You may have read my recent post on this site regarding what being a “big” club means and how we can attempt to rank teams on size: http://tbrfootball.com/manchester-united-premier-leagues-biggest-team/
Reading the previous piece will make this article more comprehensible.
So according to my calculations Manchester United are the “biggest” team in the Premier League.
A waste of time? Well no, actually. With just minor modifications we can apply an almost identical set of categories to rank the second tier sides. In the second tier the debate over being a “big” club is rather more hotly contested than in the top flight, as relative size is less clear cut and fans desperately require something to cling onto, to make their weekly pilgrimages more socially acceptable to non-football fans. Hopefully these categories will give a definite answer to the age-old discourse between Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Derby County fans (amongst others).
I shall use the same ‘fan base’ sub-categories of stadium size and Twitter followers. The ‘History’ category will be altered ever so slightly, however. As only a few Championship clubs have European pedigree, the ‘domestic trophies’ sub-category shall also include the Football League Trophy, whilst the ‘European trophies’ category remains untouched (only major European honours are noted). Simply, the Football League Trophy will count, but not for nearly as much as European honours – which seems fair enough.
Finally, under ‘History’ a third sub-category will be added – ‘seasons in the top flight’, which does exactly as it says on the tin. The number of accumulated years in the top division of English football is a good yardstick of a “big” club.
Again, the Formula One style points system will be utilised, as follows: 1st position = 25 points, 2nd = 18, 3rd = 15, 4th = 12, 5th = 10, 6th = 8, 7th = 6, 8th = 4, 9th = 2, 10th = 1.
So let’s get started, as I’m sure Bolton Wanderers and Wolves fans are keen to prove just how big they really are.
|Elland Road||37,914||Leeds United||2nd||18|
|Pride Park||33,597||Derby County||4th||12|
|Cardiff City Stadium||33,280||Cardiff City||5th||10|
|FalmerStadium||30,750||Brighton and Hove Albion||8th||4|
|Stadium MK||30,500||MK Dons||10th||1|
|Number of followers:||Club:||Position:||Points:|
|Number of domestic trophies:||Club:||Position:||Points:|
|4||Preston North End||5th||10|
|Number of Europeantrophies:||Club:||Position:||Points:|
Seasons in the top flight:
|Seasons in the top flight:||Club:||Position:||Points:|
|Preston North End||14th||10|
|Brighton and Hove Albion||16th||4|
|Milton Keynes Dons||17th||1|
Sheffield Wednesday: the biggest team in the Championship. Historic success earns the Hillsborough outfit the title, with worthy mentions to Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers.
Is this table definitive and categoric?
Well, yes and no. I hope I haven’t wasted your time in reading this (or if you skipped straight to the conclusion I don’t really care) but in all honesty, this debate will rage on and on. This measures used are simply what I deem to be reflective of a “big” club. Others will disagree, but that is the very essence of football, especially in the Championship: debate between fans. This table is not definitive, but it a good indication, and let’s leave it at that.
Although I do struggle to believe that Cardiff City are twice the size of Bristol City. In fact I don’t believe it at all. Is bigger even better anyway?
Featured image: All rights reserved by John Bunny