fear a victory for the team is a victory for the regime.” {-excerpt from Blackpool’s Mark Cullen sinks Exeter City in League Two play-off final, by John Ashdown on 28 May 2017 at theguardian.com/football}.
blackpool_promoted-2017_bloomfield-road_kelvin-mellor_brad-potts_mark-cullen_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
16/17 Blackpool jersey, photo unattrributed at afcblackpool.co.uk. Blackpool Tower, photo by zergo512 at File:Blackpool tower from central pier ferris wheel.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Bloomfield Road, photo by Footyawaydays via lets-hang-on.com. Kelvin Mellor, photo by camerasport.photoshelter.com jpg. Brad Potts, photo by CameraSport/Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football. Empty seats at Wembley because of Blackpool supporter-boycott, photo by Daniel Storey at twitter.com/danielstorey85 jpg. Mark Cullen celebrating winning goal, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football.
___
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 en.wikipedia, at EFL League One (en.wikipedia.org).

August 28, 2016

2016–17 Football League One (3rd division England): map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./+ 4 promoted clubs for the 2016-17 3rd division (Northampton Town, Oxford United, Bristol Rovers, AFC Wimbledon).

2016-17_football-league-one_map_w-2016-crowds_titles_seasons-in-1st-division_post_f_.gif
2016–17 Football League One (3rd division England, incl Wales): map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division



By Bill Turianski on 28 August 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-2016–17 Football League One (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…LEAGUE ONE [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).
-Kits…Sky Bet League One 2016 – 2017 [Kits of teams in 16/17 League One] (historicalkits.co.uk).
-Predictions, from a blog which I admire…TTU GO PREDICTING: A CLUB-BY-CLUB LEAGUE 1 PREVIEW 2016-17 (thetwounfortunates.com).

    Below: illustrations for the 4 promoted clubs for the 2016-17 3rd division…
    (Northampton Town, Oxford United, Bristol Rovers, AFC Wimbledon).

Northampton Town won the 2015-16 League Two by a whopping 13 points and return to the 3rd division for the first time in 7 seasons (the Cobblers’ previous stint in the 3rd division being a 3-season-spell ending in 2008-09).

Oxford United finished in 2nd place in the 15/16 League Two, and return to the 3rd tier for the first time in 15 seasons (a spell which included 4 years in Non-League football [2007-08 to 2009-10]).

• Back-to-back promoted Bristol Rovers finished 3rd in League Two last season, and are now back in the 3rd division for the first time in 6 seasons (a spell which included one year in Non-League [in 2014-15]).

• And AFC Wimbledon won the 2015-16 League Two play-offs Final (2-0, over Plymouth Argyle), and the 14-year-old supporter-owned club from South West London make their 3rd-division-debut in 2016-17.

• Northampton Town FC

Est. 1897. Nickname: the Cobblers. Colours: Claret and White. Location: Northampton, Northamptonshire, situated (by road) 97 km (64 mi) NW of central London; also, Northampton is situated (by road) 87 km (61 mi) SE of Birmingham. Population of Northampton is around 212,000 {2011 census}. Northampton Town are nicknamed the Cobblers because the town was a major centre of shoemaking and other leather industries; the economy in Northampton these days is much-less manufacturing-based, and now more distribution-and-finance-based.

Northampton Town play in a stadium which would seem to have a too-small capacity for a town of its size.
Northampton has a town-population of around 212,000 [2011 census}, yet Northampton Town play at the Sixfields Stadium, which has a capcity of only 7.7 K. That can be explained by the fact that this part of Northamptonshire is rugby-union-county. Rugby union Premiership side Northampton Saints RFC are a 1st division rugby team which vastly outdraws Northampton Town, and whose stadium is more than twice the size of the Cobblers' ground. The Saints rugby union club draws around 10-to-12 K, versus the 4.2-to-6.0-K which the Cobblers have drawn since they moved in to Sixfields in 1994-95. (Northampton Town drew 5.2 K last season [2015-16].)

Northampton Town have been primarily a lower-Leagues club, with 89 seasons spent in the Football League [first in 1920-21], all but four seasons of which have been spent either in the 3rd division [with 48 seasons including 2016-17], or in the 4th division [with 38 seasons]. {NTFC League history, here.} (Note: there is an article on the single season Northampton Town spent in the First Division, 1965-66, further below.)

Manager of Northampton Town:
Rob Page (age 41), born in Llwynypia, Rhondda Valley, South Wales. Rob Page, as a player, was a defender who made 104 league appearances for Sheffield United (2001-04) and 70 league appearances for Coventry City (2005-08), as well as 41 appearances for the Wales national team (1996-2005). Page came over to Northampton Town after a one-and-two-thirds-seasons stint as manager of Port Vale (with 3rd-division finishes of 18th and 12th).

Rob Page replaced Chris Wilder.
Chris Wilder had got Northampton Town promoted as League Two champions in May 2016. That was after Wilder had left the 6th-place-Oxford United in January 2015, and joined bottom-of-the-table Northampton Town. It seemed to be a head-scratcher as to why Wilder would leave a bigger and higher-placed club (Oxford), for a club like Northampton, which looked doomed to be relegated to the Conference. As the BBC said {here}, “…people will question the Wilder move”… Ha! The question actually ended up being this…Why hasn’t any bigger club noticed how solid a manager Chris Wilder is? Of course I say that now with the luxury of hindsight, because Wilder kept the all-but-relegated Northampton Town up in the spring of 2015, moving them half-way up the table to a solid 12th-place finish. Then the following season, Wilder led the cash-strapped Cobblers to automatic promotion to League One. Northampton Town simply cruised to the league title, finishing 13 points higher than the 2nd-place-finishers, Wilder’s former club, Oxford United. Then finally, a bigger club noticed, and in June of 2016, Wilder signed on as the manager of arguably the biggest club currently in the 3rd tier, Sheffield United.

Four standout players on the 2016-16 Northampton squad…
Further below can be seen the two top offensive threats for Northampton Town in 2016-17 – Ricky Holmes & Marc Richards. Ricky Holmes led the team in assists (with 10 assists in league games), and scored 9 league goals as well, and was one of three Cobblers players selected for the 2015-16 League Two Team of the Year {see this}. In June 2016, Holmes was transferred to Charlton for a fee of £675,000. Marc Richards, in his second stint with the Cobblers, is age 34. Richards led the Cobblers with 15 league goals last season. Richards still starts for Northampton Town, as of August of the 2016-17 season. Also still in the Cobblers’ squad as of August 2016-17 are two more players shown below. Both were also selected to the Team of the Year: goalkeeper Adam Smith (age 23), and the Northampton Town Player of the Year, John-Joe O’Toole. O’Toole is a cult hero at Town, and is a scrappy 27-year-old attacking midfielder who scored 12 league goals (plus 2 assists) in 15/16.
northampton-town_sixfields_ricky-holmes_marc-richards_adam-smith_john-joe-otoole_b.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
NTFC 16/17 jersey, photo by footballshirtculture.com/16/17-Kits/northampton-town. The Drapery (Northampton town centre), photo by Gordon Cragg/Geograph.org via bbc.co.uk. Exterior photo of Sixfields from ridge above stadium, photo unattributed at footballtripper.com. Photo of Ricky Holmes and Marc Richards celebrating their teams’ promotion at Sixfields (with bubbly), photo by Pete Norton /Getty Images via gettyimages.com. Photo of Adam Smith, photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Photo of John-Joe O’Toole, photo by Northampton Chronicle and Echo at northamptonchron.co.uk.


Article:

    Northampton Town’s meteoric decade of the 1960s, with 3 promotions & 3 relegations in a 9-season span…

From 1960-61 to 1968-69, the Cobblers had a stunning and meteoric 9-season-/-3-promotions-/-then-3-relegations rise and fall. During this period, Northampton played their solitary season in the First Division. That was in 1965-66, when Northampton Town finished 21st out of 22, and went straight back down. Then they were relegated twice more in three seasons, and by 1969-70, the Cobblers were right back where they started the decade, in the basement of the Football League. The man who was most responsible for getting Northampton Town in to the top flight for that solitary season was Dave Bowen. Dave Bowen was born in Maesteg, Glamorgan, South Wales. He was in training as a collier at 17 when his family moved to Northamptonshire. Bowen joined the Northampton Town set-up in 1947, as a 19-year-old, and by 1950 he had made 12 appearances for the senior squad. In 1950, during National Service duties with the RAF, Bowen met Pat Whittaker, the son of Arsenal manager George. That led to his signing with Arsenal, and Bowen went on to play for the Gunners for 9 seasons as a defensive midfielder (Wing Half), and later, as the Arsenal team captain (1957-59). (Dave Bowen also captained Wales when they qualified for and then played in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.) After 146 league appearances for Arsenal, Bowen returned to Northampton Town, in 1959-60, as player/manager (he retired from the field in 1961).

In Dave Bowen’s second season managing Northampton Town, in 1960-61, the Cobblers won promotion to the Third Division…
By this time, Bowen was becoming known as a canny manager who could assemble a very competent squad on a shoestring budget. Bowen was also becoming a great locker-room motivator. Two seasons later, in 1962-63, Northampton were positively rampant, scoring 109 goals (in 42 games, making for an astounding 2.59 goals-scored-per-game ). Northampton Town won the Third Division title that season, finishing 4 points above Swindon Town (and with a +48 goal difference). In 1963-64, Northampton Town made their Second Division debut, finishing a credible 11th. The following season, 1964-65, propelled by a mid-season 17-match unbeaten run, Northampton clinched an improbable promotion to the top flight, finishing in 2nd place, 2 points behind Newcastle United. Further below, in the first illustration, you can see a colour-photo from May of 1965 at the County Cricket Ground (where Northampton Town played for 97 years [1897-1994]). In the photo below, the just-promoted Northampton team are saluting their fans with a Thank You banner, as they take a victory lap of sorts. I say “a victory lap of sorts”, because the County Cricket Ground was one of the more odd Football League venues. It was a dual-football-cricket-venue, and for football it had stands on only 3 sides and a wide swath of grass (to complete the cricket-field) on the fourth side {see this photo}.

Here is a great, and recent article about 1960s-era Northampton Town…from The Football Pink.net, from 19 October 2015, by Mark Godfrey, What a load of Cobblers! (footballpink.net).

1965-66: Northampton’s fairy tale season in the First Division started out more like a nightmare, as they went win-less in their first 14 matches…
In 1965-66, the Cobblers were pretty much out of their league in the First Division, and heavy defeats would come at the hands of Everton, Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Stoke City. But they finally got their first win on 23 October 1965, over West Ham United, and as mid-season approached, the team had acclimated, and began to mount a relegation battle. Along the way they set a club-record for home attendance – with a 24,523 crowd at the County Cricket Ground, in a loss versus Fulham in late April 1966. A win against Sunderland the following week didn’t change the fact that the Cobblers now needed other results to go their way, and the Cobblers conceded relegation on the last game of the season. One small solace was that they had won both derby matches against nearby Aston Villa (located about 60 miles west). A notable achievement in Northampton Town’s 1965-66 season was made by Cobblers FW Barry Lines (1960-69), who became the first player ever to score in all four divisions of the Football League for the same club. Though, granted, the Fourth Division had been instituted just 7 seasons earlier (in 1958-59.)

Following relegation from the First Division in May 1966, Northampton would get relegated again the next May (1967), and two seasons later another relegation in May of 1969 would find them back in the Fourth Division. Since then, Northampton Town have never again been in the 2nd division, let alone in the top flight. And no club in the English football pyramid has ever come close to going the 3-promotions-then-3-relegations route in so short a time as in the 9 years it took Northampton Town to do so. As it says in the article by Mark Godfrey linked to 3 paragraphs above {or here}…”In English football, only Swansea City come close to matching this ‘achievement’. The Swans’ rise and fall was encompassed neatly within sixteen years between 1970 and 1986. [And] Carlisle United did it in twenty-two years between 1964 and 1987.”
northampton-town_1960s_3-promotions_1965-66_1st-div_3-relegations_dave-bowen_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Image of 1960s-era Lilywhite postcard [of The Drapery section of Northampton town centre circa 1960s], image uploaded by Kevin Lane at flickr.com. Photo of 1964-67 Northampton Town retro jersey, by Toffs at toffs.com. Photo of Dave Bowen [as Arsenal player in the late 1950s], photo by Arsenal FC at arsenal.com/history/profiles/dave-bowen. Illustration of Arsenal 1947-57 kit, illustration by historicalkits.co.uk/Arsenal. 1962-63 Northampton Town Third Division team, photo by Bob Thomas/Popperphoto via Getty Images via gettyimages.co.uk. Illustration of Northampton Town 1965-66 kit, illustration by historicalkits.co.uk/Northampton_Town. Photo of Northampton Town squad in front of airplane which would fly them to their first First Division match in Plymouth, photo unattributed at footballpink.net/what-a-load-of-cobblers-northampton-towns-class-of-66; from the book Northampton Town: A Season in the Sun (1965-66), by Mark Beesely {here}. Color photo of 1964-65 Northampton squad parading a Thank You banner to the fans, at the old County Cricket Ground [circa May 1965], photo by Bob Thomas/Popperphoto via gettyimages.co.uk. Team-photo of 1965-66 Northampton Town squad, photo unattributed at footballpink.net/what-a-load-of-cobblers-northampton-towns-class-of-66; from the book Northampton Town: A Season in the Sun (1965-66), by Mark Beesely {here}.

    • Oxford United FC

Est. 1893, as Headington United. Nickname: the U’s. Colours: Yellow and Oxford Blue [Navy Blue]. Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire, situated (by road) 95 km (59 mi) WNW of central London; also, Oxford is situated (by road) 48 km (30 mi) NE of hated rivals Swindon. Population (city-population of Oxford is around 159,000 {2013 estimate}; the metro-area-population of Oxford is around 244,000 {2011 census}. (Oxford is the 52nd-largest city in the United Kingdom {2013 figure}.)

Oxford United League history {here} (oxfordunited-mad.co.uk).

Manager of Oxford United:
Michael Appleton (age 40), born in Salford [which is now part of Greater Manchester]. By getting Oxford United their long-sought-after promotion back to the 3rd division, Michael Appleton helped to restore his reputation as an up-and-coming manager. A defender in his playing days, Appleton had made 121 league appearances for Preston North End (1997-2001). Appleton then moved on to West Bromwich Albion, but he ended up making only 31 league appearances for the West Midlands side. Appleton was forced to retire early, in 2003, after a knee injury – and then a botched knee-operation – which he had suffered two years before. After retirement, he remained with the Baggies, coaching the WBA youth set-up for 5 years. In 2009, he became part of the West Bromwich senior squad’s coaching staff. Appleton began to get a reputation as a solid judge of talent, and a young coach with potential. In November of 2011, Appleton got his first shot at a manager’s job, when he was hired by then-2nd-division side Portsmouth. But the Portsmouth manager job at that point in time was no plum position. That was because Pompey were in their protracted supporter-takeover process, and the club was hampered by a no-cash-flow-situation, ongoing court-cases, and the looming threat of relegation(s) due to points-deduction. Portsmouth did get relegated from the 2nd division that season [2011-12], but the penalty of a 10-points-deduction (due to falling into administration) was the real culprit there (Portsmouth finished 8 points below the drop).

The next season, in November 2012, Appleton sort of left Portsmouth twisting in the wind, when he jumped ship and signed on as manager of then-2nd-division-side Blackpool. This move would backfire on Appleton, seeing as how Blackpool were (and still are) run by the divisive Oystons. Appleton lasted just 11 league games for the now-stuck-in-the-4th-division-Blackpool, resigning in January 2013. Then Appleton was able to win the Blackburn Rovers manager’s position, but, again, Appleton walked into a set-up where the ownership was severely at loggerheads with the bulk of the home-support. The owners of Blackburn Rovers were and still are the Venky’s chicken-processing conglomerate. An example of how clueless the folks who run Blackburn Rovers are is this…when they bought the then-Premier-League club Blackburn Rovers, the chicken-kings from Pune, India did not even know that clubs in England (like Blackburn) could actually get relegated. They thought they were buying a franchise which would always stay in the top flight (seriously). But I digress. Appleton barely lasted 2 months with the probably-going-nowhere-but-down Blackburn, then he was sacked in March 2013.

Oxford United hires Michael Appleton prior to the 2014-15 season…
But, 15 months later, in June 2014, Appleton got another shot, and was hired as Oxford United manager. In his first season in charge, Appleton’s Oxford United had a mediocre 14th-place finish [in 2014-15]. The following season, however, Appleton got Oxford promoted, as the U’s finished in 2nd place, after spending most of the season in the automatic promotion places. And so Oxford United had returned to the 3rd division after a 16-year absence. As Appleton told BBC {here}, “There’s a lot of people who say you can’t get out of this league playing decent football, but I’d go as far as to say you can get out of this league doing that and this is just the start of it.”

Last season, second-place finishers Oxford United led the 4th division in scoring, with 84 goals, as well as having best goal-difference (of +43). And the U’s lost just one of their final 10 games. Two Oxford players were selected to the 2015-16 League Two Team of the Year…the on-loan defender George Baldock and midfielder Kemar Roofe. But neither are with Oxford for 2016-17, as Baldock has rejoined Milton Keynes, and Kemar Roofe (who was also selected as League Two Player of the Year/see him below) was sold to Leeds United in the summer of 2016 for a fee of £3 million. One standout player for Oxford United who will return for 2016-17 is the 26-year-old midfielder Liam Sercombe (see him below).

oxford-united_the-kassam-stadium_kemar-roofe_liam-sercombe_michael-appleton_f_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
16/17 Oxford United jersey, photo unattributed at footballkitnews.com
Oxford skyline shot at golden-twilight, photo by Dillif at File: Oxford Skyline Panorama from St Mary’s Church – Oct. 2006. View of Oxford near the town centre, photo by Lauren Meshkin at bonvoyagelauren.com/photo-essay-a-sunny-day-in-oxford-england. Aerial view of the Kassam Stadium, photo by Dave Price at geograph.org. Photo of Kemar Roofe, photo by AFP/Getty Images via mirror.co.uk/football. Photo of Liam Sercombe, photo by the Oxford Times at oxfordtimes.co.uk/sport. Screenshot of Michael Appleton being congratulated by supporters after Oxford clinched promotion [last game of 2015-126 season], image from video at bbc.com/football.

    • Bristol Rovers FC

Est. 1893, as Black Arabs FC. Nickname: the Black Pirates; BRFC are also nicknamed the Gas (so-named, because Bristol Rovers’ old ground, Eastville Stadium [BRFC played there from 1897 to 1986] was located next to an odiferous natural gas-holding facility [aka a gasometer]). Colours: Pale-Royal-Blue and White Quarters. Location: Horfield, a northern ward in the Bristol Unitary Authority, situated (by road) 190 km (118 mi) W of central London; also, Bristol is situated (by road) 22 km (14 mi) NW of Bath. Population: city/unitary-authority-[county]-population of Bristol is around 449,000 {2015 estimate}; the metro-area-population of Bristol is around 1 million {2009 estimate}. Bristol is the 8th-largest city in the United Kingdom.

Bristol Rovers League history {here} (bristolrovers-mad.co.uk).

Manager of Bristol Rovers:
Darrell Clarke (age 37), born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Clarke was appointed manager of the floundering Bristol Rovers in March of 2014, after then-manager John Ward stepped down and was appointed Director Football there. Clarke could do nothing to reverse Bristol Rovers’ fortunes that season (they were relegated out of the Football League on the final day of the 14/15 season). But Darrell Clarke stayed on with Bristol Rovers as they made their 5th-division debut, and the Rovers reversed the recent trend of League teams being stuck in the Non-League Wilderness, by winning automatic promotion straight back to the 4th division. As it says in his Wikipedia page,”[Darrell Clarke] oversaw a rapid turnover of players for the 2014–15 season, releasing 16 players and signing 13 players on free transfers, including striker Matty Taylor. After a poor start Rovers rose up the table and ended the campaign in second place, one point behind Barnet. Clarke led Rovers to promotion with a 5–3 penalty shoot-out victory over Grimsby Town at Wembley Stadium in the 2015 Conference Premier play-off Final on 17 May 2015, after a 1–1 draw after extra time. He won three Manager of the Month awards during the season, in September, December and February”. Then Darrell Clarke led the Bristol Rovers to a second-straight promotion the following season of 2015-16 (more on that below).

Bristol Rovers FW Matt Taylor led the 2015-16 League Two in scoring (with 27 league-goals)….
Last season, the 25-year-old former-Chester-and-former-Forest-Green striker Matty Taylor scored 28 goals in all competitions for Bristol Rovers, as the north Bristol side claimed 3rd place, and the last automatic promotion spot, in the 15/16 League Two. Even on points, Bristol Rovers ended up beating out poor-old Accrington Stanley, on goal difference {table}. (Then, of course, Stanley lost in the play-offs.) Bristol Rovers secured their promotion only in the 92nd minute of the final game, which was a 2-1 home win over Dagenham & Redbridge, before a near-full-capacity crowd of 11,130, at the Memorial Stadium in Horfield, Bristol. The winning and promotion-clinching goal was scored by Rovers defender Lee Brown, off of a rebound off the goal-post, from a shot by Matty Taylor (see fuzzy screenshots below). Then there was a massive pitch invasion by the Gas faithful (see it further below). A few months later, Taylor signed a new deal with the Gas. Bristol Rovers, led by young manager Darrell Clarke, have now achieved back-to-back promotions. Three-peat, anyone? Up the Gas !
bristol-rovers_horfield_memorial-stadium_back-to-back_promotions_2015-and-2016_matty-taylor_lee-brown_darrell-clarke_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
16/17 Bristol Rovers jersey, photo by brfcdirect.co.uk/Bristol-Rovers-Home-Shirt-2016-17. Aerial view of Clifton Suspension Bridge, photo by Harris Aerial Images at harrisaerialimages.com. Street-view shot of Gloucester Road in Horfield, Bristol, photo by weirdoldhattie at File:A38 Gloucester Road Bristol.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Roof-top view of Memorial Stadium, photo unattributed at worldrugbymuseumblog.wordpress.com. Terrace-view of looming Main Stand at Memorial Stadium, photo by groundhopperunited.com/ [April 2012] memorial-stadium. Matty Taylor, photo by Rex Features via bbc.com/football. Screenshot of promotion clinching goal for BRFC: 1st image and 2nd image from youtube.com video uploaded by jedi gas at BRISTOL ROVERS 2 V DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE 1..7 May 2016. Bristol Rovers fans’ pitch invasion of 7 May 2016, photo by Bristol Post at bristolpost.co.uk/fans-hold-street-party-celebrate-bristol-rovers. BRFC manager Darrell Clarke celebrating back-to-back promotions with the Gas faithful, photo by JMP/REX/Shutterstock via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. Lee Brown, carried off the field by BRFC fans, photo by Press Association (PA) via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football.

• AFC Wimbledon

Est. 2002. Nickname: the Wombles; the [original] Dons. Colours: Royal Blue with Yellow trim. Location: Kingston upon Thames, South West London.

Manager of AFC Wimbledon:
Neil Ardley (age 43), born in Epsom, Surrey. Ardley played as a right-back/defensive-midfielder for Wimbledon FC for 11 seasons (from 1991-2002, making 245 league appearances and scoring 18 goals). He also made 111 league appearances for Watford, had a season with Cardiff City, and finished his playing career with Millwall in 2006-07. He began his coaching career in 2007, and he ran the Cardiff City youth set-up for 5 years. He was hired by AFC Wimbledon in October 2012, when the club, who were at that time in their second season in the Football League, were in a very precarious position, sitting just above the relegation zone. Ardley then proceeded to guide AFC Wimbledon marginally up the table and away from the drop, but only just – it wasn’t until the final day of the 12/13 League Two season that they avoided relegation, by a point (Barnet and Aldershot went down that year). After that, Ardley led AFC Wimbledon to 4th-tier finishes of 20th, 15th, and then to 7th last season, when they qualified for the final play-off spot. Then they caught fire and won the 2016 League Two play-offs (see below/ you can see Neil Ardley in the centre of the 5th photo below). Lyle Taylor was Wimbledon’s leading scorer in 2015-16, netting 22 league goals. The Greenwich, South East London-born and Montserrat-international Taylor also came through in the play-offs, scoring the-go-ahead goal in aet of the 2nd leg of the semi-finals (versus Accrington). And then Lyle Taylor scored the first goal in the Final at Wembley (versus Plymouth). George Francombe led AFC Wimbledon last season with 11 assists in league games (plus he scored 3 goals). Another play-offs-goal-scoring-hero, Adebayo Akinfenwa (aka Beast Mode), has moved on to 4th-tier side Wycombe.

Below are all the goal-scorers in the 2016 League Two play-offs for Wimbledon…
afc-wimbledon_2016-promotion_tom-beere_lyle-taylor_adebayo-akinfenwa-beast-mode_neil-ardsley_f_.gif
Photo of Tom Beere scoring in play-offs 1st R/1st leg, photo by BPI/Rex/Shutterstock via theguardian.com/football. Photo of Adebayo Akinfenwa after scoring in play-offs 1st R/2nd leg, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football. Photo of Lyle Taylor being carried on shoulders of fans following win, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football. Photo of Lyle Taylor scoring in Play-offs Final, photo by REX/Shutterstock via mirror.co.uk/football. Photo of Neil Ardley about to congratulated Lyle Taylor for scoring in the Final, photo unattributed at fourfourtwo.com. Photo of Adebayo Akinfenwa scoring a penalty kick, photo by Matthew Aston/AMA/Getty Images via theguardian.com/football. Photo of AFC Wimbledon squad celebrating at the podium, photo unattributed at mirror.co.uk/football.

Current location of AFC Wimbledon, and the location of the new stadium the club plans to build (back in their spiritual home in Wimbledon)…
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Image credit above – Map by billsportsmaps.com/blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.

AFC Wimbledon currently play at Kingsmeadow [aka the Cherry Red Records Stadium], which is located in the Norbiton area of Kingston upon Thames, South West London. (The Norbiton area of Kingston upon Thames is located 18 km (11 mi) SW of central London.) Kingsmeadow has a capacity 4,850 (2,265 seated), and opened in 1989. The original owner of the ground was the 7th division club Kingstonian FC, and they still play there. AFC Wimbledon bought the ground from Kingstonian in 2003, with very favourable lease-terms for Kingstonian {see this}. Kingsmeadow is about 7 miles west of where Wimbledon FC played, at the old Plough Lane (tumblr.com). The spiritual home of AFC Wimbledon is Wimbledon, borough of Merton, South-West London. AFC Wimbledon intend to move back to the Wimbledon area, into a purpose-built stadium, and plans were well underway for that. (Note: you can see the site of the proposed new stadium on the map above). But then the mayor of London (at the time), Boris Johnson, tried to scuttle it in the early spring of 2016 (he is a kill-joy Tory, after all). But a reprieve has come in the shape of London’s new mayor – Sadiq Khan (take that, Brexit voters – a Muslim is going to save AFC Wimbledon’s new stadium). See this, from 22 August 2016, AFC Wimbledon: Sadiq Khan returns Plough Lane stadium decision to Merton Council (bbc.com/football).

-{Also see this, ‘All systems go’: Sadiq Khan hands back Plough Lane AFC Wimbledon stadium decision to Merton Council (yourlocalguardian.co.uk).}
-{Also see this, London mayor backs AFC Wimbledon’s plans for Plough Lane return (PA article via espnfc.com).}

Update: [from 15 September 2016]: Council stands by AFC Wimbledon decision; excerpt: ” The cross-party planning committee noted the Mayor’s decision and the unanimous decision it made in December 2015 to give the go-ahead to AFC Wimbledon and Galliard Homes. Officers will now finalise the planning process of completing legal agreements and look forward to progressing delivery on site. The council has always been adamant that the Plough Lane site should be for sporting intensification. The new development will eventually comprise over 600 much-needed new homes, a 20,000 seater stadium, retail space, a squash and fitness club, car and cycle parking.” (news.merton.gov.uk).

Below is a photo of the Raynes Park neighborhood of Wimbledon in the London borough of Merton; and an old [circa-late-1980s] photo of old Plough Lane; and an exterior-shot and a small panoramic shot of Kingsmeadow; plus a bunch of photos of present-day fans of the club: AFC Wimbledon supporters at the 2016 League Two play-offs semi-finals match at Kingsmeadow [photos from 14 May 2016 match of AFC Wimbledon 1-0 Accrington Stanley. Attendance: an overflow and record-setting crowd of 4,870].
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Photo and Image credits above -
Photo of 16/17 AFC Wimbledon jersey, photo unattributed at footballkitnews.com. Photo of river-side view of Kingston Bridge and Railway Bridge in Kingston upon Thames, Greater London, photo by Alan McFadden {here} at britainfromabove.org.uk. Photo of the Raynes Park Tavern in Wimbledon, borough of Merton, photo by Stuart Smith at panoramio.com. Circa-1980s shot of Plough Lane, photo by Getty Images via bbc.com/sport/football. Photo of entrance to Kingsmeadow, photo by phildanmatt.weebly.com/afc-wimbledon. Photo of Kingsmeadow (panorama of interior), photo by Groundhopping The Globe! site at phildanmatt.weebly.com/afc-wimbledon. The 8 photos of AFC Wimbledon fans are by Louis Darling at GetWestLondon.co.uk at: getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/afc-wimbledon-1-0-accrington [Gallery].

Article:

    AFC Wimbledon were established as a wholly-supporter-owned Protest-club of Wimbledon FC, in 2002…

{See these quotes from, Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes, which points out this…” the Milton Keynes Development Corporation envisaged a stadium in the town hosting top-flight football and was keen on the idea of an established League team relocating there.”…, and which begins with this sentence…”Wimbledon Football Club relocated to Milton Keynes in September 2003, 16 months after receiving permission to do so from an independent commission appointed by the Football Association.” (en.wikipedia.org).}

So the question is…Why didn’t Wimbledon FC-owner/Milton Keynes FC-owner Pete Winkelman just buy an existing club in the Milton Keynes area and then try to move them up the football leagues ladder, like AFC Wimbledon later did, and, you know, like every other club in the history of English football has done? The answer is that Pete Winkelman felt he was entitled to contravene over one hundred years of tradition and behavior, and take a club away from its supporters, simply because he could (and because it was easier)… and then 2 of the 3 guys that the FA entrusted to make a decision on this, one of whom is a lawyer (solicitor), agreed, because in their infamous words, keeping Wimbledon FC in South London where all their fans were was “not in the wider interests of football”.

In 2002, after Wimbledon FC had been taken over by outside interests (Winkelman and company), the new ownership essentially turned the original Wimbledon FC into a franchise. They did this by moving the club (against the wishes of virtually all its supporters), 56 miles north, to the New-town of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, as Milton Keynes FC (aka McFranchise; aka the McDons) (est 2004). In other words, Milton Keynes stole Wimbledon’s team AND their League-place. So the football authorities let outside interests steal Wimbledon FC from their supporters, and the football authorities gave their approval for the League-placement-theft – by Milton Keynes – of Wimbledon’s League-place. You might say Wimbledon FC was not worth much circa 2002 – as the club was basically homeless and in considerable debt. But Wimbledon FC’s League-place? Well, that was (and still is) priceless. Because anyone can start a football club in England (and they still do). But to start a football club, in England, means that the football authorities (the FA) will place that new club way down in the nether-reaches of the football pyramid. Like in the 7th level or the 8th level or the 9th level (which was where AFC Wimbledon started out, in 2002-03). But the FA, in 2002, basically let Milton Keynes circumvent this, as Wimbledon FC became Milton Keynes FC…and thus, suddenly, Milton Keynes had a club in the Football League. Without playing their way up the ladder. And by “re-locating” someone else’s club.

All the money in the world does not get you a Football League club. You have to earn it, on the field, by winning enough promotions, until you arrive into the 4th division. Now granted, prior to 1986-87, Non-League clubs did not play their way into the League per se, because before 1986-87, there was no automatic promotion between Non-League football and the 92-team/4-division Football League. As it says in the link at the top of this section (again, {here}), “The bottom four clubs [in the 4th division] had to apply for re-election by the other member clubs at the end of each season, alongside any non-League teams who wished to take their place.” The bottom clubs of the lowest Football League division had to go ‘cap-in-hand’ to the General Meeting of the Football League each off-season, and endure a vote by their Football League colleagues, who also considered the applications of ambitious Non-League clubs eager to join the Football League.

So clubs in this era (1888-89 to 1985-86) still did have to earn it, because all the Football League clubs each off-season would only elect Non-League clubs into the League which (in their minds) did have the merit…the merit to cut it in the Football League. And if clubs couldn’t cut it in the League, they would get voted out in due time. And in the latter stages of the election-for-promotion/relegation format, indeed in all the post-War years, very few Non-League clubs were being elected into the League, and most seasons no clubs were being elected – at all – into the League. To see how hard it was, take a look at the chart in the following link, {here, Promotion to/Relegation from the Football League by year (thepyramid.info)}, which shows that in the last 40 seasons of the Football League’s election-for-promotion/relegation format (1946-47 to 1985-86), only 7 clubs were elected into the Football League (Workington elected in, 1951; Peterborough Utd elected in, 1960; Oxford Utd elected in, 1962; Cambridge Utd elected in, 1972; Hereford Utd elected in, 1972; Wimbledon FC elected in, 1977; Wigan Athletic elected in, 1978). That’s it…7 Non-League clubs elected in to the Football League in the last 40 seasons of the election-for-promotion/relegation format. That means that for 4 decades, only 17 percent of the time was there even one solitary Non-League club allowed in to join the League. That is how hard it was, back then, to get into the Football League.

It has always been very tough to get into the Football League. Then the rules changed in 1986-87, and the top division of Non-League football (the 5th division) was given an automatic promotion-place. Since 1986-87, a club truly does have to play their way in to the Football League. And that should have been when the Milton Keynes Development Council (which was still in existence, and existed until 1992), and by extension, the Milton Keynes town leaders, should have stopped trying to “re-locate” (ie, steal) other fans’ League clubs. Because after 1986, Non-League clubs could now play their way into the Football League. (Besides having first tried to “re-locate” / read: steal Wimbledon FC in the late 1970s, the Milton Keynes Development Commission had tried to “re-locate” [steal] Charlton Athletic in the early 1970s, and then they had tried to “re-locate” [steal] Luton Town in the mid-1980s {see, again, the second paragraph here}.) But no, the town fathers running Milton Keynes still felt they could only get a Football League team if they STOLE ONE. Forget about investing in local Milton Keynes/Bucks/Bedfordshire lower-Non-League football clubs like Bletchley Town [now defunct], or Wolverton Town & B.R. [now defunct], or Stony Stratford Town, or New Bradwell St Peter, or Newport Pagnell Wanderers (Newport Pagnell Town from 1972). No, those people running things in that new-town 45 miles north of London decided they would rather not invest in any of the aforementioned local football clubs (not very civic-minded of them). Instead, circa the late 1980s and onward, the movers and shakers of Milton Keynes decided they would still rather try to nick a pre-existing League club. Less bother for them (or so they thought). So it’s not just that Milton Keynes “re-located” (read: stole) a football club from South London. That is a crime in itself. But the real crime is that Milton Keynes stole something priceless…a hard-earned place in the Football League. End of.

And so in early 2002, the heartbroken supporters of Wimbledon FC said, “Sod it, let’s just form our own club.”
And they did. They formed AFC Wimbledon, and they put up flyers on signposts in the area announcing an open tryout for players, on the Common in Wimbledon (true story). Then, essentially skint, the supporters who ran and owned the threadbare-but-proud-AFC Wimbledon put together squads which were good enough to get AFC Wimbledon promoted 6 times in 14 seasons. Up from the 9th division to the 3rd division.

Fourteen years later and with 6 promotions under their belt, AFC Wimbledon are now an established Football League club in the 3rd tier…
In 2016-17, AFC Wimbledon are a club which is now playing in the same division as the team that supplanted them – Milton Keynes FC. Meanwhile, Pete Winkelman, who took over a second-division team in 2002, went on to build a 30-K-capacity White Elephant in Milton Keynes. A stadium for a team that is these days playing to about 21 thousand empty seats per game – or a pathetic 29 percent-capacity. AFC Wimbledon are playing to 82 percent-capacity these days, and a new stadium is weeks from being approved. And Milton Keynes FC – well, they just got relegated straight back down from the League Championship last season. Because even with all that filthy new-town lucre, the McDons still couldn’t hack it in the 2nd division. So now supporter-owned AFC Wimbledon – who started from scratch – have reached the same level as the people (Milton Keynes) who “re-located” their original club. In just 14 years. And in those same 14 years Milton Keynes FC has not made any progress at all, and in fact the club (read: the franchise) has dropped down one division.
___
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 One.

July 11, 2015

England: 2015-16 League One [3rd division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed.

Please note: to see my most recent ma-pand-post on the English 3rd division, click on the following: category: eng-3rd-level-league-1.
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England: 2015-16 League One [3rd division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed




Links…
Teams…2015–16 Football League One (en.wikipedia.org).
News, fixtures, results, table, etc…Football League One page at BBC.com.
Kits…Sky Bet League One 2015 – 2016 [home, away & alternate kits] (historicalkits.co.uk).

    England: 2015-16 League One [3rd division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 11 July 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
This is the second post in my newest category (2015-16 English football). As I am going backward-up to the Premier League, we now take a look at the third tier {fourth-tier map, here,
England: 2015-16 League Two [4th division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed.}.

From the Footy Headlines site, Sheffield United 15-16 Home Kit Released (footyheadlines.com). On the map, you will notice that there is a larger red shield floating in the North Sea, and that is Sheffield United’s crest for this season – a 125-year anniversary nod to their first crest, from 1890-91. From the brilliant and invaluable site Historical Football Kits, …’ A crest appeared in the 1890-91 season that consisted of the badge of Sheffield, featuring three sheaves of wheat, apparently a typical heraldic play on words, Shef-field being interpreted as “the open space by the River Sheaf.” (quote from historicalkits.co.uk/Sheffield_United/Sheffield_United.htm). The following season (1891-92) was the first season the Blades wore their ‘butcher’s-stripes’ red-white-verticals, but they were pinstripe-width red verticals (fat-red-verticals appeared on Blades’ jerseys a few years later in 1894-95…and, much to the disgruntlement of many supporters, Sheffield Utd will be wearing the pinstripe-width red verticals this season).

Sheffield United, the highest-or-second-highest-drawing 3rd division club the last 4 seasons, will hope that the fifth time is the charm, as they try once again to get out of League One and back on to the path to the top flight, where they were last seen in 2006-07. One can’t help thinking that the black cloud hovering over Sheffield United settled into place there in South Yorkshire in May/June 2007, when the Blades went down from the Premier League only because of the independent Premier League commission’s outrageous decision to only impose a £5.5m fine instead of a points deduction. The Premier League thus rewarded anarchy and cheating by merely giving West Ham a slap on the wrist. Sure, it was expensive slap on the wrist for the Hammers big-shots, but guess who got to stay up? The claret-and-sky-blue cheaters. (You know, that whole affair – the West-Ham-cheating-via-signing-Carlos-Tevez-affair, despite the fact that WHUFC knew it was an illegal Third Party Ownership deal.)


Notes for 2015-16 League One
-Last season’s (2014-15) League 1 total league average attendance was 7,034 per game/ median avg crowd was the 5,694 drawn by Gillingham.
-Two seasons ago (2013-14), the League 1 total avg attendance was a bit higher [about 440-per-game-higher than 14/15] at 7,476/ median avg crowd was the 6,219 drawn by Gillingham.
-Three seasons ago (2012-13), the League 1 total avg attendance was a bit lower [about 700-per-game-lower than 14/15] at 6,319/ median avg crowd was the 5,522 drawn by Notts County.
-(Don’t try to read too much into the above, because League 1 avg crowd-size variability is largely a function of how many medium-to-big-ish clubs get stuck in League 1 in any given season. And this season, there are 5 such clubs: Blackpool, Bradford City, Coventry City, Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic. [Clarification - by 'medium-to-big-ish clubs', I mean to say: Clubs which can draw above ~15 K in a good year.])

-Promoted from League Two for 15/16:
Burton Albion
Shrewsbury Town (yo-yo club)
Bury
Southend United

-Relegated from Championship for 15/16:
Millwall
Wigan Athletic
Blackpool

-I know I have not been following English football for that long (since circa 2003-04), but I have never come across a season in the Football League which features one of the divisions having four times as many Greater Manchester-based clubs as Greater London-based clubs. The 2015-16 Football League One has 4 quasi-Mancunian clubs (Bury, Rochdale, Oldham Athletic, Wigan Athletic), and only one London-based-club (Millwall). OK, I know it was happening in, like, say, 1903-04 in the Second Division, because of course the Football League (est. 1888-89) initially grew from Northern-and-Midlands-based clubs, exclusively. But by 1907-08 there were [more than 1 London-based club, with] Clapton Orient and Fulham as lower-league-clubs in the Second Division. And I seriously doubt it [it being just one London team in a Football League division], has happened much at all since the 1920s. And this clustering up North in the third tier is even more pronounced than just that, because there are only 5 clubs in League One, currently, that can be considered Southern clubs (Colchester Utd, Southend Utd, Swindon Town, Millwall, Gillingham). Meanwhile Northern clubs are thick on the ground in the third tier now…2 clubs from Lancashire, 4 from Greater Manchester, 4 from Yorkshire, 1 from North Lincolnshire, 1 from North Derbyshire, and 2 from the Potteries/south Cheshire. It is such a thick cluster that many clubs (such as Chesterfield and Port Vale and Crewe) are going to have considerably less travel-time and less travel-costs this season.

-*Asterisk-note:
Because of a dispute between the venue-operators of the Ricoh Stadium (Arena Coventry, Ltd) and the Coventry City owners (a Bond-villian-worthy Hedge fund corporation called SISU), Coventry City played all their home matches in 13/14 and several of their homes matches early in 14/15 ~35 mi SE of Coventry, in the town of Northampton (at Sixfields, home of 4th division side Northampton Town). Supporter-protest resulted in very low attendances for these matches (ie, Coventry used to draw 14-16 K regularly, but were drawing only 2-3 K playing in Northants). CCFC have returned to their home-venue (the Ricoh Stadium), but more legal action (on both sides) is inevitable, and CCFC supporters are still stuck in the middle of this corporate farce.

-Finally, check out the rather-low-yet-rising attendance figures for one-quarter of the current League One… Six of the twenty-four current [2015-16] League One clubs drew under 4 K per game last season. And FIVE of those minnow-clubs have won promotion to the third division in the last two seasons:
-Bury, at 3.7 K (promoted to League One in May 2015).
-Scunthorpe Utd, at 3.6 K (promoted to League One in May 2014).
-Fleetwood Town, at 3.5 K (promoted to League One, for the first time, in May 2014).
-Rochdale AFC, at 3.3 K (promoted to League One in May 2015).
-Burton Albion, at 3.2 K (promoted to League One, for the first time, in May 2015).

These days, in the lower Leagues, minnows can run rampant.
___

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.

-Attendance, at E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.

-League histories of clubs: a lot I have used (here on the chart on the map page) came from research I had done ~5 years ago, via a source (at Football 360 site) that is now sadly gone (and has not been replaced, anywhere, it seems, on the Internet [I am talking about comprehensive League histories of all English football clubs who have been in the Football League]). Some of the info I have used here on the chart on the map page came from Footy-Mad sites, such as Bury-mad, here, bury-mad.co.uk/league_history…but that means you basically have to literally count, by hand, the seasons a club has spent in each division (it is a lot of thankless work, I’ll tell you). Also, some info was found at some clubs’ Wiki pages (some clubs’ Wiki pages have their League histories spelt out, such as w/ Sheff Utd, here, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheffield_United_F.C.#League_history).

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)

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{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

October 14, 2013

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

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


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


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

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


leyton-orient_brisbane-road_aka-matchroom-stadium_russell-slade_david-mooney_kevin-lisbie_i.gif

Photo credits above -
Aerial photo of Brisbane Road from skysports.com.
Interior photo of Brisbane Road by Chris Eason at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brisbane_Road.jpg & at flickr.com/photos/45189308@N00.
Photo of Kevin Lisbie from leytonorient.com.
Photo of Russell Slade from london24.com.
Photo of David Mooney by Simon O’Connor at ilfordrecorder.co.uk/sport/sport-football/orient/orient_lose_perfect_record.
Photo of the old gabled Orient sign at Brisbane Road with a view of Waltahm Forest borough in the background, photo fro Getty Images via independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/giving-the-name-away-stadiums-named-after-sponsors-gallery.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo credits above -
Exterior view of London Road, photo from mobile.swindontownfc.co.uk.
Aerial view of London Road, photo (unattributed) from andrewhowells.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/whats-so-bad-about-the-championship.
Britt Assombalonga goal celebration, photo from August 2013 from peterboroughtoday.co.uk.
Britt Assombalonga, action photo from planetf1.com/Dons-undone-by-nine-man-Posh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

wolverhampton-wanderers_molineux_13-14-promotion-run_leigh-griffiths_kenny-jackett_e.gif
Photo credits above –
Leigh Griffiths, photo from wolves.co.uk/match-report.
Kenny Jackett, photo from dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/Wolves-calm-waves-anger-faultless-Jackett-moves-hot-seat

From Bradford City fansite/badge pin purveyors Paraders.co.uk, ‘Summary history of club crests and characters adopted by Bradford City AFC since 1903‘ (paraders.co.uk).
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Thanks to Bradford City official site for photo-segment of 13/14 City home kit, http://www.bantams-clubshop.co.uk/bc-6-ss-home-jsy-13-14-adult.
Thanks to Crawley Town official site for photo-segment of CTFC kit badge [gold-thread-outer-disc stitching], from banner ad at http://www.crawleytownshop.co.uk/ & for photo of large CTFC home kit badge [~wallpaper], crawleytownfc.com/news/article.
Thanks to Crewe Alexandra official site for photo-segment of Crew Alexandra 13/14 home jersey [background colors of red-&-dark-red-checkerboard] from thealexstore.com.
Thanks to Walsall broadcast journalist Jonathan Sidway for the image of the Walsall 125th anniversary kit badge, ‘Walsall FC 125th Anniversary: One To Remember?‘ (jonsidaway.wordpress.com).

Thanks to Soccerway.com for attendance data.

Thanks to the Football League official site for attendance figures, http://www.football-league.co.uk/page/DivisionalAttendance/0,,10794~201225,00.html.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2013–14 Football League One‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Thanks to the Footy-Mad sites for league histories -
Leyton Orient League history, http://www.leytonorient-mad.co.uk/league_history/leyton_orient/index.shtml.
Peterborough United League history, http://www.peterboroughunited-mad.co.uk/league_history/peterborough_united/index.shtml.

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

September 25, 2012

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

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League One map with attendance data & kit badges




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 1, 2011

2011-12 League One: Stadia map.

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2011-12 League One, Stadia map


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

August 4, 2011

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 9, 2011

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

eague-one_may2011_2-promoted-clubs_4-playoff-clubs_post_b.gif
2010-11 Football League One, Top of the Table


League One Play-off Final at Old Trafford in Greater Manchester on Sunday, 29 May 2011 – Huddersfield Town 0-3 Peterborough United. Peterborough United win promotion the the 2011-12 Football League Championship (their second time promoted to the 2nd Level in 3 seasons), attendance 48,410.
From Guardian.co.uk, by Louise Taylor, ‘Three second-half goals see promoted Peterborough past Huddersfield‘.

2010-11 Football League One final table (Soccerway.com).

Brighton & Hove Albion FC, managed by the Uruguayan Gus Poyet, ran away with the title. The Seagulls could not have timed their storybook season any better, because the club will be moving in to their fantastic new stadium in August. Falmer Stadium (aka American Express Community Stadium) looks a bit like Huddersfield Town’s Galpharm Stadium (as well as Bolton’s Reebok Stadium). Falmer will seat 22,374, and has the capability to be expanded to around 30,000. Brighton, and their fans, had to endure two seasons of playing over an hour’s travel time away, in Gillingham, Kent in the late 1990s, followed by 12 seasons in the purgatory of the running track-scarred Withdean Stadium, an inadequate facility that only had a capacity of around 8,000. But that is now in the past, and Brighton & Hove Albion look to have a good future. The Seagulls have historically spent the most time in the third tier that they are now leaving, with 51 seasons in the 3rd Level. Brighton has spent 14 seasons previously in the 2nd Level, most recently for a 2-season spell from 2004 to 2006. Brighton has only played 4 seasons in the first division, from 1979-80 to 1982-83, with a 13th place finish in 1982 being the Seagulls’ highest league placement. When Brighton were in the First Division, they drew 24,745 in 79/80; 18,984 in 80/81; 18,244 in 81/82; and 14,662 in their relegation season of 82/83. It remains to be seen if Brighton can still draw in the 20,000-range, but I feel that if Brighton can make it through next season by avoiding the drop, they will be in a good position to cultivate a fan base that can regularly fill the 23,000-capacity Falmer Stadium. Brighton’s metro area is 12th largest in Britain {see this,’List of urban areas in the United Kingdom‘, from en.wikipedia.org}.

The other automatically-promoted club from League One to the League Championship are another club from the south coast of England, Southampton FC. Southampton returns to the second tier after 2 seasons in the wilderness of the third tier, which is a level that Saints supporters would have thought the club had outgrown. Because prior to their 2 seasons in the 3rd Level, Southampton had a 4-season spell in the 2nd Level, and prior to that, the club spent 23 consecutive seasons in the top flight. Southampton spent from 1978-79 to 2004-05 in the First Division/Premier League.Southampton’s highest league placement was in 2nd place in the First Division in 1983-84, while their best finish in the last 20 years was in 8th place in the 2002-03 Premier League. Southampton has an FA Cup title – they won the FA Cup in 1976, when the club was in the Second Division (they are one of only 8 teams to have ever won the FA Cup while not in the top flight. {see this, ‘FA Cup/Winners from outside the top flight‘, from en.wikipedia.org}). Southampton, who averaged 22,161 per game this season (up 5.6% from 09/10) have a pretty decent-sized fan base, and can come pretty close to filling their 32,689-seat St. Mary’s Stadium on a regular basis when the team is playing well, and even when they are not. For example, they drew 30,680 per game when they finished in 8th in the Premier League in 2002-03. And they were drawing almost exactly that figure (30,610 per game) when they got relegated from the Premier League on the last day of the 2004-05 season. Southampton fans must be pretty optimistic, because they have a solid manager, ex-Scunthorpe physio and ex-Scunthorpe manager Nigel Adkins, who took over in September 2010, and got the Saints first in to the play-off places by November 2010, and then into 2nd place on New Year’s Day. The club effectively clinched automatic promotion with 2 games to spare on 2nd May, 2011 (because their lead with 2 games to play was 6 points and a goal difference of over 15 more than the third place team). Adkins’ Saints broke the club record for clean sheets, with 20 out of 46 clean sheets this season. The other reason Southampton supporters will be looking forward to their return to the second tier is that this time, their arch-enemies, the nearby Portsmouth FC, are also in the second division, so the South Coast derby will resume next season. Portsmouth and Southamprton played in the FA Cup in 2009-10, but besides that there hasn’t been a regular league South Coast derby match since 2005.
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Photo credits on the map page -
Brighton…Withdean Stadium photos by Colin Smith at en.wikipedia.org, here. Falmer Stadium under construction, July, 2010, by Tescoid at en.wikipedia.org, here. Aerial photo from England.Brighton.blogspot.com, here.

Southampton…Exterior photo of St. May’s Stadium by Marcsfc at Flickr.com, here. Interior photo from Urban75.og/blog. Aerial view from Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

Huddersfield Town…Interior photo of the Galpahrm Stadium from Sky Sports.com, Huddersfield Town. Extreior night-time photo of the Galpharm by Matthew Ashton at The Guardian, “Huddersfield’s community stadium dream sours in ownership wrangle [6 May, 2009]“. Aerial image from Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

Peterborough United…Photo of London Road Terrace by ynysforgan_jack at Flickr.com, here. Photo of Norwich and Peterborough South Stand from ExtremeGroundhopping.blogspot.com, here/new address at ExtremeGroundhopping.woedpress.com, here. Aerial image from Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

Milton Keynes Dons…Exterior photo of Stadium mk from Rowecord structural Engineering site, RoweCord.com. Interior photo from SportyDesktops.com. Aerial image from Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

Bournemouth… Photo of Main Stand at Dean Court from Tims92.webs.com, here. Photo of parts of the three stands at Dean Court from DATM.info (Huddersfield Town fansite), here. Aerial image of Dean Court from Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

Huddersfield Town…Interior photo of Galpharm Stadium from SkySports.com/Huddersfield Town page. Exterior photo of Galpharm Stadium at night, by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport, at guardian.co.uk, here. Aerial image from Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

Thanks to HistoricalFootballKits.co.uk, for the kit illustrationa, ‘Npower League One 2010-11‘.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘Football League One‘.
Thanks to Soccerway, for for attendances.

September 20, 2010

League One, 2010-11 season – Attendance map (2009-10 figures).

league-one2010-11_09-10attendances_post_2b.gif
League One 2010-11 season, with 2009-10 attendances




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

On the map page, the map shows a small club crest for location and a variably-sized club crest to denote 2009-10 average attendance (home league matches). The chart at the top right includes attendance rank in all leagues combined, which I found at (mikeavery.co.uk / 2009-10 Attendance Tables Median, Levels 1-8).
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The first chart below shows the seasons spent in the 3rd Level by club, with each current League One club’s first arrival into the third tier listed.

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At the top left on the map page and also below is a chart I put together that shows the total seasons each current League One club has spent in each of the top 4 levels of English Football. Included, in parenthesis, is the last year the club has spent in the level. The gray vertical bar in the center is 3rd Level/League One; within that bar is a tan bar which shows how many consecutive seasons each club has presently spent in the third tier. Of all clubs currently in League One, AFC Bournemouth has spent the most seasons in the 3rd Level…67 seasons. [I am pretty sure Bournemouth is also the longest-serving member of the 3rd Level overall throughout the English League system, but I guess I will find that out for sure when I make charts like this for the1st Level/Premier league, the 2nd Level/League Championship, and the 4th Level/League Two...which I will do sometime later in this season.] Oldham Athletic has currently spent the most seasons consecutively in the 3rd Level…14 seasons.

The five columns, from left to right, are: A). English titles. B). Seasons spent in the 1st Level. The 1st Level was originally called simply the Football League and had just 12 clubs in it (from 1888-89 to 1891-92). From 1892-93 to 1991-92, the top flight was called the First Division. From 1992-93 to the present, the English top flight has been the Premier League. C). The 2nd Level. Instituted in 1892, and called the Second Division (from 1892-93 to 1992-93). The 2nd tier of English football is now known as the Football League Championship. D). The 3rd Level. Instituted in 1920 (1920-21 season), and called the Third Division. Expanded to two geographical regions the next season, as the Third Division South and the Third Division North (from 1921-22 to 1957-58). With the addition of the 4th Level in 1958-59, the 3rd Level went back to being called the Third Division (1958-59 to 1991-92). The 3rd tier of English football is now known as Football League One. E). The 4th Level. Instituted in 1958 as the Fourth Division (1958-59 to 1991-92). The 4th tier of English football is now known as the Football League Two. This is the lowest level of the Football League. Level 5 and lower are called Non-League football [note: current League One clubs that spent some seasons in Non-League football are denoted with an asterisk at the far right of the chart.]

Thanks to the Footy-Mad sites for League History info on the clubs, Footy-Mad.net/League One
Thanks to Mike Avery, 2009-10 Attendance Table at mikeavery.co.uk .

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