billsportsmaps.com

September 30, 2016

2016-17 Bundesliga (Germany/1st division) location-map, with: 15/16 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./+ promoted clubs from 2.Bundesliga (SC Freiburg, RasenBallsport Leipzig).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Germany — admin @ 3:56 pm

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Germany: 2016-17 Bundesliga location-map, with: 15/16 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed



By Bill Turianski on 30 September 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Teams, etc…2016-17 Bundesliga (en.wikipedia.org).
-English-speaking Bundesliga coverage…bundesligafanatic.com.
-Official site of the Bundesliga in English (offizielle webseite der Bundesliga)…bundesliga.com/en/.
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Bundesliga – Summary (soccerway.com/national/germany/bundesliga).

    Below: the 2 promoted clubs from 2.Bundesliga to the Bundesliga for 2016-17
    (SC Freiburg, RB Leipzig)
    • SC Freiberg

(Est. 1904). City-population of Freiburg im Breisgau: around 220,000 {2014 figure}. Freiburg is, by road, 205 km (127 mi) SW of Stuttgart. Freiburg is, by road, 70 km (44 mi) N of Basel, Switzerland.

Colours: Red-with-Black. Nickname: (none). Coach: Christian Streich (age 51), born in Weil am Rhein, SW Baden-Württemberg.

-From Bundesliga official site, from May 2016, Youth-oriented Freiburg are back. After relegation to 2.Bundesliga in May 2015, SC Freiburg retained their coach, Christian Streich, and much of their young squad. In 2015-16, they bounced straight back up to the Bundesliga with relative ease, clinching automatic promotion with 2 games to spare. Seen below are the top two scoring threats for Freiburg last season: Nils Petersen and Vincenzo Grifo. Both return for 2016-17.

Counting 2016-17, Freiburg have spent 12 seasons in the Bundresliga…
Freiburg’s previous stint in the top flight was a 6-season spell from 2009-10 to 2015-16. Freiburg’s fanbase is pretty faithful, seeing as how the club these days pretty much always plays to near-capacity (above 97 percent-capacity since 2012-13 [4 seasons]). The club saw barely any drop-off in attendance at all when they were down in the second division last season (in 2015-16). Last season Freiburg drew 23.3 K in a 24.0-capacity stadium, and they only drew 473 less than they were drawing in the 1st division in 14/15. That less-than-one-percent drop-off in crowd-size reminds me of Norwich City. Norwich City also loses less than one-percent of their crowd-size when they (invariably) get relegated. So SC Freiburg are kind of like Norwich City in that way. Plus both clubs are from relatively small cities to be having a 1st division team (some seasons), and both clubs are from cities which are tucked in somewhat outlying corners of their respective countries.

Freiburg im Breisgau is located in far south-western Germany, about 18 km (11 mi) E of the French border, and about 67 km (42 mi) N of the Swiss border. Freiburg is situated on the western edge of the Black Forest, and the city is located within the Baden wine-growing region. Freiburg has one of the highest standards of living in Germany, and is renowned for its advanced environmental practices. An example of how green and eco-conscious Freiburg is can be seen in the fact that in 1996, SC Freiburg were the first football club in Germany to install solar panels on their stadium (on three-quarters of the roof-space [see photo below]). Freiburg is so green that the coach, Christian Streich (a Freiburg-area native), rides his bicycle to the team’s home games at the Schwarzwald-Stadion.

-From the Transition site [an academic site],
The Future for SC Freiburg’s stadium is still bright (by Jessica Porter on 24 June 2015 at transition.web.unc.edu).

freiburg_schwarzwald-stadion_2016-promoted_nils-petersen_vicenzo-grifo_christian-streich_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
16/17 Freiburg jersey, photo unattributed at 3.bp.blogspot.com. Freiburg, aerial photo by Thomas Maier at File:Freiburg-im-Breisgau-Luftaufnahme-16072004.jpg. Schwarzwald-Stadion, aerial shot, photo by badenova.de. Schwarzwald-Stadion, interior shot, photo by Picture Alliance via kicker.de. Photo of Vincenzo Grifo, photo by Joachim Hahne at suedkurier.de/sport/sport/Spielernoten-So-stuermte-der-SC-Freiburg-an-die-Spitze. Nils Petersen, photo by Alexander Scheuber/Bongarts via zimbio.com. Photo of Freiburg players still celebrating during post-game press conference of coach Christian Srteich, image from screenshot of animated gif at kretschmannland.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/sc_freiburg_celebrate_promotion_29_04_2016.gif; kretschmannland.wordpress.com/category/the-daily-prompt/page/2/.

    • RasenBallsport Leipzig

(Est. 2009). City-population of Leipzig: around 560,000; metro-area population: around 1.0 million/ 10th-largest city in Germany {2015 figures}. Leipzig is, by road, 149 km (93 mi) SSW of Berlin. Leipzig is, by road, about 152 km (95 mi) ENE of the Czech Republic border at the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge).

Colours: White-with-Taurine-Red-and-Dark-Blue-and-Gummy-Bear-Yellow. Nickname: die Roten Bullen (the Red Bulls). Manager: Ralph Hasenhüttl (age 49), born in Graz, Austria.

Only 5 teams from the former-East-Germany have ever played in the Bundesliga (1991-92 to 2016-17)…
RB Leipzig are the first team from the former-East-Germany to play in the Bundesliga in almost a decade, since Energie Cottbus (who were last in the German top flight in 2008-09). Now, counting RB Leipzig, since German reunification/football-leagues consolidation in 1991-92 (when the top 2 teams in the last season of DDR-Oberliga were promoted over into the Bundesliga), only 5 teams from the former-East-Germany have ever played in the Bundesliga…
Hansa Rostok (12 seasons in Bundesliga, last in 2007-08),
Dynamo Dresden (4 seasons in Bundesliga, from 1991-95),
VfB Leipzig (one season in Bundesliga in 1993-4),
Energie Cottbus (6 seasons in Bundesliga, last in 2008-09),
•and now, RB Leipzig.
RB Leipzig make their first-division debut in 2016-17. Seen further below are the top four scoring threats for RB Leipzig last season, when they finished in second place in 2.Bundesliga, clinching automatic promotion with one game to spare (by beating Karslruhrer 2-0 on 8 May 2016).

And for the first time in 22 years, there finally is a team in the Bundesliga from the 6th-largest metro-region in Germany – the Central German Metropolitan Region (Leipzig/Chemnitz/Halle/Dresden: population of around 4.6 million {2009 figure}, see this, Metropolitan regions in Germany). (The previous team in the Bundesliga from this metro-region was Dynamo Dresden, who last played in the Bundesliga from 1991-95.)

That is the good news. The rest is good news only if you like the concept of corporations taking over the sports world…
That is because the seven-year-old “club” RB Leipzig is part of the Red Bull pro sports empire, which is growing like a cancer. From Guardian/football, from 8 September 2016, by Phillp Oltermann, How RB Leipzig became the most hated club in German football (theguardian.com/football). From the Supporters Not Customers site, Against Red Bull Football (by Ben Dudley on 11 June 2013 at supportersnotcustomers.com).

In most of the following cases below, the energy-drink purveyors Red Bull took over a football club, changed its colours, crest, and name, thereby stripping the club of its history and re-branding it in the name of further corporate conquest. Three other teams were founded by Red Bull GmbH (a minor-league soccer team in NYC, a 5th-division Brazilian side, and a now-defunct Ghanain team)…

red-bull-teams_bull-scheiss_c_.gif
Image above originally appears as result of search query “red bull football teams” at google.com.

Football “clubs” and soccer franchises that Red Bull GmbH owns…
-RB Leipzig (Leipzig, Saxony, Germany/1st div/est 2009, re-branded from a club which dated back to 1990 [SSV Markranstädt].
-Red Bull Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria/1st div/est 2005, re-branded from a club which dated back to 1933 [SV Austria Salzburg]) (now is merely a feeder-”club” for RB Leipzig).
-New York Red Bulls (Harrison, New Jersey, USA/1st div [Major League Soccer]/est 2006, re-branded from a franchise which dated back to 1995 [the NY/NJ MetroStars]).
-FC Liefering (Grödig, Greater Salzburg, Austria/2nd div/est 2012, re-branded from a club which dated back to 1947 [FC Anif]) (feeder-”club” for other Red Bull teams).
The following are teams which Red Bull started from scratch…
-Red Bull Brasil (Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil/4th div/est 2007).
-Red Bull Ghana (2008-14/defunct).
-New York Red Bulls II (Harrison, New Jersey, USA/quasi-3rd div/est 2015) (feeder-minor-league-team in USL-1, for the New York Red Bulls of MLS).

-(Red Bull GmbH also owns 1st-division ice hockey teams in Munich and Salzburg; and Red Bull GmbH owns motor racing teams in Austria [F1], Italy [F1], and next year [2017] in Brisbane, Australia [Super-8].)

In the case of RB Leipzig, Red Bull GmbH took over the 5th division side SSV Markranstädt (1990-2009)…
The Red Bull corporation bought the 5th-division club SSV Markranstädt (of Markranstädt, Saxony near Leipzig), in 2009, with the announced intention of turning it into a Bundesliga team within 8 years. (They made it into the Bundesliga in 7 years.) The club was re-named RB Leipzig (RB is the shortened term for RasenBallsport, which translates as “LawnBallsport” [seriously]). Red Bull GmbH got around the 50+1 rule in Germany…and frankly have made a mockery of that rule…by making RB Leipzig a “club” that is so prohibitively expensive to join that there are only 17 members – virtually all of whom have financial-and/or-job-related ties to Red Bull GmbH (the club reserve the right to reject any application without a reason). It costs €1,000 a year to simply be a non-voting member of RB Leipzig. By comparison, it only costs around €70 per season to join Bayern Munich (and have full-voting-privileges). Bayern Munich is a club which has over 225,000 members. FC Schalke has over 140,000 members (also with voting privileges; as with the next few examples). Borussia Dortmund has around 139,000 members. Borussia Mönchengladbach has over 75,000 members. Hamburger SV has over 70,000 members. Even small-and-relative-newcomers-to-the-Bundesliga, clubs like FC Augsburg (12,200 members) and Darmstadt (5,500 members), have considerably more members than the less-than-two-dozen members which comprise the “club” known as RB Leipzig.

In the case of Red Bull Salzburg, in 2005 Red Bull GmbH took over a club – SV Austria Salzburg – with a long history in the Austrian 1st division including 4 Austrian titles…
SV Austria Salzburg wore purple and white colours; they averaged around 7-to-8 K per game (circa the mid-2000s); the supplanted team Red Bull Salzburg has ended up with about the same crowd-size, drawing 8.4 K in 2015-16. Back in 2005, when the fans of SV Austria Salzburg realized Red Bull GmbH’s identity-stripping intentions with the club they supported, and protested, Red Bull said something very condescending, to the effect that, If they liked purple so much then maybe the complaining fans would be happy if the Red Bull Salzburg goalkeeper wore purple socks. Here is an excerpt from the article linked to further above (and, again, here), entitled Against Red Bull Football…
“The Austrian Bundesliga side were purchased by Red Bull in the same way as their franchise in Leipzig, with the only part of the club the new owners truly cared about being the license to play. The violet and white colours of Austria Salzburg were replaced with a kit more suitable for the marketing of ‘the brand’, with supporters’ protests completely ignored by the clubs hierarchy. Also gone was the clubs traditional badge, once again replaced by a tawdry Red Bull infected logo without a shred of pride or passion. As supporters protested furiously for the return of Austria Salzburg’s soul, Red Bull’s offered a so-called compromise. “If colours are so important to the supporters, the goalkeeper can wear violet socks” said Red Bull.”…(excerpt by Ben Dudley at the Supporters Not Customers site).

So fans in Austria, upset with Red Bull, formed their own club in 2006, SV Austria Salzburg
Fan-owned protest club SV Austria Salzburg were placed in the 7th tier of Austrian football and initially had a good start, with 4 consecutive promotions and then five years later, a fifth promotion in to the Austrian 2nd division in 2015. But that promotion into the Austrian second-tier was so costly (debt of €900,000 by November 2015) that SV Austria Salzburg were relegated right back last season (2015-16), and are now again a 3rd-division-side, this time with severe financial problems. And meanwhile, the “club” that supplanted SV Austria Salzburg, Red Bull Salzburg, who after failing in 9 attempts to qualify for the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, have – as per orders from Red Bull corporate HQ – become merely a feeder club for Red Bull’s new flagship sports “brand”, the newly-promoted-to-the Bundesliga team RB Leipzig. So Red Bull took the identity of Salzburg’s biggest club from their supporters, then eleven years later, when that “product” failed to launch properly, turned that club into a mere feeder-team for their flagship brand (RB Leipzig).

Criticisms of RB Leipzig…
{The following excerpts are from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RB_Leipzig#Criticism.}…”The establishment of RB Leipzig has caused much controversy in Germany. The controversy has revolved around the apparent involvement of Red Bull GmbH and the restrictive membership policy. This has been seen as contrary to common practice in Germany, where football clubs have traditionally relied on voluntary registered associations, with sometimes very large number of members, and where the 50 + 1 rule has ensured that club members have a formal controlling stake.RB Leipzig has been criticized for allegedly being founded as a marketing tool and for allegedly taking commercialization of football in Germany to a new level. The club has been rejected as a “marketing club”, a “commercial club” or a “plastic club”. The criticism has been widespread. Critics have been found both in the management and among coaches and supporters of other clubs.
The introduction of RB Leipzig was met with protests from supporters of other Leipzig football clubs, notably 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig and FC Sachsen Leipzig. They feared a decline of traditional fan culture in Leipzig, and a commercialization of football in the region. After the partnership with SSV Markranstädt had become known, protests immediately appeared in Leipzig suburbs. Red Bull advertising boards at the Stadion am Bad in Markranstädt was smeared with graphitti and the pitch was purposely destroyed by a weed killer. Apart from these actions, protests in Leipzig were generally non-violent.”…/
…”The German economist Dr. Tobias Kollman said in 2009 that he saw Red Bull GmbH as a company with clear economic goals for its projects. Consequently, he described RB Leipzig as a “marketing club” and said that it was the first of this kind in Germany. He further described the activities of Red Bull GmbH in Leipzig a “sports political earthquake” in Germany. Borussia Dortmund chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke and Eintracht Frankfurt chairman Heribet Bruchhagen warned in 2013 that clubs backed by major companies or financially strong patrons could pose a threat to the entire Bundesliga, talking of a “clash of culture”.

rb-leipzig_lawnballsport-leipzig_red-bull-arena_emil-forsberg_marcel-sabitzer_davie-selke_dominik-kaiser_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
16/17 RB Leipzig jersey, photo by RB Leipzig at redbullshop.com r. Aerial shot of Red Bull Arena, photo by Philip at flickr.com. Photo of central Leipzig, photo unattributed at independent.co.uk/travel. Shot of 2015-16 RB Leipzig players celebrating a goal at the Red Bull Arena, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football/Borussia-Dortmund-supporters-groups-boycott-Red-Bull-Leipzig-visit. Emil Forsberg, photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts via zimbio.com. Marcel Sabitzer, photo by Katrina Hessland/Getty Images via zimbio.com. Davie Selke, photo by Boris Streubel via gettyimages.com. Dominik Kaiser, photo by Ullstein Bold via gettyimages.com.
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Germany by NordNordWest, File:Germany location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2015-16 stadium capacities (for league matches) from Fußball-Bundesliga 2015/16 (de.wikipedia.org).
-List of German football champions (en.wikipedia.org).
-Seasons-in-1st-division data from Bundesliga (en.wikipedia.org).

September 19, 2016

2016-17 Serie A (Italy/1st division) location-map, with: 15/16 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./ Plus illustrations for the 3 promoted clubs (Cagliari, Crotone, Pescara).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Italy — admin @ 3:24 pm

italy_2016-17_serie-a_map_w-attendances_titles_seasons-in-1st-div_post_b_.gif
2016-17 Serie A (Italy/1st division) location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed




By Bill Turianski on 19 September 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links
-Teams, etc…2016-17 Serie A (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Serie A/summary (soccerway.com).
-English-speaking coverage of Italian football…Forza Italian football.com.
-Here is the archive-page of Serie A-focused Guardian.com/football writer Paolo Bandini, {archive page, Paolo Bandini (theguardian.com/profile/paolobandini).}
-16/17 Serie A jerseys…2016/17 SERIE A HOME SOCCER JERSEYS (soccer365.com).

From Forza Italian Football site, here is the Season Preview: Serie A 2016-17 (by Kevin Pogorzelski at forzaitalianfootball.com).

    The 3 promoted clubs in the 2016-17 Serie A (Cagliari, Crotone, Pescara)

Cagliari won the 2015-16 Serie B. Crotone finished in 2nd place in the 15/16 Serie B. Pescara won the 15/16 Serie B play-offs.

    Cagliari

Manager: Massimo Rastelli (age 47, born in Torre de Greico [12 mi SE of Naples]).

(Note: Cagliari is pronounced kaay AA ree [the G and the L are silent]; see/hear this.)
Cagliari Calcio are from the island of Sardinia (which is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, about 240 miles off the Italian mainland). Cagliari, who play in a 16-K-capacity stadium (Stadio Sant’Elia), are the only club from Sardinia to have played in the Italian 1st division. The club is located in Cagliari (the largest city of Sardinia), which is on the southern coast of the island. Cagliari has a city population of around 154,000, and a metro-area population of around 451,000 {2015 figures}. The city of Cagliari is, by air, 413 km (257 mi) SW of Rome.

Cagliari won the 2015-16 Serie B by a point (and finished in the automatic places by a solid ten points over the 3rd place finishers). So Cagliari returns in strong form straight back up to the 1st division. Here is an article on the 16/17 Cagliari squad, Reasons To Believe Cagliari Can Defend Their Serie A Status (by Louis Gibberd-Thomas at forzaitalianfootball.com).

Counting the 2016-17 season, Cagliari have played 37 seasons in the Italian 1st division, which is the 13th-most, by club, in Italy. {See this, Serie A/Seasons in Serie A.} Cagliari’s previous stint in Serie A was for 11 seasons (from 2004-05 to 2014-15). The Rossoblu (the Red-Blue), as Calgiari are sometimes known, have been in existence since 1920.

Cagliari: the improbable title-winners of 1969-70…
Cagliari were historically a third-division club – or at best a second-division club…until the mid-1960s. Cagliari first won promotion to Serie A in June 1964. Then, 6 seasons later, led by goal-scoring powerhouse Luigi Riva, the side from the isolated island of Sardinia won the 1969-70 Italian title, in a very convincing fashion.

Luigi Riva was born in Leggiuno (near Lake Maggiore) in north-west Lombardy, near the Swiss border. In 1962 Riva got his start with nearby 3rd-division club Legnano. In the following season of 1963-64, Riva was signed by then-second-division Cagliari, and he was converted from a winger to a striker. Riva ended up playing 9 seasons for Cagliari, scoring 164 goals in 315 league appearances (1963 to 1976). (Riva was sold to Juventus in 1973, but had such loyalty to Cagliari that he famously refused to board the airplane for Turin, and the deal was nullified.) Riva was a natural left-footer and was very effective in the air {check out this brilliant horizontal header Riva scored for Italy versus East Germany in 1969, here}. (Luigi Riva ended up with some pretty impressive international stats…he scored 35 goals in 45 appearances for Italy.) Owing to his powerfully struck shots, Riva was nicknamed the Thunder-Clap (Rombo di Tuono). In 1969-70, Riva scored a league-best 21 goals in 30 games in Cagliari’s title-winning season (back then, Serie A had 16 teams in it).

The year before (1967-68), the Serie A title was a three-horse-race between Milan, Fiorentina, and Cagliari, with Cagliari losing out to Fiorentina by 4 points. In 1969-70, the title-race developed into three-way fight between Juventus, Internazionale, and Cagliari. Cagliari’s manager was the wily Manilo Scopigno, who was a native of far-north-eastern Italy in Friuli. Scopigno had Cagliari play in a variation of the newfangled Dutch total football, with a then-novel use of the sweeper position (the libero) in front of the defensive line (that role was performed by Pierluigi Cera; see photo below). Cagliari’s defense was led by starting Italy goalkeeper Enrico “Ricky” Albertosi, who had been lured over from Fiorentina in 1968. With Albertosi, the Cagliari defense was so impregnable that they only let in 11 goals in 30 games in 1969-70. That made for an astounding average of just 0.36 goals allowed per game, an all-time Italian 1st division record. Another key player for Cagliari was the Brazilian defensive midfielder Nene, who had played with Pele at Santos, and then came over to Italy first with Juventus, and then with Cagliari. Nene played for over a decade for Cagliari (1964-76) (you can see Nene below in the squad-photo, below, at the far upper-left). With the addition of right-winger/playmaker Albero Domenghini (who also can be seen in a photo below), it all came together for Cagliari in 1969-70. By March of 1970, Cagliari began to pull away from the pack, and in the end, the Rossoblu managed to clinch the title with two games to spare, on 12 April 1970 with a 2-0 win over Bari. Below you can see photos from that game. Then the inhabitants of the island of Sardinia celebrated and partied on, for days. Cagliari finished four points ahead of Inter and 7 ahead of Juventus.

The late 1960s was a time when many Sardinians did not have televisions or even radios. Many Sardinians in fact did purchase their first transistor radios in order to follow Cagliari’s title-run that season. It is said that Sardinia first united as an island and truly joined the modern age – and truly joined Italy, for that matter – when Cagliari won the Scudetto in 1970. Here is a great article on Cagliari’s amazing title-winning season, Cagliari 1969-70 (by Jon Spurling, from August 2007, at wsc.co.uk). {Here is a highly recommended book about Italian football which touches on the Cagliari title-win, Calcio: A History of Italian Football, by John Foot (amazon.com).}

Below: 1969-70 Cagliari – the improbable champions of Italy…
http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cagliari_1969-70_italian-champions_luigi-riva_enrico-albertosi_pierluigi-cera_alberto-domenghini_manlio-scopigno_f_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Photo of 69/70 Cagliari home jersey, photo by retrofootballclub.com/cagliari-1969-70. Photo of Luigi Riva and coach Manlio Scopigno at Cagliari training pitch (circa 1968), photo’s author is unknown, posted at File:Cagliari – Gigi Riva e Manlio Scopigno.jpg (it.wikipedia.org). Photo of GK Enrico “Ricky” Albertosi, photo (circa 1969) unattibuted at magliarossonera.it/Albertosi. Photo of Pierluigi Cera, photo unattributed at repubblica.it. Photo of Angelo Domenghini, photo unattributed at sport.sky.it. Photo of Luigi “Sound of Thunder” Riva, photo’s author is unknown, posted at File:Serie A 1969-70 – Cagliari vs Bari – Pasquale Loseto e Gigi Riva.jpg (it.wikipedia.org). Black-and-white photo of Riva climbing riot fence and saluting Cagliari fans, photo unattributed at s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com. Color photo of Riva climbing riot fence and saluting Cagliari fans (as Carabineiri laugh), photo unattributed at s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com. Close-up shot of Riva saluting Cagliari fans, photo unattributed at gazzettaworld.com. Photo of Cagliari 1969-70 squad (taken before a game at San Siro in Milan), photo unattributed at gazzettaworld.com/leicesters-success-cagliari-memory.

Below: Cagliari Calcio, Stadio Sat’Elia (opened 1970)…
cagliari_stadio-sant-elia_promoted2016_n_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Photo of Cagliari 16/17 jersey, photo unattributed at 2.bp.blogspot.com. Photo of Cagliari, by azamaraclubcruises.com/cagliari-sardinia-italy-cruises. c
Aerial shot of Stadio Sant’Elia, photo unattributed at sardiniapost.it. c. Interior wide-angle sot of stadium, photo by Ansgar Speitz at soccerway.com/teams/italy/cagliari-calcio. Interior shot of main stand, photo by Gigidelneri at File:Trib centrale sant elia.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Cagliari supporters at Stadio Sant’Elia, photo by Enrico Nocci at afr-photos.com.

• Crotone
Manager: Davide Nicola (age 43, born in Luserna San Giovanni [45 kn (21 mi) SW of Turin), Piedmont). Nicola replaces Croatian ex-Genoa and ex-Crotone player Ivan Jurić, who had gotten Crotone promoted in May 2016 (Jurić is now manager of Genoa).

Here is a preview of the 2016-17 FC Crotone, Crotone ultimate underdogs (by Colin Millar at football-italia.net).

FC Crotone have never been in the top flight previous to 2016-17. The club is from Calabria, near the toe of the boot in the far south of the Italian Peninsula. They have a rather small stadium (former capacity, 9.5 K), which is being expanded to 16.5 K. It is called Stadio Enzo Scida. FC Crotone wear Bologna-style kits (red-and-dark-blue vertically striped jerseys). {Here is an interesting article on Crotone from 1 June 2016, An Underdog's Triumph: Fabulous FC Crotone's promotion highlights Italy's north-south divide (by Franco Ficetola at just-football.com).)

The small city of Crotone has a population of around 62,000 {2016 figure}. Two thousand seven hundred years ago, in 710 BC, as part of Magna Graecia, Crotone was settled, as Croton, by the Peloponnese Greeks (in pre-Roman times). And so one of the nicknames of FC Crotone is Pitagorici (the Pythagoreans), a reference to the great philosopher-and-mathematician Pythagorus, who founded his school (the Pythagoreans), in Croton circa 530 BC. Another nickname of FC Crotone is Squali (the Sharks), and on FC Crotone's crest you can see two sharks swimming around a giant flaming torch (which is physically impossible but makes for a nice image) {crest of FC Crotone}. Crotone are also known as the Rosso-blu.

The deck is seriously stacked against a small club like Crotone surviving in Serie A, and I hope Crotone don't go straight back down - like two other recently-promoted clubs. That would be Frosinone and Carpi, both of whom made their Serie A debuts in 2015-16, and both of whom went straight back down to the 2nd division ten months later.

It certainly is not helping that Crotone have had to play their first 3 home matches 279 miles away - in Pescara - because their stadium expansion has not been finished in time. Crotone have drawn less than one thousand for these games, and in their latest loss, 1-3 to Atalanta on 23 September, there were just 521 in attendance.

crotone_promoted2016_stadio-enzo-scida_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo of 16/17 FC Crotone jersey unattributed at 2016/17 SERIE A HOME SOCCER JERSEYS (soccer365.com). Aerial photo of Crotone, photo by Geotag Aeroview at tripinview.com. Exterior view of Stadio Enzo Scida, photo unattributed at quicosenza.it/sport/crotone-calcio-oliverio-festeggia-la-serie-a-regalando-un-nuovo-stadio. Photo of the re-build, showing the installation of one of the new stands at Crotone, photo unattributed at calcioweb.eu.

...

• Pescara
Manager: Massimo Oddo (age 40, born in Città Sant'Angelo, 14 km (9 mi) NW of Pescara). Oddo was a right-back with a long first-division career at Verona, Lazio, Milan, and Bayern Munich. Oddo retired from the pitch in 2012 with Lecce, then went into coaching as Genoa youth team coach. He was hired as an assistant coach at his home-town Pescara in 2014, and stepped in as caretaker in May 2015, when Pescara had failed to make the 14/15 Serie B play-offs. The following season (2015-16), Oddo got Pescara promoted back to Serie A with a 3-1 aggregate win over Trapani in the 15/16 Serie B play-off Finals. {See this, Pescara promoted to Serie A after beating Trapani in playoff final (espnfc.com).}

Delfino Pescara 1936 wear sky-blue-and-white vertically-striped jerseys, and as their moniker suggests, are nicknamed Delfini (the Dolphins). Counting 2016-17, Pescara have spent 7 seasons in Serie A; their previous spell was for a single season in 2012-13. Their Stadio Adriatico, which has a 20.5 K-capacity, unfortunately has an atmosphere-destroyng running track.

Here is a preview of the 2016-17 Pescara...Sink or swim for Delfini (by Rossella Marrai-Ricco at football-italia.net).

Pescara is on the Adriadtic Sea in the region of Abruzzo. Pescara has a city-population of around 123,000 and a metro-population of around 450,000 {2009 figures}. Pescara has 30 kilometres of beaches, and is a tourist destination. The coastal part of Abruzzo is sort of similar to Los Angeles/southern California - not for the lifestyle, but for the fact that much like in LA, in Abruzzo you could lay on the beach in the morning and in the afternoon you could be skiing the nearby slopes. Except in Abruzzo, the distance from the beautiful beaches to the snowy high mountains is only a distance of about 32 km (20 mi). As it says in Pescara's wikipedia page, "The city is very close to the mountains, and you can reach the ski slopes of Passo Lanciano in just 30 minutes." (See photo below, which shows Pescara's marina with the one-and-a-half-mile-high peaks of the Central Apennines in the distance.)

delfino-pescara_promoted2016_pescara-abruzzo_stadio-adriatico-giovanni-cornacchia_f_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo of Pescara 16/17 jersey, photo unattributed at soccerstyle24.it/pescara-home-16-17.jpg Photo of dwellings in old town in Pescara, photo unattributed at italiancook.ca/Abruzzo. Photo of beach at Pescara, photo by Luca Aless at File:Pescara - Spiaggia vista dal ponte del mare.JPG. Photo of marina at Pescara with snow-covered mountains in the background, photo unattributed at madeinsouthitalytoday.com. Photo of Pescara with stadium in background, photo unattributed at kukly-bratc.ru/[Pescara]. Aerial shot of Stadio Adriatico, photo unattributed at calcioefinanza.it/2015/11/09/stadio-pescara-nuovo-impianto-entro-la-stagione-2018-2019.

Extra feature…
The ongoing upgrades in Italian first division stadiums…

First it was Juventus who lead the way to a re-think in Italian stadium design, with their magnificent Juventus Stadium (which opened in 2011). Not only does Juventus Stadium have all the modern conveniences, but it also features steep-graded stands for better sight-lines and no accursed running track. And unlike every other top flight stadium at the time, Juventus Stadium is owned by the club (and not the municipality). Like in England and Germany and Spain and France (among other places).
juventus-stadium_turin_b.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
juvepoland.com.
Interior photo of Juventus Stadium by Maurice Moerland, at stadiumguide.com/juventusstadium.

Then clubs like Roma and Sampdoria made plans of their own for self-funded new stadiums. {See this, Roma stadium three years away (football-italia.net). See this, Sampdoria Present New Stadium Plans (viva-news.com).} Milan and Fiorentina also have ambitions to build and own their own stadiums {see this, 7 Stadiums Which Could Rejuvenate Serie A (football-tripper.com from July 2015)}. And up in Friuli in north-east Italy, Udinese got the municiplity of Udine to work with them to totally re-design the Stadio Friuli, which you can see further below. Hopefully the trend for new and better stadiums in Serie A will bear more fruit. It also must be pointed out that Sassuolo now own their own stadium – Mapei Stadium-Città del Tricolore, and you can see that stadium below.

Below, Mapei Stadium (opened 1995) – owned by first division club US Sassuolo…
Mapei Stadium. Home of Sassuolo (1st division club) and AC Reggiana (3rd division club).
Capacity 29,380/current reduced capacity of 21,700. Located in Reggio Emilia, which is 21 km (13 miles) NW of Sassuolo. Built by Reggiana FC in 1995, the stadium was well ahead of its time for Italy – being the first stadium in Italy in the modern age to be funded and built by the club (and not built and owned by the local municipality, as with virtually all other pro clubs in Italy). But Reggiana FC went bankrupt in 2005 (the club was re-formed as AC Reggiana that same year). The stadium sat under-utilized for a few years until nearby club Sassuolo began advancing up the divisional ladder in Italian football. Sassuolo began playing at the stadium in 2013 and bought the stadium outright in 2015.
sassuolo_ac-reggiana_mapei-stadium-citta-del-tricolore_owned-by-sassuolo_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Aerial shot of stadium, photo unattributed at en.ecoprogram.net. Exterior shot of stadium, photo unattributed at footballtripper.com/jpg. Exterior shot of stadium (street-level/side-view), photo by Groundhopping (Sweden) site groundhopping.se/Sassuolo. Interior shot of stadium (during pre-match), photo unattributed at en.ecoprogram.net.

Udinese: the massive re-build at Stadio Friuli in Udine, Friuli-Venezia Guilia…
The stadium originally had poor sight-lines due to the vast gap created by the running track, as well as the shallow incline of the seating in the bowl of the stands. So, everything except the Main Stand’s arced roof was torn out. Emulating Juventus’ recently-built stadium, the new stands at Stadio Friuli were built at a much steeper angle, for better sight-lines. A roof over all the re-built parts completes the stunning new look of Stadio Friuli (now officially called the Dacia Arena).
udinese_stadio-friuli_renovation_dacia-arena_2015_f_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Stadium before renovation, photo unattributed at skyscrapercity.com. Aerial shot of re-built Stadio Friuli, photo by Elio Meroi at sporteconomy.it. Interior photo of Stadio Friuli (aka Daci Arena), photo by Matteo.favi at File:DaciArena.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Opening match at re-built Stadio Friuli, photo unattributed at voazzurro.it.

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Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2015-16 stadium capacities (for league matches) from osservatoriosport.interno.gov.it/allegati/stadi_italiani_3.pdf.
-General info, crests, kit illustrations, from 2016-17 Serie A (en.wikipedia.org).

September 10, 2016

2016–17 Football League Two (4th division England), map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./Plus the 2 promoted sides (Cheltenham Town, Grimsby Town).

2016-17_football-league-two_map_w-2016-crowds_titles_seasons-in-1st-division_post_f_.gif
2016–17 Football League Two (4th division England), map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division



By Bill Turianski on 10 September 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-2016–17 Football League Two (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…League Two [Summary] (soccerway.com).
-New font and logos for Football League…2016-17 English Football League [new logos and new font, with branding info] (switchimageproject.blogspot.com).
-Kits…Sky Bet League Two 2016 – 2017 [Kits of teams in 16/17 League Two] (historicalkits.co.uk).
-Predictions, from a favorite blog…TTU Go Predicting: A Club-by-Club League 2 Preview 2016-17 (from 4 August 2016 by Lloyd at thetwounfortunates.com).

    The 2 promoted clubs from Non-League/5th division into the Football League Two for 2016-17
    (Cheltenham Town & Grimsby Town)

Cheltenham Town bounce straight back to League Two; while Grimsby Town are back in the Football League for the first time in 7 seasons.

Cheltenham Town FC
The well-traveled and West-Country-fixture Gary Johnson stepped in as manager of Cheltenham Town in March of 2015, when the Robins were in the League Two/4th division relegation-zone. Cheltenham were relegated to the National League a few weeks later. Johnson stayed on and did a huge house-cleaning, releasing over a dozen players and signing on 18 players, many of whom were added to the Robins’ roster thanks to “…a windfall of £200,000. It was the lion’s share of the estate of a long-standing Cheltenham fan, Bryan Jacob, who passed away in 2013 and generously bequeathed his life savings to the Robins Trust. Last April they voted to invest the money in the club and Johnson embarked on a recruitment drive…” {quote by Barry Glendenning at Gary Johnson has mapped Cheltenham Town’s clear course to promotion (guardian.com/football)}.

Cheltenham Town started slow, but stormed to the top of the 5th-division-table in late-December 2015, and never looked back, coasting to the 15/16 National League title by 12 points over nearby rivals Forest Green Rovers. The Robins began to put distance from the rest during a mid-winter 22-game-unbeaten run. The Gloucestershire side scored the most (87 goals), conceded the least (30), and finished with a whopping +57 goal difference. Cheltenham clinched promotion with two games to spare, in front of 5,245 at Whaddon Road on 16 April 2016 (see the fans’ pitch invasion below). In 2015-16, Gary Johnson did what no Non-League manager had done in 27 years…Cheltenham Town’s automatic promotion back to the Football League was the first time a just-relegated team had won the 5th division title since 1988-89 (when the original Maidstone United (I) had first accomplished the feat). Gary Johnson told the BBC, “[After last season) we had to change our thoughts, we had to change our attitude and we had to change our players and when we did that and when we got the right characters in, this is what happens."

Many of the players Johnson brought in last summer had never played in the Football League, and many of those 18 that Johnson recruited before last season have stayed on for 2016-17. Those staying include the top 7 goals scorers from last season (Wright, Holman, Waters, Munns, Pell, Downes, Morgan-Smith). In the illustration below, you can see photos of the 3 top scorers for Cheltenham Town last season: Danny Wright (age 31), who scored 23 goals; Dan Holman (age 26), who was joint-top-scorer in the 5th division in 15/16; and Billy Waters (age 21), who scored 11 goals. Holman was signed in January 2016, from Colchester United, after a successful loan spell at Woking. Dan Holman ended up scoring a National-League-leading 30 goals last season (14 for Woking, and then 16 for Cheltenham), (Holman was joint-top-scorer, with Pádraig Amond [then of Grimsby Town; now playing for Hartlepool United]). Below, you can see a photo of Holman scoring what ended up being the promotion-clinching goal for the Robins.

I added two more Cheltenham Town players to the graphic below, both defensive standouts and both centre-backs: Danny Parslow and squad captain Aaron Downes. Downes, who is Australian-born (from the New South Wales interior), does have League experience (captain at Chesterfield, Torquay Utd). I pictured Downes below after one of his 5 goals last campaign [away to Kidderminster], when the squad were wearing their fan-voted-upon and weird-in-a-nice-way away kits of purple-and-yellow-with-the-red-robin-badge. (Downes suffered an ACL leg injury in January, was out for the remainder of the 15/16 campaign, and finally made it back into the squad with a game appearance on 10 September as a late sub in Town’s 2-2 draw with Newport County.) The Welsh-born Danny Parslow, who also has had League tenure (with York City), was selected to a 5th-division-Team of the Year (by pitchero.com, here: Pitchero’s non-league teams of the season [2015-16/Non-League]). Also selected to that Team-of-the-Year was the aforementioned Dan Holman.
cheltenham-town_whaddon-road_promoted-2016_national-league-winners_danny-wright_dan-holman_danny-parslow_billy-waters_aaron-downes_2016-pitch-invasion_r_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Small illlustration of 15/16 & 16/17 CTFC kits, from en.wikipedia.org. CTFC 16/17 jersey, photo by CTFC at cheltenhamtownfc.9drw.uk/home-shirt-2016-17. Aerial shot of Cheltenham, photo by Arpingstone at File:Cheltenham.from.leckhampton.arp.jpg. Aerial shot of Whaddon Road, photo unattributed at punchline-gloucester.com. Whaddon Road, photo unattributed at skysports.com. Exterior shot of Whaddon Road, photo by Owen Pavey at footballgroundguide.com. Danny Wright, photo by ctfc.com. Dan Holman, photo by ProSports/Rex/Shutterstock via theguardian.com/football/cheltenham-town-promotion-halifax. Billy Waters, photo by ctfc.com. Danny Parslow, photo by Mike Ripley via lusoweb.co.uk/altrincham15-16 w. Aaron Downes, photo of him and teammates celebrating after scoring, photo by ctfc.com. Cheltenham Town fans’ pitch invasion [16 April 2016] at Whaddon Road, 1st image from screenshot of video uploaded by Elliot Richmond at youtube.com, Cheltenham town FC league champions 2016 (youtube.com). 2nd image of pitch invasion, screenshot from video by bbc.com/football. 15/16 & 16/17 CTFC away jersey, segment of illustration by CTFC at ctfc.com/news/article [fan-vote-on-purple-kit].

Grimsby Town FC

From Cod Almighty site [Grimsby Town fansite],
-A brief history of [Grimsby] Town (from 2005, at codalmighty.com).
-Under the flyover: Town’s Conference years (from 2 August 2016, by Rod Counte, at codalmighty.com).

After being relegated from the Football League in May 2010, Grimsby Town had an awful time of it stuck in Non-League football. Grimsby, who drew between 3.0 K and 4.3 K in the 6 seasons they spent out of the League, were one of the biggest clubs there in the 5th division during this time period (2010-16). But it still took the Mariners three seasons to even qualify for the 5th division play-offs. There then followed three consecutive play-off disappointments, losing to Newport County in the 12/13 play-offs 1st round, then losing to Gateshead in the 13/14 play-offs 1st round, then losing to Bristol Rovers in the 14/15 play-offs Final, in penalties.

Grimsby Town wins promotion after 6 seasons in Non-League…
However, in 2015-16, the fourth time in the play-offs was the charm, as manager Paul Hurst finally led Grimsby out of Non-League, beating Forest Green Rovers 3-1 at Wembley, on 15 May 2016. {See screenshots of highlights below; and see video highlights here, Forest Green 1-3 Grimsby Town (youtube.com).} The crucial point in the game was a two-minute span late in the first half, when Grimsby striker Omar Bogle scored twice. As Trevor Green of the the Grimsby Telegraph wrote, “six years of non-league hurt is finally over.” {See this, Grimsby Town PROMOTED! Mariners 3-1 Forest Green (from 15 May 2016, by Trevor Green at grimsbytelegraph.co.uk).}

grimsby-town_2016-promotion_2016-national-league-play-off-final_wembley_omar-bogle_nathan-arnold_n_.gif
Photo and Image credits -
Photo of Omar Bogle scoring, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football. Screenshots of video uploaded by dids99 at youtube.com, Forest Green 1-3 Grimsby Town (youtube.com). Photo of Omar Bogle and his Grimsby teammates celebrating 2-0 lead, photo by Grimsby Telegraph at grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/grimsby-town-forest-green-result... Photo of 16/17 jersey, photo by GTFC at grimsby-townfc.co.uk/new-201617-kit-unveiled Photo of cheering Grimsby fans at Wembley, photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images at gettyimages.ch. Aerial photo of Blundell Park, photo by GTFC at grimsby-townfc.co.uk/club/contact_us.

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Thanks to the following…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm;
Non-League attendances from soccerway.com.
-Thanks to the contributors at RSSSF page, England – First Level All-Time Tables 1888/89-2015/16 (rsssf.com_.
-Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia, at 2016–17 Football League Two.

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