February 26, 2020

2019-20 FA Cup 5th Round Proper: map with attendances & fixture list.

Filed under: 2019-20 FA Cup — admin @ 8:22 am

2019-20 FA Cup 5th Round Proper: map with attendances & fixture list.

By Bill Turianski on 26 Febuary 2020;
-The competition…FA Cup .
-2019-20 FA Cup/5th Round (

Question: Why are this season’s FA Cup 5th round matches being played in midweek?

Answer: Because of the clout that the Premier League has…specifically the biggest Premier League clubs. Last season, 4 Premier League clubs reached the Champions League knockout stages, and 2 Premier League clubs reached the Europa League knockout stages. (Those 6 clubs were Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, and Spurs in the 18/19 UEFA CL knockout stage; and Arsenal and Chelsea in the 18/19 UEFA EL knockout stage.) So the issue of fixture congestion was raised.

The Premier League pushed for changes, and the FA has complied. Not only will all eight of the 5th Round matches this season be played in the midweek, but all matches from the 5th Round on will not feature replays…a match ending in a draw will head to extra time and, if necessary, penalties, to decide the winner.

The one mitigating factor I can see with the scrapping of replays at this late a point in the competition, is this… the smaller and lower-placed clubs – those that would benefit most (financially) from relatively lucrative replays – will have mostly been eliminated. As is the case this season (with the lowest-placed club still alive being 3rd-division-side Portsmouth, who are currently averaging a healthy 17.8 K per game).

But, not last season (2018-19), when small 4th-division-side Newport County and small 3rd-division-side AFC Wimbledon were both still alive in the 5th Round. And not two seasons ago (2017-18), when small 3rd-division-side Rochdale were still alive in the 5th Round…and in February of 2018 Rochdale drew 2-2 with Tottenham (at Spotland), which led to a 5th Round replay resulting in a 6-1 defeat of Rochdale by Spurs, in front of 24,600 ticket-paying fans at Wembley in London. So, about half of the substantial gate receipts from that replay went to a cash-poor Rochdale, a club that draws only around 3.5 K, and who have been punching above their weight in the 3rd division for a number of years now. That is what is being scrapped, by scrapping 5th Round replays.

The 2019-20 FA Cup 5th Round fixtures, which feature ten Premier League teams (1), five EFL Championship teams (2), and one EFL League One team (3)…
Monday the 2nd of March:
•Arsenal (1) v Portsmouth (3).
Tuesday the 3rd of March:
•Chelsea (1) v Liverpool (1);
•Reading (2) v Sheffield United (1);
•West Bromwich Albion (2) v Newcastle United (1).
Wednesday the 4th of March:
•Sheffield Wednesday (2) v Manchester City (1);
•Leicester City (1) v Birmingham City (2);
•Tottenham Hotspur (1) v Norwich City (1).
Thursday the 5th of March:
•Derby County (2) v Manchester United (1).
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of West Midlands, by Nilfanion, at File:West Midlands UK relief location map.jpg -List of Greater Manchester settlements by population.
-Attendances from

February 12, 2020

Scotland: map of all clubs that are drawing above 1 K (25 clubs/2019-20 figures up to the 13th of February 2020), with seasons in 1st Level and Scottish titles listed./ + Profiles of the 3 lower-division clubs in Scotland that are now drawing above 1-K-per-game (Arbroath, Alloa Athletic, Aidrieonians).

Filed under: Scotland — admin @ 7:37 pm

Scotland: map of all clubs that are drawing above 1 K (25 clubs/2019-20 figures up to the 13th of February 2020), with seasons in 1st Level and Scottish titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 12 February 2020;

-Premiership table, fixtures, results, attendance, teams, etc…Premiership [2019-20] (
-BBC/Sport, Football.
-BBC Radio Scotland, Off the Ball ['The most petty and ill-informed football show on radio!', hosted by Stuart Cosgrove (journalist & St Johnstone supporter) and Tam Cowan (journalist & Motherwell supporter).]

The map shows all Scottish football clubs which are currently drawing over 1,000 per game (2019-20 season up to 13 Feb. 2020/ 11-to-13 home matches).
Also listed on the map page’s charts are the following, with A through E listed in chart form at the right of the map, and F (populations) shown in a small chart on the left-side of the map…
A). Current Average attendance in 2019-20 domestic leagues, up to 13 Feb 2020 (11 to 13 home matches).
B). Seasons spent in Scottish 1st Level (123 seasons of the Scottish top flight (1890-91 to 1938-39; 1946-47 to 2019-20). With 2019-20 Level, and promotion/relegation noted.
C). Either: Consecutive seasons in the Scottish 1st level (since X season)…
D). Or: last season the club was in the Scottish 1st level.
E). Major titles, with last title listed (Scottish titles, Scottish FA Cup titles, Scottish League Cup titles, UEFA titles).
F). City and Town populations in Scotland (Metro-area and Locality populations of the 25 largest cities and towns in Scotland [2011 and 2016 figures]).

    The 3 Scottish clubs that have improved their average attendance to above 1,000-per-game, since since 2017-18…

-Arbroath (2nd division; currently in 6th/ and were promoted from the 3rd tier in 2018-19)…currently drawing 1,551 per game.
-Alloa Athletic (2nd division; currently in 9th [the relegation-playoff spot]…currently drawing 1,153 per game.
-Airdrieonions (3rd division; currently in 3rd [a promotion-playoff spot])…currently drawing 1,061 per game.

Arbroath FC are from Arbroath, Angus, located on the North Sea coast, by road, 18 miles (28 km) NW of Dundee. Arbroath has a population of around 23,000. Arbroath FC, est. 1878, wear Claret-and-White kits (and have been wearing that since 1882). Arbroath’s nickname is the Red Lichties, a reference to the red light that used to guide the town’s fishing boats back to harbour. Arbroath play at Gayfield Park (capacity 6,600 with 861 seated). Gayfield Park (opened in 1888; renovated in 1925) is situated right on the coast. Gayfield Park is prone to fierce North Sea winds, and is decidedly old school, being comprised mainly of terracing {see photos below}.

Arbroath have not been in the Scottish top flight in 45 years: their last season in the 1st division was in 1974-75 (which was the last season the Scottish 1st division was comprised of 18 clubs). Arbroath have played 9 seasons of 1st division football. Arbroath first played in the Scottish top flight in 1935-36, after winning promotion in 1935. Arbroath had a four-year spell in the 1st division back then, from 1935-36 up to the break in play caused by the onset of World War II in late 1939. When the War ended and Scottish league football resumed 7 years later, in 1946-47, Arbroath’s position in the 1st division was rescinded thanks to the cynical machinations of Scottish league football. I say that because Arbroath never were relegated, but simply re-assigned to the newly re-organized 2nd division in 1946-47. This was done on the following basis…{excerpt from the Historical Kits site}… ‘ ”Division A” (the top level) now consisted of 16 rather than 20 teams. Places were allocated on the basis of crowd potential and facilities so Queen’s Park, who had been relegated in 1939, returned to the top flight while several former Division One sides [like Arbroath and like Alloa/see below] found themselves in Division “B”.’ {excerpt from} After that, Arbroath played 5 more seasons of 1st division football…in 1959-60, in 1968-69, and a 3-season spell from 1972 to ’75 {source: via Wayback Machine to the pre-dumbed-down Football Mad sites, here}.

Since last season, Arbroath have seen an average attendance increase of 600 per game {see caption at top-centre of illustration below}. Arbroath are now drawing above 1-K-per-game mainly thanks to being promoted last season (when they won the 2018-19 Scottish League One by 7 points). But Arbroath’s decent form this season is also helping their turnstile-count. Their last two home matches saw crowds of 1.7 K and 1.4 K. And Arbroath recently beat 2nd-division-leaders Dundee United away (by 0-1 on the 1st of February). Arbroath will qualify for the 2nd tier play-offs if they can move up from their current 6th place, to 4th place (they are only a couple of points back from 4th). {2019-20 Scottish Championship table, here.}

Below: Gayfield Park, home of Arbroath FC since 1880…
Photo and Image credits above – 2019-20 Arbroath jersey, photo from Aerial shot of Gayfield Park [ca. 2019], photo from Interior shot of Gayfield Park [2018], photo by WB Tukker at

Alloa Athletic FC are from Alloa, Clackmannanshire. The town of Alloa has a population of around 20,000. Alloa is located on the eastern edge of the Central Belt [aka the Central Lowlands], on the north side of the River Forth, at the point where the Forth turns into an estuary, 35 miles north-west of Edinburgh (by road), and 8 miles north of Falkirk. Alloa Athletic wear Old-Gold-and-Black hoops, but in the past, including their first 17 seasons, Alloa wore Orange-and-Black hoops {see Alloa’s kit history here at the Historical Kits site}. Alloa Athletic play at the 3,100-capacity Recreation Park, a ground that opened in 1895, and which has a real non-League feel to it. In the background there loom the magnificent Ochil Hills {see photos below}.

Alloa have played just one season of 1st division football, and that was over 90 years ago, in the 1922-23 Scottish League Division One. Alloa finished in 20th that season [last place], and were relegated. 15 years later, Alloa won promotion back to the first tier, in 1939. But this was on the eve of the Second World War, and the 1939-40 season was curtailed after just five games. However, 7 years later, after World War II was over and the Scottish league football resumed, in 1946-47, the Scottish leagues were re-organized. The 1st division was shrunk from 20 clubs to 16, and top flight clubs that were deemed to have insufficient facilities or large enough crowd-sizes were sent to the 2nd division…and according to the Scottish football authorities, Alloa Athletic fell into this category. [See the middle paragraph in the Arbroath section, above, for more on this.] So the two clubs that had won promotion to the 1st division in 1939 – Cowdenbeath and Alloa Athletic – were dealt a cruel blow by being (unfairly) placed back in the 2nd division…as if their promotion in the Spring of 1939 had never happened. Alloa Athletic have never made it back to the top flight.

Before 2018-19, Alloa Athletic were drawing in the 500-to-650-per-game range as a 3rd division team. Then they won promotion via the 2nd division/3rd division Championship Play-offs finals, winning over Dumbarton (2-1 aggregate), in May 2018. And so Alloa joined the 2nd division for 2018-19. And as a 2nd tier side, Alloa increased their average crowd-size by a bit over 500 per game, to 1.1-K-per-game {see caption at top-centre in the illustration below}. Alloa are still drawing in the 1,100-per-game range, now in their second season in the Scottish Championship. But they must improve their form if they are to avoid the drop, because Alloa currently sit 9th, which is the relegation-play-off spot. {2019-20 Scottish Championship table, here.}

Below: Recreation Park, home of Alloa Athletic since 1895…
Photo and Image credits above – 2019-20 Alloa jersey, illustration from Recreation Park, interior shot [2019] with Main Stand, photo by Andrew Hendo at Recreation Park, (action shot) with Ochil Hills in background [2017], photo by Colin McPherson for WSC Photography at Recreation Park, fans on the terracing [2017], photo by Shaun E. Smith at

Airdrieonians FC are from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire. The town of Airdrie has a population of around 37,000. Airdrie is right in the middle of the populous Central Belt of Scotland. Aidrie is located, by road, 16 miles (25 km) east of Glasgow city centre. Airdrieonians FC are more commonly known simply as Airdrie. Airdrie wear All-White-with-Red. Airdrie play at the Excelsior Stadium (opened 1998), a 10,100-capacity all-seated venue. Airdrie regularly play at home in front of 9 thousand empty seats.

Airdrieonians (II) (2002) are the Phoenix-club of Airdrieonians (I) (1878-2002). The first Airdrieonians club played 60 seasons of Scottish 1st division football, winning the 1923-24 Scottish Cup, as well as finishing 4 straight times the runners-up (from 1922-23 to 1925-26). But problems developed in in the 1990s… here is an excerpt from the defunct club’s Wikipedia page… ‘Airdrie sold their Broomfield home to Safeway in 1994, but had to groundshare with Clyde at Broadwood Stadium for four years until the Excelsior Stadium was opened. It is arguably this stadium re-location and the difficulties generated by it that was Airdrie’s first step towards oblivion. The mismanagement of the entire situation by the club’s board, as well as North Lanarkshire Council’s lengthy delay in granting planning permission caused Airdrieonians financial situation to reach critical level. This was not helped by the low attendances at Excelsior Stadium following the completion of the move, which was connected to the quality of football on display due to the lack of funds available to be spent on the team.’ {excerpt from} The club became defunct at the end of the 2001–02 season, despite the team finishing in 2nd place in the 2nd division that season, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Scottish Premier League.

A month after the original Aidrie’s demise, a new club was formed in June 2002, as Airdie United. But it was not as simple as that. The new club in Airdrie was actually the re-located 3rd division side Clydebank FC, a club that was insolvent and homeless (the town of Clydebank is just north of Glasgow and is located, by road, 24 miles west of Airdrie). Here is an excerpt from the Historical Kits site… ‘With the approval of the Scottish Football League the Clydeside club relocated to Airdrie and became Airdrie United, taking over Clydebank’s place in [the Scottish 3rd division]. Thus league football was preserved in the town [of Airdrie] but only at the expense of another club, an event without precedent in the UK.’ {excerpt from[Airdrieonians (II)].} The new club in Airdrie honored the old Airdrie club’s debts. Airdrie United played 11 seasons under that moniker (with 3 promotions up to the 2nd tier, and 3 relegations back down to the 3rd tier). Then in 2013, the club was allowed to re-claim the Airdrieonians name and crest. The club has remained in the 3rd tier since then.

The 3rd division in Scotland is a place where the vast majority of clubs draw below 1,000-per-game. Last season, the only club that drew above 1-K per game in the 3rd tier were Raith Rovers. Airdrie had not averaged above 1,000 per game since the season their name was re-claimed, in 2013-14, when they drew an all-time-best (for the new club) 1,592 (despite having been relegated from the 2nd tier the previous season of 2012-13, when they drew 0.9 K). In the next 6 seasons, Airdrie averaged between 768 and 861 per game. In none of those seasons did they finish higher than 3rd or lower than 8th. So why, in 2019-20, are Airdrieonians suddenly averaging 1,061 per game? Well, they are playing better than the last two seasons (they currently sit 3rd, while finishing in 7th place in 17/18 and in 5th place in 18/19). But there is also this…one of their rivals, Falkirk, are now stuck in the 3rd tier. And on the 28th of December 2019, Airdrie hosted Falkirk at the Excelsior and drew 2,530…which is a rather large crowd for the Scottish 3rd division, where the only clubs that regularly draw above 1 K are down-on-their-luck clubs that traditionally belong at least in the 2nd division…like Falkirk and Raith Rovers. This season, the only times Airdrie have drawn over 1 K at home is when they have hosted Falkirk (who currently average 3.7 K), or Raith Rovers (who average 1.7 K), or their local rivals Clyde (who average 0.9 K). That being said, were Airdrie to win promotion this season, they most likely would draw above 1 K next season as a 2nd division side. {2019-20 Scottish League One table, here.}

Below: Excelsior Stadium, home of Airdrieonians…
Photo and Image credits above – 2019-20 Airdie jersey, photo from Excelsior Stadium, aerial photo from

Sources for charts:
-Attendance figures:
-Seasons in Scottish 1st Level, Scotland – All-Time Table (since 1890/91) [and ending at 2012-13] (
-List of Scottish football champions;
-List of Scottish Cup finals/Performance by club;
-List of Scottish League Cup finals/Performance by club;
-Population figures: Scotland;
-List of metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom;
-List of towns and cities in Scotland by population (

-Thanks to, for images which allowed me to stitch together the blank topographic map of Scotland {via Demis Web Map Server}.
-Thanks to maiz at File:Scotland in the UK and Europe.svg (
-Thanks to for attendances, from
-Thanks to European-Football-Statistics site for old attendances,
-Thanks to,
-Thanks to the contributors at Scottish Premiership (

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