May 7, 2008

England, League One, 2007-’08: the 2 Promoted Clubs, and 4 Playoff Contenders.

Filed under: Eng-3rd Level/League One,Engl. Promotion Candidates — admin @ 5:28 pm


In League One (the 3rd Level of English football), Swansea City and Nottingham Forest have finished in 1st and 2nd place, and will be automatically promoted to the League Championship (the 2nd Level). 

For Swansea City, this will be their second promotion in four seasons.  As they have a relatively new stadium (opened in 2005),  promotion could really expand this Welsh club’s fan base.  Since moving into Liberty Stadium (and being promoted from League Two to League One), the Swans have seen their average gate rise from 8,458 (2005) to 13,673 (this season).  A decade ago, in 2003, Swansea was mired at the bottom of the old Division Three: they finished just two places above relegation from the League, at 21st,  while averaging 5,160 (and only 3,690 in 2002).  Swansea will definitely have an uphill battle, trying to stay afloat next season, in the League Championship.  Their leading scorer this season was Trinidad-born 29-year-old Jason Scotland, who led League One in scoring, with 23 goals (28 goals in all competitions)   {see this (from an independant site);  and see this}.  

Nottingham Forest are simply too big a club to be in the third tier of English football (they averaged 19,955 per game, this season).   The club has never really come close to their pinnacle, as English National champions in 1978, and European Champions in 1979, and 1980.  But they should be able to establish themselves next year in the League Championship.   Their leading scorer this season was 28-year old Junior Agogo (born in Accra, Ghana), with 13 league goals {see this}.  Nathon Tyson had 9 league goals (12 total)  {see this};  Nottinghamshire-born Kris Commons, a 24-year-old winger, had 8 league goals (9 total) {see this}.

In the Playoffs, #6 Southend United will take on # 3 Doncaster Rovers on Friday 09 May,  for the first leg, at Roots Hall {see this, on Roots Hall, from the Internet Football Grounds Guide}.    The second leg is on the following Friday, in Yorkshire.   Southend United aims to jump right back into the second level, after relegation last season.  Traditionally a 3rd Level club,  Southend has actually spent more of the last two decades in the 2nd Level (7 seasons), and the 4th Level (8 seasons).  They enjoy good fan support for such a medium/small sized club.  Their leading scorer this season was midfielder Nick Bailey {see this, from the Southend Utd Official site}. 

The Doncaster Rovers have came a long way in 5 seasons…from the Conference (the 5th Level) to a club which is in the playoff places of the 3rd Level.  Plus, they have a new ground, Keepmoat Stadium {see this, from the Internet Football Ground Guide}.  Their leading scorer this season was Isle Of Wight-born James Hayter, with 7 league goals, and 10 overall {see this}.

The Roots Hall fixture on Friday is the opening match for the Playoffs, in all 3 Divisions of the (English) Football League.  Here in the USA, Setanta Broadband will be carrying most of these matches live, and archived.


On Monday, 12 May, #4 Carlisle United will play #5 Leeds United, up in Cumbria, with the second leg just 3 days later at Elland Road.  Carlisle United is another club in this playoff group that was in the Conference recently:  just 3 seasons ago.  The club could make it 3 promotions in 4 years if they win the Playoffs.  Their leading scorers were Danny Graham, with 14 league goals (16 overall) {see this, from the Carlisle Utd Official site};  and Joe Garner, also with 14 goals {see this}.  Brunton Park {see this} is the northwestern-most ground in the Football League.

Leeds United hopes their first-ever season in the 3rd Level will be their last.  As recently as 2001, this huge club, Yorkshire’s largest, was drawing 39,000 per game, and were in the Champions League Semi-Finals.  Their leading scorer this season was Jermaine Beckford, with 20 league goals {see this}.  Elland Road: {see this}. 

The 2 promoted clubs had the 2nd highest (Nottingham Forest) and 3rd highest (Swansea City) attendances in League One. The highest  attendances were at Leeds, with an average of 26,546,  which is pretty impressive for the third tier of English football.  The other 3 playoff clubs Doncaster (8,066), Southend (7,885). and Carlisle(7,835) were the 6th, 7th, and 8th highest draws.  Two clubs finished with a higher average gate than 3 of the playoff clubs.  They were Huddersfield Town (at 9,318 per game), and Milwall (at 8,815)… {click here, for the League One Attendance Table (SoccerStats site)}.

Thanks to (  for the kits.

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