September 30, 2009

UEFA Europa League 2009-10, Group Stage, with clubs’ average attendances from their domestic leagues.

Filed under: UEFA Cup / Europa League — admin @ 3:21 pm


The second match day for 2009-10 Europa League Group Stage is Thursday, 1st October. 

There are 48 clubs in the Group Stage of this the inaugural Europa League competition.  The biggest difference between the Europa League and the competition it replaced,  the UEFA Cup,  is that the group stage now consists of 12 4-team groups playing home-and-away matches against the other 3 teams in the group.  The UEFA Cup had 8 5-team groups playing single matches against the other 4 teams in the group.

10 of the clubs come into the competition from the Champions League play-off round…Sheriff [Tiraspol],  of Moldova’s breakaway Transdnester region;  Red Bull Salzburg,  of Austria;  FK Ventspils of Latvia;  FC Copenhagen,  of Denmark;  Levski Sofia,  of Bulgaria;  RSC Anderlecht,  of Belgium;  Celtic FC,  of Scotland,;  Timisoara,  of Romania;  Sporting CP,  of Portugal;  and Panathinaikos,  of Greece.

There are some pretty big clubs in the 09/10 Europa League.  Clubs which averaged over 30,000 last season (in their domestic leagues) are as follows… Scotland’s Celtic FC;  Germany’s Hamburg,  Hertha Berlin,  and Werder Bremen; the Netherlands’ Ajax, and PSV Eindhoven;  Italy’s AS Roma, and SS Lazio;  Spain’s Valencia CF,  and Athletic [Bilbao];   England’s Everton;  Portugal’s SL Benfica;  and Turkey’s Fenerbahce SK [06/07 gate figures for Fenerbahce, as none more recent were available].   

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at {click here (set at 2009-10 Europa League)}.   Thanks to League page {click here}.

September 25, 2009

England: Attendance map of all football clubs that drew over 4,000 per game in 08/09 (77 clubs).


Please note: I recently made a map & post similar in theme to this one (click on the following),
England & Wales: the highest-drawing football clubs within the English football leagues system (all clubs [74 clubs] that drew above 4 K per game in the 2013-14 season) / Plus a short illustrated article comparing English and German attendances last season, by division.

    England: Attendance map of all football clubs that drew over 4,000 per game in 08/09 (77 clubs)…

The gate figures are from the 2008-09 season. The cut-off for this map was 4,000 per game. Each club’s crest is sized to reflect the club’s average home attendance from their 2008-09 domestic league matches. 

At the top of the map, the banner lists the breakdown of clubs which made this map, by league level.   Here it is… All 20 Premier League clubs.   All 24 League Championship clubs.   21 of the 24 League One clubs (the 3 clubs not making the map being Cheltenham Town,  Hartlepool Utd,  and Hereford Utd,  who all all drew in the 3,000s).   11 of the 24 League Two clubs  {to see the 13 League Two clubs that drew lower than 4,000 last season,  click on the following title- 2008-09_league_two_attendance.gif }.  The sole Non-League club that drew over 4,000 last season was Oxford Utd. 

After all the promotions and relegations that occurred in May, 2009, here is the current [2009-10] breakdown of the clubs on the map…All 20 Premier League clubs.    All 24 League Championship clubs.    23 of the 24 League One clubs (the exception being plucky little Hartlepool United, who drew only 3,835, and managed to avoid relegation by 1 point).    8 League Two clubs:  Bradford City,  Shrewsbury Town,  Port Vale,  Northampton Town,  AFC Bournemouth,  Crewe Alexandra,  Grimsby Town, and Notts County.   2 Non-League clubs:  the Blue Square Premier League’s Oxford Utd, and the beleaguered Luton Town.     

Thanks to the E-F-S site for the attendance figures {click here}.   Thanks to (the official site of King’s Lynn FC), for Non-League gate figures {click here}.

September 22, 2009

Italy: 2009-10 Serie A.

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 10:07 am

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

The map shows the clubs in the 2009-10 Serie A season.  It is the 78th season of the competition. Reigning champions are Internazionale.

In the gallery below are the top 6 drawing clubs from the 2008-09 Serie A season. Stadium names, locations, and their capacities are listed, along with the clubs’ average gates.


Thanks to the E-F-S site,  for the attendance figures {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at {click here (set at Serie A 2009-10 page).   Thanks to Eric Gaba, aka Sting;  and NordNordWest,  for the map,  ’Italy relief location map’,  at {click here}. 

September 17, 2009

NCAA Division Division I, Football Bowl Subdivision: The SEC, with 2008 average attendances, and modern helmet history of each team.


Notes on the map and chart…
Instead of just listing last season’s average attendance for each team,  there are now 3 columns…2008 averagePercent Capacity [of stadium];  and Change From 2007 [by percentage].  This list is at the right-hand side of the map.  Below that is the list of SEC titles by team,  including total seasons played in the SEC.  Titles won in other major conferences,  for Arkansas (in the defunct Southwest Conference) and South Carolina (in the ACC) are noted at the bottom.     

On the far right,  in the chart section,  each team is listed top to bottom by how they finished in their division in 2008.  The bulk of the images in each team’s section are devoted to depicting each teams’ helmet styles,  and their changes through the years,  starting with the modern helmet’s introduction in the post-war era circa 1946 to 1950 (which is when plastic composite helmets replaced the old leather helmets of the pre-war era).  The helmets are chronologically listed from left to right,  and top to bottom,  for each team.  The current helmet design is placed at the bottom right of each team’s section.   This is not a comprehensive list,  but all major helmet changes and most minor helmet changes are shown,  with the following exceptions.  The only two logo-based helmets (that I am aware of) which I couldn’t find a suitable image of are the Kentucky Wildcats’ split blue helmet of circa 1963-1968,  with the players’ numeral on the left-hand side [which is shown on the chart],  and the head of a snarling wildcat on the right-hand side;  and the Mississippi State maroon bulldog-head-in-three-quarters-profile helmet of 1963-1965.  In the Helmet Project site’s notes on their Southeastern Conference page,  there are photos and descriptions of these two helmets {click here,  then click on ‘Southeastern’,  from the column on the left,  then scroll to find the two teams’ sections}.   And there are a few helmet designs I have left out of various teams’ sections because they were of a design that had been used previously,  or were very slight modifications of logo size or center-stripe. 

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at (click here (’2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season’)}.   Thanks to the excellent site Helmet Hut,  where you can buy the old helmets,  or any custom design {click here}.   Thanks to the Helmet Project site at .  This is the only site I can find that actually tries to tackle the helmet histories of NCAA teams,  and there are still a good deal of gaps and unknown designs.   Thanks to this site, ,  which was a real help in filling in the gaps somewhat.

September 12, 2009

UEFA Champions League 2009-10, Group Stage, with clubs’ average attendances from their domestic leagues.

Filed under: UEFA Champions League — admin @ 6:34 pm

UEFA site/Champions League page: {click here}.

2009-10 UEFA Champions League Group stage begins 15th and 16th September.   The headline-grabbing match on Tuesday the 15th is Olympique Marseille (France) v. AC Milan (Italy).  The marquee matchup on Wednesday the 16th is Internazionale (Italy) v.  FC Barcelona (Spain).

The matches involving the 5 clubs from Great Britain…15th Sept., Besiktas JK (Turkey) v. Manchester United (England);   Chelsea (England) v. FC Porto (Portugal).    16th Sept.,  Liverpool (England) v. Debrecen (Hungary);   Standard Liège (Belgium) v. Arsenal (England);   VfB Stuttgart (Germany) v. Rangers (Scotland). 

There are 15 clubs returning to the Champions League Group stage this season.  [Last year there were 19 returning clubs.]  The returning clubs this season are listed by country here,  in the order of the country’s current UEFA co-efficient League ranking.  1. all 4 English clubs returning: Arsenal,  Chelsea,  Liverpool,  and Manchester United.  2. 3 of the 4 same Spanish clubs returning: Atlético Madrid,  Barcelona, and Real Madrid.  3. 3 of the 4 same Italian clubs returning:  Fiorentina,  Inter,  and Juventus.  4. None of the 3 same German clubs from last year returning.  5.  all 3 French clubs returning:  Bordeaux,  Lyon,  and Marseille.  6. None of the same 2 Russian clubs returning from last year [note: Russia now has 3 possible Champions League places].  7. 1 of the Ukrainian clubs returning: Dynamo Kyiv.  8. None of the same Dutch clubs from last year returning.   9. None of the same Romanian clubs from last year returning.  10. 1 Portuguese club returning: FC Porto.  11. None of the same Greek clubs returning.  12. None of the same Scottish clubs retuning.  [Note...countries ranked 7-12 have 2 possible Champions League places.]  

Current ranking of countries for 2010-11 UEFA competitions,  {click here}.   

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at {click here (set at 2009-10 Champions League)}.   Thanks to UEFA site {click here}.   Thanks to .

September 11, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 5:45 pm


Arizona Diamondbacks Auxiliary Chart,  featuring selected uniforms and logos from the history of the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise (1998-2009)…click on the following title:   arizona_diamondbacks_auxillary_chart2009.gif

Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fames’ ‘Dressed to the Nines’ site,  featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here}.   Thanks to MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at {click here (set at Arizona Diamondbacks page)}.

September 10, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Atlanta Braves.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 7:05 am


Below: Atlanta Braves Auxiliary Chart,  featuring selected uniforms and logos from the history of the Atlanta Braves franchise,  established in 1871,  in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players,  as the Boston Red Stockings / established as a charter member of the National League,  as the Boston Red Stockings (1876) / Boston Red Caps (1877-1882) / Boston Beaneaters (1883-1906) / Boston Doves (1907-1910) / Boston Rustlers (1911) / Boston Braves (1912-1935) / Boston Bees (1936-1940) / Boston Braves (1941-1952) / Milwaukee Braves (1953-1965) / Atlanta Braves (1966-2009).


Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s ‘Dressed to the Nines’ site,  featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here {set at Boston Braves 1911-1918)}.   Thanks to MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to Logo Shak {click here (set at Boston Braves ca. 1946 shoulder patch logo)}.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here (set at Atlanta Braves)}.   Thanks to Mitchell & Ness {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at {click here (set at Atlanta Braves page)}.

September 7, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Baltimore Orioles.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 4:34 pm


Below : Baltimore Orioles Auxiliary Chart,  featuring selected uniforms and logos from the history of the Baltimore Orioles franchise,  established in 1894 in the minor league Western League (I),  as the Milwaukee Brewers (I) / in 1901 as a charter member of the major league American League,  as the Milwaukee Brewers (I) / St. Louis Browns (II) (1902-1953) / Baltimore Orioles (III) (1954-2009).


Baltimore Orioles team history with photos,  at the Sports E-Cyclopedia site {click here}.

The Bluefield Orioles have the longest running affiliation with the same MLB franchise.  This is the 52nd year that Bluefield has been part of the Baltimote Orioles farm system.   Here is an article about the history of baseball in Bluefield,  from {click here}.  Here is the Bluefield Orioles’ ballpark,  Bowen Field, capacity 3,000 {click here (Bluefield page)} {@}. 

The Bluefield Blue-Grays were a team that played in the Coalfield League in 1924 and 1925;  in the Blue Ridge League for two seasons;  and then joined the Class D Mountain State League.  A decade later,  the Blue-Grays’ championship season of 1938 led to the construction of a new ballpark,  Bowen Field,  in 1939.  The National League’s Boston Braves were Bluefield’s first MLB parent club,  sponsoring them from 1939 to 1953.  The Appalachian League was formed in 1954,  and the Bluefield Blue-Grays were a charter member.  The team changed their major-league affiliation three times during this era,  with the Washington Senators in 1954,  the Boston Red Sox in 1955 and ’56,  and the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1957.  The following year, 1958,  the Baltimore Orioles took over,  and the team became the Bluefield Orioles.


Since 1958,  around 100 former Bluefield Orioles players have played in the big leagues,  including Don Baylor,  Mark Belanger,  Eddie Murray,  Sparky Lyle,  Boog Powell,  and Cal Ripken, Jr.  

Bowen Field was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1974.  It was rebuilt without the funds for seating,  and fans brought lawn chairs and blankets the first few seasons.  The belatedly installed seats were castoffs from the California Angels (when the Angels expanded their ballpark into a dual sport stadium in the late 1970s).  The Bowen Field ballpark site straddles the West Virginia/Virginia border,  and the field itself is actually in Bluefield, Virginia.

Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s ‘Dressed to the Nines’ site,  featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here (set at Baltimore Orioles 1954-1962)}.   Thanks to MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at wikipedia {click here (set at Baltimore Orioles page)}.   Thanks to .   Thanks to the fantastic site Little Ball, Baseball Parks of the Minor Leagues {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.

Filed under: Ireland,Rugby,Rugby>England,Scotland,Wales — admin @ 6:25 am


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};  {see this: ‘History of rugby league’, from}.}.   

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.


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…


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 ( 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}.

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}.


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)}


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}.


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.].


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 {‘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}.

Powered by WordPress