Championship Away Fans

The volumeĀ of a teams away following is often used as measure for the “size” of a club and is heavily debated amongst football fans. But their are many factors that influence this, not least their proximity to other clubs.

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Hartlepool Away Fans making 400-mile trip to Plymouth away to watch their side lose 5-0

With the Football league last week releasing statistics showing the average away attendance for each team playing in the championship (shown below), I looked at whether this was effected by the clubs accessibility to other clubs and how long fans were spending travelling.

Team Away Attendance
Leeds 2807
Middlesbrough 2515
Sheffield Wednesday 2510
Derby 2125
Burnley 1911
Birmingham 1779
Brighton 1658
Preston 1506
Wolves 1470
Nottingham Forest 1443
Hull 1393
Ipswich 1383
Bristol City 1263
QPR 1204
Huddersfield 1128
Blackburn 1106
Brentford 1073
Rotherham 1041
Reading 1040
Fulham 988
Bolton 911
Cardiff 748
Charlton 637
MK Dons 636

With Leeds being located in within fairly close proximity to a number of the northern teams, and Leeds railway station being well connected I wanted to look at the whether this contributed to their loyal away following.

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So I used the Google Travel API to look at the total time a football fan would spend travelling if they went on public transport to every away game. The results are below.

Team Time Spent Travelling
Cardiff City 6 Days 3 Hours 44 Minutes 14 Seconds
Brighton and Hove Albion 6 Days 1 Hours 23 Minutes 36 Seconds
Ipswich Town 5 Days 23 Hours 17 Minutes 34 Seconds
Middlesbrough 5 Days 21 Hours 25 Minutes 26 Seconds
Charlton Athletic 5 Days 11 Hours 18 Minutes 10 Seconds
Bristol City 5 Days 10 Hours 22 Minutes 50 Seconds
Hull City 5 Days 2 Hours 57 Minutes 20 Seconds
Fulham 4 Days 22 Hours 6 Minutes 38 Seconds
Burnley 4 Days 20 Hours 5 Minutes 32 Seconds
Reading 4 Days 19 Hours 58 Minutes 32 Seconds
Preston North End 4 Days 19 Hours 52 Minutes 22 Seconds
Queens Park Rangers 4 Days 18 Hours 44 Minutes 38 Seconds
Brentford 4 Days 18 Hours 13 Minutes 12 Seconds
Blackburn Rovers 4 Days 17 Hours 38 Minutes 16 Seconds
Huddersfield Town 4 Days 11 Hours 55 Minutes 58 Seconds
Bolton Wanderers 4 Days 11 Hours 17 Minutes 36 Seconds
Leeds United 4 Days 7 Hours 2 Minutes 12 Seconds
MK Dons 4 Days 5 Hours 1 Minutes 4 Seconds
Sheffield Wednesday 4 Days 4 Hours 30 Minutes 54 Seconds
Wolverhampton Wanderers 4 Days 0 Hours 30 Minutes 48 Seconds
Rotherham United 3 Days 23 Hours 23 Minutes 6 Seconds
Birmingham City 3 Days 19 Hours 59 Minutes 4 Seconds
Nottingham Forest 3 Days 18 Hours 12 Minutes 6 Seconds
Derby County 3 Days 17 Hours 41 Minutes 6 Seconds

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From this it appears that there is very little correlation between the average away attendance and time spent travelling especially with Middlesbrough’s travel time and attendance being so high.

As a final thought I looked at using the travel times for ranking the teams be the number of “fan hours” spent travelling.

Team Fan Hours
Middlesbrough 40 Years 31 Weeks 3 Days 1 Hours 4 Minutes 50 Seconds
Leeds United 33 Years 0 Weeks 5 Days 23 Hours 55 Minutes 24 Seconds
Sheffield Wednesday 28 Years 41 Weeks 5 Days 4 Hours 39 Minutes 0 Seconds
Brighton and Hove Albion 27 Years 27 Weeks 0 Days 6 Hours 8 Minutes 48 Seconds
Burnley 25 Years 16 Weeks 6 Days 20 Hours 14 Minutes 12 Seconds
Ipswich Town 22 Years 32 Weeks 3 Days 5 Hours 54 Minutes 42 Seconds
Derby County 21 Years 39 Weeks 2 Days 20 Hours 37 Minutes 30 Seconds
Preston North End 19 Years 48 Weeks 0 Days 0 Hours 24 Minutes 12 Seconds
Hull City 19 Years 28 Weeks 5 Days 13 Hours 5 Minutes 20 Seconds
Bristol City 18 Years 41 Weeks 4 Days 6 Hours 38 Minutes 30 Seconds
Birmingham City 18 Years 35 Weeks 3 Days 8 Hours 19 Minutes 36 Seconds
Wolverhampton Wanderers 16 Years 10 Weeks 1 Days 10 Hours 36 Minutes 0 Seconds
Queens Park Rangers 15 Years 40 Weeks 1 Days 7 Hours 38 Minutes 32 Seconds
Nottingham Forest 14 Years 44 Weeks 5 Days 9 Hours 0 Minutes 18 Seconds
Blackburn Rovers 14 Years 18 Weeks 0 Days 19 Hours 22 Minutes 56 Seconds
Brentford 13 Years 51 Weeks 4 Days 14 Hours 3 Minutes 36 Seconds
Huddersfield Town 13 Years 46 Weeks 5 Days 20 Hours 10 Minutes 24 Seconds
Reading 13 Years 40 Weeks 0 Days 14 Hours 34 Minutes 40 Seconds
Fulham 13 Years 16 Weeks 5 Days 5 Hours 13 Minutes 44 Seconds
Cardiff City 12 Years 32 Weeks 0 Days 11 Hours 26 Minutes 32 Seconds
Rotherham United 11 Years 17 Weeks 3 Days 7 Hours 47 Minutes 6 Seconds
Bolton Wanderers 11 Years 8 Weeks 1 Days 16 Hours 13 Minutes 36 Seconds
Charlton Athletic 9 Years 28 Weeks 3 Days 23 Hours 52 Minutes 10 Seconds
MK Dons 7 Years 17 Weeks 2 Days 23 Hours 18 Minutes 24 Seconds

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