billsportsmaps.com

December 14, 2016

2016–17 Scottish Premiership (Scotland/1st division) location-map, with: 15/16 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Scotland — admin @ 8:45 am

scotland_premiership_2016-17_map_w-crowds_seasons-in-1st-div_titles_post_f_.gif
2016–17 Scottish Premiership (Scotland/1st division) location-map, with: 15/16 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed




By Bill Turianski on 14 December 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Teams, etc…2016–17 Scottish Premiership (en.wikipedia.org).
-Fixtures, results, table, stats…Premiership [Summary] (soccerway.com/national/scotland/premier-league).
-Kits…Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership 2016 – 2017 [Scottish 1st division kits] (historicalkits.co.uk).


List of all-time seasons in the Scottish 1st division by club (1890-91 to 2016-17)…
I could not find any media outlet that had a list for Scotland – All-time 1st division seasons by club. That is including RSSSF and Wikipedia (well, I couldn’t find one, anyway). Although RSSSF does have a very confusing season-by-season list that only goes up to 2011-12, and regardless, that page at RSSSF does not tally the Scottish clubs’ seasons-in-the-1st-division into any form of readable list {see it here, Scotland – All-Time Table (since 1890/91) [and ending at 2011-12]}. So I made a list myself.

First off, counting 2016-17, there have been 120 seasons of top-flight (aka 1st division) football in Scotland.
The first season of Scottish top-flight football was in 1890-91, and the first Scottish national title was won jointly by Rangers FC and Dumbarton FC. Rangers and Dumbarton were declared joint champions after both teams finished even on points and then a play-off between the two – for the title – finished in a 2–2 draw. (Note: Dumbarton is 13 miles west of central Glasgow; Dumbarton FC are currently a 2nd division side, after having won promotion last season.) Dumbarton were champions outright in the second season of organized Scottish top-flight football (in 1891-92), and Celtic FC won their first Scottish title in the third season (in 1892-93). Then came re-organization into the Scottish League First Division (1893–1975). [Note: there were 6 seasons stricken due to World War II (1939-40 through 1945-46).]

By the 1950s, the Old Firm (Celtic and Rangers) had become the entrenched mega-clubs they are today, but even so, in the early post-War period there were several instances of clubs challenging the Old Firm’s dominance. First it was Hibernian, who won 3 titles in a 5-season-stretch (in 1948, in 1951, and in 1952). Then Aberdeen won the first of their 4 titles, when they were champions in 1955. Then Hearts were champions twice in 3 years (in 1958 and in 1960). And then, two much-smaller clubs were unlikely champions in the 1960s…with Dundee FC winning their only national title in 1962, then Kilmarnock winning their only national title in 1965.

Then came another re-organization with the Scottish Football League Premier Division (1975–98). The next 17 seasons – from 1966 to 1982 – saw the Old Firm more dominant than ever, and claim every title. But then in the 1980s, for a brief time, it looked like clubs were going to finally challenge the nigh-insurmountable Old Firm duopoly. That occurred in a 6-season spell in the first half of the 1980s, with Aberdeen winning their second title in 1980, then 3 years later Dundee United won their only national title in 1983. And then that was followed by the Alex Ferguson-led Aberdeen winning the next two national titles (in 1984 and ’85). But that was the last time neither Rangers or Celtic were champions.

The next re-organization saw the creation of the Scottish Premier League (1998–2013). And then the most recent re-organization brings us to the present-day, with the institution of the Scottish Premiership in 2013-14. Rangers were relegated down 4 divisions due to financial improprieties in May 2012. Rangers regained top-flight status in 2016-17, after one season in the 4th division, one season in the 3rd division, and two seasons in the 2nd division. So the Old Firm is back, and the last time another club has been the champions of Scotland has been 31 years ago…and counting.

The chart below shows the clubs in the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish Championship (2016-17 season)…
scotland_all-time-1st-division_seasons-by-club_titles_1890-91-to-2016-17_h_.gif
Sources for chart:
-Scotland – All-Time Table (since 1890/91) [and ending at 2011-12] (rssst.com).
-List of Scottish football champions (en.wikipedia.org).
-Scottish Premiership/Clubs (en.wikipedia.org).

___
Thanks to all at…
-Blank map of Scotland, by NordNordWest at File:Scotland location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Blank map of Greater Glasgow [segment], by Nilfanion at File:Glasgow UK location map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Rangers’ kit badge, from photo at fruugo.us.
-Partick Thistle kit badge, from photo at teamwearscotland.com.
-St Johnstone kit badge, segment from photo at St Johnstone FC shop.
-Kilmarnock kit badge, segment from unattributed photo at footballkitnews.com/jpg

August 24, 2013

2013–14 Scottish Premiership: location-map with 2012-13 attendance data and 2013-14 home jersey badges.

Filed under: England & Scotland-Map/Crowds/Kit Badges,Scotland — admin @ 7:54 pm

2013-14_scotland_scottish-premiership_map_kit-badges_post_.gif
2013–14 Scottish Premiership: location-map with 2012-13 attendance data & 2013-14 home kit badges



Scotland – Premiership: fixtures, results, table (soccerway.com).

From 1 August 2013, ‘SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP 2013-2014 PREVIEW: Can anyone challenge Celtic?‘ (dailymail.co.uk/sport/football).

From When Saturday Comes.co.uk, from 14 August, by Alan Anderson, ‘Scotland’s dislike of England masks bigger problems
Enjoy chance to embarrass larger neighbours
‘ (wsc.co.uk).

Teams from Scotland playing in Europe for 2013-14 (with 12/13 Scottish Premier League finish noted):
Scotland’s very poor current UEFA coefficient holds at 24th {see this ‘UEFA coefficient/Current ranking‘ (en.wikipedia.org)}. And unless Celtic rallies from a 2-goal deficit (see next paragraph), that 24th-place coefficient will probably plummet further.

#1 – Celtic, of course, won the league title yet again in 12/13, and qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, where Celtic defeated Cliftonville (of Northern Ireland) 5-0. In the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, Celtic then defeated Elfsborg (of Sweden) 1-0 aggregate. Then in the final qualifying round before the CL Group Stage – the CL Play-off Round – Celtic were drawn to face Shakhter Karagandy (of Kazakhstan). Because their stadium in Karaganda holds only 19,000, Shakhter opted to host Celtic in the Kazakh capital-city of Astana, at the 30,000-capacity Astana Arena. The long journey, deep into central Asia, that the Celtic squad had to take to get there, seems to have taken its toll (the distance between Glasgow, Scotland and Astana, Kazakhstan is 4782 km. or 2,970 miles). In the first leg on 20 Aug. 2013, Celtic fell 2-0 to the back-to-back Kazakhstan Premier League champions, in front of a sell-out crowd of 29,950 – see this, ‘Celtic succumb to a shock defeat by Kazakhstan’s Shakhter Karagandy‘ (PA via theguardian.com/football). There has never been a Kazakhstan-based club in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, and unless Celtic manager Neil Lennon can rally his troops, Shakhter Karagandy will become the first Kazakh side in the CL Group Stage (ie, since 92/93), as well as becoming the furthest-easternmost club to to play in the competition (Rubin Kazan of Tatarstan, Russia, who were in both the 2009-10 and 2010-11 UEFA CL Group Stages, hold that distinction, currently). Here is another article about Celtic’s CL-qualifier predicament, ‘Celtic have chance of redemption in Champions League qualifier – The board of directors have been criticised for failing to reinvest but need Neil Lennon’s current squad to deliver‘ (by Ewan Murray at theguardian.com/football/blog). [Note: Celtic did qualify for the UEFA CL Group Stage by beating Shakhter Karagandy 3-0 at Parkhead on 28 Aug.]
#2 – Motherwell finished second in 12/13 (following a 3rd place finish in 2011-12), and the Steelmen qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round. However, Motherwell fell to Kuban Krasnodar (of Russia), 0-3 aggregate.
#3 – St. Johnstone finished third in 12/13, despite having the lowest crowds in the league, and qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round. There, St. Johnstone defeated Rosenborg (of Norway) 2-1 aggregate. In the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, St. Johnstone faced FC Minsk (of Belarus), and lost 2-3 aggregate, in penalties, to the Belarussian side.
#7 – Hibernian finished seventh in 12/13, but they qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round by virtue of being runners-up in the 2012-13 Scottish Cup (which was won by Celtic, who had already qualified for Europe), thus Hibernian took the spot. Hibernian then lost to Malmö (of Sweden) by the appalling score of 0-9 aggregate.

The only other club in Scotland besides Celtic that won silverware in 2012-13
St Mirren FC, of Paisley, Renfrewshire (which is on the western-edge of Greater Glasgow), won the 2013 Scottish League Cup, defeating Heart of Midlothian 3-2, before 44,000 at Hampden Park. Congratulations to St Mirren.

Promoted and relegated in 2012-13…
Relegated: Dundee FC were relegated straight back to the second division in 12/13. No other club (such as St Mirren or Hearts) were really troubled by relegation worries as Dundee finished bottom, 13 points from safety. [Dundee had gained promotion back to the Scottish top tier for the 2012-13 season only because of Rangers' implosion in the Spring of 2012, and the Glasgow giants' subsequent banishment to the fourth division as Rangers (Newco).]
Promoted: Glasgow-based Partick Thistle won promotion to the Scottish top flight (see below).

Promoted to the Scottish Premiership for the 2013-14 season – Partick Thistle FC (their first appearance in the Scottish top flight in 9 seasons).
Partick Thistle are from NW Glasgow and are nicknamed the Jags. They wear red-and-yellow-jerseys (this season in a vertical-stripe pattern), the over-exuberance of that color-scheme being off-set by a rather dignified black-thistle-in-disc crest. Partick Thistle have won 0 Scottish titles, 1 Scottish FA Cup title (in 1921), and 1 Scottish League Cup title (in 1972). Their highest league finish was in 3rd place, which Partick Thistle did 3 times – in 1947-48, in 1953-54, and in 1962-63. From 1902-03 all the way to 1974-75, Partick Thistle were a top flight club. The modern era of Old Firm dominance in Scottish football in general and in Glaswegian football in particular has been really bad for Partick Thistle. Since the mid 1970s, Partick have played much more seasons outside the Scottish top flight, with their nadir being the 2 seasons they spent in the 3rd tier from 1998 to 2000. During the last, brief spell that Partick Thistle were in the top flight, which was a 2-season spell from 2002 to ’04, the club averaged 5,553 that initial season back in the SPL, and then 4,710 when they fell back to the second tier in 2004. Partick Thistle averaged 3,614 per game last season [2012-13], as they won the Scottish First Division comfortably (in the end), by 11 points over nearby rivals Greenock Morton. Back in the top tier for 2013-14, Partick Thistle have drawn 7,822 in their home opener versus Dundee United; then they drew 6,540 on a Friday night v. Hearts – which makes a 7,181 average gate so far. Partick Thistle will probably draw between 6 K to maybe 7.5 K per game, depending on how they do this season. They won’t have near the relegation worries one might normally expect, because Hearts have been docked 15 points for entering administration (plus being slapped with a transfer ban). If Partick Thistle do stay up this first year back, they stand a chance to possibly grow their fan base a bit, seeing as how the blue half of the Old Firm – Rangers (Newco) – still have 2 more seasons to get promoted back to the Scottish Premiership.
Below, Firhill, home of Partick Thistle, in the northwest of Glasgow in the Maryhill area (Maryhill is a former borough with a population of approximately 52,000)
partick-thistle_firhill-stadium_e.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Photo of small badge from http://www.teamwearscotland.com/partick-thistle-replica-store/402-partick-thistle-open-t-shirt-.html.
Photo of fans arriving at Firhill fromptfc.co.uk/media/photo_galleries/match_galleries/2012-2013/partick_thistle_v_greenock_morton_10_04_13.
Aerial image [via satellite] from bing.com/maps (Bird’s Eye view).
Interior photo of Firhill by Robert Poole at flickr.com/photos/robertpool.
Exterior photo of Firhill by LordHorst at en.wikipedia.org, ‘File:Partick Thistle Firhill Stadium.JPG‘.
13/14 PTFC home kit illustration from ‘Partick Thistle F.C.‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

___

Thanks to E-F-S site, for Scottish attendance figures, http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘Scottish Premiership (association football)‘.

Thanks to Celtic official site for the photo of the 2013-15 Celtic home kit badge, http://celticsuperstore.co.uk/stores/celtic/products/kit_selector.aspx?selector=288.

Thanks to Partick Thistle official site for photo of image of black-thistle-on-yellow-badge-segment, from video of 13/14 kit PTFC release, http://ptfc.co.uk/media/video/miscellaneous/2013-2014/new_strip_launch.

Thanks to Jag-mad site for League history info on Partick Thistle, http://www.partickthistle-mad.co.uk/league_history/partick_thistle/index.shtml .

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)].

December 1, 2010

Scotland, 2010-11 Scottish Premier League – Stadia map.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Football Stadia,Scotland — admin @ 10:01 am

scotland_2010-11_stadia-map_post_c.gif
Scotland, 2010-11




Scottish council areas are listed for each club’s home city or town. Scottish Council areas map, here. ‘List of towns and cities in Scotland by population‘ (en.wikipedia.org). This next map shows populations densities in Scotland, here. You can see the heavy concentration of population in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the Central Belt that connects the two cities. 8 of the 12 clubs in the 2010-11 Scottish Premier League are from this belt, and around 20 of the 24 highest-drawing clubs in Scotland are in the belt {see my map from last season, here, which shows all clubs (24) that drew over 1,000 per game in 2008-09)

Attendances on the map page are for home league matches, 2009-10 season. Attendance was down at 9 of the 12 clubs last season, with only then-promoted St. Johnstone seeing a significant upswing (from 3,516 to 4,717 per game). Kilmarnock saw a modest +4.6% gate increase (of 245 per game), to 5,972, but that’s still well below their past-decade high of 9,422 per game in 1999-2000. This season {2010-11 attendances (ESPN Soccernet), here} Celtic is currently seeing around a 4,400 per game turnstile increase, to 49,000 or so per game, but still far below their modern era high of 59,353 per game, in 2000-01. All through the decade of the 2000s, Celtic was outdrawing Rangers, often by a 10,000 per game margin. But in the latter half of the 1990s, Rangers were drawing around 49,000 to Celtic’s 48,000. So last season was the first time since the late 1990s that Rangers outdrew Celtic. The basic reason is Rangers’ 2 straight Scottish titles, and Celtic’s two consecutive seasons without a major title. Hibernian has an exciting and improving squad (but are faltering this season, in the bottom half of the table), and have a new stand (the East Stand), and gates have increased. Hibs are pulling in around 13,000 per game this season, which is around 1,200 higher than their 2009-10 gate figures. Inverness Caley Thistle, promoted back this season, for their sixth season in the Scottish top flight, have seen crowds at 5,000, and that is equal to their best (which was 5,061 per game in their second season in the first tier and their first full season in their renovated stadium). Their Caledonian Stadium is right on the shore of the Moray Firth, and seats just over 7,000. Inverness are one of four clubs in the Scottish Premier League with a ground smaller than 10,000 capacity, and one of 8 clubs in the league with a ground smaller than 20,000. And when you factor in the giant capacities of Celtic Park (cap. 60,832) and Ibrox (cap. 51,082), and the crowds that the two Old Firm clubs pull in, you can see why the Scottish Premier League is one of the most lopsided and competitively unbalanced football leagues in the world. In the 1980s, there was hope that Dundee United (1983 title) and Aberdeen could break the monopoly of the Old Firm (until Alex Ferguson left Aberdeen to manage Manchester United, after he had led Aberdeen to a European Cup Winners’ Cup title in 1983, then back-to-back Scottish titles in 1984 and 1985); and in the early 2000s, Hearts looked like they could muscle in (until their owner went nuts, doing things like firing George Burley after he had Hearts start the 2005-06 season with 8 straight wins). These days no one talks of who could have even a ghost of a chance to wrest the title from Rangers or Celtic. It’s been 25 seasons straight that the title has been in the hands of the Old Firm, and the fact that Rangers or Celtic will win the title is a done deal from the get-go. And crowds are way down compared to a decade ago. Last season, the Scottish Premier League averaged, as a whole, 13,920 per game. In 1999-2000, the Scottish Premier League averaged 17,901 per game. That’s a drop-off of 3,981 per game.
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Thanks to Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view, (set at Inverness Caley Thistle’s Caledonian Stadium, here).

Thanks to Perthshire Picture Agency, www.ppapix.co.uk, for St. Johstone/McDiarmid Park photo, here.

Thanks to Hibs fan Disco Dave Barlow for the Hearts/Tynecastle aerial photo, here.
Disco Dave Barlow’s photostream at Flickr.com, here.

Thanks to MJM Architect, for the St. Mirren/St. Mirren Park photo, here.

Thanks to www.Glasgow2014.com, for this stunning, giant photo of Celtic Park [it might take a little while to download], here.

Thanks to Football-Pictures.net, for the photo of Rangers’ Ibrox, here.

The next photo came from a site I couldn’t access (I did a screen shot of the Google Image search page for ‘fir park stadium motherwell’), 24th image, here.

Thanks to RSSSF.com, for all-time table in Scotland, here.

Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendance figures, here.

Thanks to Demis.nl, for the base map. Demis Web Map Server.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, 2010-11 Scottish Premier League.

October 21, 2009

Scotland: 2008-09 attendance map (all clubs drawing over 1,000 per game- 24 clubs).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Scotland — admin @ 6:29 am

scotland_2008-09attendances_post_c.gif



This is the 113th season of professional football in Scotland.  Reigning champions are Rangers. 

This map shows all football clubs in Scotland that drew over 1,000 per game last season (2008-09 domestic leagues).  The map ends up including all clubs in the top two tiers,  which are the Scottish Premier League (12 clubs);  and the Scottish First Division (10 clubs),  plus 2 clubs who were relegated…Clyde FC,  who are now in the Scottish Second Division (which is the 3rd Level),  and Livingston FC,  who are now in the lowest rung on the pro ladder,  the Scottish Third Division (the 4th Level).   [Note:  Airdrie United were also initially relegated to the 3rd Level,  but were re-installed,  because of the vacancy left by Livingston FC,  who ended up being relegated two leagues down to the Scottish Third Division for financial reasons.]

Currently in the Scottish Premier League,  after 8 matches,  the Old Firm is where they usually are,  in first and second place,  with Rangers one point ahead of Celtic.  There is talk again about Celtic and Rangers leaving the Scottish Premier League.  In one scenario the two Old Firm clubs would be part of a proposed Atlantic League,  featuring clubs from Holland,  Belgium,  Denmark,  and Sweden.  {see this article,  ‘Walter Smith stresses need for Old Firm to join European league’,  by Ewan Murray,  from 15th October, 2009 Guardian.co.uk}.   The question is,  would a move by Rangers and Celtic out of the Scottish Premier League be a “natural progression”,  as Smith says in the article,  or would it be a case of the big shots forsaking their roots,  and leaving the Scottish game to wither?  


Rangers are in the 2009-10 UEFA Champions League Group Stage,  Group G,  but do not look like a team capable of advancing.  They just made a hash of their home match versus Unirea Urziceni,  losing 4-1.  Two own goals were part of three goals conceded in 15 minutes to the Romamian minnows {see this (ESPN Soccernet)}.   Celtic are in the 2009-10 UEFA Europa League Group Stage,  Group C.  The club got off to a poor start in this competition,  losing away to Hapoel Tel Aviv (of Israel) in September.  Celtic will host Hamburg on Thursday, 22nd October.

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In the Scottish First Division,  the northern-most club on this map is currently in first place…Ross County FC,  who hail from the Scottish Highlands town of Dingwall, Ross and Cromarty.  [Note: there is one club in the Scottish Football League that is located futher north than Ross County,  that is 4th Level club Elgin City FC,  who are located about 15km. further north than Dingwall.] 

Dingwall’s population is around 5,000 (2001 census).  Ross County drew 2,164 per game last season to their ground,  Victoria Park,  which is not bad at all,  considering the town’s small size.  If Ross County does buck the odds and win their first ever promotion to the Scottish top flight,  the club has vowed to expand Victoria Park to meet SPL capacity requirements,  which calls for 6,000 seated…Victoria Park currently only has capacity for 3,500 seated {see this,  from the BBC site (24 September, 2009)}.  Last weekend the Staggies returned to the top of the table with a win away v. Airdrie  {see this,  from the Jailender,  a Ross County FC fansite}}.

ross-county-fc_dingwall-highlands_victoria-park_.gif

Ross County were elected to the Scottish Football League for the 1994-95 season,  along with local rivals Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC.  Inverness were just relegated from the Scottish Premier League after the 2008-09 season,  but maybe there will be Scottish Highlands representation in the top flight again next season,  if Ross County can keep up their good form.  They are playing with a thin squad,  though,  with only 16 senior and 3 junior players on board.  

Scottish groundhopping blog Fitba Daft’s page on Ross County FC’s Victoria Park {click here}.

Ross County FC official site,  set at club history page {here}.

Scottish Football League site (ie,  2nd through 4th Levels)… http://www.scottishfootballleague.com/ .

Scottish Premier League site {click here}.

Thanks to the E-F-S site,  for the attendance figures {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org {click here (set at 2008-09 in Scottish football).   Thanks to www.demis.nl ,  for the base map.

Thanks to Scotavia Images {click here}.   Thanks to Geograph.org.uk {click here}.   Thanks to the Jailender,  the unofficial Ross County FC fansite {click here}. 

September 3, 2009

Super League XIV; Guinness Premiership 2009-10 and the Magners League 2009-10, with maps of each league, and attendance map of all 36 teams in top flight UK/Irish rugby.

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The first map shows all 36 teams in the three top rugby leagues of Great Britain and Ireland.  The maps for Super League XIV,  Guinness Premiership 2009-10,  and Magners League 2009-10 are further down in the post.  

Two of the three leagues shown on the map use the older Rugby Union code.  Super League uses the newer Rugby League rules

The Rugby Union code dates back to 1870 {see this}. The Rugby League code has its roots in the Great Schism, and the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895 {see this: ‘The Great Schism’ (from RugbyFootballHistory.com)};  {see this: ‘History of rugby league’, from en.wikipedia.org}.}.   

In the late nineteenth century, the working class status of the majority of rugby players in the north of England necessitated an establishment of payment for the players (as well as compensation for injuries). The origins of many of the rugby players in the south of England were middle class and upper class, and many learned the game at the Public Schools (which were then and still are essentially private schools for the privileged). So there was less a need for player payment. The Rugby League / Rugby Union split can traced to this Victorian era class divide…in the north, poor working-class men playing the game, in the south, Public School graduates with little pressing need for salary augmentation, playing the game under the principles of amateurism. 

In 1892, charges of professionalism were made against rugby clubs in Yorkshire, specifically in Leeds and Bradford. By 1893, widespread suspensions of northern clubs and players began. In late August, 1895, in a meeting in Manchester, nine Lancashire clubs declared their support for their Yorkshire colleagues. Two days later, 29th August, 1895, representatives of 22 clubs met in Huddersfield, Yorkshire to form the Northern Rugby Football League. Included in these 22 clubs were 7 clubs that are currently in Super League XIV…Huddersfield, Hull FC, Leeds, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington, and Wigan.

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Rugby Union is more plodding, and utilizes scrums to restart the run of play {see this, ‘Playing rugby union’}.  Rugby League is faster and more wide-open {see this: ‘Rugby League’}. But Rugby League is the dominant game in just two areas of the world…in a swath of north-central England, and in Australia. 

Rugby League Code: Super League…

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Click on the following title for Super League XIV map:  rugby_super-league-xiv___.gif

The parts of northern England where Rugby League is the dominant code are in a band which stretches from Merseyside, through Cheshire, Greater Manchester, and east across the Pennine Chain to West Yorkshire, and the East Riding of Yorkshire, centered on Hull. 11 of the 14 current teams in Super League are from this Rugby League-intensive swath of England. In this swath there is 1 team from Merseyside, just east of Liverpool (St Helens); [Editors note ca. 2014: now 2 teams currently from Cheshire incl. the re-instated Widnes Vikings] 1 team from Cheshire (Warrington Wolves); 2 teams from Greater Manchester (Wigan Warriors and Salford City); 5 teams from West Yorkshire (Huddersfield Giants, Bradford Bulls, Leeds Rhinos, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, and Castleford Tigers); and 2 teams from Kingston upon Hull (Hull FC, and Hull Kingston Rovers).

There is one other team in Super League from England: Harlequins RL, who are based in west London. Although it had separate origins, since 2005 Harlequins RL has been a branch of the Rugby Union/ Guinness Premiership team Harlequins FC. Harlequins field a team in both rugby codes (as do Super League team Leeds Rhinos, with their Rugby Union team being Leeds Carnegie). 

The other two teams in Super League XIV are the Celtic Crusaders of Bridgend, south Wales, who joined Super League in 2008; and Catalans Dragons, of Perpignon, France (in the Catalonian area of southern France), who joined in 2006. [Note: Celtic Crusaders are now defunct, having been wound up in Sept. 2011.]. Super League was formed with the intention of being Europe’s top league in the Rugby League code, but having one team outside of Great Britain is as far as the league has got in that direction. The French team was originally Paris Saint-Germain RL , but thar poorly supported club went under in 1997.

In 2005, Super League replaced promotion/relegation with Licensing {see this}. There is a brief description of Super League Licenses on the map, in the sidebar.  Super League features a February to September playing season, unlike the traditional late summer/ fall/ winter/ early spring rugby season. 

The highest drawing teams in Super League are Leeds Rhinos, who averaged 15,113 per game in 2008;  Hull FC (14,390 per game);  Wigan Warriors (14,149 per game); and St Helens (12,796 per game). As a whole, Super League XIII averaged 9,082 per game. Here is the list of attendances that I used {click here (FootballGroundGuide.com Message Board thread, posted by frequent contributor Stadiumitis?)}

Super League has a large play-off format, with 8 teams qualifying each season . This system has been in place since 1998 {see this}, and culminates each season in the Grand Final.

Only four teams have won Grand Final Titles…St Helens 4 times; Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls 3 times; and Wigan Warriors once, in the first final in 1998.   Leeds Rhinos were 2008 champions.

For the full list of Rugby League Champions (1895-’96 to 2008), {click here}.

http://www.superleague.co.uk/

For the 2009 Super League table {click here}.

For new expanded Super League play-off structure {click here (Sky Sports broadcast report from March, 2009}.

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Rugby Union Code: Guinness Premiership…

Click on the following title for Guinness Premierhip 2009-10 map: rugby_guinness-premiership2009-10_1.gif

 The Guinness Premiership is strictly an English affair.  Its roots are in the English Rugby Football Union’s decision in the early 1970′s to finally sanction a knock-out cup (which is now known as the Anglo-Welsh Cup {see this}. The pro game in England had been held back by the organizers fear that ‘dirty play’ would ensue if leagues were organized within English Rugby Union. By the mid-1980′s , national merit tables came into being (this being the first time Rugby Union teams’ success was quantifiably measured). In 1987, the Courage Leagues were formed. This was a pyramid system involving 108 leagues and over 1,000 teams. In 1994, Sky Sports started broadcasting games. In 1996, professional status began with the debut of the Rugby Union Premiership. In 2002-03, the champion was now determined by the Playoffs winner, instead of first place in the final league table. That season the title went to London Wasps, while Bath was winner of the now-secondary league table. Those two teams, London Wasps and Bath Rugby, both have won 6 Premiership Titles, they are second only to Leicester Tigers  who boast of 8 Premiership titles. Leicester also draws very well,  averaging around 17,000 per game. The only other teams with titles are Newcastle Falcons and Sale Sharks, both with 1 championship season. Incidentally, Sale Sharks are the lone Rugby Union team in the Rugby League region of north-central England. Gloucester has won the league table 3 times. Reigning champions are Leicester Tigers.

The Guinness Premiership has relegation and promotion, with last place being sent down to the Guinness Championship (formerly National Division One). It is the only one of these 3 leagues that has promotion/relegation in the strict sense. Leeds Carnegie have been promoted for the 2009-10 Guinness Premiership,  upplanting the relegated Bristol Rugby. 

The Guinness Premiership draws the highest crowds of the 3 leagues, averaging 10,876 per game in the 2008-’09 season. Highest drawing teams in 2008-09 were Leicester Tigers (17,210 per game); Gloucester (14,215 per game); Northampton Saints (13,250 per game); Harlequins RFC (11,774 per game); and London Irish, of Reading (11,384 per game). Five teams drew between 9,100 and 10,600 per game…Bath Rugby; Worcester Warriors;  Saracens,of Watford; London Wasps, of Wycombe;  and Sale Sharks, of Stockport, Greater Manchester. 

Guinness Premiership 2009-2010 season starts 4th September,  fixtures {click here (Official site)}

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Rugby Union Code: Magners League…

Click on the following title for Magners League map: rugby_magners-league09-10.gif

The Magners League is the top flight rugby league of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. Its roots are in the old Welsh Premier Division. In 1999, Scottish teams joined, and in 2001, Irish and Northern Irish teams joined,  inaugurating the Celtic League. After a shake-up in early 2003, involving the demise of some of the Welsh teams, it was decided that the Celtic League would become the sole professional league in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland. [The Welsh Premier Division is now a developmental league, see this.]. In 2006, for sponsorship reasons, the Celtic League became known officially as the Magners League. 

Munster and Leinster have won the title twice; Ospreys, Llanelli, and Ulster have one title each. Munster Rugby are reigning champions. Munster also drew highest of all teams, not just in the Magners League, but versus teams from the other two leagues as well. Munster plays in two locations: in Cork, and in Limerick. They averaged 17,401 per game in 08/09. Leinster also drew well, second highest in the Magners League and fifth best overall, at 14,728. The next highest drawing Magners League team last season was Ulster, of Belfast, Northern Ireland, who drew 9,085 per game. Next in order came the four Welsh teams… Cardiff Blues (8,673 per game); Ospreys, of Swansea (8,405 per game); Scarlets, of Llanelli (7,293); and Newport Gwent Dragons (6,089). The 2 Scottish teams only drew in the 4,000-range; and the lowest drawing club of all was Connacht, of Galway, Ireland,  ho drew only 1,989 per game, lower than 10 teams in lower-division leagues. There is a Magners League sidebar at the lower left of the map.

Magners League 2009-2010 season starts 4th September,  fixtures {click here}.

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Lower Leagues

The highest drawing non-top-flight team in 08/9 was Exeter Chiefs, of National Division 1 (that league will be called the Guinness Championship in September 2009). Exeter drew 4,599 per game in 08/09, higher than 2 Super League and 2 Magners League teams. Next highest, at 4,006 per game, was Widnes Vikings, of Cheshire, a team in the second tier of Rugby League, which is called the Co-Operative Championship {see this map of the teams in the Co-operative Championship…again,  ote the concentration of teams in the Rugby League-oriented north of England} [note: Widnes Vikings joined Super League in 2012.].

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Thanks to Football Grounds Guide Message Board, and contributor ‘Stadiumitis?’  {click here}.   Football Grounds Guide home {click here}.  

Thanks to James at The Rugby Blog {click here}, for input and information.

Thanks to Steven Bond at Plover.net {‘Rugby League vs. Rugby Union’, click here}.  

Thanks to Suite101 site, and this thread {click here: ‘Rugby Union versus Rugby League’,  by Stuart Duncan}.  
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikimedia  {click here for Super League XIV page;  click here for Guinness Premiership pageclick here for Magners League page}.

October 4, 2008

Scotland: Clubs in the 2008-’09 Scottish Premier League (with attendances from 07/08).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Scotland — admin @ 7:25 am

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The Scottish Premier League is currently playing it’s 17th season (this is the 112th season of 1st division professional Scottish football).   Reigning champions are Celtic.   Here is an overview of the 07/08 season,  and a preview of this season,  from  http://www.betinf.com/prev_scott.htm.

Here is Wikipedia’s page on the Celtic/Rangers rivalry,  aka “The Old Firm”  {Click here}.

Scottish Premier League table {Click here (Soccer Stats site) }.

Thanks to the European Football Statistics site {Click here}.

Thanks to http://www.demis.nl  for the base map.

Thanks to the Unprofessional Foul site {Click here},  which added my site to it’s blogroll this week.

PS, the map looked a little sparse,  so I slapped togather a little chart with the 07/08 kits of all 12 clubs,  listing their national titles and cups, and seasons in the Scottish top flight.   Thanks to the RSSSF site for Hamilton Accies info {see this}.  Thanks to the Colours Of Football site,  for the kits {Click here}.

April 20, 2008

Scottish Premier League, 2007-’08 Season: Zoom Map.

Filed under: Scotland,Zoom Maps — admin @ 6:46 am

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The Scottish Premier League was formed in 1998, following the example set 6 years earlier by England’s Premier League.  There are 12 clubs in the league.  Last place is relegated.  The winner qualifies for the Champions League;  2nd place gets a spot in the 3rd round Qualifiers for the Champions League;  3rd place enters the UEFA Cup;  as does the Scottish Cup winner ( the other Cup finalist gets that spot,  if the Cup winner finishes in the top 3).  Scotland’s domestic league is currently ranked #10 by UEFA for European competitions {see this}. 

The Title this season is pretty much sewn up by Rangers, even though they lost to 2nd place Celtic last Thursday, allowing the Hoops to pull within 2 pts.  That’s because Rangers have 3 games in hand.  The season is in it’s rather strange, final Split phase, when the 12-team league splits in half, to play 5 final games within it’s half {see this}.

This map show the 12 clubs in the 2007-’08 SPL season.  Both major domestic trophies are listed:  the National Title (Scottish First Division Title/ Scottish Premier Division Title/ Scottish Premier League Title); and the Scottish Cup.   Seasons in the first division, and consecutive seasons there, are also listed.

Rangers and Celtic, both from Glasgow (and often referred to as the Old Firm) have dominated the Scottish football world.  Rangers have 51 National Titles,  Celtic have 41.  The third highest tally is 4 Titles, won by three clubs:  Hearts and Hibernian (both from Edinburgh);  and Aberdeen.   In spite of Rangers’ higher domestic tally, it is Celtic who have had the success in Europe, winning the European Cup in 1967, famously with a squad comprised entirely of players born within 30 miles of Celtic Park.  

Celtic also has a larger fan base than Rangers, drawing around 57,000;  Rangers draw around 49,000;  no other club in Scotland draws over 20,000 per game.  Hearts averages around 16,000;  Hibs around 14,000;  and Aberdeen around 12,000.  After that, the clubs in the league have fan bases similar to clubs in the 3rd or 4th Level in England, drawing well below 10,000. 

For a while, in the mid 1980′s, it looked like the grip the Old Firm has on the Scottish game was weakening, as Aberdeen won 3 Titles, and Dundee United won 1.  But there has been no winner other than Rangers or Celtic since 1985, when the crown was won by Aberdeen.

Click the following, for the SPL table: http://www.soccerstats.com/leaguetable.asp?league=scotland

**Click here, for the Scottish Premier League website:  (http://www.scotprem.premiumtv.co.uk

Click here, for Scottish Premier League attendances (SPL website).

Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on Rangers FC.

Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on Celtic FC.

Thanks to Colours-Of-Football site, for the kits (http://www.colours-of-football.com).

September 15, 2007

Scottish Football Clubs. Attendance map 2006-07.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Scotland — admin @ 3:30 pm

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On this map, the team’s crest size is tied to how large their average attendance is.  The bigger the gate, the bigger the crest.  Of course, the “Old Firm” teams of Celtic FC and Rangers FC (both from Glasgow) dominate the map, like they dominate Scottish football.  After them, three teams have relatively healthy fan bases: Hearts and Hibs (both of Edinburgh), and Aberdeen.  They average between 12,000 and 17,000 per game.  Then there are 4 or 5 clubs with attendances between 5,000 and 8,000, like Kilmarnock and Motherwell.  After that, it’s all minnows (tiny clubs).
 

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