“Biggest”. What does that even mean? Chances are at some point you will have heard Dave down the pub boldly claim that his beloved Spurs are bigger than arch rivals Arsenal, or something of that ilk. Lisa, an ardent Liverpool fan, claims that Raheem Sterling has downsized by joining Manchester City. What are Dave and Lisa basing this on, apart from pure bias and pride? Perhaps the elusive term can actually be defined by breaking it down into different categories. I shall attempt this in the next few hundred words, and create a definitive Premier League table of the “biggest” clubs.
The two categories are fan base and history, each divided into two further sub categories – stadium size and twitter followers; domestic trophies and European trophies. Domestic trophies are the FA Cup, League cup and First Division/Premier League, with European trophies being the Champions League and predecessors and Europa League and predecessors (including the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup). These seem the most appropriate to being a “big” club (sorry West Ham fans, your influence in 1966 is acknowledged, but not counted) as fan base and silverware are clear indicators of success and size.
In each sub category the 20 2015/16 Premier League teams will be ranked. Using a Formula One style points system on each sub category league table the points from all four points tables will be added and make an overall, conclusive “biggest” league table. The Formula One points systems works as follows – 1st position = 25 points, 2nd = 18, 3rd = 15, 4th = 12, 5th = 10, 6th = 8, 7th = 6, 8th = 4, 9th = 2, 10th = 1.
|Old Trafford||75,731||Manchester United||1st||25|
|Etihad Stadium||55,000||Manchester City||3rd||15|
|St. James’ Park||52,405||Newcastle United||4th||12|
|Stadium of Light||49,000||Sunderland||5th||10|
|Villa Park||42,788||Aston Villa||7th||6|
|White Hart Lane||36,284||Tottenham Hotspur||10th||1|
|Number of followers:||Club:||Position:||Points:|
|5.72 million||Manchester United||3rd||15|
|2.59 million||Manchester City||5th||10|
|1.16 million||Tottenham Hotspur||6th||8|
|469,000||West Ham United||10th||1|
|Number of Domestic trophies:||Club:||Position:||Points:|
|7||West Bromwich Albion||10th||1|
|Number of European trophies:||Club:||Position:||Points:|
|1||West Ham United||5th||10|
|West Ham United||10th||11|
|West Bromwich Albion||11th||1|
So Dave is wrong, Lisa is right and Manchester United are the biggest team in the Premier League. Is this ground breaking news? Not particularly, but the table does make the football fan appreciate the gentle giants of Aston Villa and Everton, often over looked when perhaps they shouldn’t be. The same applies to the North East sides of Sunderland and Newcastle United, “big” clubs within their own right. The top 12 “biggest” teams are also split fairly evenly geographically. Manchester and Liverpool of the North West have four clubs, the North East and Midlands two each, with the other four London based. Excluding London, the South contains no “big” teams, and there are many factors contributing to this including the prevalence of Rugby Union and population demographics.
This experiment only studied the 20 current Premier League sides, so before fans of Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and the like start whinging, I will do the same for the Championship on this site, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
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