February 2010

28 February 2010
Podcast: Michael Jennings and I talk about the English Premier League in Asia

In this podcast we find out:

  • that the Premier League is a big deal in Asia
  • that it’s really big
  • how it got that big
  • why the 39th game is going to happen
  • and how it might be done fairly

On a technical note, this was another Skype recording. To me it sounds as if we are in the same room rather than at opposite ends of the internet.

Oh, and apologies for the rather abrupt ending.

This podcast was recorded on Friday, 12 February 2010.

Update Michael sends a picture of a Hawker centre (with Premier League game in progress?)


21 February 2010
What the football attendance statistics tell us

I love this sort of thing: Average Attendance Rankings for the Premiership for the 2009-2010 season to date.

One of the guys in the office - a Liverpool fan - was complaining about, well, Liverpool.  Which got me thinking.  Should Liverpool really be doing any better than, say, Newcastle?  My belief is that the chief determinant of a team’s success - in the long run at least - is its attendance.  So, how do Liverpool and Newcastle compare?  Well, it’s pretty close: 43367 average attendees playing 42199.  My colleague should thank his lucky stars.  Having said that I wouldn’t hold out much for Liverpool’s long term prospects. 

So, what else do these stats tell us?

Well, for starters, attendance is indeed a pretty good indicator of success.

Arsenal must wish they’d built a bigger stadium.  99% occupancy.

I really wouldn’t want to be a Chelsea fan when Abramovitch walks away.

They don’t half like their (not terribly good) football in Sunderland [and the North East generally - see the table for the Second Division]

And they really like it in Cardiff.  So much so that they would appear to watch it sat upon one another’s knees.  How else does one explain a 107% occupancy rate?

I wonder if an ability to get bums on seats is a factor in team success.  Certainly, if I were a player I’d prefer to play in front of a packed audience.  There is something dispiriting about the sight of empty seats.  And it would seem that those teams that have high capicity utilisation like Hull, Stoke and Wolverhampton are doing well this season.  Oh, but hang about, the places with the spaces include Wigan and Blackburn who are doing fine and Birmingham who are doing brilliantly.  So, that would be a “no”.