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  1. #1
    Members Mustafa's Avatar
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    The geography of UK football... and how it affects success


    7 Not allowed!
    With Manchester now home to two of the biggest clubs in the world, it dawned on me earlier that the demise of Bury & Bolton is not a coincidence. Over generations, fans will always be attracted to their local teams. But when there is more than one option they will usually choose one that is the most successful... So in a county with two monumental giants such as City and United, a generation later, smaller clubs simply can't compete for fans. Fans of course are crucial to revenue, and success. Wigan, Oldham, Rochdale, and all other Greater Manchester based teams have struggled to grow, as City & United absorb the new generations of football fans. And over recent years, it has become evident that they will struggle to survive in the professional leagues.

    However The Albion is moving in the opposite direction. A very fortunate one in fact. We have little competition when it comes to local fanbase, particularly in Sussex, but also the South Coast as a whole. Our catchment area is huge, and it's evident with the rate our fanbase has grown since our move to the Amex, and in turn the Premier League. We surely have the potential to grow into one of the top English clubs, with a huge local fanbase at our core like all the other big clubs.

    Fans make a football club - not just in the way of revenue, but also sustenance. I strongly believe that The Albion, now the biggest club in the South East of England, and maybe the second most affluent part of England after London, is in an incredible position to move forward towards being one of the top English clubs. Tony Bloom is not being unrealistic in any way in saying that we can establish ourselves as a top 10 club.
    Last edited by Mustafa; 22-08-2019 at 21:47.

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    • #2
      Members Weststander's Avatar
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      3 Not allowed!
      There’s validity to your theory. Scotland’s a great example.

      A stack of pro clubs in Lanarkshire and the central belt in general used to get decent gates. I went to some of those old grounds, they could hold large numbers and did so at times over a hundred years of football. Albion Rovers, Airdrieonians, Partick Thistle, Motherwell, Hamilton, Greenock Morton.

      But by the late 80’s, the lure of Rangers and Celtic (always huge clubs), had grown further still, even if it was just attracting armchair fans. Gates became minute at those other clubs, they’ve never recovered.

      In England there’s also been the north-south change. So much wealth is concentrated in the SE, there’s an obvious swing from the likes of former regular First Division clubs in the north and midlands, to new PL regulars in the SE. Historically; Watford, Palace, Stains and Bmuff weren’t clubs that filled the First Division in the first 100 years of football. They’ve displaced MASSIVE clubs such as Wednesday from their rightful home .
    • #3
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      1 Not allowed!
      Matchday revenue from ticket sales is only a small part of PL teams' revenue these days. As has already been researched, some of them could manage perfectly well without needing paying fans on a Saturday afternoon - TV rights are everything.
      Satellite towns round Manchester used to do very well when matchday revenue was the major income and people worked 5 and a half day weeks, going straight from factory to footy (probably via the pub!) on Saturdays. Now, of course, support gravitates to the biggest centre of ...... err ..... gravity. The rich get richer and the ........................ well, nothing ever changes, eh?
      As for being considered naturally as a top flight team, history plays a huge part. Leeds, Wednesday, Villa, Forest, Sunderland etc. getting promoted to the PL is like them coming home; for us, good as we are, and no matter how well we are set up, it will take more than a generation (even if we manage to stay up) to get into that sort of category.
      Stains first got up into the top flight fifty years ago, and they're still not really considered in the same category.
    • #4

      1 Not allowed!
      Brighton? They’ll never be successful. Not enough chimney pots.

      -David Pleat-
      BN3 7DE
    • #5
      Habitual User Questions's Avatar
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      3 Not allowed!
      We should be beating teams like East Fife.
      now my friends have gone,
      and my hair is grey,
      and I ache in the places that I used to play.
    • #6

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      Lest we forget, most people in Sussex turned their back on the Albion in the mid 90s. Yes, that includes YOU! (whoever you are reading this). All very different now we’re playing at the top table, people are far more ‘loyal’
      “Everything about this looks wrong. The run-up is too long, too straight, and you know it’s going over the bar ... it goes over the bar, and Brighton have stolen a trip to Wembley! That is an absolute burglary! And that is the FA Cup!”
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      1 Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by jonny.rainbow View Post
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      Brighton? They’ll never be successful. Not enough chimney pots.

      -David Pleat-
      quoted when leaving his brothel.
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      Members el punal's Avatar
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      0 Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by Questions View Post
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      We should be beating teams like East Fife.
      So for, so far.
      Just a hedgehog on the motorway of life.
    • #9
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      2 Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by el punal View Post
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      So for, so far.
      For far.
      now my friends have gone,
      and my hair is grey,
      and I ache in the places that I used to play.
    • #10
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      5 Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by portlock seagull View Post
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      Lest we forget, most people in Sussex turned their back on the Albion in the mid 90s. Yes, that includes YOU! (whoever you are reading this). All very different now we’re playing at the top table, people are far more ‘loyal’
      In reverse, I lost a lot of interest after the 1979 promotion. I’d had gotten use to games under Taylor then Mullery, where we usually played well and often won. But then, even in 1979 there was a chasm where the likes of Manure and Arsenal had all the money and best players, so it wasn’t an even contest.

      The mid-90’s of Nogan, Dickov, McDugald, Minton, were more enjoyable in a down to earth way.

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