billsportsmaps.com

December 18, 2015

Football Clubs of London (all Greater London-based association football clubs in the top 5 divisions of football in England – 16 clubs): location-map with current domestic leagues home average attendances.

london_football-clubs2015-16_5-premier-league-clubs_9-football-league-clubs_2-conference-national-league-clubs_16-london-clubs-in-the-top5-div_map_post_db_.gif
Football Clubs of London (all Greater London-based association football clubs in the top 5 divisions of football in England – 16 clubs): location-map with current average attendances




Links…
-London (en.wikipedia.org).
-Football clubs of London (top 8 divisions)…Football in London (en.wikipedia.org).
-A recent article on football in London, from the Two Unfortunates site…Football Cities: London (on 9 Nov.2015, by Rob Langham at thetwounfortunates.com).
-London Photos Archive (londontopia.net).
london-at-night_aerial-shot_thames_tower-bridge_west-london-view_d_.gif
Photo credit above – unattributed at londontopia.net.

    Map of the Football Clubs of London
    (all Greater London-based association football clubs in the top 5 divisions of football in England – 16 clubs)

By Bill Turianski on 18 December 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Update: Welling United were relegated out of the 5th division in May 2016. Sutton United, of south-west London, were promoted to the 5th division in May 2016. If you are curious to see where Sutton Utd are located, click on the following, 2016–17 [Non-League] National League (aka the Conference) [5th division England], map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish./+ features on the 4 promoted clubs (Solihull Moors, North Ferriby United, Sutton United, Maidstone United).

Three clubs who will be moving to new grounds in the very-near or somewhat-near future (West Ham Utd, Brentford, AFC Wimbledon)…
On the map, I have included the details of the West Ham United stadium move. {See this, Boleyn becomes bygone: West Ham’s Upton Park upheaval a sign of the times (by Daniel Taylor, on 28 Nov.2015, at theguardian.com/football/blog).} The map has also been be updated with respect to Brentford’s new ground, now that it is 100% certain that Brentford will begin construction on their proposed new stadium, approximately 1.5 km E of Griffin Park. {See this, Go-ahead for Brentford FC stadium and 650 homes (on 14 Dec.2015, at constructionenquirer.com)./ Also see this, Brentford take significant step towards Lionel Road stadium as Hounslow Council activate CPO (getwestlondon.co.uk by Tom Moore from 2 Aug. 2016).} Similarly, the map has been updated now that fan-owned AFC Wimbledon has won council approval for their new ground and their return, east, near-to Wimbledon, in Merton. {See this, Go-ahead for new stadium – AFC Wimbledon is ‘delighted’ that Merton Council has approved the club’s plans to build a new stadium in the borough (on 12 Dec.2015, at thedonstrust.org).} AFC Wimbledon had recently secured a cash-raise-sale of their Kingsmeadow ground in south-west London, in order to fund their planned new stadium in Merton. {See this, AFC Wimbledon close on new stadium near Plough Lane after Chelsea sale (by David Conn, on 17 Nov.2015, at theguardian.com/football).}

Map of London-based football clubs (top 5 divisions/16 clubs)…
The map shows the locations of the football grounds of the 16 clubs. The grounds’ names are listed next to small crests of the clubs. To best view an enlarged map-section, I recommend clicking on the white-shaded City of London (right in the center of the map)…that should give you an enlarged map-section which includes all 16 clubs. I have included a few extra details for the Greater London map – the aforementioned City of London’s small confines are noted, as are the locations of the following: Regent’s Park; Hyde Park, Parliament [Westminster]; Trafalgar Square (in Westminster), Wembley Stadium (in north-west London); the Royal Observatory, Greenwich [home of 0 degrees longitude (the Prime Meridian), and Greenwich Mean Time]; and the Dartford Crossing. (The Dartford Crossing is a vital and heavily-traveled dual-tunnel/bridge crossing located on the River Thames just east of Greater London, which connects Dartford, Kent to Thurrock, Essex, and is the only fixed-road crossing of the Thames east of Greater London; the busiest estuarial crossing in the UK, it services around 130,000 vehicles daily). The four largest municipalities adjacent to Greater London are also noted (the Medway Towns [incl. Gillingham] in Kent, Southend-on-Sea in Essex, Slough in Berkshire, and Watford in Hertfordshire). Some other municipalities adjacent to Greater London are also listed, mainly to point out the closest-to-Greater-London clubs (Watford in Herts, home of Watford FC/1st Div/Premier League club; Borehamwood in Herts, home of Boreham Wood FC/5th Div club; and Dartford in Kent, home of Dartford FC/5th Div club). Though not officially located in Greater London, these 3 clubs could be considered de-facto Greater London clubs, owing to proximity and road-and-rail-connections to central London.

My first map of London teams was posted 6 years ago…
The first time I covered this topic – in mid-December of 2009 – it was a quick decision, a very-hastily-made map, and a swift posting {here, Football Clubs of Greater London, 2009-10 season [top 5 divisions/15 clubs]}. Then, through the past 6 years, that Dec. 2009 map-&-post of the Football Clubs of London has become my most-viewed map. (That is because lots of football fans from all over the world Google-search with queries such as “football teams in london [Image search]“, or “london football clubs [Image search]“.)

So I figured it was high time I re-visited this topic. Hayes & Yeading FC are no longer on the map (they are a 6th Division club now), while two South London clubs – Bromley FC and Welling United FC – have progressed to the 5th Division and are now featured on the new map here. This time, in addition to listing each of the featured clubs’ total-seasons-in-1st-division and major-titles-(w/-last-title-listed), the map page now includes a photo of each club’s stadium. Some of the stadium-photos I selected are aerial shots of the stadiums, some of the photos are exterior shots, and some are interior and interior-game-action shots…basically I just selected the coolest-looking photo I could find for each club’s ground. The stadium-photos at the foot of the map page are arranged left-to-right/top-to-bottom by average home league attendance figures [current attendance figures to 13 Dec.2015/sources linked to at the foot of this post]. Date of the stadium’s opening & stadium capacity is listed in the caption-box above each club’s stadium-photo. The chart at the right-hand side of the map page is also ranked from highest-drawing-London-club-in-top-5-divisions (Arsenal) to lowest-drawing-London-club-in-top-5-divisions (Welling Utd).

Oh, and in case you are wondering, there is one Greater-London-based club, in the current-6th Div/National League South, that has a decent shot at gaining promotion to the 5th Level, and that is Sutton United, who are located in South London and currently [18 Dec.2015] are in the play-off places in fourth.

Update: Sutton United did win promotion to the 5th division. Here is a recent map-and-post (Aug 2016) I made which has the location of and information about Sutton United, 2016–17 [Non-League] National League (aka the Conference) [5th division England], map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish./+ features on the 4 promoted clubs (Solihull Moors, North Ferriby United, Sutton United, Maidstone United).
___
Thanks to all at the following links below…
Photo credits on the map page -
-Arsenal (Emirates Stadium), exterior entrance with cannons in foreground, photo by Ronnie Macdonald at File:Emirates Stadium -canons.jpg.
-Chelsea (Stamford Bridge), aerial photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Tottenham (White Hart Lane), exterior roof-top view of stadium, photo unattributed at tottenhamhotspur.wikia.com/wiki/White_Hart_Lane.
-West Ham Utd (Boleyn Ground aka Upton Park), aerial photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Crystal Palace (Selhurst Park), photo of exterior of Holmesdale Road Stand, by Rosella Scalia at thecroydoncitizen.com [article: The road to Selhurst Park, by Rosella Scalia].
-Fulham (Craven Cottage), photo of the actual Craven cottage there at the ground, unattributed at premierleague.com/fulham.
-Charlton Athletic (The Valley), aerial photo by Mark Fosh at File:Charlton Athletic football ground.jpg.
-Queens Park Rangers (Loftus Road), interior of the ground during a match (action shot), photo by Lee Abbamonte at leeabbamonte.com/sports-weekend-in-london.
-Brentford (Griffen Park), aerial photo by David Levene at theguardian.com/travel/interactive/2013/mar/15/brentford-football-club-pub-each-corner-interactive.
-Millwall (The New Den), street-level exterior photo of the New Den, photo by fussballinlondon.de [Millwall/The Den].
-Leyton Orient (Brisbane Road), aerial photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-AFC Wimbledon (Kingsmeadow aka Cherry Red Records Stadium), photo unattributed at getwestlondon.co.uk/afc-wimbledon-2014-15 .
-Barnet (The Hive), photo taken from the Jubilee line by Paul50, uploaded by Dave H at onlybarnet.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5329&start=570 [thread: The Hive ground].
-Dagenham & Redbridge (Victoria Road aka Chigwell Construction Stadium), photo by Rambler1977 via stadiumdb.com/stadiums/eng/victoria_road.
-Bromley (Hayes Lane), photo from stadien-in-baden-wuerttemberg.de/England.
-Welling Utd (Park View Road), photo by the Onion Bag.blogspot.com [Saturday 26th February - Conference South Welling United 1 v Weston-Super-Mare 0.] (onion-bag.blogspot.com).

Also, Thank You, to…
-All who contributed to…Football in London (en.wikipedia.org).
-Nilfanion…Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Soccerway.com: attendances on map page are from from soccerway.com.
-Non-League clubs’ attendances from NonLeagueMatters.co.uk.
-Lanterne Rouge at the Two Unfortunates, for the great article on football in London circa 2015 and for re-tweeting recent tweets from @billsportsmaps.
-Àxel Aguilar, @aguilaraxel, for several re-tweets and for solid advice this year – he told me i needed a better banner at twitter :l (he was right).
-Martín Donato, @martindonato, for several re-tweets and recommends, etc.

Happy Holidays & best wishes for 2016, to all who visit here.

April 29, 2013

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Guiseley AFC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 25, 2013

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 20, 2013

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 3, 2013

Ecuador: Ecuadorian Primera Categoría Serie A – location-map for 2013 season, with titles list & attendance data / Plus a brief article on Ecuador’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign; and notes on stadiums in the Ecuadorian first division.

Filed under: Ecuador,Football Stadia — admin @ 1:27 pm

ecuador_serie-a_2013_w-titles-list_attttendances_post_.gif
Ecuadorian Primera Categoría Serie A – location-map for 2013 season, with titles list & attendance data




Ecuador, as its name implies, sits right on the equator in the north-western part of South America. Ecuador is a medium/small-sized mountainous country with ample coastline on the Pacific Ocean, bordering Colombia to the north and Peru to the east and south. Included in the territory of the nation of Ecuador is the singular eco-tourist mecca which is the Galápagos Islands, where around 180 years ago naturalist Charles Darwin spent crucial time during the ‘Second voyage of HMS Beagle [1831-36]‘ leading to his theory of evolution by natural selection, and where today giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas thrive. The Galapagos are located about 1,000 km. (620 mi.) due west of the Ecuadorian mainland. Here is an excerpt from ‘Ecuador‘ at en.wikipedia.org … ‘ Ecuador is also home to a great variety of species, many of them endemic, like those of the Galápagos islands. This species diversity makes Ecuador one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world. The new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights.’…{end of excerpt}. (en.wikipedia.org).

In 1979, Ecuador returned to democracy after 8 years of rule by 2 different military juntas, when, following civil pressure, Ecuador held democratic elections. After 3 changes of power, the country has remained a representative democracy with a president at its head, but, owing to several factors including the destabilizing effects from both the elites and from leftist movements, the presidency is a weakened and ineffective position in Ecuador. As it says here, at Freedom House.org, …’since 1998, three presidents have been forced from office before the conclusion of their terms as a result of popular protests and congressional action’. (freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2012/ecuador).

By size, Ecuador is just about the same size as the US state of Oregon, or slightly smaller than New Zealand and slightly larger than Romania – at 266,000 km-squared (or 98,985 sq. mi.), making it the 78th-largest country in the world {country-size data, here (en.wikipedia.org)}. As to Ecuador’s GDP, on a per-capita basis, Ecuador currently [April 2013] is ranked #64 in the world, and in local-comparison-terms, considerably lower than Colombia and Venezuela (#s 33 and 34, currently), and a bit lower than Peru (#53, currently) {GDP data, here (en.wikipedia.org)}.

Ecuador’s population is around 14.4 million, and its 2 largest cities are the port city of Guayaquil {city pop. around 2.3 million}, and the high-elevation capital city of Quito {city pop. around 1.6 million} {population figures from 2010 census, here}. Quito is the highest-elevation national capital in the world, at 2,800 metres or 9,850 feet. That is 1.8 miles high or 3 kilometres high.

    Ecuador national football team

conmebol_2014-fifa-wc-qual_mar-26-2014-standings_b.gif
Chart above from en.wikipedia.org/2014_FIFA World Cup qualification (CONMEBOL), here.

Ecuador did not enter a qualifying tournament for the World Cup until the late 1950s, with the 1962 FIFA World Cup being the first World Cup that Ecuador tried to qualify for. That was 5 years after Ecuador finally formed a professional national football league (in 1957, see further below). Ecuador’s men’s national football team has qualified for just 2 FIFA World Cup tournaments, although both times in which they qualified were relatively recent – in 2002 and 2006. In 2002 in Japan/South Korea, Ecuador were eliminated in the Group Stage. In 2006, in Germany, Ecuador made it to the Round of 16 (beating Poland and Costa Rica en route to being eliminated by England).

Currently, Ecuador are in a very good position to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, seeing as how they are in second place in the South American WC qualifiers, 5 points and 3 teams above the cut-off, with a game in hand {CONMEBOL/South American WC qualifiers, fixtures, results, table, here (en.wikipedia.org)}. Argentina leads the South American World Cup qualifiers with 24 points, and Ecuador is in second with 20 points. Ten or eleven of 16 matches per team have been played, and the top 4 automatically go to the World Cup (5th plays Oceania winner), and Brazil is already in as host, so Ecuador are positioned nicely and their high-altitude home field advantage at Estadio Atuahalpa in Quito will continue to give them an extra edge on most visiting sides. Ecuador are 6-0 at home in the 2014 WC qualifiers. They just dismantled Paraguay 4-1, before a capacity crowd of around 30,000 in Quito on 26 March. Goals were scored by MF Jefferson Montero (who had a brace), FW Felipe Caicedo, and FW Christian Benítez. Ecuador is a team that is chock-full of technically-adept speedsters – it seems like every squad member, even all the defenders, have pace. Ecuador pose a big threat on the counter-attack, while it looks like their weak point is in defense. Ecuador are coached by Colombian-born former Honduras national team coach Reinaldo Rueda. Rueda made his mark in 2010 by getting the unheralded Honduran national team into the FIFA World Cup for only their second time (Honduras also had qualified for the 1982 World Cup in Spain).

Below is a captioned illustration of 3 of the more highly-touted players currently playing for the Ecuador national team – Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia, Borussia Dortmund transfer target and current Lokomotiv Moscow striker Felipe Caicedo, and Wigan transfer target and current Monarcas Morelia (of Mexico) midfielder Jefferson Montero.
ecuador-national-football-team_antonio-valencia_jefferson-montero_felipe-caicedo_x.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Ecuador national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Getty Images at uefa.com.
Unattributed at elespectador.com.
Getty Images via uefa.com.
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images North America via zimbio.com.
Unattributed at larepublica.ec/blog/deportes.
Unattributed at deportizate.com.

    The Ecuadorian professional first division – Ecuadorian Primera Categoría Serie A

Ecuador – Primera A [Serie A], fixtures, results, table‘ (int.soccerway.com/ecuador).

Ecuador – Primera Etapa overview [including attendances]‘ (worldfootball.net/ecu-campeonato).

The Ecuadorian professional first division was established in 1957. The current format, called Ecuadorian Primera Categoría Serie A, has 12 teams playing 2 half seasons of 22 games each. The season runs from February to December (with the first half-season ending in June). The two half-season winners then face off in a 2-match finals in mid-December (unless the same club wins both halves of the season, like Barcelona SC did in 2012). 2 clubs (11th and 12th places aggregate) are relegated each season to Serie B, and at the end of each season, 2 are promoted up from the Ecuadorian Serie B.

Current champions are the biggest club in Ecuador, Barcelona Sporting Club, who are of course named after the Catalan giants and are from Guayaquil. Barcelona SC average around 20 to 25,000 per game in a good year or 8 to 15,000 per game or so in a bad year. Barcelona SC, formed in 1925, have the most Ecuadorian pro titles, with 14 (but they had not won a title in 15 years prior to last season, and their attendance really slumped circa 2009-2010). Barcelona SC own their own stadium, Estadio Monumental, which was opened in 1987 and at just over 80,600-capacity is one of the largest football stadiums in the world {see this, from 2010 at the Offside.com, ‘The 10 Biggest Football (or Soccer) Stadiums in the World‘. Barcelona SC averaged 24,066 per game in 2012, which was more than double the crowd-size of any other team in the country last year.

After Barcelona SC, the fan-base-size of the next-largest Ecuadorian clubs shrinks to the 7,000 to 13,000 per game range, with 2 clubs fitting this category, both of whom are over 85 years old, and both of whom are tied for the third-most national pro titles with 10 apiece… Quito’s LDU Quito, established in 1930, and who are the only Ecuadorian club to have won a Copa Libertadores title (in 2007); and Guayaquil’s Emelec, who were established in 1929. Both these clubs also own their own stadiums. LDU Quito’s stadium, Casa Blanca, was opened in 1997 and has a capacity of 55,000. Emelec’s Estadio George Capwell, which was built in 1945 and was last renovated in 1991, has a capacity of 24,000, mostly in steep stands that make it look like an Argentinian football ground. Estadio George Capwell is named after the US-born engineer and founder of the electrical company in the late 1920s from which the club sprung from (see Emelec illustration further below for etymology of their name). Estadio George Capwell might have seen better days, but that tight cauldron is an atmosphere-charged home-field-advantage for Emelec for sure (you can see what I mean about the atmosphere at Estadio George Capwell if you scroll down to the next paragraph and check out the 3:00 video highlights of Emelec’s recent 2-0 win over Peñarol in the 2013 Copa Libertadores). Emelec averaged 8,888 per game last season (which was second-best in Ecuador); LDU Quito averaged 8,502 per game last season (3rd best).

[Side-note:
Emelec are the only Ecuadorian club currently with a shot at advancing to the 2013 Copa Librtadores Round of 16. On Tuesday, the 2nd of April, before 22,000 at Estadio George Capwell in Guayaquil, Emelec scored two late goals (both from set plays) against Peñarol to win 2-0 and take a 3-point lead over Peñarol for the final advancing-spot in their group (see this, (en.wikipedia.org/2013 Copa Libertadores, Second Stage). If Emelec draw in their final match away against group-winners Vélez Sarsfield they will advance, but Emelec can also advance if they can maintain their better goal difference (currently at +1 g.d for Emelec, versus Peñarol's -3 g.d.). Video highlights can be seen at the following link (via eluniverso.com, 'Copa Libertadores: Emelec 2-0 Peñarol (Tomado de Fox Sports)' (youtube.com; 3:00 video uploaded by eluniverso.com) / original article here, 'Emelec venció 2-0 a Peñarol y se acerca a los octavos de la Copa Libertadores' (eluniverso.com). ]

So the 3 biggest clubs in Ecuador all own their own stadiums. Two of those venues might be too big, and the other one is in need of a refurbishing, but still, 3 clubs out of 12 owning their own stadium is not too bad compared to some countries (like Italy, at 1 for 20 currently). The 3 biggest clubs in Ecuador show there is the capability there, as in places like Germany, the Netherlands, England, and Spain (and to a lesser degree in countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Portugal), of clubs being able to build and own their own football grounds.

Elsewhere in Ecuadorian football, there is still the reliance by clubs for local municipalities or national government agencies to do the inevitably poor job of building god-awful stadiums. Stadiums with a wide bowl-shaped single encircling stand (at a shallow incline), and poor sight-lines and vast distances from the stands to the pitch, thanks to a useless, atmosphere-destroying running track. However, there are several exceptions to this in Ecuador, with 3 decent (though admittedly spartan) municipal stadiums in provincial cities in Ecuador. The 18,000-capacity Estadio Bellavista in Ambato (home of yo-yo club Macará, and also home of the recently-relegated Técnico Universitario); the 15,000-capacity municipal Estadio Jocay in the coastal city of Manta (home to Manta FC); and the 16,000-capacity municipal stadium Estadio 7 de Octubre in Quevado (home of the recently-promoted Deportivo Quevado). All 3 of these stadiums are, like many French or some Spanish municipal stadiums, built with nice and steep-angled stands that are often extremely close to the pitch and with no running track {see a couple photos of Estadio Bellavista in Ambato here (europlan-online.de)}; {see a photo of Estadio Jocay in Manta here (soccerway.com){; {see a photo of Estadio 7 de Octubre in Quevado here/click on photo there to enlarge (lahora.com).

As to the second-most titled club in Ecuador, well, El Nacional didn’t get the memo, because they never tried to build their own stadium, and ever since they were formed in 1964 they have played in a soul-less bowl-shaped government-sports-agency-built stadium in Quito with a running track, now currently in a three-way stadium share at Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa. As it says about Estadio Olimpico Atualhalpa at the Football in the Clouds blog, …’It is a big concrete block of a structure which looks like the home of a Soviet Bloc team or nation’… {full article here, ‘New stadium plans in Quito’ (footballintheclouds.com)}.

So its no surprise that El Nacional, as successful as they are, have never been able to establish much of a fan base and a good average crowd size, at least not on a consistent basis – in bad seasons, El Nacional struggle to even reach 4,000 per game (like in 2012, when they averaged only 3,977 per game). Granted, at 49 years old, El Nacional are not really a very old club, so maybe it could be argued that they have been unable to build a bigger fan base because they are about half as old as venerable Ecuadorian clubs like Barcelona SC or Emelec or LDU Quito. In a good season, El Nacional can draw up to near the 8,000 per game range, as in 2011 when they were in the running for the title (eventually finishing fourth and drawing 7,206 per game).

Rounding out the clubs that can, in a good season, draw above average in Ecuador, there are, in addition to El Nacional, 5 other clubs which can draw between 3,500 and 8,000 per game – the relatively-new-club-and recently promoted club from the south of Ecuador, LDU Loja; the recently-relegated Technico Universitario; Deportivo Cuenca; Deportivo Quito;, and Macará. Two of these clubs have won Ecuadorian titles – Deportivo Quito has won 5 titles (last in 2011); and Cuenca has won 1 title (in 2004). Of the other three, LDU Loja, from Loja, the current southern-most club in the Ecuadorian top flight, deserve mention as they draw best of all the provincial clubs in the country. To see a photo of LDU Loja’s municipal stadium, the 15,000-capacity Estadio Federativo Reina del Cisne, {click here [and scroll down the page half-way to see the enlargeable photo]} (ceroacero.es). LDU Loja are a pretty new club (est. 1987), and first made it to the top flight in 2005. Despite their unremarkable municipal stadium, Loja can draw between 6 and 9,000 per game – in 2010 they won promotion back to the first division and in 2011 drew 8,844 per game; last season Loja drew 6,332 per game, which was fourth-best in Ecuador. Although there a several other clubs in Loja (population of around 215,000 in the metro area {2010 figure}), LDU Loja are the only club from the city who have been in the first division.

(Note: the Ecuadorian pro fútbol titles list (1957 to 2012) is on the map page).

Below are captioned illustrations of all the clubs in the 2013 Ecuadorian Primera Categoría Serie A which have won national titles (6 clubs)…

    Current first division clubs in Ecuador with national professional titles…

Barcelona SC. Estadio Monumental, Guayaquil.14 Ecuadorian titles (last in 2012).
barcelona-sc_estadio-monumental_guayaquil_e.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Unattributed at theoffside.com/world-football/the-10-biggest-football-or-soccer-stadiums-in-the-world.
Unattributed at ogol.com.br/estadio.
Barcelona Sporting Club‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
María Isabel Valarezo / EL COMERCIO at elcomercio.com/deportes/futbol/futbol_ecuatoriano-El_Nacional-Barcelona_Sporting_Club-futbol .

El Nacional. Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito. 13 Ecuadorian titles (last in Clausura-2005).
el-nacional_estadio-olimpico-atahualpa_quito_c.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Unattributed at kentuckyecuadorpartners.blogspot.com.
Club Deportivo El Nacional‘ en.wikipedia.org).
Unattributed at eurorivals.net.

Emelec. Estadio George Capwell, Guayaquil. 10 Ecuadorian titles (last in 2002).
emelec_estadio-george-capwell_guayaquilh_w.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Unattributed at marcador.ec .
Unattributed at emelec-al-maximo.blogspot.com.
Club Sport Emelec‘ (es.wikipedia.org).
Unattributed at l2goias.com.br.
Unattributed at lahora.com.ec.
API (Agencia de Prensa Independiente) at ecuadoronline.ec.

LDU Quito. Estadio de Liga Deportiva Universitaria [aka la Casa Blanaca (the White House)]. 10 Ecuadorian titles (last in 2010).
ldu-quito_estadio-de-liga-deportiva-universitaria_casa-blanca_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Unattributed at blumesinbrazil.blogspot.com.
Unattributed at emelexista.com.
Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Deportivo Quito. Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito. 5 Ecuadorian titles (last in 2011).
Deportivo Quito‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
deportivo-quito_estadio-olimpico-atahualpa_c.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Unattributed photo uploaded by Inkandrew9 at skyscrapercity.com [Ecuador stadiums thread].
Deportivo Quito‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Deportivo Cuenca. Estadio Alejandro Serrano Aguilar, Cuenca, Azuay Province. 1 Ecuadorian title (in 2004).
cuenca_estadio-alejandro-serrano-aguilar_deportivo-cuenca_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Club Deportivo Cuenca (Ecuador)‘ (http://es.wikipedia.org).
Unattributed at elcomercio.com.

___

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en. and es.wikipedia.org, ‘2013 Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol Serie A‘.
Thanks to Demis.nl – base map from demis.nl at Demis Web Map Server, demis.nl/home/pages/wms/demiswms.htm.
Thanks to WordldFootball.net for the attendance figures, worldfootball.net/wettbewerb/ecu-campeonato.

December 15, 2012

2012-13 Scottish Premier League: location-map with 2011-12 attendance data and 2012-13 home jersey badges / With photos of the 12 clubs’ grounds / Plus top 3 scoring leaders.

2012-13_scotland_scottish-premier-league_segment_13e.gif
2012-13 Scottish Premier League: location-map with 2011-12 attendance data and 2012-13 home kit badges




This post is a continuation of my recent new category, ‘Eng-Map/Attendance/Kit Badges’, which is now called ‘England & Scotland – Map/Crowds/Kit Badges’. I decided to open up the category to include Scottish clubs because in my first post in this category, {which was on the 2012-13 Premier League here}, I mentioned Celtic and Rangers right off the bat (in the third paragraph in the above link). And I don’t have any other category which includes both English and Scottish clubs, so I thought I should have at least one.

The essence of this style of map is the depiction of facsimiles of each club’s current home jersey badges, and those badge-facsimiles can be seen at the top of the map page (with the clubs placed in alphabetical order).

From Historical Football Kits, ‘Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League 2012 – 2013 [the kits of all 12 Scottish Premier League clubs]‘ (historicalkits.co.uk).

    The top 3 scoring leaders in the 2012-13 SPL (from matches up to 15 Dec.2012) -
    Leigh Griffiths (of Hibs)
    Billy McKay (of Inverness CT)
    Michael Higdon (of Motherwell)

spl_scoring-leafers_to15-dec-2012_leigh-griffiths_michael-higdon_billy-mckay_d.gif
Photo credits above –
sportsmole.co.uk.
dailyrecord.co.uk.
Andrew Milligan/PA via guardian.co.uk/football/2012/nov/24 [Celtic 0-1 inverness].

The landscape of the Scottish Premier League changed drastically and overnight when Rangers FC imploded in April 2012 and Rangers Newco took their place. Rangers Newco might have taken over Rangers FC’s venue at Ibrox, and the re-constituted club might have taken over Rangers FC’s fan base. But Rangers Newco were most emphatically not allowed to take Rangers FC’s league place (no matter how hard certain elements tried). Rangers were forced to start at the foot of the Scottish football pyramid, in the 4th Level, in the Scottish Third Division, among clubs that averaged between 321 and 672 per game last season. So now Rangers Newco must work their way up the league ladder, and will not be back in the Scottish Premier League until 2015-16 at the earliest. In other words, Rangers have about a 99.9% certainty of being back in the SPL in 2015-16.

There was one immediate beneficiary of Rangers’ expulsion from the Scottish Premier League, and that of course was the extra promoted club. Dundee’s second-largest club, Dundee FC, were second place finishers in the 2011-12 Scottish First Division and were thus granted promotion to fill the spot in the league vacated by Rangers. It is Dundee’s first appearance in the top flight since 2004-05. Dundee FC and Dundee United are the two clubs in league football in Britain whose grounds are the closest together. Separated by just 100 meters (or 109 yards), Dundee’s Dens Park and Dundee United’s Tannadice Park are so close to each other they share the same road, about one city block apart.
dundee-scotland_dundee-fc_dens-park_dundee-united_tannadice_.gif
Photo credit above -
thecourier.co.uk.

Here is the Bing.com Bird’s Eye satellite view of the two grounds, zoom via contols at top right, here, ‘bing.com/maps [Dens Park & Tannadice aerial view (satellite)]‘.

But aside from temporary attendance inflation in the lower leagues from games which involve Rangers playing away, and aside from the fact that Dundee FC will probably go straight back down to the second division (thereby benefiting Ross County and anyone else near the drop-zone come May 2013), there is a good chance pretty much no other club in Scotland will really benefit from Rangers’ expulsion. Because while it is true that Rangers’ banishment to the wilderness of lower-league Scottish football leaves a window of opportunity for some of the clubs in the Scottish Premier League, unfortunately for them the days when 2 Scottish clubs could make it to the UEFA Champions League group stage are now gone (for next season, anyway) . Due to the recent poor showing by Scottish clubs in Europe, Scotland’s UEFA coefficient has been dropping at an alarming rate. It went down 8 places last year, to 26th in Europe, between Serbia and Norway, and behind countries with little history of pro success in Europe such as Israel, Belarus, and Slovakia {see this, ‘UEFA_coefficient/Current_ranking‘ (en.wikipedia.org). Granted, Celtic has had recent Champions League success – they beat Barcelona en route to squeezing past Benfica to claim 2nd place in their group and make it to the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Round of 16. So hopefully that 26th ranking will end up being Scotland’s nadir, and now Scottish clubs will start once again being competitive in Europe, and maybe in one or 2 years’ time Scotland will have re-claimed that second Champions League qualifying spot.

So really, the best that Motherwell or Hibs or Hearts or Kilmarnock or Aberdeen or Dundee United can hope for is second place and a chance to play in the UEFA Europa League, which they would qualify for anyway if they finished in 3rd place. Having said that, I should point out one scenario that could be developing, and that is the fact that manager Terry Butcher’s Inverness Caledonian Thistle, having recently beaten Celtic at Celtic Park in a league match for the first time ever, are currently in 3rd place. And if the plucky Highlands-based club (who have only played 8 seasons in the top flight) can hold on to third place, then a Highlands-based club will be playing in Europe for the first time ever next season.

Of course, there is the slight chance that Celtic could screw up at some point in the next two-and-a-half seasons and someone other than Celtic or Rangers could finally win the Scottish title (it last happened in 1985, when Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen were champions). But don’t hold your breath. For the sake of Scottish football I really hope otherwise, but chances are Celtic will coast to 3 straight titles and Celtic manager Neil Lennon will become even more of an arrogant blowhard. Rangers Newco will get promoted for 3 straight seasons, and in 2015-16 it will be back to the boring pre-ordained two-horse race and the pointlessly sectarian status quo that is Old Firm-dominated Scottish football.

Here are the current league standings for the 4 divisions of Scottish league football.
Scottish Premier League, table, fixtures, results‘ (soccerway.com).
Scottish First Division, table, fixtures, results‘ (soccerway.com).
Scottish Second Division, table, fixtures, results‘ (soccerway.com).
Scottish Third Division, table, fixtures, results‘ (soccerway.com).

    2012-13 Scottish Premier League: the 12 clubs’ home grounds, and the cities or towns the clubs are from

Note: Clubs are arranged below in order of their league place as of 15 December 2012.

As of 15 December 2012, 1st place, Celtic FC.
Celtic FC est. 1877. Celtic Park, capacity 60,355, opened in 1892; last renovated in 1994-98. Located in Parkhead (East End of Glasgow). Glasgow city population is around 509,000 {2011 estimate}. Glasgow Urban area population is around 1.1 million {2008 figure}. Glasgow metro area population is around 2.3 million {2004 estimate}. Scotland itself has a population of around 5.2 million [2011 estimate}, so around 41% of the entire Scottish population lives in the Glasgow metropolitan area (aka the Glasgow conurbation).
Below, a night-time view of Glasgow city center on the River Clyde. Photo by Jason Hawkes, here (photo gallery at telegraph.co.uk).

    glasgow_the-clyde_at-night_aerial-photo_by-jason-hawkes_.gif
    Photo credit above -
    Jason Hawkes/Barcroft Media at telegraph.co.uk .

    Celtic FC domestic honors:
    43 Scottish titles (first in 1893; last in 2012).
    29 Scottish Cup titles (first in 1892; last in 2011).
    Celtic FC European honors: 1 European Cup title (1967).
    Celtic are currently averaging 44,821 per game (from home league matches to 15 December 2012).

    Below, Celtic Park (aka Parkhead), Parkhead, East End of Glasgow.

celtic-fc_celtic-park_parkhead_glasgow_b.gif

Photo credits above -
Aerial photo of Glasgow looking east to Parkhead, by Robert Pool’s Glasgow collection at flickr.com.
Aerial photo of Celtic Park from scotlandsplaces.gov.uk.
Exterior panoramic photo of Celtic Park by catt231 at flickr.com.
Exterior photo of Jock Stein Stand with a threatening sky above by xxx zos xxx at flickr.com
Photo of Celtic supporters and giant banners at a Celtic Park-hosted Champions League match (circa 2007-08) uploaded by Sportingwing at forum.greenwebfans.com.

As of 15 December 2012, 2nd place, Motherwell FC.
Motherwell FC were established in 1886. Fir Park Stadium, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. Opened in 1895, last renovated in 1995. Capacity: 13,732. Motherwell is just 11 miles (or 18 km.) south-east of Glasgow. Motherwell is 33 miles (or 54 km.) south-west of Edinburgh.
Motherwell FC domestic honors: 1 Scottish title (in 1932). 2 Scottish Cup titles (in 1952 and in 1991).
Motherwell FC current average attendance: 5,002 (from home league matches to 15 Dec.2012).

Motherewell finished in 3rd place last season, and look like they have a solid shot at qualifying for Europe for the second straight season. Since 30 Dec. 2010, Motherwell’s manager has been ex-Bradford City manager and Rangers MF Stuart McCall, who had left Bradford in May 2010 on mutual consent and on a down note to be sure, failing to get the most-supported-4th-division club in England promoted for 3 straight seasons. But McCall has since then resurrected his standing as a manager by leading Motherwell to a solid 3rd place finish in 2011-12, and Motherwell now sit second. To be fair, McCall walked into a decent set-up, because the amber-and-claret clad Motherwell have a recent history of punching above their weight, with 3 consecutive top-half finishes and two 3rd place finishes in 5 years (since 2007-08). The Steelmen manage to do this on crowds of around just 5 to 6 thousand, and despite being hampered by the fact that they are stuck deep in the shadow of the Old Firm – Motherwell is just 11 miles (or 19 km.) southeast of Glasgow city center.
motherwell-fc-_fir-park_c.gif
Photo credits above -
Aerial photo of Motherwell uploaded by Jamie Bassnet at picasaweb.google.com, originally from trekkingbritain.com.
Aerial photo of Fir Park from scotlandsplaces.gov.uk.

As of 15 December 2012, 3rd place, Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC.
Caledonian Thistle FC were established in 1994, from a merger between Caledonian FC and Inverness Thistle FC (both clubs were members of the Highland Football League). The merger came about because of a vacancy and a re-structuring in Scottish football, and in 1994 Caledonian Thistle FC were elected to the Scottish Third Division along with Highland derby rivals Ross County FC. Caledonian Thistle FC’s name was changed 2 years later in 1996 to Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, at the request of Inverness District Council, who had contributed £900,000 to the development of the club’s ground. Inverness CT play at Caledonian Stadium, capacity 7,753. Opened in 1996, the stadium was renovated in 2004-05, when Inverness CT played in the Scottish Premier League for the first time. The club had a 5 season spell in the Scottish top flight from 2004-05 to 2008-09, were relegated in May 2009, then won promotion back at the first try in 2009-10, and now are in their 8th season of top flight football. Inverness Caley Thistle’s highest league finish was 7th place, twice, in 2005-06 and 2010-11. Inverness CT’s highest average attendance was 5,061 per game in 2005-06.
Inverness CT current average home attendance: 4,032 per game {from home league matches to 15 Dec. 2012}.

Inverness is one of Europe’s fastest-growing cities. In the 2000 to 2010 time period, it had a 14.1% increase in population, to 58,963. Since 2010, about 3,000 more people have moved to Inverness…in mid-2011, the Highland Council Area released this data, which estimates Inverness’ population at 62,093 {2011 estimate}. In the larger administrative area surrounding Inverness, there are around 74,000 people {2011 estimate}. That 74,000 in the Greater Inverness metro area is one-third of the entire population of the Highland Council Area. Highland Council Area is the largest of the 32 Council Areas in Scotland, at 11,838 square miles (or 30,659 kilometers squared) and has a very low population-density, with only around 221,000 in the whole Highlands district {2010 estimate}. [{Here is the Highland Council Area's page on en.wikipedia.org, 'Highland (council area)' (en.wikipedia.org). To give you an idea of how thin on the ground folks are up there in the Highlands, the Highland Council Area, with around 220,000 people, is a little smaller than the state of Maryland in the USA; and a little larger than the nation of Lebanon - but Maryland has around 5.8 million people {2011 estimate}; and Lebanon has around 4 million people {2008 figure}.]
inverness-caledonian-thistle_caledonian-stadium_inverness_the-highlands_scotland_h.gif
Photo credits above -
catswhiskerstours.com/inverness-scotland.
Caledonia Dreaming or Ian38018 Football Travels/ Inverness CT – Caledonian Stadium, ian38018.blogspot.com/2011/05/inverness-ct-caledonian-stadium.html.
groundhopping.de/inverness.htm.

As of 15 December 2012,4th place, Hibernian FC.
Hibernian FC est. 1875. Easter Road, capacity 20,421, opened in 1893; last renovated from 1995-2010. Located in the Leith area of Edinburgh (north of the city center).
Edinburgh is 42 miles (or 68 km.) east of Glasgow.
Situated on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, Leith is the port of Edinburgh, and has been, officially, since 1329. The port of Leith handles over 1.5 million metric tonnes per year. In recent years redevelopment has seen some of the seedier parts of the Leith area gussied up, but the area still retains a rough blue collar edge. Leith is about 3 miles or 5 km. north of central Edinburgh [Edinburgh is 42 miles (68 km.) east of Glasgow]. Leith’s population is no longer recorded as it was merged with Edinburgh in 1920 (despite local residents back then voting overwhelmingly against the consolidation). Edinburgh city population is around 495,000 {2011 estimate}, making it the second largest city in Scotland. Edinburgh’s metro area population is around 783,000 {2007 estimate}.
Hibernian FC domestic honors: 4 Scottish titles (first in 1903; last in 1952). 2 Scottish Cup titles (first in 1882; last in 1902).
Hibernian are currently averaging 10,455 per game (from home league matches to 15 December 2012).
hibernian-fc_easter-road_leith-edinburgh_h.gif
Photo credits above -
Photo of Easter Road in Leith taken from Arthur’s Seat [the plateaued hill of solid rock in Edinburgh] by TorryBattery at flickr.com.
Black & white photo of Easter Road in the 1950s uploaded by Fraser P at flickr.com
Cira 1980s photo of theEast Stand also uploade by Jmorrison230582 at en.wikipedia.org.
Circa 2005 aerial photo of Easter Road by Dave_Barlow at flickriver.com.
New aerial photo of Easter Road from scotlandsplaces.gov.uk.

As of 15 December 2012, 5th place, St. Johnstone FC.
St. Johnstone FC est. 1875. McDiarmid Park, capacity 10,673, opened in 1989. Located in Perth, Perth & Kinross and situated on the River Tay. Perth is 48 miles (77 km.) north-east of Glasgow. Perth is about 38 miles by road (or about 62km. by road) north-west of Edinburgh. Perth city population is around 44,000 {2008 estimate}.
St. Johnstone are currently averaging 3,922 per game (from home league matches to 15 December 2012).
St. Johnstone FC’s name is a reference to the old way of referring to the town of Perth. From the official St. Johnstone site (perthstjohnstonefc.co.uk), here is an excerpt from the club’s ‘History‘…{excerpt}…’St Johnstone Football Club derives its name from Saint John’s Toun (town) which was the ancient name for the City of Perth and was founded by a group of young men from the cricket team of the same name who were looking for a winter pastime.’…{end of excerpt}.

The name Perth comes from the Pictish word for a wooded area or copse. There has been settlement in Perth since prehistoric times, starting on a raised mound on the River Tay that could be forded at low tides. Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who lived there can be dated back to 8,000 years ago. Neolithic standing stones in the area can be dated back to 6,000 years ago. Perth was home to the Stone of Destiny, also called the Stone of Scone, which was, around 900 years ago, situated in Scone Abbey, and was where the King of Scots was crowned. The Stone of Destiny was captured by Edward I of England in 1296, as spoils of war, and was taken back to Westminster Abbey where it is situated to this day. The Stone of Destiny had given the town early importance, and even after the English stole the Stone away, Perth retained regal status – Perth was often referred to as the capital of Scotland in medieval times because of the frequent residence of the royal court there. William the Lion (Scottish king from 1165 to 1214) gave the town Royal Burgh status in the 12th century. The town became one of the richest burghs in the country, doing trade with France, the Low Countries and with the Germanic, Scandinavian, and Baltic ports of the Hanseatic League. Circa 1559-60, the town had a vital role in the Scottish Reformation, with a sermon given by John Knox at St. John’s Kirk in Perth contributing to the social unrest that culminated with Scotland’s break with the Vatican and with Scotland’s escape from being a vassal-state of France. Owing to it’s central location, Perth became a key transport center with the coming of the railways in the mid-19th century. Industries the town had then included linen production, leathermaking, and whiskey distilling. Today, some of the town’s largest employers after the Perth & Kinross Council (which employs 6,000) include the UK’s largest renewable-energy producer SSE and the insurance multi-national Aviva.
st-johnstone-fc_mcdiarmid-park_perth-scotland_f.gif
Photo credits –
Photo of Perth on the River Tay by Boston Runner at flickr.com.
Aerial photo of north-west outskirts of Perth including McDiarmid Park by Vic Sharp at flickr.com.
Photo of The Main (West) Stand. at McDiarmid Park by Bas at myfootballtravels.com/2009/12/mcdiarmid-park-st-johnstone-v-st-mirren.

As of 15 December 2012, 6th place, Dundee United FC.
Dundee United FC est. 1903. Tannadice Stadium, capacity 14,209, opened in 1883; last renovated from 1992-97. Dundee is in the eastern central Scottish Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay (the Firth of Tay is a sea bay that feeds into the North Sea). Dundee is around 46 miles by road (or around 76 km. by road) north of Edinburgh. Dundee City population is around 152,000 {2008 estimate}, making it the fourth largest city in Scotland.
Dundee United FC domestic honors: 1 Scottish title (in 1983). 2 Scottish Cup titles (in 1994 and in 2010).
Dundee United are currently averaging 7,970 per game (from home league matches to 15 December 2012).
dundee-united_tannadice_dundee-scotland_e.gif
Photo credits above -
Val Vannet at geograph.org.uk.
tcbuzz at flickr.com.
heartsfc.co.uk.

7th place, Aberdeen FC.
Aberdeen FC est. 1903. Pittodrie Stadium, capacity 22,199, opened in 1899; last renovated in 1992-93. Located in Aberdeen, Aberdeen City, on the north east coast of Scotland on the North Sea, around 110 miles by road (or around 175 km. by road) north-east of Edinburgh. Aberdeen is around 145 miles (or around 235 km.) north-east of Glasgow. Aberdeen city population is around 220,000 {2011 estimate}, making it the third largest city in Scotland.
Aberdeen FC domestic honors: 4 Scottish titles (first in 1950; last in 1985). 7 Scottish Cup titles (first in 1947; last in 1990).
Aberdeen FC European honors: 1 European Cup Winners Cup title (1983).
Aberdeen are currently averaging 10,948 per game (from home league matches to 15 December 2012).

Aberdeen is located on the north-east coast of Scotland on the North Sea. The discovery of oil in the North Sea in the late 20th century has largely fueled the economic boom of the city. Aberdeen is Scotland’s 3rd most populous city, and the United Kingdom’s 29th most populous city, with an official population estimate of 220,420 {2011 figure}.
aberdeen-fc_aberdeen-scotland_the-granite-city_pittodrie_n.gif
Photo credits above – visitscotland.com.
Ian Thomson at goal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/aberdeen-looks-to-new-stadium-to-reignite-old-firm-challenge/.
Exterior photo of Pittodrie by Godfather of Science at flickriver.com [scro;; nine-tenths of the way down the page for this photo].
Aerial photo from cbre.co.uk.

As of 15 December 2012, 8th place, Kilmarnock FC.
Kilmarnock FC were established in 1869, and are the oldest Scottish football club. Kilmarnock play at Rugby Park, which was opened in 1899, and was last renovated in 1994-95. Capacity: 18,128. Kilmarnock is 20 miles (or 32 km.) south-west of Glasgow. Kilmarnock is 57 miles (or 92 km.) west-south-west of Edinburgh.
Kilmarnock FC domestic honors: 1 Scottish title (in 1965). 2 Scottish Cup titles (first in 1920; last in 1997).
Kilmarnock FC current average attendance: 5,077 (from home league matches to 15 Dec. 2012).
Kilmarnock had the worst percent-capacity figure in the Scottish Premier League in 2011-12, drawing 5,537 per game in their 18,128-capacity stadium which resulted in an embarrassing 30.5 percent-capacity. A 30 percent-capacity figure is the sort of percent-capacity figure you find with medium-sized down-on-their-luck third or fourth division clubs in England (such as, currently, Notts County, Coventry City, Port Vale, and Plymouth Argyle). But those are medium sized clubs that are stuck in the lower leagues. A 30 percent-capacity is not the sort of figure you should be finding at a first division club that has played in the top flight for over 8 decades, like Kilmarnock (2012-13 is the 85th season that Kilmarnock have been in the first division). Back in the late 1940s and up to the mid-1950s, Kilmarnock had pretty decent drawing power and drew as high as 15,5044 per game (in 1954-55). But historically, many British clubs’ highest-ever average attendance figures come from the 1946-57 to mid-1950s post-War surge in football attendance. And you can see the general downward trend after that, because when they won their only Scottish First Division title in 1964-65, Kilmarnock’s average attendance was 5,000 per game less – just 10,476. So seventeen years ago, the people within the club who made the decision to put Kilmarnock’s current capacity at 18,000 should have noted this. Namely, that their highest-drawing days were in the past and that even winning the Scottish title couldn’t push the club’s drawing-capacity above 10,000 per game. Kilmarnock have only drawn higher than that once since that title winning season of 64/64 – in 1998-99 when they drew 10,981 per game and finished in 4th place. And since then you can see an example of the most recent downward trend in Scottish top-flight attendance because when Kilmarnock had their most-recent top-half-of-the-table finish, in 5th place in 2010-11, they only drew 6,427 per game. Twelve seasons go by and there was a drop off of 3,500 per game for comparable league finishes. The absolute best Kilmarnock have ever done in their rebuilt stadium (since 1995-96) is to play to a 60.5%-capacity, in that 1998-99 season when they averaged just under 11K per game. But most seasons they have played to considerably less than 9,000 per game and well below just a 50 percent-capacity. Kilmarnock last averaged above 7,000 per game in 2006-07, when they finished in 5th place and drew 7,567 per game (for a 41.7 percent-capacity). Since then, attendances have steadily dwindled to the 5,000 to 6,000 range. So these days, unless they are playing Celtic or Rangers, Kilmarnock regularly play to around 4 or 5 thousand supporters and to around 13,000 or 14,000 empty seats. That’s pretty bleak. And it’s a drain on resources because it costs lots of money to provide upkeep on stadiums that end up being mostly empty most of the time.True, Kilmarnock can count on big crowds when the nearby Old Firm clubs visit, and Kilmarnock drew 15,926 when Celtic visited in April 2012; and they drew 16,173 when Rangers visited in April 2011 (however, they only drew 6,501 for their match versus Celtic on Saturday 8 Dec. 2012). So by building an 18,000-seat stadium that plays to less than 30 percent-capacity for around 75% of their home matches, the club has been sacrificing a good home atmosphere all these years just to squeeze some more ticket revenue from the few Old Firm matches they end up hosting (especially in seasons when they don’t finish in the top half before the season-split, and thus get stuck hosting poor-drawing minnows all spring). Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park is simply too large in it’s present configuration and it has probably caused the club to under-perform for many years now. What kind of energy and home support can be generated within a ground that is regularly 75% empty? And who wants to play first division football for a club that usually has 13,000 empty seats and one-third of that number of actual fans in attendance? The low-percent-capacity issue in Scotland among the smaller top flight clubs is a real issue. St. Mirren has already addressed this issue by reducing the capacity of their recently-built new ground by around 2,700. Their old ground, Love Street, had a 10,800-capacity in it’s last configuration. Their new ground, St. Mirren Stadium, which opened in 2009, has a capacity of 8,023. So now St. Mirren usually plays to above 50 to 65 percent-capacity as opposed the 25 to 40 percent-capacity they were often playing to a decade ago. And meanwhile, St. Johnstone are seriously considering a redevelopment of McDiarmid Park that would see a reduction in capacity. Here is an excerpt from the St. Johnstone FC page at en.wikipedia.org (en.wikipedia.org/St._Johnstone_F.C./The_new_millennium)…
{excerpt}… ‘In 2011, plans to demolish the 2,000 capacity North Stand were publicised. This would allow Perth and Kinross Council to build a commuter link road from the neighbouring A9 road into Perth. St. Johnstone chairman Geoff Brown justified the proposal on the grounds that comparable clubs, such as Inverness and St. Mirren, have since built grounds with smaller capacities.’…{end of excerpt}.

kilmarnock-fc_rugby-park_d.gif
Photo credits above –
poity_uk at flickriver.com.
soccerway.com.
scotlandsplaces.gov.uk.

As of 15 December 2012, 9th place, Heart of Midlothian FC.
Heart of Midlothian FC est. 1874. Tynecastle Stadium, capacity 17,420, opened in 1886; last renovated from 1994-97. Located in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh (south-west of the city center).
Heart of Midlothian FC domestic honors: 4 Scottish title (first in 1895; last in 1960). 8 Scottish Cup titles (first in 1891; last in 2012).
Hearts’ current average attendance: 13,184 per game.
Hearts’ current percent-capacity is highest in Scottish Premier League at 76% (figures from home league matches to 15 Dec.2012).

Hearts are the last club to split the Old Firm in the league table, when they finished second to Rangers’ third place in 2005-06, but the team fizzled in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers the next August (falling to AEK Athens 1-5 aggregate in the 2006 UEFA CL 3rd QR).

Hearts’ crest is based on a 16th century paving-stone mosaic in Edinburgh which is by Parliament House and was next to two now-demolished buildings – the old Tollhouse and the old Edinburgh prison. You can see a photo of the Heart of Midlothian stone mosaic in the illustration further below, and the link in the next sentence gives more information on the Heart of Midlothian stone mosaic.
Heart of Midlothian (Royal Mile)‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Hearts have the third largest support in Scotland – they usually draw between 13 and 15 thousand, and in recent seasons have drawn as high as 16,937 per game (in 2006-07). They also fill their ground pretty well – usually in the 70 to 80 percent-capacity range. Granted, their Tynecastle Stadium is a bit small (17,420 capacity). The club intends to expand but sadly for the preservationists, that plan has them eventually demolishing their oldest and smallest stand, the now-improbably-named Main Stand, which was completed in 1919 and was designed by legendary Scottish football stadium architect Archibald Leitch {‘Archibald Leitch‘ (en.wikipedia.org)}.

Tynecastle once had a capacity of around 50,000. It’s record crowd was 52,000 for a Scottish Cup tie versus Rangers in 1932. Hearts’ peak crowds came in the early 1950s, when they could average in the 28,000-per-game-range, but when Hearts last won Scottish titles in 1956-57 and then again three years later in 1959-60, their crowds had already started diminishing to the 23K to 24K range. In 1954, Tynecastle became Scotland’s first all-concrete stadium. There has been plans, all of them eventually shelved, for Hearts to move to another location within Edinburgh for about 80 years now. The first plan was to move to the then-recently-completed Murrayfield (which is a few km. west of Tynecastle) circa the mid-1930s. Then there was the plan circa 1990 to move to the south-east part of Edinburgh and build a 30,000-capacity stadium as part of a supermarket development deal. And then circa 2004 there was a desperation-plan that would have seen Hearts sell Tynecastle and rent Murrayfield, to stave off bankruptcy. As you can imagine that latter plan was very unpopular with Hearts supporters, but the sad fact of the matter is that in avoiding that plan, the door was opened for the current regime to take over Hears and now thanks to that regime Hearts are staring at the abyss.

Hearts are in financial turmoil and have been petty much ever since Russian/Lithuanian ‘businessman’ Vladimir Romanov took over the club in 2005 and sold the Hearts’ faithful a bill of goods. This guy is sort of like Chelsea robber baron oligarch owner Roman Abramovich, in that their main hobbies are answering to no one, meddling with the squad, and firing capable managers. But the difference is that Abramovich is discrete and actually is a billionaire (no matter how ill-gotten his gains were via proxy-theft of Russian oil workers’ stock options in the early 1990s – see this ‘He won, Russia lost‘ (guardian.co.uk from 2004). Romanov has a ‘fortune’ built on a financial house of cards and is a snake oil salesman of a banker who is now trying to get Hearts’ supporters to cough up dough to save the club from liquidation. I really hope that Hearts can get through this. The last thing Scottish football needs right now is another well-supported club pulling a Rangers and being forced to start over at the bottom of the league ladder.

From Left Back In The Changing Room, from 10 Nov.2012, ‘Save Our Hearts‘.

heart-of-midlothian_stone-mosaic_tynecastle_gorgie-edinburgh_i.gif
Photo credits above –
Photo of Heart of Midlothian stone mosaic byD168629K at flickr.com.
Wide aerial photo of Gorgie area incl. Tynecastle uploaded by footballforums.net/forums/thread.
Screenshot of satellite view of Tynecastle from bing.com/maps.

As of 15 December 2012, 10th place, Ross County FC / 6 points above last place (ie, relegation).
Ross County FC est. 1929. Victoria Park (aka the Global Energy Stadium for sponsorship reasons), capacity 6,300 (all-seated), opened in 1929; last renovated in 2012. Located in Dingwall, Highlands Council District. Dingwall town population is around 5,500 {2011 estimate}.

Ross County FC had it’s Scottish first division debut in July 2012. The club met SPL ground standards by making the stadium an all-seater. No new capacity was created, however. Victoria Park’s capacity remains 6,300, which is about 800 more than the entire population of the town of Dingwall (!). Attendance has increased by about 1,400 per game to a current average of 4,341 per game (that is a decent 69 percent-capacity). The Jail End (seen below, in the lower photo in the center), was turned from a terraced stand to a seated stand. Also, a new, roofed North Stand was built (see smaller photo below at right), under-soil heating was installed, and parking capacity was increased. Dingwall is 15 miles (or 25 km.) west-north-west of Inverness. The 2012-13 SPL features the first-ever top-fllght-versions of the Highland derby.

ross-county_dingwall-the-highland-scotland_victoria-park_upgrdes_e.gif
Photo credits above –
Màrtainn at flickr.com.
‘Ross County revamp Victoria Park’, bbc.co.uk.
SNS via bbc.co.uk.

As of 15 December 2012, 11th place, St. Mirren FC / 5 points above last place (ie, relegation).
St. Mirren FC est. 1877. St Mirren Park (aka Greenhill Road), capacity 8,106 (all-seated), opened in 2009. Located in Paisley, Renfrewshire Council area. Paisley is 7 miles (or 11 km.) west of Glasgow city center, and is part of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Paisley’s population is around 80,000 {2012 estimate}.
St. Mirren FC domestic honors: 3 Scottish Cup titles (first in 1926; last in 1987).
St. Mirren FC current average attendance: 4,501 per game (from home league matches to 15 Dec.2012}.

In 2007, St. Mirren sold it’s old ground, Love Street, to the Tesco retail chain and with those proceeds they were able to pay off their debts and build their new ground on a site about .6 km west, adjacent to a National Rail link. St. Mirren Park opened in January 2009. Capacity 8,023 (all seated). The stadium was built to have a capacity of around 2,700 less than Love Street. Since then, St. Mirren have consistently played to average crowds of around 4,400 to 4,600, at around a 54 to 58 percent-capacity. St. Mirren’s 58 percent-capacity in 2011-12 was 4th best in the SPL.

Here is a nice little article about the St Mirren FC crest through the years…from stmirren.info (‘The original and best historical database of St. Mirren F.C.’), ‘St Mirren Crest‘ (stmirren.info).

st-mirren_fc_paisley-renfrewshire-scottland_st-mirren-park_e.gif
Photo credits above –
saintmirren.net.
bing.com/maps.

12th place, Dundee FC.
Dundee FC est. 1893. Dens Park, capacity 12,085, opened in 1899; last renovated in 1999. Dundee is in the eastern central Scottish Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay (the Firth of Tay is a sea bay that feeds into the North Sea)., 120 miles (193 km.) north-east of Glasgow. Dundee City population is around 152,000 {2011 estimate}, making it the fourth largest city in Scotland.
Dundee FC domestic honord: 1 Scttish title (in 1962). 1 Scottish Cup title (in 1910).
Dundee FC current average attendance: 6,342 (from home league matches to 15 Dec.2012}.
dundee-fc_dens-park_dundee-city-council-area_.gif
Photo credit above -
worldstadia.com/stadium.

___

Thanks to David at www.St.Mirren.info, for information on St. Mirren, http://www.stmirren.info/id46.html.

Thanks to Historical Football Kits site for the photo of the 2012-13 125th anniversary Celtic home jersey badge, http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Scottish_Football_League/Celtic/Celtic.htm.

Thanks to Footballfashion.org for colors of home jerseys such as footballfashion.org/hibernian-201213-home-kit; footballfashion.org/inverness-caledonian-thistle-fc-201213-home-kit.

Thanks to Footballkitnews.com for colors of home jerseys such as footballkitnews.com/kilmarnock-2012-2013-home-and-away-strips.

Thanks to Ross County official site for image of the slightly re-tooled Ross County FC crest (it has a different font now, and the blue parts of the shield are a much darker navy blue, Rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk. Store.rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk/category/8-replica-home-kit.aspx.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2012–13 Scottish Premier League‘.

Thanks to soccernet.espn.go.com for Scottish attendance figures from 2011-12, http://soccernet.espn.go.com/stats/attendance/_/league/sco.1/year/2011/scottish-premier-league?cc=5901. Thanks to soccerway.com for Scottish stadium capacities and for current Scottish attendance figures from 2012-13. Thanks to E-F-S site for historical Scottish attendance figures, http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.

Thanks to these 2 sites for mileage and kilometer distances between locations…
City Distance Tool at http://www.geobytes.com/CityDistanceTool.htm?loadpage [I used this site to obtain 'as-the-crow-flies' distances].
UK Distance Calculator at http://distancecalculator.globefeed.com/uk_distance_calculator.asp [I used this site for road-travel distances - that is, for obtaining a distance when there is water between points A and B)].

August 24, 2012

Italy: 2012-13 Serie A – Top of the Table chart, featuring 2011-12 Serie A champion Juventus / Plus 2012-13 Serie A Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Italy — admin @ 3:01 pm
    Juventus – champions of Italy (for the 28th time)…

juventus_2011-12_serie-a_champions_segment_e.gif
Juventus – 2011-12 Serie A champions.




(Note: to see my latest map-and-post on Italian football, click on the following, category: Italy.)

Juventus Football Club won their 28th Italian title last season. Or their 30th Italian title, according to Juventus – ‘Juventus defiant in match-fix controversy‘ (edition.cnn.com, by Alex Thomas and Paul Gittings, from 22 May 2012). Juventus and some of their supporters still think that their club did nothing wrong in the Calciopoli scandal of 2006, and that they never should have been stripped of their 2005 and 2006 titles, and that their then-general manager Luciano Moggi never did anything wrong by virtually having every Serie A referee on his speed-dial and by being able to control which referees officiated which games {see this, ‘2006 Italian football scandal‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

And last year, the fallout from 2006 had barely subsided when a new scandal unfolded – ‘Italian football rocked by fresh match-fixing scandal‘ (guardian.co.uk/football, from 2 June 2011, by James Callow). If you want to know more about how this latest scandal affects the clubs in Serie A, see the last link, at the bottom of this post (an article by Amy Lawrence at guardian.co.uk/football). As far as the reigning champions are concerned, a 10-month touch-line ban for Juventus manager Antonio Conte has been imposed (for when Conte was manager of then-Serie-B-club Siena). But the evidence for that thread of the scandal rests with just one former Siena player, and appeals might change this ban. If not, Conte, sitting in the stands there in Turin, will probably just find some way to tell the coaches who to sub for – the way Jose Mourinho did. Italian society will probably never change – organized crime rules society there to such an extent that there often is the mind-set in Italy that you are not trying to succeed if you are not trying to get something by the authorities. From “The Camorra Never Sleeps”, an article by William Langieweische, “…{excerpt}…”In a place like Italy—where the recent prime minister condones tax evasion as a natural right and publicly impugns the courts—it becomes hard to believe that police actions are sincerely about law and order, or that officials still believe that law and order matter.”…{end of excerpt from page 6, paragraph 7 of vanityfair.com/culture/2012/05/naples-mob-paolo-di-lauro-italy. In business, this means finding extra-legal ways to avoid onerous taxes and regulations that would kill off a 100% legitimate enterprise. In sports, this means actively trying to fool the refs, or at the very least, actively trying to coerce the refs. So the act of players diving, in Serie A matches, is not only tolerated by some, it is expected. Because the logic here is that if you are not trying to fool the ref, that means you are not using every tool at your disposal, and therefore by not diving in the penalty box and trying to win a penalty kick for your team by faking the act of being fouled, you are actually working against your own team’s best interests. And so in this context football club general managers, like Moggi was for Juventus, are expected to try to exert control over referees. This fluid moral code is a theme that runs throughout the book ‘Calcio: A History of Italian Football’ by John Foot {at amazon.com, here}. Here is an excerpt from the book’s preface…
[excerpt]…’A better way way to see calcio is as a kind of fanatical civic religion – where loyalty is total and obsession the norm. Fair play seemed to me to be a concept absent from Italian football discourse. Diving was common and not particularly frowned upon – as long as it worked. In fact, commentators often praised the ‘craftiness’ of non-sportsmanship. There was no moral code here. Winners were always ‘right’, losers always wrong. ‘…[end of excerpt].

What, hopefully, might change in Italy is Italian football clubs’ reliance on lame, dreary, soul-less running-track-scarred municipal stadiums. You can say what you want about Juventus (and I just did), but, as with regards to the future of stadium construction in Italy, Juventus has now shown the way. The completion of Juventus Stadium (opened in August 2011) makes Juventus the only Serie A club to build and own their own stadium. It’s about time. And Juventus Stadium is stunning, and beautiful, and the steep angles of the stands {see this} affords spectators great views and comfortable seating. And there is no ridiculous, atmosphere-deadening running track, so the spectators are about as close to the field of play as is possible, the way football matches should be staged.

There are 20 clubs in the 2012-13 Serie A. 5% of them own their own stadium. 95% of them play in stadiums that were built by, are owned by, and are maintained by state institutions – in either municipal stadiums (85% of the clubs) or in a venue built and owned by the Italian National Olympic Committee (Stadio Olimpico in Rome, home of Lazio and Roma). Of the 17 stadiums that will be hosting Serie A matches in the 2012-13 Serie A season, 7 of them have running tracks which make the closest seats in some sections of the stadiums 15 or 20 meters away from the field. And almost every one of these municipal stadiums with running tracks feature seats that are set in stands that are at a very shallow incline, so by the 20th row or so, the football match you are trying to watch is pretty hard to see.

Here are the 8 clubs playing in the 2012-13 Serie A that play in venues that have a running track – Bologna, Catania, Lazio, Napoli, Pescara, Roma, Siena, and Udinese. Plus in several instances, in the stadiums of Fiorentina, Palermo, Torino, and Atalanta, the municipalities in each case either filled in the running-track-sections of the stadiums with new sections of stands (like at Fiorentina’s stadium, Stadio Artemio Franchi {see photos here at fussballtempel.net}, or they just planted grass there and left a bit of the track (like at Palermo’s Stadio Renzo Barberasee this photo by frakorea at flickr.com). That sort of re-build yields unsatisfactory results, and even in the nicest re-build, Torino FC’s stadium, Stadio Olimpico di Torino, the ghost of the running track and the divide it created between stands and playing field is still there, as you can see here. In all of Serie A there are only 3 top claiber stadiums – San Siro in Milan (the venue of Inter and Milan – here is Stadium Guide.com’s page on San Siro with some photos at the bottom of the page]; Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa (the venue of Sampdoria and Genoa – a couple of photos here {worldstadiums.com), and now Juventus Stadium. Special mention must go to the municipality of Parma and home of Parma FC – Stadio Ennio Tardini, which is a stadium with some charm (despite being a utilitarian bowl-shape), with some nicley-angled stands {see bing.com/Bird’s Eye view of Parma FC’s home, here [to enlarge, multiple-click on magnify sign (plus-sign) at top right], and could be seen to be on par with some of the nicer French municipal stadiums (like at RC Lens and at Saint-Étienne).

How is it that big, and even medium-sized football clubs in England, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, and Portugal can build and maintain their own stadiums, but in places in Europe like Italy and in places in South America like Brazil, almost every club, even the big clubs, must rely on municipalities to build and maintain their stadiums? Municipalities that end up doing a ham-handed job of building insipid multi-purpose stadiums which are almost always devoid of any charm or character and which inevitably feature a running track. Who the heck cares about track and field outside of the Olympics? No one. Sure, governments, or municipalities themselves, should build running tracks, just like they should build libraries. But they don’t put libraries in buildings the size of aircraft hangers, so why do municipalities in Europe and in South America put running tracks in venues that are way too big for the demand? Why do they have to put them in 40,000-seat municipal stadiums? When was the last time, say, Naples really needed that running track in their Stadio San Paolo, because 60,000 Neopolitans were going to attend a track-and-field event? I am willing to wager that the answer is never. Just look at that soul-destroying vast yawning gap there between the fans in the stands and the playing field {here}. You see, Stadio San Paolo was built as a venue for the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics. So you’re thinking…Hey Bill, that just disproves your whole argument. Well, it would if the Olympic event that the Naples stadium was hosting in the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics was track and field. But it wasn’t. Stadio San Paolo in Naples hosted football in the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics. The city planners built the stadium specifically for football – in the Olympics that Italy was hosting – but those clueless city planners still built it with that STUPID USELESS RUNNING TRACK that ruins it for football and is fundamentally useless for anything else… because no one gives a flying fuck about stupid boring pointless track-and-field.

Those running tracks serve no purpose, situated as they are within stadiums that are also home to a football club that draws 20K or 30 K or 40K or more, twenty times a year. Tell me the last time a track and field event outside of the Olympics drew 40,000 people? 30,000 people? 20,000 people? OK, not counting the runners’ Mecca of the state of Oregon, where they recently had 20,000 at a US Track and Field event. But there are no pro soccer stadiums or college gridiron football stadiums in Oregon that have a running track in the stadium. So the place in the world with probably the highest percentage of runners (Oregon) doesn’t even see the need to put running tracks in large multi-purpose municipal stadiums that house their biggest sports teams. The idea of putting a running track into a sports stadium does exist in the USA, but it almost always is with regards to lower-division college sports programs or high school sports stadiums. I am pretty sure there is not one single example in the United States of an NCAA Division I FBS college football stadium that has a running track, out of a total 120 teams in Division I FBS [It turns out I was wrong - 5 of the 120 teams in NCAA Division I FBS play in stadiums with a running track - the Buffalo Bulls, the Eastern Michigan Eagles, the Nevada Wolf Pack, the SMU Mustangs, and the Texas State Bobcats - see comments #1 and #2 below. But that percentage - 4.1% - is still less than any Western European football league with the exception of England and Netherlands (who currently have zero top-flight clubs that play in stadiums with running tracks). And those 5 college gridiron football teams in the top level in America are mostly part of small but growing programs that will in all likelihood eventually move into a new, running-track-free stadium in the near future (except for Eastern Michigan)].

Here is an article I found when I Googled ‘attendance at track and field events’, ‘Empty Bleachers: Getting Fans To Attend Our Best Meets‘ (flotrack.org/blog). And in the interest of full disclosure, I actually did find the mention of recent (2009) attendances of track events in Rabat, Morocco and in Belém, Brazil which drew in the 30 to 35,000 range {http://mb.trackandfieldnews.com/discussion/viewtopic.php?t=35496/ first poster at top of page}

But regardless, those anomalies aside, there is basically no public demand for track and field events outside the Olympics. However, there is plenty of public demand for top flight football, almost everywhere in the world – even, to a lesser extent in the USA and Canada {forget about Australia, though). Which is why English and Spanish and German and Dutch and Portuguese football clubs are able to build and own their own stadiums. These clubs had the means to build and own their own stadiums because the ticket-paying demand was there. You know, there has always been a huge demand for professional top flight football in Italy. And there have been millions of tickets bought to top flight football matches through the years in Italy. So why did over 95% of Italian football clubs, even the biggest clubs with hundreds of thousands of paying customers each season, never have the means (or the desire) to build their own stadiums?

From BBC.co.uk/Football, from 6 May 2012, ‘Juventus wrap up Italian Serie A championship in style‘.

From UEFA.com, ‘Season review: Italy‘.

From guardian.co.uk, from 15 Aug. 2012, by Amy Lawrence, ‘Juventus turmoil leaves Roma and Napoli ready to pounce –
Coach Antonio Conte’s 10-month ban could derail the Serie A champions, but Milan and Internazionale have problems too
‘.

    Italian clubs playing in Europe for 2012-13 – Juventus FC, AC Milan, Udinese Calcio, SS Lazio, SSC Napoli, FC Internazionale -

2012-13_serie-a_clubs-in-europe_.segment_c.gif

    2012-13 Serie A Location-map, with attendance data -

2012-13_serie-a_location-map_attendance_segment_.gif
Note:
Cagliari playing in Trieste (April 2012 article), football.thestar.com.my/2012/04/21/cagliari-to-play-three-more-games-in-trieste.
Attendance data from european-football-statistics.co.uk.
Map by TUBS at en.wikipedia.org, ‘Italy provincial location map.svg‘.

Juventus photos on the chart page -
Celebration, todayheads.com.
Manager,both photos of Antonio Conte by Massimo Pinca/AP via article.wn.com.
Players -
Alessandro Matri – Photo unattributed at forzaitalianfootball.com/2011/04/player-profile-alessandro-matri.
Claudio Matri – Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
– Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images Europe) via zimbio.com.
Andrea Pirlo – Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images via sportsillustrated.cnn.com.
Stadium -
Aerial photo of Juventus Stadium [unattributed] from stadiumporn.com
Exterior photos of Juventus Stadium with crowd in foreground [unattributed], segment of outside shell of stadium [unattributed], and segment of exterior with Juventus Football Club sign [unattributed] from AP via newshopper.sulekha.com.
Large exterior photo of Juventus Stadium [unattributed] from stadiumporn.com.
Interior photo of Juventus Stadium [at the far right on the page] by Massimo Pinca/AP via goal.blogs.nytimes.com
Photo of 2011-12 Juventus home kit badge from mykitshop.com.

Other clubs on the chart page -
AC Milan/Stadio Giusseppe Meazza (aka San Siro) – Photo of Milan ultras from Fossa dei Leoni site via vb.acmilanclub.com . Photo of interior of San Siro by Alessandro Mogliani at en.wikipedia.org. Exterior photo of San Siro by Sotutto at en.wikipedia.org.

Udinese/Stadio Friuli – Photo of Udinese fans [unattributed], Getty Images via IndiaTimes.com. Interior photo of Stadio Friuli by, Martaudine at it.wikipedia.org. Aerial image of Stadio Friuli from bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.

Lazio/Stadio Olimpico – Photo of Lazio’s eagle mascot being released for it’s regular flight around Stadio Olympico [unattributed] from imageshack.us. Photo of Lazio fans in Curva Nord by Andrea Buratti at en.wikipedia.org. Night-time aerial photo of Stadio Olimpico by Maori19 at it.wikipedia.org.

Napoli/Stadio San Paolo – Photo of traveling Napoli fans at Siena (Jan. 2012) by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Photo of upper tier at Stadio San Paolo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda-Photo.com. Aerial image of Stadio San Paolo from bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.

Internazionale/San Siro – Photo of Inter fans with giant banner in Curva Nord of San Siro by batrax at Flickr.com, here. Interior photo of San Siro from SanSiro.net. Exterior photo of San Siro by Sotutto at en.wikipedia.org.

August 15, 2012

Spain: La Liga 2012-13 – Top of the Table chart, featuring 2011-12 La Liga champions Real Madrid / Plus 2012-13 La Liga Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Spain — admin @ 12:06 pm
    Real Madrid – champions of Spain for the 32nd time

real-madrid_2011-12champions_la-liga_.segment_.gif
Segment of photo of Real Madrid 2011-12 home jersey (above) from beautifulgear.com/2011/06/adidas-201112-adidas-home-kit.




Note: to see my latest post on Spanish football, click on the following, category: Spain.

From guardian.co.uk/Football, from 25 May 2012, by Sid Lowe. ‘It’s the Sids 2012! The complete review of the La Liga season – From an epic two-horse race to the joy of Levante, it’s time for the annual end-of-season Spanish football awards‘.

    Spanish clubs playing in Europe for 2012-13 -
    Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, Valencia CF, Málaga CF, Atlético Madrid, Levante UD, Athletic Club [Bilbao]


Champions League icon from iconarchive.com.

    Location-map of 2012-13 La Liga, with attendance data from 2011-12

2012-13_la-liga_location-map_2011-12attendance_segment_.gif
[Note: Attendance figures and stadium capacities are from soccerway.com {soccerway.com/La Liga, 2011-12}.]
Thanks to NordNordWest at en.wikipedia.org, for the blank map of Spain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spain_location_map.svg.
___
Photo and Image credits on the chart page –
Team celebration – Fireworks above Bernebéuu, and Sergio Ramos & team captain Iker Casilas with trophy: both photos unattributed at 7msport.com.
Manager -
Jose Mourinho, photo by Denis Doyle at Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Players-
Christiano Ronaldo, photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Gonzalo Higuaín, photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Karim Benzema, photo by Addesolen at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Karim_Benzema.
Mesut Özil, unattribured photo from dailymail.co.uk/sport/football.
Angel di Maria, photo by Hrvoje Polan/AFP/Getty Images via bloomberg.com.
Xabi Alonso, photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

Estadio Santiago Bernebéu – Aerial photo of Estadio Santiago Bernebéu in the Chamartin district of the city of Madrid by Cisco Pics at flickr.com. Screenshot of image of interior of the Bernebéu from realmadrid.com/Stadium_Tour [video]. Aerial photo of Estadio Santiago Bernebéu [unattributed] from insidersmadrid.com/real-madrid-tours.

Other clubs on the chart -
Barcelona/ Nou Camp – Photo of ‘Mes Que Un Club’ ['More Than A Club'] tifo at Nou Camp [unattributed] from iplot.typepad.com/iplot/joga_bonito/. Interior photo of Nou Camp by MichaelMalin at de.wikipedia.org. Aerial Satellite image of Nou Camp from bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.

Valencia/ Mestalla – Photo of Valencia fans [unattributed] from, PatCrerand.co.uk. Photo of Mestalla at sunset [unattributed] from, EUtravelpictures.com. Aerial photo of Mestalla from Rudsoccer.com.

Málaga/ La Rosaleda (The Rose Garden) – Photo of Málaga fans [unattributed] from oleole.com. Interior photo of La Rosaleda by Morancio at commons.wikimedia.org. Aerial photo of La Rosaleda [unattributed] from estadiosdeespana.blogspot.com.

Atlético Madrid/ Estadio Vicente Calderón – Photo of Atlético Madrid fans [unattributed] from marca.com via fanoffutebol.blogspot.com. Interior photo of Estadio Vicente Calderon by FDV at es.wikipedia.org. Aerial image of Estadio Vicente Calderón from Peñatleticaniano.es, here.

Levante/ Estadi Ciutat de València – Photo of Levante fans with balloons [unattributed] from infodeportes.com/futbol/equipo/levanteud. Interior photo of Estadi Ciutat de Valencia by Iñaki Lasa Rodriguez at panoramio.com. Aerial photo of Estadi Ciutat de València [unattributed] from losgranota.com.

Athletic Bilbao/ San Mamés – Photo of Athletic Club Bilbao-supporter-group Albertzale Sur with banners and Basque flags from forums.pesfans.com [two-thirds of the way down the page there]. Photo of interior of San Mamés by bcfcdavepics at photobucket.com. Photo of exterior of San Mamés from adjacent rooftop by kammourewa at photobucket.com.

July 28, 2012

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


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

    2011-12 English champions, Manchester City.

manchester-city_2011-12english-champions_.segment_.gif
Manchester City – 2011-12 Premier League champions
Manchester City Football Club.
Est. 1880 as St. Mark’s (West Gorton) FC; name changed to Ardwick AFC (from 1887-93); name changed to Manchester City FC in 1894.
Manchester, England.
City of Manchester Stadium (aka Eastlands, aka Etihad Stadium), capacity 47,726. Built in 2002, for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Running track removed and a third (lowest) tier installed in 2003.
2011-12 average attendance: 47,015 per game [home league matches], with a 99.1 percent-capacity/ attendance was up +2.4% from 2010-11.
3 English Titles (2012).
5 FA Cup Titles (2011).
Manchester City have played 84 seasons in the English first division [out of 105 seasons total (1888-89 to 1914-15; 1919-20 to 1939-40; 1946-47 to 2012-13)], with 11 consecutive seasons in the 1st Level (2002-03 to 2012-13).


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

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

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

    2012-13 Premier League location-map with attendance data

2012-13_premier-league_location-map_attendance-data_segment_c.gif
2012-13 Premier League location-map with attendance data
___

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

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

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

July 17, 2012

Germany: 2012-13 Bundersliga – Top of the Table chart, featuring 2011-12 champions Borussia Dortmund / Plus 2012-13 Bundesliga Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data / Plus a small map of the 5 Bundesliga clubs from the Rhine-Ruhr metro region.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Germany — admin @ 6:04 pm

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Borussia Dortmund – 2011-12 Bundesliga champions



    Borussia Dortmund – back-to-back champions of Germany (2010-11 & 2011-12)

The champions of Germany, the back-to-back winners Borussia Dortmund, were in fact the highest-drawing football club in Europe (and most likely, in the world) in 2011-12, filling their massive 80,720-capacity Westfalenstadion (aka Signal-Iduna Park) to a 99.7 percent-capacity, averaging 80,521 per game. Since the 1970s, there is a recurring pattern in Germany where it often goes…X wins the title/ Bayern Munich wins the title the following year/ Y wins the title/ Bayern Munich wins the title the following year, etc. That went on most recently from 2001-02 to 2004-05 (4 seasons) and from 2005-06 to 2010-11 (6 seasons), and it also happened from 1977-78 to 1980-81. With Borussia Dortmund repeating as champions in 2011-12, that cycle is broken (for now). Only 4 clubs have ever won back-to-back Bundesliga titles – all-time most successful German club Bayern Munich (4 times+), Borussia Dortmund (twice), Borussia Mönchengladback (twice), and Hamburger SV.
Here is the list of repeat champions in Bundesliga (1963-64 to 2011-12), with a link to the list of Bundesliga champions ‘Fußball-Bundesliga/ Champions‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2 straight titles – 1969-70 & 1970-71: Borussia Mönchengladbach.
3 straight titles – 1971-72 & 1972-73 & 1973-74: Bayern Munich.
3 straight titles – 1974-75 & 1975-76 & 1976-77: Borussia Mönchengladbach.
2 straight titles – 1981-82 & 1982-83: Hamburger SV.
3 straight titles – 1984-85 & 1985-86 & 1986-87: Bayern Munich.
2 straight titles – 1994-95 & 1995-96: Borussia Dortmund.
3 straight titles – 1998-99 & 1999-2000 & 2000-01: Bayern Munich.
2 straight titles – 2004-05 & 2005-06: Bayern Munich.
2 straight titles – 2010-11 & 2011-12: Borussia Dortmund.

The Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan region, with 5 clubs in the 2012-13 Bundesliga – Borussia Dortmund, FC Schalke 04, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Fortuna Düsseldorf, Bayer Leverkusen…
Seen below are the 5 Bundesliga clubs (in the 2012-13 season) from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, all from within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan region (Rhine -Ruhr region seen in pale red). The Rhine-Ruhr is a heavily-populated former industrial area, with a population of around 11.2 million {2012 figure}. The Rhine-Ruhr is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany. The closest-distance-between-clubs of the five clubs is the 23 km. (14 miles) between Borussia Mönchengladach and Fortuna Düsseldorf; while there is a distance of 27 km. (17 miles) between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 (who are located in Gelsenkirchen). Clubs from the Rhine-Ruhr metro region that have recently been in Bundesliga – Köln (relegated from Bundesliga in 2011-12), VfL Bochum (relegated from Bundesliga in 2009-10), Arminia Bielefeld (relegated from Bundesliga in 2008-09) and MSV Duisburg (relegated from Bundesliga in 2007-08) – 3 of those 4 clubs are currently [2012-13] in 2.Bundesliga, while Bielefeld were relegated to 3. Fußball-Liga last season.
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Base map for Bundesliga location-map by NordNordWest from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Germany_location_map.svg.
Rhine-Ruhr overlay on map from map by Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhine-Ruhr.

    German clubs playing in Europe for 2012-13,
    Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Schalke 04, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, VfB Stuttgart, and Hannover 96

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Bundesliga clubs in 2012-13 UEFA Champions League & Europa League (7 clubs)
Champions League icon from iconarchive.com.

    2012-13 Bundesliga Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data

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2012-13 Bundesliga Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data
Here are links to the attendance data I used, at Soccerway.com [note: Attendance is located above the league table, on the far right].
2011-12 Bundesliga attendance
2011-12 2-Bundesliga attendance
2011-12 3-Ligen attendance.

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Photo and Image credits for chart page – Borussia Dortmund Trophy celebration, bvb.de. Jürgen Klopp, bundesliga.de. Robert Lewandowski, ‘Borussia Dortmund v Qarabag UEFA Europa League Play-Off‘ [Gallery]. Shunji Kagawa, photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe) via zimbio.com. Jakub Błaszczykowski, photo by Frank Augstein/AP at daylife.com. Ivan Perišić, photo from Reuters via daylife.com.Kevin Großkreutz, photo by Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images via guardian.co.uk/football. Dortmund fans with flags from Getty Images via telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/picturegalleries/8906845/Top-five-most-intimidating-overseas-stadiums-in-pictures.
Large photo of Westfalenstadion from liftbilder.de/img/galerie/westfalenstadion-dortmund. Panoramic photo of interior of Westfalenstadion from Borussia Dortmund official site’s page on Signal-Iduna Park, at bvb.de.
Ultras with flags and flares photo from europeanultras.com/2012/05/bundesliga-2012-last-day-5-05-2012. Small location map of Dortmund from en.wikipedia.org, ‘Dortmund‘.

Photo and Image credits for the other clubs on the chart page -
Bayern Munich/Allianz Arena – Photo of Bayern fans with banners from Getty Images via Telegraph.co.uk, here. Close-up photo of exterior lighted panels of Alianz Arena by Marco Döhr at Panoramio.com. Exterior photo of Allianz Arena from MIMOA.eu [free architecture guide], here.

FC Schalke 04/Veltins Arena – Photo of Schalke fans with banners at Veltins-Arena from Skyscrapercity.com thread, here. Interior photo of Veltins-arena from StadionWelt.de, here. Aerial photo of Veltins-Arena from official site of the facility, http://arenapark.gelsenkirchen.de/Umfeld/default.asp.

Borussia Mönchengladbach/Borussia-Park – Mönchengladbach fans with flags photo from 1asport.de. Exterior photo by T vanDam at flickr.com. Aerial image of Borussia-Park from bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.

Stutthart/Mercedes-Benz Arena – Photo of Stuttgart fans with flags and banners by lostboys99.de via europeanultras.com Interior panoramic image by Markus Ungar at.flickr.com Aerial image from bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.

Hannover/AWD_Arena – Photo of Hannover fans with scarves by Maabpaa at Flickr.com, here. Photo of interior of AWD-Arena by hack man at flickr.com, here.Aerial photo of AWD-Arena from this site: http://www.lasan-hienvuong.com/Tuc%20Cau/Images/.

Thanks to europeanultras.com.
Attendance data from soccerway.com.
Base map for Bundesliga location-map from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Germany_location_map.svg; thanks to NordNoedWest for drawing that map.

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