January 4, 2008

Football Clubs of Hampshire, Berkshire, the West Country, and South Wales.

Filed under: England's Regions — admin @ 8:19 am


The logos of the bigger clubs on the map are sized to 2006-’07 average attendances, and reflect the size of the club’s fan base. 

Almost all of the League clubs from this region are doing very well.  Both Bristol clubs were promoted, last season (City to the 2nd Level, Rovers to the 3rd Level).  In fact, Bristol City are currently tied, on points, for the lead in the 2nd Level.  This is a stunning development, and great to see.  Bristol is the 6th-largest city in England, but has not seen top-flight football since Bristol City were relegated out of the old First Division, in 1980.  Manager Gary Johnson is an unassuming bloke, who worked miracles with mighty minnows Yeovil Town ( 2 promotions in 4 seasons).   At BCFC, he has assembled a tenaciouis squad that can beat anyone, even on the road.  People are now actually starting to take this club seriously, as promotion candidates.  

Former Conference dwellers Yeovil Town had their highest ever finish last season (5th place, 3rd Level).  Cheltenham, a tiny club, are punching above their weight, hanging on for dear life in the 3rd Level (they have the fan base of a 5th Level [Conference] club, really).  Plymouth are actually competing for a playoff place in the 2nd Level (they have never been in the top-flight).  Reading’s debut season in the Premier League, last term, produced a dream-finish of 8th place, and it looks like they will survive the inevitable sophmore slump.  Swindon won promotion back to the 3rd Level.  And in 2006-’07, Portsmouth had their best season in 52 years.

Of the two Welsh clubs, Swansea City is definately faring better, what with a new stadium, solid attendance figures (for the 3rd Level), and a three-point lead in League One.  Cardiff City are doing OK, but they seem to be treading water, and their perpetually delayed new ground is really needed.

That leaves just Southampton (stuck in the purgatory of the 2nd Level), and poor Torquay (relegated out of the League, and into the Conference [5th Level], only to start drawing significantly more fans than last season). 

2006-’07 Season Average Attendance/ % Change this Season (so far)/ Club standing in The League.  [Clubs listed in numerical order, within context of the entire 92-club English Football League.]

17. Reading: 23,829 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); avg. attendance down 2%, this season. Reading sit 13th, in the Premier League, on January 2, 2008.    20. Southampton: 23,556 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); down 11%, this season.   Southampton sit 15th place, in the 2nd Level.    31. Portsmouth: 19,862 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07);  down 2%, this season.  Portsmouth sit 8th, in the Premier League.    37. Cardiff City: 15,223 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); down 10%, this season. 

39. Plymouth Argyle: 13,012 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); down 1%, this season. Plymouth sit 7th, in the 2nd Level.    41. Bristol City: 12,818 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); Up 17%, this season.  Bristol City sit 3rd, in the 2nd Level.     42. Swansea City: 12,720 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); down 6%, this season. Swansea City sit First, in the 3rd Level.    52. Swindon Town: 7,419 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); down 6%.  Swindon Town sit 12th, in the 3rd Level.

58. Bournemouth: 6,028 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); down 6%, this season.  Bournemouth sit in the relegation zone, at 22nd, in the 3rd Level.    60. Yeovil Town: 5,765 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); down 5%.  Yeovil Town sit 8th, in the 3rd Level.   66. Bristol Rovers : 5,476 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); Up 28%, this season.  Bristol Rovers sit 19th, in the 3rd Level.   80. Cheltenham Town: 4,359 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); down 0.6%, this season.  Cheltenham sit in the relegation zone, at 22nd, in the 3rd Level.    86. Torquay United : 2,633 avg. attendance (in ’06-’07); Up 26%, this season.  Torquay United sit 2nd, in the 5th Level (The Conference).

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