August 15, 2016

2016–17 Football League Championship (2nd division England, incl Wales): map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./+ 3 promoted clubs for the 2016-17 2nd division (Wigan Athletic, Burton Albion, Barnsley).

Filed under: 2016-17 English football,Eng-2nd Level/Champ'ship — admin @ 4:41 pm

2016–17 Football League Championship (2nd division England, incl Wales): map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division

By Bill Turianski on 15 August 2016;
-2016–17 Football League Championship (
-Table, fixtures, results, attendance, stats…CHAMPIONSHIP [Summary] (
-New font and logos for Football League…2016-17 English Football League [new logos and new font, with branding info] (, from May 2016).
-New crests for Sheffield Wednesday and QPR and Aston Villa (among others)…New season, new badges: We take a look at club crests which have changed for 2016/17 (
-Kits…Sky Bet Championship 2016 – 2017 [Kits of teams in 16/17 Championship] (

    Below: the 3 promoted clubs for the 2016-17 2nd division (Wigan Athletic, Burton Albion, Barnsley)

Wigan won the 2015-16 League One title and return straight back to the 2nd division, while the 3rd-division play-offs winner Barnsley return to the 2nd division after a two-season spell in the third tier. Burton Albion finished in 2nd place in the 3rd division last season, and now have won back-to-back promotions – and so Burton Albion find themselves in the 2nd tier for the first time in their 66-year history.

• Wigan Athletic FC.
Est. 1932. Nickname: the Latics. Colours: Light Royal Blue and White [usually with blue/white vertically-striped jerseys]. Location: Wigan, Greater Manchester, situated (by road) 41 km (27 mi) NW of Manchester; and situated (by road) 37 km (23 mi) NE of Liverpool. Population of Wigan: town-population is around 97,000; borough-population is around 318,000 {2011 census}.

Wigan has been, historically, much more of a rugby league town than a football town….
The rugby league (Super League) club from Wigan – Wigan Warriors – are the most-successful English rugby league club, and are one of the higher-drawing teams in Super League (drawing around 14 K per game/see this). So, like as with Hull City AFC, because of all the rugby fans in town, it has always been an uphill battle for the association football club of Wigan. In fact, before Wigan Athletic were formed in 1932, no less than 4 earlier attempts had been made to establish a Wigan-based football club (Wigan County [1897-1900/defunct], Wigan United [1890s-1908/defunct], Wigan Town [1905-08/defunct], and Wigan Borough [1919-31/defunct]).

Wigan applied 34 times for election to the Football League, until they were finally voted in, in 1978…
Wigan Athletic were almost elected in to the Football League in 1950 (when Scunthorpe United and Shrewsbury Town were voted in). Wigan would have to wait another 28 years to be allowed to join the Football League. Wigan Athletic was kept out of the 92-team Football League all that time, despite trying on 34 applications to get elected to the Football League, and despite setting the record for the largest crowd at an FA Cup match which involved a Non-League-club versus another Non-League-club [in 1954, when Wigan hosted Hereford United at their old Springfield Park, in front of 27,000]. Wigan Athletic were not voted in to the Football League until the 1978-79 season. (There was no automatic promotion to the Football League until 1986-87.) Wigan drew 6.1 K in their first season in the Fourth Division in 1978-79, which was, and still is, a very good crowd-size for a team that had just shed its Non-League status. {Wigan Athletic League-attendance history at the following link at E-F-S site, here.}.

Then in 1995, sporting-goods millionaire Dave Whelan bought Wigan Athletic, and started pumping considerable sums into the club. Eight years later, in 2003, Wigan were promoted to the 2nd division. Two years later, in 2005, Wigan won promotion to the Premier League (thus beginning their 8-season spell in the top flight). After all those decades of not being allowed in the Football League, and then having a bit of a meteoric rise in the decade of the 2000s, Wigan were never really able to grow a fan-base, as they moved up the football pyramid. Wigan were drawing 7.2 K when they won promotion to the 3rd tier in 2003. Then Wigan were drawing 11.5 K two years later when they won promotion to the 2nd tier in 2005. The next season, in their Premier League debut, Wigan drew 20.2 K, which is their peak crowd-size…so they have never drawn above 80-percent-capacity (their ground holds 25.1 K). Wigan Athletic have the unusual status of not being a very big club (I mean, they drew just 9.4 K last season), but nevertheless they are a club which has one similarity to all the big clubs and successful clubs in England. And that is the fact that Wigan Athletic have spent more seasons in the 1st division [8 seasons] than they have spent in the 2nd division [5 seasons]. {Wigan Athletic League history, here (footy-mad sites).}

Manager: Gary Caldwell (age 32).
Gary Caldwell is Scotland-born, from Stirling (in the Central Belt). Caldwell is a former defensive back who played 106 league matches for Celtic (2006-10), and finished his playing career with 102 league matches for Wigan Athletic (2010-15). Caldwell, as team captain, helped Wigan avoid relegation in 2011-12, and was voted Wigan’s Player of the Year. The following season, he jointly lifted the FA Cup [with playing-captain Emerson Boyce] after Wigan shocked Manchester City 1-0 in the 2013 FA Cup Final. But then, a few weeks later, of course, Wigan became the first-ever club to win the FA Cup title yet be relegated in the same season. So after a 8-season stint in the top flight, Wigan were out of the Premier League in May 2013. Following Wigan’s relegation, Gary Caldwell remained part of the squad, but was hampered by injuries and only played 3 matches in 2013-14. For 2014-15, he re-signed with Wigan and was given coaching responsibilities. In February 2015, Caldwell retired from the pitch and joined the Wigan coaching staff. When Wigan were stuck in the 2nd division relegation-zone in April 2015, Caldwell became Wigan’s manager, replacing the sacked Malky Mackay. Caldwell was unable to prevent Wigan from relegation a few weeks later, but he got Wigan promoted straight back to the 2nd division in 2015-16, when Wigan won the 2015-16 League One, finishing 2 points above Burton Albion and 3 points above the play-off places. The 2015-16 Wigan Athletic campaign featured a 20-game unbeaten run in mid-season.

Will Griggs, 2015-16 League One leading scorer…
In 2015, for £1 million, Wigan Athletic bought FW Will Griggs (who is a Northern Ireland international), from 2nd-division-side-Brentford. In the 2015-16 season, Will Griggs helped propel Wigan to first place and promotion, as he led the league in scoring, with 25 league goals (26 goals in all competitions). During the 15/16 season, a Wigan fan made a video – ‘Will Grigg’s On Fire’ – using an old song from 19 years ago as the backing track (the track was from the band Gala’s 1997 rave hit ‘Freed From Desire’). The video went viral in a couple branches of social media, just in time for the 2016 UEFA Euros. Every time Northern Ireland got mentioned, it seemed it was obligatory to mention “will-griggs-is-on-fire”. Northern Ireland had a great tournament, advancing to the Knockout stages. (The ironic thing is, Will Griggs actually did not play one minute, in the whole tournament.)
Photo and Image credits -
2016-17 Wigan Athletic jersey, photo unattributed at, Street-level shot of Wigan near the town centre, photo by razzmatazz at Rooftop-view of Wigan with DW Stadium in mid-ground, photo by graham at Aerial photo of DW Stadium, photo unattributed at Interior shot of DW Stadium, photo unattributed at Will Grigg, photo by James Bayliss/Getty Images at

Burton Albion FC.
Est. 1950. Nickname: the Brewers. Colours: Yellow and Black. Location: Burton upon Trent, south-east Staffordshire, situated (by road) 19 km (12 mi) SW of Derby; and situated (by road) 48 km (30 mi) NE of Birmingham. Population of Burton upon Trent is around 72,000 {2011 census}.

From the Guardian/football, by Jacob Steinberg on 5 August 2016, Burton living the impossible dream as patience and ambition stoke flames (

Manager: Nigel Clough.
Nigel Clough is son of legendary player-and-manager Brian Clough. This is Nigel Clough’s second spell as manager of Burton Albion.

From the official Burton Albion site…”BURTON ALBION – a brief history. The formation of Burton Albion Football Club at a public meeting on 5th July 1950 brought senior football back to the town of Burton-Upon-Trent after a ten year absence. In the pre-war years Burton could proudly lay claim to three Football League sides in Burton Wanderers, Burton Swifts and Burton United. When Burton Town ceased to exist it left a void to be filled and the Brewers aimed to fill that gap.”…{excerpt from}.

1998-99 to 2008-09 (Burton Albion in the 6th and then the 5th divisions)…
Nigel Clough’s first spell as manager of the Brewers lasted 11 years. As a 32-year-old, and still a player (MF), Nigel Clough began managing Burton Albion in October 1998, when the club was in the Southern League (which was then part of the 6th division [and is now part of the 7th division]). Four seasons later, in May 2002, following yet another Non-League re-alignment, when Burton Albion had been switched over into the 6th-division Unibond Northern League, Clough was able to win the then-52-year-old-club their first-ever promotion, into the Conference National (the 5th division). Clough then spent 6-and-a-half more seasons with Burton, with Conference finishes of 16th, 14th, 16th, 9th, 6th, and 5th [from 2002-03 to 2007-08]. Then in the 2008-09 season, with Burton Albion 13 points clear at the top of the Conference in January 2009, Nigel Clough was given the chance to manage the 2nd-division/recently-relegated Derby County (a job his father once had, when Brian Clough led Derby County to the first of the club’s two English titles [in 1972]). With Nigel Clough’s departure, caretaker manager Roy McFarland then led Burton Albion (haltingly) to promotion to the Football League in May 2009, with the Brewers winning the Conference by 2 points over Cambridge United. And that began Burton Albion’s 6-season-spell in the 4th division.

2009-10 to 2015-16 (Burton Albion in the 4th division)…
With managers Paul Peschisolido (who was eventually sacked in March 2012), and then Gary Rowett at the Brewers’ helm, from [half-way-through] 2009-10 to [part-way-through] 2014-15, Burton Albion had League Two finishes of 13th, 19th, 17th, 4th, and 6th. In November of 2014, with the Brewers doing very well in 5th place, manager Gary Rowett left the club to take over at 2nd-division-side Birmingham City. To fill the vacancy, Burton Albion hired ex-Dutch and Premier League star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager (Hasselbaink had been manager of the Belgian 2nd division club Royal Antwerp). Hasselbaink then guided Burton further up the table, and Burton clinched their historic first-ever promotion to the 3rd division in their third-from-final match of the season, on 15 April 2015, beating Morecambe away 1-2. Two weeks later they won the League Two 2014-15 title.

Hasselbaink continued on as Burton’s manager in 2015-16, when the club played their first season in the 3rd division. As measured by average attendance, Burton Albion were the smallest club in the 3rd division last season (they drew just 2.7 K in 2015-16). Yet the Brewers had no trouble at all adapting to the higher league-level, with a defensive style of play that shut down opposition scoring threats. In fact, in the first week of December 2015, the quasi-minnows Burton Albion were shock-League-One leaders, 2 points clear at the top of the table. That’s when Hasselbaink suddenly departed for a bigger club, signing on as manager of 2nd-division-spendthrifts Queens Park Rangers. But as the Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg points out in his article on Burton Albion, …”One of Burton’s strengths has been recovering from losing managers to bigger clubs.”

Meanwhile, Nigel Clough found he could make little progress at Derby County…
In the 4-and-a-half-seasons (2009-13), that Nigel Clough managed Derby, he could not get the Rams out of mid-table (with finishes of 18th, 14th, 19th, 12th, and 10th). He was sacked in September 2013, after Derby lost 3 matches in 8 days. But a month later in October 2013, Nigel Clough got another shot at managing a decent-sized club, when he took the reins at Sheffield United, who were (and still are) mired in the 3rd division. As with Derby, Clough could not move the Blades up the league ladder. But he did get Sheffield United into the FA Cup Semifinals in 2013-14, and Clough was awarded, by the League Managers Association, the FA Cup Manager of the Season award in 2014. After finishes of 7th and 5th (when the Blades lost in the play-offs 1st round to Swindon Town), Clough was let go by Sheffield United in late May 2015. Seven months later, in December 2015, Clough got his second appointment as Burton Albion manager, replacing Hasselbaink.

Nigel Clough returns to Burton Albion, and the Brewers are promoted to the 2nd division 6 months later…
So in December of 2015, the board at Burton Albion looked to their longest-ever-serving manager – Nigel Clough – and Clough began his second spell as Burton manager. It might have been a laboured run-out of the season for Burton, one which featured several 0-0 draws (and Burton had the least goals-allowed in the 3rd tier last season, with just 37). But, on the 8th of May 2016, on the last game of the season, away to Doncaster Rovers, Clough led Burton Albion to (another) 0-0 draw, which clinched promotion. Meaning the Brewers finished in second place, and, most importantly, Burton Albion had achieved an historic first-ever promotion to the 2nd division. And then, there at the Keepmoat Stadium in South Yorkshire, a nice away-fans pitch invasion was had by the Burton Albion faithful (see it below). Burton Albion drew 4,089 per game in the 3rd division in 2015-16 (making them only the 77th-highest-drawing club in England & Wales last season). With that in mind, and as measured by crowd-size, Burton Albion are the smallest 2nd-division-club in England in 10 years (since Colchester United, in 2006-07). [Colchester Utd drew 3,982 per game in 2005-06, when they won promotion to the 2nd division, which was about 100 per game less than Burton Albion drew in 2015-16.]

Let’s hear it for minnows in the second division !
Burton Albion have sacked just one manager in the last 20 years. Burton Albion have ambition to burn, yet have never paid more than £20,000 for a player. Burton Albion play in a modern 6.9-K-capacity stadium, and are steadily growing their fanbase. Burton were drawing 3.2-K two seasons ago, drew 4.0-K last season, and now are drawing 5.0 K 2016-17 LC table, w/attendance}. Burton Albion have now achieved back-to-back promotions…and have went up 3 divisions – from Non-League football to the League Championship – in 8 years flat. Go Burton Albion !
Photo and Image credits –
Burton Albion 16/17 jersey, photo unattributed, from some lame site that NEVER ATTRIBUTES SOURCES. Old black-and-white photo of the early days at Burton Albion’s old ground, The Lloyd’s Foundry Ground – Wellington Street, photo by Burton Albion FC at Aerial shot of Burton upon Trent by Martin Handley at, Burton-upon-Trent [Dec. 2011]. Aerial shot of the Pirelli Stadium, photo unattributed at Shot of Pirelli Stadium brick-work, photo from Street-view shot of main entrance to the Pirelli Stadium, photo by Alan Slater at
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, photo by Press Association (PA) via Nigel Clough, photo by Empics via
Lucas Akins, photo [from March 2016] by James Bayles/Getty Images at Mark Duffy, photo by Burton Mail at Jon McLaughlin, photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images at 1st photo of Visiting Burton fans’ pitch invasion at Doncaster on 8 May 2016, photo by Press Association (PA) via

• Barnsley FC.
Est. 1887. Nickname: the Tykes. Colours: Red and White. Location: Barnsley, South Yorkshire, situated (by road) 26 km (16 mi) N of Sheffield. Population of Barnsley: town-population is around 91,000 {2011 census}.

Barnsley have played one season in the 1st division (in the 1997-98 Premier League)…
{Barnsley League history, here.}
Barnsley have only played one season of first division football, when they finished in 19th place in the 1997-98 Premier League, and went straight back down to the second division. But…Barnsley have played more 2nd division seasons than any other club in England – Barnsley have played 77 seasons in the English 2nd division (last in 2013-14). {See this article I wrote 6 years ago,
The English 2nd Level (currently known as the Football League Championship) – All-time 2nd Level…the clubs that have spent the most seasons in the 2nd Level, which has been called…the Second Division (1892-93 to 1991-92) / Football League Division One (1992-93 to 2003-04) / Football League Championship (2004-05 to 2010-11). Also included is a chart of All-time 1st Level.

Barnsley have 1 major title – the 1912 FA Cup title…
In the 1911-12 season, Second Division side Barnsley FC, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, became the 4th team from outside the First Division to win the FA Cup title. (Note…All-time [1872 to 2016], there have been eight clubs from outside the 1st division who ended up as winners of the FA Cup that season…{See this, FA Cup Finals/ look for green-shaded winners in italics… [Notts County/1885, Tottenham/1901, Wolverhampton/1908, Barnsley/1912, West Bromwich/1931, Sunderland/1973, Southampton/1976, West Ham United/1980].}

Barnsley won the 1912 FA Cup title on Wednesday the 24th of April 1912, when they beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0, in a Cup final replay at Brammall Lane in Sheffield, before an over-flow crowd of 35,888. (The replay was necessary because of the rules of the day and because, four days previously it had went: Barnsley 0-0 West Bromwich Albion, at Crystal Palace in south London, before a full-capacity crowd of 54,434.) The lone goal in the replay was not scored until the 118th minute, when Barnsley Inside Right Harry Tufnell, at the half-line, received a pass from Half Back George Utley, then Tufnell went on a breakaway after he executed a proto-nutmeg on WBA captain and full-back Jesse Pennington (bypassing Pennington by kicking the ball ahead to his right, and then running to his left around the defender). It was a footrace to the West Brom goal now, and Tufnell’s pace allowed him to speed clear of the last defender, and then he rounded the Goalkeeper and rifled a low shot that found the left corner. The Barnsley squad held on for the final few minutes, and the second-division side were FA Cup champions. The Barnsley team then took the trophy, travelling the sixteen miles up the road back to Barnsley, in a new-fangled motor car coach (see it below). As they entered Barnsley, the streets were packed with joyful residents, and they held the Cup up, to show the cheering crowds, as they made their way to the Barnsley town centre. To claim the Cup, Barnsley had beaten Birmingham City, Leicester Fosse, Bolton Wanderers, Bradford City [in the fourth replay], Swindon Town [in a semi-finals replay], and then West Bromwich Albion [in the replay of the final].

Below: Second Division team Barnsley FC – the FA Cup champions of 1911-12…
Photo and Image credits above –
1912 FA Cup finalists’ kits from
Screenshots from 1912 FA Cup Final Replay – Barnsley Victorious (4:13 video at uploaded by glavino4).

Barnsley go from last place (on 28 November 2015) to play-offs winners (in May 2016)…
-From the Observer, from 28 May 2016, by Nick Miller, Conor Hourihane at heart of Barnsley’s rise from bottom of table to Wembley (

Barnsley’s Manager: Paul Heckingbottom, (age 39), born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and grew up in suburban Barnsley (in Royston). Heckingbottom had a long career as a Defender in the Football League and the Premier League, including winning the Player of the Year for Bradford City in 2004, and a two-season stint with his hometown team Barnsley from 2006-08, where he helped Barnsley win the League One play-offs final over Swansea City in May 2006 (scoring in the penalty shoot-out win). After retiring in 2011, Heckingbottom went into coaching, and then became part of the Barnsley set-up, becoming the U-21 team coach in 2012-13, then the senior development coach the following season. During this time, Heckingbottom had two separate spells as caretaker-manager of Barnsley. Heckingbottom had taken over as caretaker-manager when Danny Wilson was sacked in February 2015; and one year later, Heckingbottom was also installed as caretaker-manager in February 2016, after Lee Johnson left to take over at Bristol City.

As mentioned, Barnsley went from last-place to the play-off-places in a six-month span in 2015-16…first under Lee Johnson, then not missing a beat when Johnson moved on to a (marginally) bigger club (Bristol City), and so Heckingbottom took over as caretaker again. The Barnsley squad of 2015-16 was notable for their relative youth (averaging about age 23). Their switch over to a 4-4-2 ended up allowing a key player to shine – the Ireland-born MF and captain Conor Hourihane (age 25). Hourihane was involved in about one-third of the Tykes’ goals last season (10 goals and 11 assists in league matches). From New Year’s Day to the season’s close, Barnsley went 18 wins in 23 games…which, as it happens, was exactly what two other successful lower-League clubs did in the same time period (Wigan and Northampton). After Barnsley won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final in April 2016 (over Oxford United), their confidence was unshakable. Then they squeaked into the play-offs, edging out Scunthorpe United for 6th place, on goal-difference. And in the League One play-offs 1st round, Barnsley crushed Walsall 6-1 aggregate. Then, on 29 May 2016, at Wembley Stadium, Barnsley defeated the heretofore play-offs-finals-lock Millwall 3-1, before a crowd of 51,277. So after two seasons in the third tier, Barnsley had returned to their longtime level, the second division. As Heckingbottom told BBC, “If I hadn’t been on the bench I’d have been here watching.” And just over a fortnight later, Barnsley gave Paul Heckingbottom a well-deserved full-time contract.

Photo and Image credits above –
Barnsley 16/17 jersey, photo by Barnsley FC at Barnsley town centre [view to the north], photo by via Aerial view of Oakwell, photo unattributed at [Barnsley FM 2016 thread]. 1st street-level view of Oakwell, photo by red92 at Street-view shot of Oakwell, photo unattributed at Photo of Oak Stand, photo by red92 at
Sean Winnal, photo unattributed at Conor Hourihane, photo by Keith Turner/Rex/Shutterstock via Barnsley squad with cheering supporters, at Wembley, following an early goal by Ashley Fletcher – the first of 3 goals by Barnsley in their 3-1 win over Millwall in 2015-16 League One play-offs Final, photo by Matthew Ashton/Getty Images Europe via
Thanks to the following…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.

-Attendances from E-F-S site,

Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia, at 2016–17 Football League Championship.

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