July 5, 2012

France: Ligue 1- Top of the Table chart, featuring 2011-12 champions Montpellier HSC / Plus 2012-13 Ligue 1 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data.

Filed under: Football Stadia,France — admin @ 10:45 pm

Ligue 1, clubs playing in Europe for 2012-13, featuring French champions Montpellier HSC

Note: to see my latest map-&-post of Ligue Un, click on the following: category: France.

Note: this post has 3 gifs – one above (French clubs in Europe for 2012-13), one further down (Location map of 2012-13 Ligue 1, w/ attendance data), and one which is an enlarged section of the first gif, showing the championship-winning club (halfway down this post).

Clubs playing in Europe maps & charts…
Once again, I will be making posts like this for the 5 biggest leagues in Europe – the Premier League in England, La Liga in Spain, Serie A in Italy, Bundesliga in Germany, and Ligue Un in France.

There are a few changes to this year’s charts…
First of all, I got rid of showing the full league table {‘2011–12 Ligue 1/ League table‘. I still have the clubs listed in order of the final table, and I indicate which clubs qualified for UEFA competitions in Europe for 2012-13. The 3 or 4 much-coveted Champions League spots are shown in bands of blue-violet, and the 3 or 4 not-as-much-coveted Europa League spots are shown in bands of pale yellow-orange.

The main change is that I gave a lot more space to the champions, at the top of the chart page. So here is the format…
Going from top left to right… A photo or two of the championship-winning team’s celebration (or title-winning-goal, or civic celebration). Then the championship-winning manager is shown (with his age and place of birth, the clubs he played for and the clubs he managed, and his honors listed). Then the top 4 or 5 or 6 goals and assists leaders on the team are shown (with info on: players’ home-nation’s flag; the players’ age, birth-location, goals and assists [domestic league games] that season, and international caps & goals). Then there are 5 or 6 photos of the club’s stadium and of their fans in the stadium; along with illustrations of the club’s 2011-12 kits. I might be able to squeeze in a general-interest-photo of the champions’ home-city (like here, with the photo of the 18th century aqueduct in Montpellier). Then the championship-winning club’s thumbnail info is listed (including attendance data, major domestic titles, and total seasons in first division). Finally, the championship-winning club’s crest is shown alongside the coat of arms of their home-city, with metro-population listed. I added a small location-map to show where Montpellier is located in the south of France, but I will only do that with championship-winning-clubs who come from locations that many people could not pinpoint off the top of their heads, like Dortmund in Germany.]

Underneath the championship-winning club’s section of the chart, there are all the other clubs from that country that have qualified for Europe – with 3 photos of the club’s stadium and their fans; illustrations of the club’s 2011-12 kits; and each club’s thumbnail info including attendance data, major domestic titles and total seasons in first division. Explanations for how each non-championship-winning club qualified for Europe are shown at the far right-hand side of the chart.""

    Montpellier HSC – champions of France

Shock-winners Montpellier HSC won their first national title ever. It was so surprising because most everyone thought that the heavily-backed Paris Saint-Germain (aka the Manchester City of France) would run away with it, after their spending spree last summer (PSG finished in 2nd place). But Montpellier, owned since 1974 by the Falstaffian figure of Louis Nicollin, and managed by the calm and understated René Girard, surprised everyone and came out on top.
From, by Matt Spiro, from 22 May 2012, ‘How Montpellier beat PSG to win the French title‘.

Montpellier, as Sport Olympiques Montpellérains, were a founding member of the French first division in 1932-33 {‘1932–33 French Division‘ (}. Olympique Montpellérains played 11 seasons in the French First Division, their last in 1962-63. Monrpellier then endured a real fallow period, when, in 1969, for financial reasons, the club was forced to renounce their professional status and play in the 3rd division. In 1974, entrepreneur Louis Nicollin (present age, 68) began his association with the club, becoming club president (a title he still holds). In and around the Montpellier area, Nicollin has had his hand in rugby teams, handball teams, basketball teams, and in football (he has made his money in the waste disposal industry). The club merged with the-then-30-year-old Nicollin’s AS Paillade in 1974, and 2 years later became known as Montpellier Paillade Sport Club (from 1976 to 1989). Montpellier got back to the first division in 1981, but only for one season (1981-82). Six years later, Montpellier were back in the top flight, winning promtion in 1987. That spell lasted from 1987-88 to 1999-2000 (13 seasons), and was when Nicollin was a bit of a big spender (for that era, anyway). All told, and counting this season [2012-13], Montpellier has been in the French first division for 32 of the 76 seasons (the French first division has existed from 1932-33 to 1938-39; and from 1945-46 to 2012-13), with Olympique Montpelliérains having been in the 1st division for 11 seasons, and present-day Montpellier SC/Montpellier Hérault SC having been in the 1st division for 21 seasons {if you want a headache, see this list, ‘France – All-Time Table (since 1932/33)‘ (}.

Montpellier’s current spell in Ligue 1 has only been since 2009-10, so that just emphasizes how out-of-the-blue their championship run was in 2012. It is pretty rare these days in a Western European football league for a club to win a title in just their third season back in the first division. By way of example, it took Juventus 5 seasons to win the Serie A title after getting promoted back to the top tier in Italy. Montpellier does have a couple other major titles, having won the Coupe de France twice – once in it’s early days in 1929 (as Olympique Montpelliérains), and also in 1990, which was during the same season that the local council of Hérault began subsidizing the club, and the club changed it’s name to their present name, Montpellier Hérault Sports Club. That 1989-90 Montpellier squad was pretty loaded with talent, featuring Laurent Blanc (251 app./76 goals), Eric Cantona (33 app./10 goals), and Carlos Valderrama (77 app./7 goals). Cameroonian legend Roger Milla also played for Montpellier (from 1986-89, with 95 app./37 goals).

Montpellier is the 15th largest city in France {‘Metropolitan Area (France)‘ (}. Montpellier is in southern France in the region of Languedoc-Rousillon, about 127 km. (78 miles) west of Marseille, and about 160 km. (100 miles) from the Spanish border. The metropolitan area population of Montpellier is around 510,000 {2006 figure). Montpellier Hérault Sports Club come from the west-central/south-west part of France that is rugby country, and Montpellier HSC’s small fan base reflects this. The club drew 17,492 per game last season (9th-highest in France), which was Montpellier’s second-highest average attendance ever (their highest was around 500 more per game, three years ago (17,981 per game) in 2009-10, the season the club returned to the top flight after a 5 years in Ligue 2). Montpellier play in a stadium that is frankly too large for them, but this is a legacy of the 1998 FIFA Word Cup in France, when the city of Montpellier’s Stade de la Mosson was chosen as one of the host-country’s venues, and was expanded to it’s current ~32,000 capacity. So, despite being saddled with a stadium short on atmosphere (because the club could barely fill it halfway), and despite a budget that was among the smallest in the league (the 13th lowest at the equivalent of 29 million pounds), Montpellier still came out on top. Montpellier’s total budget was less than what sheik-money-mad PSG spent on just one player transfer (Javier Pastore, for 39 million Euros [~27 million pounds] from Palermo). Besides their manager Girard, who spent 7 years coaching within the France national team set-up, and is a Languedoc native, the 2 main reasons Montpellier HSC won the title were Olivier Giroud and Younès Belhanda. Joint-top-scorer Oliver Giroud, age 26, who tied with PSG’s Nene for the most goals in the league, scored 21 goals and tallied 9 assists {‘French Ligue 1 Stats: Top Goal Scorers – 2011-12‘ ( Former-defender-turned-midfielder Younès Belhanda, age 23, scored 12 league goals and tallied 4 assists, and ran the midfield. Besides players who came up through the Montpellier youth set-up like Younès Behanda, MF Remy Cabella and the 20-year-old MF Benjamin Stambouli, an assemblage of journeymen helped complete the side. The best example of this was the 30-year-old Nigerian striker John Utaka, who returned to France after a frustrating stint at Portmouth. It was Utaka’s brace that clinched it for Montpellier, as they defeated the already-relegated Auxerre 1-2 on the final day of the 2011-12 Ligue 1 season (which finished 41 minutes over time due to Auxerre fans’ misbehavior). Then thousands of folks back in the Languedoc partied all night in the Montpellier city center to await the Monday victory celebration there.

Sadly for MHSC fans, financial realities have dictated that a certain portion of this league-winning squad will be shipped off, and Olivier Giroud has already been transferred to Arsenal FC. More transfers will probably take place, and a main target is the Montpellier capatain, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (en.wikipedia page, here). Yanga-Mbiwa is another ex-Montpellier youth player. So, while Montpellier must sell to remain afloat, there will most likely be more home-grown talent to come.

    2012-13 Ligue 1 – Location-map with 2011-12 attendance data

Location-map/attendance data credits -
Base map of France by Eric Gaba (aka Sting), ‘File:France location map-Regions and departements.svg‘ ( Attendance data from Stadium capacities from (at each club’s page, under ‘Stade’).

Photo and image credits for chart page -
Montpellier -
Moments after clinching the title, winning away to Auxerre 1-2, unattributed photo at
Title celebration in Montpellier city center (where giant television screens had been set up to watch the final match at Auxerre), photo by Pascal Guyot/AFP via
Manager – Rene Girard, Getty Images via
Players (left to right)-
Olivier Giroud,
Younès Belhanda,
Souleymane Camara,
John Utaka,
Champion de France banner from Montpellier official site at
2011-12 kits from
Photo of Aqueduct St. Clemente in Montpellier by Salvatore Freni at
Stade de la Mosson -
Exterior photo from Adventures in Montpellier (
Large interior photo from Ligue 1 teams.
Panoramic photo of interior of Stade de la Mosson from
Montpellier fans with ‘Saison Historique’ banner from
Larger aerial photo of Stade de la Mosson from
Montpellier crests through the years, collated by unnamed contributor at
Montpeier official club names through the years from
Location-map for Montpellier, base map by M-le-mot-dir after Eric Gaba (aka Sting) at

Paris Saint-Germain – Photo of PSG ultras Boulogne Boys by ngari.norway at, here. Exterior photo of Parc des Princes by at, here. Aerial photo of Parc des Princes from, here.

Lille – Image of architects’ rendering of Grande Stade Lille Métropole from losc.ft. Photo of Grande Stade Lille Métropole under construction [interior photo from June, 2012] from [Grand Stade Lille Métropole (Officiel)]. Grande Stade Lille Métropole under construction [photo from June, 2012],

Lyon – Photo of Lyon ultras at Stade Gerland from Lyon v. Schalke UEFA CL match [14 Sept. 2010] by S. Guiochon/Le Progres via, here. Photo of the interior of Stade de Gerland by Kostas Xenos at Aerial image of Stade de Gerland from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Bordeaux – Photo of Bordeaux Ultramarines in the Virage Sud from Interior photo of Stade Chalban-Delmas from Aerial photo of Stade Chalban-Delmas by What’s-up at

Marseille – Photo of interior of Stade Vélodrome at dusk by Scarf at Exterior photo of Stade Vélodrome at night from, here. Aerial image of Stade Vélodrome from, here.

I used the following list for total seasons/consecutive seasons spent in Ligue 1 for each club, ‘Ligue 1/Members for 2012-13‘ (en.wikipedia).

Thanks to World Soccer magazine, and their comprehensive article on Montpellier HSC in the June 2012 issue, written by Howard Johnson –

May 1, 2012

Conference National, May 2011-12 – the 1 promoted club – Fleetwood Town FC – and the 4 play-off clubs / Plus a map of the 7 Lancashire-based Football League clubs in the 2012-13 season.

2011-12 Conference (aka Blue Square Premier League), Top of the Table map
Conference National Play Off fixtures.
2011-12 Conference National (aka Blue Square Bet Premier League) Play Offs
all times below are GMT (ie, Britain) / subtract 5 hours for Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Semi Finals,
First Leg,
York City v Mansfield Town 2nd May 2012. Kick Off 19:30.
Luton Town v Wrexham 3rd May 2012. Kick Off 19:30.
Second Leg,
Mansfield Town v York City 7th May 2012. Kick Off 14:00.
Wrexham v Luton 7th May 2012. Kick Off 16:30.
Play Off Promotion Final,
Sunday 20th May 2012- at Wembley Stadium – 3pm Kick Off.

2011-12 Promotion / Play-offs Map. Promoted to the Football League: Fleetwood Town FC, with second promotion spot to play offs winner.

From League blog, from 10 April 2012, by Jacob Steinberg, ‘Long-term planning leaves Fleetwood Town on verge of promised land – A win over Wrexham will take Fleetwood into the Football League for the first time in their turbulent history‘.

On the 16 April 2012 broadcast of the BBC London Non-League {Season 5 Episode 37 podcast here}, Fleetwood Town chairman and local businessman Andy Pilley confirmed that the club has actually turned a small profit for the 2011-12 season [interview with Micky Mellon and Andy Pilley at ~16:00 into BBC Non-League Football Show Season 5 Episode 37 (Mon. 16 April 2012)].

This despite the fact that Fleetwood Town had the highest wage bill in the league, and drew just 2,264 per game to their home league matches (9th-highest in the league). So Crawley Town they are not – unlike last season’s Conference champions Crawley Town, Fleetwood Town does not have undisclosed ownership which has plowed far more money into a promotion campaign than any other club in the league could ever hope to invest. FTFC’s money comes from a local source. From the site, ‘Andy Pilley is…the founder and managing director of Business Energy Solutions (BES). He founded the company in 2002 from a spare bedroom following the deregulation of the energy market.’ And sure they spent to get promoted – FW Jamie Vardy cost six figures to buy from Conference North club FC Halifax Town. But Fleetwood Town have still managed to live within their means, and thanks to their great FA Cup run, and broadcast revenue from their Third Round match versus Blackpool, they even managed to make a profit. Congratulations to Fleetwood Town FC, its chairman Andy Pilley and the board, its manager Micky Mellon, it’s players, its supporters, and all the folks who pitch in at the Highbury Stadium up there on the Fylde in coastal Lancashire…the Cod Army will now take their deserved place in the 2012-13 Football League’s League Two.

Below is a little chart I put together that shows the recent league history and average attendances of Fleetwood Town in the past 8 seasons. In that space of time, Fleetwood Town have been promoted 5 times and have seen their average attendance increase from 206 per game to 2,264 per game – a jump from the 9th Level to the 4th Level and a numerical increase at the gate of over two thousand a game. Also shown is Fleetwood Town’s Highbury Stadium before and after the Parkside Stand was opened in April 2011…
Image and photo credits above –’s Eye satellite view.

Below – Fleetwood Town, 2011-12 Conference National champions -
Seen below are Fleetwood Town’s manager, Micky Mellon and the team’s top 2 leading scorers from the 2011-12 season, Sheffield-born Jamie Vardy (age 24), and Liverpool-born Andy Mangan (age 25).
Photo credits above – Mickey Mellon, photo by Ian Hodgson at .
Jamie Vardy, photo by Derick Thomas at
Andy Mangan, photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via

Map of the 7 Lancashire-based clubs in the Premier League/Football League

Fleetwood Town’s first-ever promotion to the Football League means there are now 7 clubs from Lancashire that are in the top 4 levels of English football (that is, of course, the Premier League (1st Level), Football League Championship (2nd Level), Football League One (3rd Level), and Football League Two (4th Level) -
Blackburn Rovers (Premier League or League Championship {TBD} for 2012-13),
Blackpool (League Championship for 2012-13,
Burnley (League Championship for 2012-13,
Preston North End (League One for 2012-13),
Accrington Stanley (League Two for 2012-13),
Fleetwood Town (League Two for 2012-13),
Morecambe (League Two for 2012-13).
Click on image below for map of 7 Lancashire-based clubs in the Football League/Premier League -
Photo credits above -
Morecambe, Tony Scholes at, league_two_[stadiums].
Blackpool, Terry Robinson at via’.
Preston,, PRESTON | Deepdale Redevelopment.
Blackburn, Blackburn Rovers/
Accrington,’s Eye satellite view.
Burnley, Simon Kirwan at


Photo credits on the map page –
Fleetwood Town/Highbury Stadium –

Wrexham/Racecourse Ground –

Mansfield Town/Field Mill –’s Eye satellite view.

York City/Bootham Crescent – campdavemorecambe at Postcards.

Luton Town/Kenilworth Road –’Grand designs for Kenilworth Road’.’s Eye satellite view.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2011–12 Football Conference‘.
Thankls to, for attendance figures.
Attendance data from 2005-06 to 2008-09 from:
Thanks to at League History for Fleetwood Town league history.
Thanks to FWP Group fgor the aerial photo of Highbury Stadium,

March 7, 2012

2011-12 FA Cup, Sixth Round Proper.

Filed under: 2011-12 FA Cup,Football Stadia — admin @ 9:27 pm

2011-12 FA Cup Sixth Round

FA Cup – results, fixtures, articles ( Cup).

Saturday 17 March 2012 – Everton v. Sunderland -
Everton Football Club, est. 1878 (as St. Domingo’s FC). ‘The Toffees’ ; ‘The Blues’.
Goodison Park, Liverpool, Merseyside.
Opened 1892. Capacity 40,157. Current average attendance {home league matches, inclusive to 7 March 2012}: 33,100 (down -8.2% from 2010-11).
Everton FC are a Premier League club, with 109 seasons in the English 1st Level [most of any club] (and, currently, 58 consecutive seasons in the English First Division/Premier League).
Everton FC Honors:
9 English titles (last in 1987).
5 FA Cup titles (last in 1995).
1 UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup title (in 1985).
Photo credit above –

Sunderland Association Football Club, est. 1879 (as Sunderland and District Teachers AFC). ‘The Black Cats’ ; ‘Mackems’.
Stadium of Light, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.
Opened 1997. Capacity 49,000. Current average attendance {home league matches, inclusive to 7 March 2012}: 38,461 (down -3.9% from 2010-11).
Sunderland AFC are a Premier League club, with 81 seasons in the English 1st Level (and, currently, 4 consecutive seasons in the Premier League).
Sunderland AFC Honors:
6 English titles (last in 1936).
2 FA Cup titles (last in 1973).
Image credit above –’s Eye satellite view.

Saturday 17 March 2012 – Tottenham v. Bolton -
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, est. 1882 (as Hotspur FC). ‘Spurs’.
White Hart Lane, Tottenham, north London N17.
Opened 1899. Capacity 36,230. Current average attendance {home league matches, inclusive to 7 March 2012): 36,069 (up +1.0% from 2010-11).
Tottenham Hotspur FC are a Premier League club, with 71 seasons in the English 1st Level (and, currently, 34 consecutive seasons in the English First Division/Premier League).
Tottenham Hotspur FC Honors:
2 English titles (last in 1961).
8 FA Cup titles (last in 1991).
4 League Cup titles (last in 2008).
2 UEFA Cup titles (last in 1984).
Photo credit above – Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via

Bolton Wanderers Football Club, est. 1874 (as Christ Church FC). ‘The Trotters’.
Reebok Stadium, Horwich, Borough of Bolton, Greater Manchester.
Opened 1997. Capacity 28,101. Current average attendance {home league matches, inclusive to 7 March 2012}: 23,532 (up +2.8% from 2010-11).
Bolton Wanderers FC are a Premier League club, with 73 seasons in the English 1st Level (and, currently, 13 consecutive seasons in the Premier League).
Bolton Wanderers FC Honors:
4 FA Cup titles (last in 1958).
Photo credit above – Ed O’Keeffe Photography at

Sunday, 18 March 2012 – Chelsea v. Leicester City -
Chelsea Football Club, est. 1905. ‘The Blues’.
Stamford Bridge, Fulham, west London SW6.
Opened 1877. Capacity 41,837. Current average attendance {home league matches, inclusive to 7 March 2012}: 41,591 (up +0.3% from 2010-11).
Chelsea FC are a Premier League club, with 77 seasons in the English 1st Level (and, currently, 23 consecutive seasons in the English First Division/Premier League).
Chelsea FC Honors:
4 English titles (last in 2010).
6 FA Cup titles (last in 2010).
4 League Cup titles (last in 2007).
2 UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup titles (last in 1998).
Photo credit above – Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via

Leicester City Football Club, est. 1884 (as Leicester Fosse FC). ‘The Foxes’ ; ‘The Blues’.
King Power Stadium [formerly Walker's Stadium], Leicester, Leicestershire, East Midlands.
Opened 2002. Capacity 32,262. Current average attendance {home league matches, inclusive to 7 March 2012}: 23,326 (down -1.5% from 2010-11).
Leicester City FC are a 2nd Level/Football League Championship club (LCFC have spent 46 seasons in the 1st Level [last in 2003-04], and 60 seasons in the 2nd Level [3rd consecutive season]).
Leicester City FC Honors:
3 League Cup titles (last in 2000).
Image credit above –

Sunday, 18 March 2012 – Liverpool v. Stoke City -
Liverpool Football Club, est. 1892. ‘The Reds’.
Anfield, Liverpool, Merseyside.
Opened 1884. Capacity 45,522. Current average attendance {home league matches, inclusive to 7 March 2012}: 44,819 (up +4.6% from 2010-11).
Liverpool FC are a Premier League club, with 97 seasons in the English 1st Level (and, currently, 50 consecutive seasons in the English First Division/Premier League).
Liverpool FC Honors:
18 English titles (last in 1990).
7 FA Cup titles (last in 2006).
8 League Cup titles (last in 2012).
5 UEFA European titles (last in 2005).
3 UEFA Cup titles (last in 2001).
Photo credit above – Simon Kirwan/

Stoke City Football Club, est. 1863 (as Stoke Ramblers FC). ‘The Potters’.
Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
Opened 2002. Capacity 27,598. Current average attendance {home league matches, inclusive to 7 March 2012}: 27,211 (up +1.3% from 2010-11).
Stoke City are a Premier League club, with 56 seasons in the English 1st Level (and, currently, 4 consecutive seasons in the Premier League).
Stoke City FC Honors:
1 League Cup title (in 1975).
Image credit above –’s Eye satellite view


Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2011-12 FA Cup‘.
Thanks to the, for the photo of the FA Cup trophy.
Thanks to for current attendance figures [7 March 2012].

February 11, 2012

2011-12 UEFA Champions League: Knockout Phase, Round of 16 – Match-ups.

Filed under: Football Stadia,UEFA Champions League — admin @ 2:49 pm

2011–12 UEFA Champions League/Knockout phase‘ (
UEFA Champions League – results, fixtures, tables ( League. League.

2011-12 UEFA CL match-ups -
Lyon v. APOEL,
Bayer Leverkusen v. Barcelona,
Zenit v. Benfica,
Milan v. Arsenal
2011-12 UEFA CL match-ups -
CSKA Moskva v. Real Madrid,
Napoli v. Chelsea,
Basel v. Bayern München,
Marseille v. Internazionale

2011-12 UEFA Champions League Knockout Phase attendance map‘ [old content].

Photo and Image credits -
Lyon/Stade de Gerland… Bird’s Eye satellite view, here. napehtrap at

APOEL/GSP Stadium…Petros Karadjias/AP Photo via

Bayer Leverkusen/BayArena… Flash_LEV at

Barcelona/Camp Nou…kammourewa at, here. Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

Zenit…’St. Petersburg’s new stadium could signal new dawn‘. stadium construction gallery,

Benfica/Estádio da Luz… Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

AC Milan/San Siro…, here. Fossa Dei Leoni at via

Arsenal/Emirates Stadium… gallery.

CSKA Moscow…Arena Khmiki photo from, architect’s rendering of new CSKA stadium from

Real Madrid/Bernebéu… Real Madrid Videos, here.

Napoli/Stadio San Paolo…’s Eye satellite view, here. David Rawcliffe/

Chelsea/Stamford Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via

Basel/St. Jakob-Park…

Bayern Munich/Allianz Arena… [free architecture guide], here.

Marseille/Stade Vélodrome… via

Internazionale/San Siro…oscar federico bodini at, ‘Curva (stadia)/Italy‘. Siro (gallery, 30 photos), here.
Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendance data.

Thanks to

December 26, 2011

2011-12 League Two – Stadia map, with galleries of the top 4 clubs in the table, 1st place Crawley Town, 2nd place Cheltenham Town, 3rd place Southend United, and 4th place Shrewsbury Town.

2011-12 League Two Stadia map

Note: to see my most recent post on the English 4th division, click on the following: category: Eng-4th Level/League 2.

On Boxing Day, 2011, League Two is led by Crawley Town. The Red Devils of West Sussex were pretty much expected to be at or near the top of the table this season in the fourth division, because their transfer and wage bill (abetted by anonymous Far East investors) far exceeds other clubs in League Two. A 15-game unbeaten run was ended by Gillingham today, though, but it still looks like Crawley are in prime position to gain their second consecutive promotion under the mercurial Scot, manager Steve Evans. Crawley lead 2nd place Cheltenham Town by 3 points. Cheltenham Town in second place is a shock, seeing as most media outlets and bloggers pegged them for a relegation battle, not a promotion campaign this season. Ex-Robins MF and captain Mark Yates has been managing Cheltenham Town for 2 years now, and his squad plays some nice passing football, and only Swindon Town have less goals conceded (18) than Cheltenham (at 20, tied with Shrewsbury Town). Cheltenham have a stellar away record, boasting 8 wins, then a draw (to Barnet), in their last 9 matches away from Gloucestershire. Cheltehham Town have had two spells in the third tier (for a total of 4 seasons, last in 2008-09), and it’s starting to look like they could be returning to the third division. Perhaps the biggest impediment to their success could be the eventually-chewed-up-turf at Whaddon Road, the result of their groundshare with Gloucester City AFC (of the Conference North). Last year [2010-11], the poor pitch conditions played a part in Cheltenham’s struggles in the second half of the season, but maybe the mild winter, so far, will aid the Robins this season.

In 3rd place (which is an automatic-promotion-place in League Two) are Southend United. The Essex side, under much-travelled Scottish manager Paul Sturrock, shot out of the gate, but now seem to have flagged a little bit, with 4 straight defeats (two league and two cup losses). In 4th place are a club that was expected by most to be in (another) promotion campaign – Shrewsbury Town. The Shropshire-based club are run by longtime Hereford United manager Graham Turner, who returned in July 2010 to the place where he finshed his playing career and began coaching. In 5th place are the Staffordshire-based Burton Albion, who are managed by Canadian international Paul Peschisolido. In 6th place are the Kent/Thames Estuary side Gillingham, who are managed by Dartford, Kent-born Andy Hessenthaler. In 7th and in the final play-off spot are Wiltshire’s Swindon Town, who are managed by Rome, Italy-born West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio.

From League Blog, ‘League Two 2011-12: the bloggers’ half-term report
The people who really know their clubs give us the lowdown on the League Two season so far

On the map page, which you can see by clicking on the segment at the top of this post, you can see stadium photos of all 24 clubs in the 2011-12 season of the English Football League Two. Alongside each stadium image, club info is provided – club crest, year of formation, location, stadium capacity, 2010-11 average gate, list of the seasons spent by the club in each of the top 5 Levels of English football, and 2011-12 kits. At the far right on the map page is a location-map of the 2011-12 League Two. At the lower right of the map page are 2010-11 and 2009-10 average attendance figures (from home league matches), as well as league movement (if any) these last 2 seasons.

Below are photos of the grounds of the top four clubs in the League Two table as of 26 December, 2011 – 1st place, Crawley Town (Broadfield Stadium). 2nd place, Cheltenham Town (Whaddon Road). 3rd place, Southend United (Roots Hall). 4th place, Shrewsbury Town (Greenhous Meadow). Also included are photos of standout players on the squads (including team goals and assists leaders), as well as photos of the managers.

Crawley Town. Est. 1896. The Red Devils. Broadfield Stadium, cap. 4,996. Crawley, West Sussex.
First season in the Conference [5th Level], 2004-05. First season in the Football League: 2011-12.
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 2,535 per game (up +152.8%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 3,198 per game (up +26.0%).

Crawley Town Image and Photo credits – Aerial view of Broadfield Stadium from Entrance photo by Shaun at Photo of West Stand [at center] by Peer Pawelczyk via Photo of terrace [at lower center] by Smidrophenia at Photo of Broadfield Stadium [at far left] from Photo of West Sussex countryside by PhillipC at Matt Tubbs photo from Tyrone Barnett action photo by Frances Leader/Action Images via; Tyrone Barnett photo in white kit from Action photo including Kyle McFadzean from Andy Drury photo from Steve Evans photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via

Cheltenham Town. Est. 1887. The Robins. Whaddon Road, cap. 7,066. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
First season in the Conference [5th Level], 1988-89. First season in the Football League: 1999-2000.
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 2,980 per game (down -8.1%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 3,339 per game (up +20.%).

Cheltenham Town Image and Photo credits – Aerial view of Whaddon Road from Small photo at upper right from Large photo of Cheltenham from the adjacent hillside by Adrian Pingstone at Small photo of the three stands [at the center] by footix at Exterior photo [at lower left] from Photo from inside the stands [at lower left] from Large photo of Main Stand by Shaun at
Jimmy Spencer, Darryl Duffy, and Kaid Mohammed action photos from Marlon Pack action photo from; Marlon Pack photo from Mohammed/Jombati/Smikle celebrating photo from Photo of Mark Yates from

Southend United. Est. 1906. The Shrimpers. Roots Hall, cap. 12,392. Southend-on-Sea, Essex.
First season in the Football League: 1920-21, charter member of the Third Division.
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 5,274 per game (down -31.6%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 5,801 per game (up +9.9%).

Southend United Image and Photo credits – Aerial view of Roots Hall, South Stand photo [at top, center] from Roots Hall main entrance and camera gantry photos from Fans in South Stand with flags from Roots Hall photo at far left by Shaun at Aerial photo of Southend-on-Sea by terryjoice at Liam Dickinson photos from Kane Ferdinanand photo from, ‘Talent scout: Southend United’s Kane Ferdinand‘, by Joe Ridge. Ryan Hall photo from Photo of Paul Sturrock with squad at Roots Hall from; Paul Sturrock photo from
Images of old Southend United kit badges are from Historical Football Kits site at

Shrewsbury Town. Est. 1885. The Shrews. Greenhous Meadow, cap. 9,875. Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
First season in the Football League: 1950-51
(Shrewsbury Town were elected to the Football League, Division Three North in 1950, after being Midland League champions in 1949-50).
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 5,876 per game (down -7.5%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 5,436 per game (up +6.4%).
Shrewsbury Town Image and Photo credits – Aerial photo of New Meadow (aka Greenhous Meadow) from Main entrance photo from Pre-match photo of New Meadow by ynysforgan_jack at The Old Market Hall in Shrewsbury photo by Asdfasdf1231234 at River Severn at Shropshire photo from Old kit badges of Shrewsbury Town from South Stand photo from Mark Wright photo from Lionel Ainsworth photo from AMA Sports photo agency via James Collins photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via Graham Turner photo from

After 22 matches played by most clubs in the 2011-12 League Two season, here are the 3 top scoring leaders and the top player in assists…
Photo credits above – Izale McLeod photo by Tom Jenkins at Billy Kee photo from Matt Tubbs photo from Ryan Hall photo from

Last season [2010-11], League Two as a whole averaged 4,175 per game, which was an 8.3% increase over 2009-10. Currently [26 Dec., 2011] League Two’s average attendance is 4,252 per game, which is a 1.8 percent increase from last season. [Current League Two attendance, including unofficial league average (ESPN Soccernet).

At the end of each League Two season, 4 clubs gain promotion to League One [which is the 3rd Level of English football]. First, second, and third place finishers get promoted automatically to League One each May, while the 4th through 7th place finishers compete in a play-off to determine the fourth promoted club. On the other hand, at the end of each League Two season, only 2 clubs are relegated to the Conference National [which is the 5th Level of English fooball, and the highest level in Non-League football]. League Two is the only level in the Fooball League that has a disparate number of promoted teams versus relegated teams [the other levels, the Football League Championship (the 2nd Level) and the Football League One (the 3rd Level), have 3 go up and 3 go down each season]. Currently, the clubs in the League Two relegation places are Plymouth Argyle and Northampton Town, with Dagenham & Redbridge, Hereford United, and Barnet within touching distance of the dreaded drop.


Photo credits on map page -

Accrington Stanley/Crown Ground,’s Eye satellite view.
AFC Wimbledon/Kingsmeadow (aka Cherry Red Records Stadium),’s Eye satellite view.
Aldershot Town/The EBB Stadium (Recreation Ground),’s Eye satellite view.
Barnet/Underhill Stadium,’s Eye satellite view.
Bradford City/Valley Parade,’s Eye satellite view.
Bristol Rovers/Memorial Stadium,’s eye satellite view.
Burton Albion/Pirelli Stadium,
Cheltenham Town/Whaddon Road (aka Abbey Business Stadium),’s Eye satellite view.
Crawley Town/Broadfield Stadium,’s eye satellite view.
Crewe Alexandra/Alexandra Stadium,
Dagenham & Redbridge/Victoria Road,’s Eye satellite view.
Gillingham/Priestfield,’s Eye satellite view.
Hereford United/Edgar Street,’s Eye satellite view.
Macclesfield Town/Moss Rose,’s Eye satellite view.
Morecambe/Globe Arena,
Northampton Town/Sixfields Stadium,’s Eye satellite view.
Oxford United/Kassam Stadium,
Port Vale/Vale Park,’s Eye satellite view.
Plymouth Argyle/Home Park,’s eye satellite view.
Rotherham United/Don Valley Stadium,’s Eye satellite view.
Shrewsbury Town/Greenhous Meadow [aka New Meadow], James Humphries (aka Colds7ream) at
Southend United/Roots Hall,’s Eye satellite view.
Torquay United/Plainmoor,’s eye satellite view.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2011–12 Football League Two‘.

Thanks for current attendance figures.
Thanks to, for attendance data from previous seasons.

Thanks to these two sites…
1). Data for ‘Seasons spent in Levels’ lists, thanks to [data up to 2001-02].
2). For league placement data from 2002-03 and on, plus general data on the clubs’ league placement through the years, thanks to sites of each club, usually [at the top menu bar there] at ‘Club/League History’. Example,

Thanks to, for images of old kit badges.

Thanks to
Thanks to [Cheltenham Town]
Thanks to
Thanks to

December 14, 2011

Argentina: Primera División, 2011-12 Stadia map, featuring 2011 Apertura champions Boca Juniors.

Filed under: Argentina,Football Stadia — admin @ 6:49 pm

Primera División de Argentina, 2011-12 Stadia map

The map page features a stadium photo of each club in the 2011-12 season of Primera División de Argenina. Alongside each club’s stadium photo is club information, including…the full name of the club; the year of the club’s formation; their location; their stadium’s name and capacity; the club’s professional Argentine titles (and year of last title); the club’s Copa Libertadores titles (and year of last title); the club’s total Copa Libertadores appearances; the length, in seasons, of the club’s current spell in the Argentine top flight (and the year they (re)entered the first division); and how the club finished in the first half of the 2011-12 season [which was the 2011 Apertura].

At the top, right of the map page, next to the AFA crest, is a season-and-a-half synopsis, listing the last 3 title winners and the clubs that went down to, and came up from, Primera Nacional B…
2010-11 champions –
Apertura: Estudiantes (5th title).
Clausura: Vélez Sarsfield (8th title).

Relegated to Primera Nacional B (in June, 2011):
Gimnasia (La Plata)
River Plate

Promoted to Primera División (in June, 2011):
Atlético de Rafaela
Unión [de Santa Fe]
San Martin (San Juan)
Belgrano [Córdoba].

2011-12 champions -
2011 Apertura: Boca Juniors (24th title).
2012 Clausura: TBD [the 2012 Clausura will begin in the first week of February, 2012].

The 2011 Apertura was won by one of the two most popular Argentine football clubs, Boca Juniors [the other one of the two biggest clubs in the country is River Plate, who are currently in their first-ever professional-era season in the second division, but will almost certainly be back in the top flight for the 2012-13 season]. This is Boca Junior’s 24th professional Argentine title, second only to the 32 pro titles won by River Plate. Boca ended as undefeated champions, as well as being the champions with the most points difference ahead of second place.

From the essential Hasta El Gol Siempre site, ‘Apertura 2011: ¡Boca campeón! (video)‘.

From, from 22 November, 2011, by Jonazthan Wilson, ‘Boca Juniors’ binary finery a tribute to manager Julio César Falcioni
Boca Juniors are a team cast in Julio César Falcioni’s gnarled image, and the Apertura champions-elect are all the better for it

From, from 6 December, by Rory McClenaghan, ‘Football Season review: The Return Of Boca Juniors‘.

Photo credits above – Ortigoza and Cvintanich acion photo by Enrique Marcarian/Reuters via Cvintanich photo from AFA via Schiavi photo and Bombonera title celebration photo from Juniors. Falcioni photo from

From, from Dec.13, 2011, ‘In Argentina, Violence Is Part of the Soccer Culture‘.

The Argentine clubs that have qualified for the 2012 Copa Libertadores…
The 5 Argentine clubs which have qualified for the 2012 Copa Libertadores are…
ARG-1, Vélez Sarsfield (2011 Clausura champion).
ARG-2, Boca Juniors (2011 Apertura champion).
ARG-3, Lanús (best 2011 aggregate among non-champions).
ARG-4, Godoy Cruz (2nd best 2011 aggregate among non-champions).
ARG-5/First Stage [aka preliminary round], Arsenal (qualified as best performance by a club in the 2011 Copa Sudamericana not already qualified).

In terms of all-time Copa libertadores appearances, the 2012 Copa Liberadores will mark the 2nd appearance by Godoy Cruz, the 2nd appearance by Arsenal de Sarandi, the 4th appearance by Lanús, the 13th appearance by Vélez Sarsfield (who have won 1 Copa Libertadores title, in 1994), and the 23rd appearance by Boca Juniors (who have won 6 Copa Libertadores titles, their last in 2007).
2011-12 Copa Libertadores‘ (

From, posted by giovar94, a 13-minute video compilation of the best goals in Argentina in 2011 – this video is incedible – ‘Especial Tyc sports 2011 parte 8 [Mejores goles Argentina]‘.
[Thanks to the Guardian Sport Blog for the above link {see this}.]

Photo credits (stadium photos on map page) –
All Boys/Estadio Islas Malvinas,
Argentinos Juniors/Estadio Diego Armando Maradona,
Arsenal [de Sarandi]/Estadio Julio Humberto Grondona, Hopp Hard Ingo at
Atlético Rafaela/Estadio Nuevo Monumental, atleticoesrafael at
Banfield/Estadio Florencio Sola,
Belgrano/Estadio El Gigante de Alberdi, fercabc at
Boca Juniors/ Estadio Alberto J. Armando (aka ‘La Bombonera [the Chocolate Box]),
Colón/ Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López,
Godoy Cruz/Estadio Malvinas Argentinas,
independiente/Estadio Libertadores de América, via
Lanús/Estadio Ciudad de Lanús, Hopp Hard Ingo at
Newell’s Old Boys/ Estadio Marcelo Bielsa,
Olimpo/Estadio Roberto Natalio Carminatti, via
Racing/Estadio Presidente Perón (aka ‘El Cilandro’), via
San Lorenzo/Estadio Pedro Bidegain (aka ‘el Nuevo Gasómetro’ (the New Gasometer),
San Martin (SJ)/Estadio del Bicentenario,
Unión [Santa Fe]/Estadio 15 de Abril, eltope at
Tigre/Estadio José Dellagiovanna, Gabriel Sabugo at
Vélez Sarsfield/Esadio José Amalfitani,

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en. and es. and de., ‘2011–12 Argentine Primera División season‘.
Thanks to NordNordWest for the blank map of Argentina.
Thanks to Sam Kelly at Hasta El Gol Siempre and at the Hand of Pod podcast (link to it here at SoundCloud).

November 1, 2011

2011-12 League One: Stadia map.

2011-12 League One, Stadia map

Note: to see my latest post of English 3rd division, click on the following, category: Eng,3rd Level/League One.

As of 1 November, 2011, after all clubs in the league have played 16 games, Charlton Athletic lead over Huddersfield Town by 3 points; with Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, MK Dons, and Notts County in the play-off places. Rochdale, Chesterfield, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town make up the clubs in the relegation zone.

Large aerial photo by Dean Nicholas via Small aerial photo of The Valley by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via Views Of London Football Stadiums [Gallery].

Football League One is the 3rd Level of the English Football system. League One is the league which, most seasons, has the widest disparity of club size (as measured by average attendance). To be very general about it, you can divide the sort of clubs that are in any given League One season into 3 categories…

A) Medium-to-medium/large-sized clubs with more than 2 dozen seasons in the top flight, that have maybe won a few major titles, and have (and maybe at a stretch) the ability to average near or above 20,000 per game. In this category, this season, there are 5 clubs that fit this criteria – Charlton Athletic, Huddersfield Town AFC, Preston North End, Sheffield United, and Sheffield Wednesday. These clubs have fallen on hard times and now must rub shoulders with clubs who don’t even have stadiums larger than 10 or 12K capacity – clubs who have never even made it to the second division, let alone the top tier.

B). 3rd Level/League One mainstays. Clubs who have historically been found at the 3rd Level more than any other level, or who have slightly more seasons-spent in the 2nd Level (2 clubs, denoted in the following list by an asterisk). The 11 clubs in this category [for 2011-12] are Bournemouth, Brentford, Carlisle United, Chesterfield, Colchester United, Exeter City, *Leyton Orient, *Notts County, Oldham Athletic AFC, Tranmere Rovers, and Walsall. These clubs generally average between 4,000 to 7,000 per game. The higher-drawing of these 11 clubs are Bournemouth, Chesterfield and Notts County, who these days usually draw in the 6K to low-7K region. The middle-drawing of these 11 clubs are Tranmere, Exeter, Carlisle, Brentford, and Oldham, who usually draw in the mid-4K to mid-5K region. And the lower-drawing of these 11 clubs are Walsall, Colchester, and Leyton Orient, who these days usually draw in the high-3K to mid-4K range.

C). Clubs who have punched above their weight to get here, and who draw lower than the clubs listed above (usually drawing between 2,500 to 5,500 per game) and whose realistic goal, most seasons, is to remain at this level (7 clubs). Of course, these clubs can try to live the dream, as it were, and that is what you could call Scunthorpe United’s run for the last 6 seasons, which has included 2 spells and 3 seasons in the 2nd Level (the League Championship) for the plucky North Lincolnshire side – this from a club that has spent 39 seasons in the 4th Level, just 19 seasons in the 3rd Level, and only 9 seasons in the 2nd Level, 6 of which were before 1965. You also will find clubs in this category who have been in the 2nd Level somewhat recently (like Bury, last in 1999), or clubs that just fell short of a Cinderella-story promotion to the second division (like Yeovil Town, in 2006-07). You can sub-divide this category into C-1), Clubs who have been in the Football League for decades; and C-2), Clubs who never had a shot at the Football League until 1979-80, when automatic promotion/relegation was instituted between Non-League football and the 4th Level of the Football League. For the 2011-12 League One season, those C-1 clubs would be Bury, Hartlepool United, Rochdale AFC, and Scunthorpe United; the C-2 clubs are Stevenage, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town. It is worth noting that these latter 3 clubs have all spent more seasons in the 3rd Level/League One than in the 4th Level/League Two.

That’s 23 clubs, what about the 24th?. Well, MK Dons belong in a special category all their own (thank goodness) – a club that stole another club’s league placement and history (Wimbledon FC), then moved the ‘franchise’ out of that club’s area (South London) into another area (in 2004, to Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, which is around 71 km./44 miles north of London).

The map page shows an exterior or an aerial photo (or satellite image) of each football club’s ground. 2010-11 average attendances, 2009-10 average attendances, and league movement (if any) are listed at the lower right of the map page. Above that is a location-map of the 24 clubs in the 2011-12 League One season. By each club’s stadia photo is club and stadium info, 2011-12 kits, and the 5-level league history of the club.

I added 5th-Level-history because 3 clubs – Carlisle United, Colchester United, and Exeter City – have had a season or two (or five) in the wilderness of Non-League Football recently; and because 3 clubs – Stevenage, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town – never had any League history before 1979-80. That season was when election to the Football League was replaced by the more democratic on-field promotion and relegation system that had already been in place in the Football League then for almost a Century. Since the elimination of that barrier, clubs like Stevenage, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town have moved up the ladder and firmly established themselves in the Football League. You could call these 3 clubs the best argument for why there should be 3, and not just 2, clubs promoted from Non-League football each year.

Below are the top 3 scorers in the 2011-12 League One season after 16 games – Bradley Wright-Phillips, Gary Medine, and Jordan Rhodes…
Photo credits – SWFC/galley. Bruce Rollinson/

Image credits on map page –
Carlisle United, aerial photo of Brunton Park from
Preston North End,
Huddersfield Town, satellite image from [found at each club's stadium page at on the (blue-lit) coordinates of stadium/click on's Bird's Eye satellite view, here.
Hartlepool United,
Tranmere Rovers,
Bury, ''.
Rochdale AFC,
Oldham Athletic AFC,
Scunthorpe United,
Sheffield Wednesday, the photo of Hillsborough was taken from by a camera suspended from the frame of a manned kite glider, Rob Huntley-Kite Aerial Photography.
Sheffield United, pparry at
Notts County,
Walsall, Stadium.
MK Dons,
Colchester United,
Wycome Wanderers, photo by DipseyDave at 'Adams Park' (
Leyton Orient, photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via Views Of London Football Stadiums [Gallery]
Charton Athletic, photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via Views Of London Football Stadiums [Gallery].
Exeter City,
Yeovil Town,
AFC Bournemouth,

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2011–12 Football League One‘.

Thanks to, for attendance data.

Thanks to these two sites…
1). Data for ‘Seasons spent in Levels’ lists, thanks to [data up to 2001-02].

2). For league placement data from 2002-03 and on, plus general data on the clubs’ league placement through the years, thanks to sites of each club, usually [at the top menu bar there] at ‘Club/League History’. Example, Carlisle United’s Footy-Mad page/Club/League History.

October 12, 2011

Belgium: 2011-12 Belgian Pro League – location map, with 2010-11 attendance data and titles list.

Filed under: Belgium,Football Stadia — admin @ 8:29 pm

Belgian Pro League

Note: The map includes color swaths which show the Dutch-speaking region (Flanders) and the French-speaking region (Wallonia), as well as the bi-lingual area (Brussels-Capital Region), plus the German-speaking areas of eastern Liège province. The Dutch versus French language issue, along with economic disparities between the better-off Flemish and the poorer Waloon regions are especially relevant now, because that is the root cause of the Belgian government’s now-year-long shutdown {see this article from, from 14 June, 2011, by Brian Dawson, ‘Silence is not golden in Belgium’s year of living dangerously}’.

The Belgian Pro League is currently ranked #12 in Europe by UEFA [for 2012], up 1 position [from 2011] – UEFA ‘league’ coefficients. The Belgian Pro League, which as a whole drew 11,574 per game in 2010-11, draws better than the top leagues of 3 countries it is ranked below…Portugal (ranked #6/10,080 per game in 2010-11)), Ukraine (ranked #8/9,225 per game in 2010-11), and Greece (ranked #11/6,424 per game).

As of 12 Oct.2011, Anderlecht top the table by 1 point over Gent and Club Brugge.
Belgian Top League- fixtures, results, table (

The Belgian Pro League is playing it’s 109th season, and it’s third season since the league shrunk down from 18 to 16 teams, started playing during the Christmas/New Year holiday season, and, most controversially, instituted a complex playoff system.

Reigning champions are KRC Genk (Koninklijke Racing Club Genk), who now have won 4 Belgian titles. In May, 2011, Genk won the mini-league, 6-team playoff competition – called Playoff I – over Standard Liège, by half a point. That half-point-difference was the result of the format, which halves each team’s points when the league is split into 3 different mini-leagues from March to May each season (ie, odd-numbered points totals will become numbers with a .5 at the end of it) . The vast majority of Belgian fans are vehemently opposed to the playoff system.

On the final match day, Genk held on to the draw versus Standard Liège that clinched the title. They got the goal that won the crown in the 77th minute, on a header by Nigerian-born Kennedy Nwanganga (who had been a substitution), on a cross from Hungarian international Dániel Tőzsér.
From the 6 Pointer blog, from 18 May, 2011, by mayerski5150, ‘KRC Genk – Champions of Belgium‘.
Manager Francky Vercauteren won the title for Genk, but has since moved on, to money and irrelevance in the UAE, with Al-Jazira S&CC. Genk’s current manager is Mario Been, the former Feyenoord MF and manager.

KRC Genk, reigning Belgian champions…
photo credits,,

Genk are from Genk, Limburg, Flanders, which has a city population of only around 62,000 {2010 figure} [note: that figure is probably misleading, as it does not include the metro-area of the city]. Genk are a relatively new club. KRC Genk were formed in 1988, as the result of a merger between KFC Winterslag and Waterschei Thor. Keeping Winterslag’s position, Genk debuted in the top flight in 1988-89, but were promptly relegated. Gaining promotion back to the top tier at the first try, Genk went on to win their first title in their 10th season, in 1998-99. Genk qualified for the 2002-03 UEFA Champions League, and though they finished last in their group, they managed 4 draws, 2 versus Real Madrid. Genk now are making their second UEFA Champions League Group Stage appearance, and have a draw (to Valencia) and a loss (to Bayer Leverkusen) under their belt, and will play in West London versus Chelsea on 19th October. Last season, Genk’s successful title run saw them draw 20,692 per game (up 5.5% from 09/10) at their 24,956-capacity Cristal Arena.

Genk are one of four clubs in Belgiun that have solid fan bases and can regularly draw over 20,000 – the other 3 being RSC Anderlecht, Club Brugge, and Standard Liège…
RSC Anderlecht…
photo credits – Dirk Grosemans,,

Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht is the largest club from the Belgian capital and largest city, Brussels. [The only other club from Brussels with recent top flight history is FC Brussels, who drew 5,219 per game in 2007-08 when they were relegated to the Belgian Second Division, and only draw around 1,100 per game these days. So Brussels is sort of like Paris, France in that it is the biggest city in the country, but the vast majority of it's citizens have no interest in supporting a top flight football club]. Brussels has a metro-area population of around 1.83 million. Last season Anderlecht finished in 3rd place and drew 22,636 per game, and in recent years they have been able to draw up to 24,500 or so to their Constant Vanden Stockstadion, which has a capacity of 28,063. Anderlecht is Belgium’s most-titled club, with 30 titles (last in 2009-10). Those 30 titles were all won from 1946 onwards, so Anderlecht’s title-frequency is even higher than one might imagine. In the first decade of the 2000s, Anderlecht were champions 5 times. Anderlecht has a predominantly Flemish fan base, and certainly enjoy a significantly larger amount of support from outside the Brussels-Capital region than from within it (like maybe 75-80% from outside of Brussels). Anderlecht play in white kits with mauve (or purple) trim.

Club Brugge…
photo credits –’s eye satellite view,

Club Brugge KV have the second-most Belgian titles, 13, with their last title in 2005-06. Brugge are from Bruges, whose historic city center, full of intact medieval architecture, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Bruges’ population is around 116,000 [again, this does not include metro-area population]. Brugge wear jerseys similar to Inter – black and blue vertical stripes, but the red in Club Brugge’s badge sets their look apart from the Italian giants. Brugge have a stadium-share with Cercle Brugge at the Jan Breydal Stadium, which is city-owned and has a capacity of 29,042. Brugge drew 23,157 in 2010-11, and finished in 4th place. In good seasons, they can draw 26 K. [Cercle Brugge have a much smaller fan base, and drew 7,488 per game last season.]

Standard Liège…
photo credits –,
Standard Liège (Royal Standard de Liège), are the biggest club in the French-speaking part of Belgium. Liège is the industrial center of Wallonia, and is a steel city {see this map that shows coal regions and metal processing centers in Belgium}. Les Rouches (the Reds) are called that, and not the linguistically-correct les Rouges, because of the effect of the Walloon accent. Standard Liège have won 10 Belgian titles, most recently in 2007-08 and 2008-09. But before that, Standard Liège had a 25-year title drought (having had won the 1982-83 title). The club drew best in Belgium last season, pulling in 25,125 per game to their Stade Maurice Dufrasne. Standard Liège had a decent European run in 2009-10, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, finishing third in their group, and then moving over to the 09/10 Europa League Knockout Round, where they made it to the Quarterfinals, first beating Roma, then Panathinaikos. They are currently, along with Anderlecht and Club Brugge, in the 2011-12 Europa League Group Stage.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘Belgian Pro League‘. Thanks to, for attendance data.

July 26, 2011

Spain: final table of 2010-11, with clubs playing in Europe in UEFA competitions for 2011-12 / Plus, map with location of clubs in 2011-12 La Liga, with attendance data.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Spain — admin @ 8:45 pm

Spanish clubs playing in Europe

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

The first chart (click on image above) shows the 7 Spanish clubs who qualified for Europe for 2011-12, including the 3 clubs which have qualified for the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League Group Stage – FC Barcelona, Real Madrid CF, and Valencia CF.
The 6 Barcelona/Real Madrid match-ups this past season produced reams of headlines, and lots of histrionics…and in the end, Real Madrid – on paper – ended up 4 points shy of the Spanish title. But the actual gulf between Barcelona and Real Madrid is probably better depicted by the 5-0 trashing that Barça gave Real Madrid in November at Camp Nou. And sure, in the Spanish Cup competition, Real did eliminate Barça and then go on to win the Copa del Rey, but that’s the same trophy (with about the value of the English League Cup) that Real Madrid could have cared less about winning 5 or 10 or 15 years ago (it was Real Madrid’s first Copa del Rey title in 18 years).

At the top, left of the chart you can see photos and stats of the 7 Barcelona players most responsible for Barça’s offensive mastery and domination in both Spain and Europe – midfield general Xavi, greatest-player-on-Earth Lionel Messi, young phenom Pedro, attacking defender Dani Alves, scoring machine David Villa, midfield wizard Andrés Iniesta, and young talent Bojan Krkić [note: Roma purchased Bojan Krkić on 22 July for 12 milion Euros].. Manager Pep Guardiola is shown being tossed up into the air in celebration [I know, the photo is from 3 seasons ago, but I think the image really symbolizes FCB's über-champion-status these last few seasons].

That the cash-strapped Valencia were still able to win an automatic Champions League Group Stage berth is pretty impressive. So too is Villarreal’s return to the Champions League format. Villarreal proved that a club can have a long Europa League campaign and not see their domestic form suffer. El Submarino Amarillo (The Yellow Submarines), from a town of 51,000, made it all the way to the Europa League Semi-finals last season, yet were still able to keep hold of 4th place in La Liga, and that fourth CL spot. And thanks to past Champions League accomplishments (including being 2005-06 CL Semi-finalists and 2008-09 CL Quarter-finalists), Villarreal, and not Udinese, are a seeded team in the Play-off round draw, which will be on 5 August {see this}.

The 3 Spanish clubs that will be in the Europa League format are three clubs that all finished with 58 points – Sevilla FC, Athletic Club [Bilbao], and Club Atlético de Madrid [La Liga does not use goal difference as the first tie-breaker in the final standings, but rather head-to-head results]. Here is the list, which includes Sevilla and Bilbao, of teams that have qualified so far for the Europa League play-off round {see this}. Before that, Atlético Madrid must play in the Europa League Third qualifying round (1st Legs are on 28 July), and here are the match-ups – ‘2011-12 UEFA Europa League/Third qualifying round‘. Atlético Madrid will face the Norwegian club Strømsgodset IF.

[Note: to see a larger image of Sevilla FC's Art Deco mosaic at Estadio Ramón Sanchez Pizjúan, scroll down to the Sevilla section in the Photo credits below...]

Below is the second chart, which features a location-map of the 20 clubs that will be playing in the 2011-12 La Liga, as well as attendance data of these clubs from last season – including average attendance (home league matches), percent-capacity, and percentage-change in attendance from 2009-10.



Photo credits -
Photo of Xavi by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images Europe via, here. Photo of Lionel Messi by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images Europe via, here.
Interior photo of Camp Nou from, here. Photo of Pedro by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via, here.
Photo of Dani Alves from, here. Photo of David Villa by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images Europe via, here. Photo of Andrés Iniesta by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via, here. Bojan Krkic photo from Gallery, here.
New Barça jersey [2011-12 home jersey] from
Photo of Pep Guardioa being tossed airborne by Barça players by Tony Gentile/Reuters, here.
Aerial image of Camp Nou from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Real Madrid
Photo of Ultras Sur (far right-wing Real Madrid supporter-group) with flags and banners was unattributed at, here. Exterior photo of Estadio Santiago Bernebeu was unattributed from, here. Aerial photo of Estadio Santiago Bernebeu from, here.

Photo of Valencia fans from, here. Photo of Mestalla at sunset from, here. Aerial photo of Mestalla from, here.

Interior photo of El Madrigal from, here. Close-up-aerial photo of El Madrigal from, here. Aerial photo of El Madrigal from, here.

Photo of interior of Estadio Rámon Sánchez Pizjuán by inkboo at, here. Photo of mosaic on exterior wall of Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán by Paco Alfaro at, here. Aerial image of Estadio Ramón Sanchez Pizjuan [with view to the east] from’s Eye satellite view, here.
[Note: you can see a larger size image of the Sevilla FC mosaic by clicking here (photo by Paco Alfaro @, here).

Athletic Bilbao...
Photo of Athletic Club Bilbao-supporter-group Albertzale Sur with banners and Basque flags from, here [2/3 of way down page]. Photo of exterior of San Mamés from adjacent rooftop by kammourewa at, here. Aerial image of San Mamés from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Atlético Madrid
Photo of Atlético Madrid fans from, here. Interior photo of Estadio Vicente Calderon by FDV at, here. Aerial image of Estadio Vicente Calderón from Peñ, here.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘La Liga‘.
Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendances.
Thanks to for the base map of Spain, from Demis Web Map Server.
Thanks to, for stats.

July 14, 2011

Italy: final table of 2010-11 Serie A, with clubs playing in Europe in UEFA competitions for 2011-12 / Plus, map with location of clubs in 2011-12 Serie A, with attendance data.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Italy — admin @ 7:31 pm

Italian clubs playing in Europe in 2011-12

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

From, on 1 Aug. 2011, by Geoff Bradford, ‘Italy’s match-fixing investigation will run and run‘.

Milan won their first Scudetto in 7 seasons under their first-year manager Masimilliano Allegri. Allegri was hired after two successful seasons at the small provincial club Cagliari Calcio. Under Allegri, the Sardinia-based Cagliari finished in 9th place twice despite minimal resources, earning Allegri 2 straight Panchina d’Oro (Golden bench) awards, which are voted on by Serie A managers. Milan hired Allegri in June 2011. Allegri shored up Milan’s defense, and a solid back four built around Centre Back Thiago Silva, plus a very good year for Zlatan Ibrahimović (who scored 14 goals and recorded 11 assists), helped Milan secure the title after 5 consecutive seasons in which the Scudetto was in the hands of their local rivals Internazionale.

The first chart (click on image above) shows the 7 Italian clubs who have qualified for Europe in 2011-12, including the 3 that have automatically qualified for the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League Group Stage – Milan, Internazionale, and Napoli. Milan won the European title most recently in 2007 (Milan have won 6 European titles). Internazionale won the European title two seasons ago in 2010 (Inter have won 3 European titles). Napoli have no European titles, although they did win the 1989 UEFA Cup. Napoli return to the Champions League-level of the European format for the first time since 1990-91, when the Maradona-less squad exited in the 2nd round of the European Cup to Spartak Moscow.

Udinese beat out Lazio for 4th place on goal difference, and now have shot at making their second appearance in the Champions League Group Stage (their first appearance was in 2005-06, when they finished 3rd in their group). But they are an unseeded team in the draw, so Udinese might end up playing a huge club like Arsenal or Bayern Munich. The draw is set for 5th August, see this ‘2011-12 UEFA Champions League/Play-off round‘, from

The three Italian clubs who have qualified for 2011-12 UEFA Europa League qualifiers are: 5th place finisher Lazio, 6th place finisher Roma, and 8th place finisher Palermo, who, as Coppa Italia finalists, inherited the Coppa Italia winner’s spot (from Internazionale).

Palermo play the first leg of their Europa League 3rd qualifying round on Thursday, 28 July. The draw is on 15 July, with Palermo being in the category of seeded teams {see this}.

For Lazio and Roma, they will play in the Europa League Play-off round – to see the teams qualified so far {click here}. Draw for the Europa League Play-off round is 5 August.

One note: Juventus opens their new, 42,500-capacity stadium, temporarily being called Juventus Arena on 8 September, {see this, from Serie A official site [in Italian]}

Below is the second chart, which shows the locations of the 20 clubs in the 2011-12 season of Serie A. Listed are average attendances (home league matches), along with percent-change and percent-capacity data, from last season (2010-11).


Photo credits -
Photo of Milan supporters’ giant banners at San Siro originally from, via European, here. Photo of interior of San Siro by Alessandro Mogliani at, here. Photo of Massimiliano Allegri by Giusseppe Cacaace/AFP via, here.
Photo of Zlatan Ibrahimović by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe via, here. Photo of Alexandre Pato from, here.
Photo of Robinho by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via, here. Photo of Thiago Silva by AP via, here.
Photo of 2011-12 Milan home jersey from, here. Exterior photo of San Siro from, here.

Photo of Inter fans with giant banner in Curva Nord of San Siro by batrax at, here. Interior photo of San Siro from Exterior photo of San Siro from, here.

Photo of stands at Stadio San Paolo from, here. Interior photo of Stadio San Paolo by Inviaggiocommons at, here. Aerial image of Stadio San Paolo from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Photo of Udinese fans from Getty Images via, here. Interior photo of Stadio Friuli by Martaudine at, here. Aerial image of Stadio Friuli from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Photo of Lazio fans in Curva Nord by Andrea Buratti at, here. Second photo of Lazio fans from, here. Aerial image of Stadio Olimpico from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Photo of Roma fans in Curva Sud of Stadio Olimpico from, here. Interior photo of Stadio Olimpico during an AS Roma match by Gaúcho at, here. Aerial image of Stadio Olimpico from’s eye satellite view, here.

Photo of Palermo fans from Getty Images via, here. Interior photo of Stadio Renzo Barbera from via, here. Aerial image of Stadio Renzo Barbera by Vito Ruggiero at, here.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2011-12 Serie A‘.
Thanks to European-Football-Statistics site for attendance figures.
Thanks to Eric Gaba for the base map of Italy, ‘Italy topographic map-blank.svg‘.

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