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Old February 16th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #381
ArchieTheGreat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
That's rubbish, brighton only look small now because they play in a small stadium and haven't had a sniff of top flight football in the premiership era.

if brighton had beaten notts county in the division 2 play off in 1991 they would've made the top flight, rather than sinking like a stone and selling their ground etc, 1 season of survival and they would've been founder premier league members, and who knows where they could be now.

For me

Brighton are probably the 2nd biggest south-eastern club outside of London. Personally in terms of potential to sustain a premier league club and build a large stadium it goes

1. Portsmouth
2. Brighton
=3. Reading/Southampton
4. Gillingham (don't laugh they took 35,000 to wembley in against man city, and took 45,000 the year after against wigan for third teir play off finals, medway is a large conurbation etc)
5. MK dons

For me all these clubs are bigger potentially and currently than northern dross like blackburn, bolton, wigan and middlesbrough!

although i do realise it was a comparison against Leeds, i just had to get my dig in
You obviously have no idea what Brighton had to go through to get their new ground built! It took years for it to get through the planning process and all those appeals. They will never be able to extend the ground.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by ArchieTheGreat View Post
You obviously have no idea what Brighton had to go through to get their new ground built! It took years for it to get through the planning process and all those appeals. They will never be able to extend the ground.
you think i have no idea... ok. anyway

Your notion that they will never is a bit over the top, they have climbed over the biggest hurdle, once it is built the likelihood of opposition will diminish greatly

especially if brighton have the chance to hold world cup matches and boost the cities image there is no way that lewes council or local NIMBYS will stand in the way or even if brighton ever got back to the top flight there is no way that 22,000 would suffice. Thus there is no way that Brighton wouldn't attempt to increase capacity.

Look at Arsenal our stadium was restricted but there has been word of a future capacity increase, the future and the past are different animals!
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Old February 16th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #383
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Originally Posted by Steel City Suburb View Post
Lots of people use the Sheffield Supertram!

I will reitterate Hillsborough is not a crap stadium, however old it might be. With modernisation and investment - looking likely to be delivered soon - it will be brilliant.
Not in comparison to other systems in the country they don't. And thats who you have to compete with for funding!
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Old February 16th, 2009, 06:03 PM   #384
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I don't think Brighton are big enough for a 40k+ capacity stadium anyway.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #385
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people need to look in the history books and see what sort of crowds brighton were getting in the 70s in comparison to the so called big clubs in this country, then they will see!

brighton fans are everywhere!
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:25 PM   #386
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Just a quick look at a Brighton fan site says this...(the club attracted up to 30,000 in the 1970s) which was when they were promoted to the top division and at their historical peak. Record attendance is 36,747 v Fulham Division Two December 27th 1958. Largest Average Crowd was 25,264 in 77-78 which as far as I can remember was the year before promotion. When they were promoted to the top division it was 24,795 79/80.
I think 40K would be much too big for Brighton.

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Old February 17th, 2009, 12:06 AM   #387
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Originally Posted by Schmeek View Post
Hillsborough is a gem. One of a few remaining true British classic stadia. I would agree that it needs sensitive modernisation and/or refurbishment, but to describe it as you have shows utter disrespect.

TBH I would have Hillsborough over Brammall lane any day (despite BL being a fine English football ground in it's own right).
It has some character and that is its only positive (more later). Endless improvements would be needed to match the stadiums of the last 2 world cups.

Dirty.
Dark.
Bad views.
Access problems at leppings lane end.
Tiny concourses.
3rd world toilets.
Frequent flooding.
Bad access to the ground.
Trams stuck in traffic all the way.
Poles all over the place.

As for its character, the kop is the only stand with any, and it needs a new roof. The other three stands need updating and leppings lane needs completely rebuilding as it is a dump. I am not going to have respect for a ground just because it has 4 individual stands. Theres bugger all of quality in there apart from the odd old bit which can be saved. I dont think a football ground deserves any respect. The fact is its way behind the times and needs an all round makeover.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 12:30 AM   #388
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In some cases building a new sustainable venue is much better than spending the same amount of money on an upgrade
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Old February 17th, 2009, 01:51 AM   #389
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
people need to look in the history books and see what sort of crowds brighton were getting in the 70s in comparison to the so called big clubs in this country, then they will see!

brighton fans are everywhere!
Okay. You made me look it up! But I'm afraid to say that the figures don't live up to your estimation.

As carlspannoosh said, Brighton's biggest ever average attendance - 25,264 - was in 1977-78. And for four consecutive years around that time, they managed to average just over the 20,000 mark.

Other than that, though, attendances have been considerably lower. Pre WWII, Brighton's attendances were generally under 10,000. Post war, and before the Goldstone Ground was sold, attendances were generally in the 10-18K range.

I don't doubt that Brighton would sell out a 30K stadium if they made it to the Premiership but, at the moment at least, there is no evidence to support the case for a 40K stadium - and certainly not unless and until they are an established Premiership club.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 05:51 AM   #390
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main points in bold

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimB View Post
Okay. You made me look it up! But I'm afraid to say that the figures don't live up to your estimation.

As carlspannoosh said, Brighton's biggest ever average attendance - 25,264 - was in 1977-78. And for four consecutive years around that time, they managed to average just over the 20,000 mark.

Other than that, though, attendances have been considerably lower. Pre WWII, Brighton's attendances were generally under 10,000. Post war, and before the Goldstone Ground was sold, attendances were generally in the 10-18K range.

I don't doubt that Brighton would sell out a 30K stadium if they made it to the Premiership but, at the moment at least, there is no evidence to support the case for a 40K stadium - and certainly not unless and until they are an established Premiership club.
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlspannoosh View Post
Just a quick look at a Brighton fan site says this...(the club attracted up to 30,000 in the 1970s) which was when they were promoted to the top division and at their historical peak. Record attendance is 36,747 v Fulham Division Two December 27th 1958. Largest Average Crowd was 25,264 in 77-78 which as far as I can remember was the year before promotion. When they were promoted to the top division it was 24,795 79/80.
I think 40K would be much too big for Brighton.
Firstly, Brighton's record crowd is meaningless and is part and parcel of Brighton’s late blooming, which is down to the divisive northern biased nature of the football league.

Let me explain, when they added the southern league in 1920 they added a bunch of medium sized clubs, from medium sized cities (Bristol, Cardiff, Southampton, Portsmouth, Plymouth etc), similar sized (stoke, Leicester, Coventry etc) and in many cases bigger than (Rotherham, Bury, Barnsley, Stockport) the northern teams in division 2. The original pre WW1 plan was to have a second division north and second division south (as the southern league was considered of this standard), this would have given these clubs a fair chance of making the top flight sooner. The problem was by putting them in third division with 1 up, 1 down. This meant that obviously only the biggest clubs went up and lead to the peculiar phenomenon, of Plymouth argyle finishing second 6 years in a row and not being promoted. They then added the 3rd division north which was largely made up of small town teams who for the most part were and still are poorly supported and none of which have ever made the top flight (most haven’t even made the second tier), whereas out of the 22 southern teams added in 1920, 15 have made the top flight (nearly 75%). This is why until the creation of the 3rd and 4th division the southern section had much bigger crowds than the northern section on average, a similar gap to that which we now get between league 1 and league 2. And obviously it also meant that the bigger southern clubs had more chance of escaping the third division, thus it is no coincidence that the like of Southampton, Portsmouth and Cardiff escaped in the 20s and in the case of Pompey and Cardiff made the top flight also before the wall street crash (1929).

Basically it took Brighton until 1959 to get into the top two tiers, hence why their crowds were lower in until then. This is also why they had no reason to have a bigger stadium before 1959. If they had made the top flight sooner, maybe they would’ve had reason to increase their stadium but, in those days as now big crowds for lower league clubs only came around in the FA cup.

Case in point: Portsmouth are an example of a club who increased their stadium piecemeal with success, unlucky for them that the time when they could’ve got 50,000+ a week (late 40s/early 50s) ground enlargement was hampered by the belt tightening of post war Britain thus no finance.

Secondly u guys took my comments out of context, I said in comparison to other clubs in that era. Take the numbers out of the equation and look at the crowds in comparison to others in that era. Let me elaborate

Until the 1950s Brighton were trapped in the restrictive and deeply de-motivating 3rd division south (1 promotion place for 24 teams), then they had a brief flirtation with the second tier in the early sixties when they spent three years in division 2. In there first season in the second division they were the 6th best supported second division club averaging more than the likes of Bristol city, Sheffield united, Derby, Cardiff etc and more than 3 top flight clubs. They were in fact the countries 26th best supported club (interestingly 3rd division Plymouth argyle were the countries 25th). The average of 22,000 may not sound a lot but in comparison to other clubs it was.

The rest of this time was spent in the Lower two tiers. They hit the basement in 1964/65. But averaged 17,907 (remarkably high even now) in getting promoted. In the fourth division, they were the countries 24th best supported club, getting better crowds than every club in division 3 (a feet only achieved by 3 other clubs palace, the posh and oldham all in 1961 peculiarly), all but 4 in division 2 and more than 3 division 1 clubs.

Fast forward to the mid 70s and Brighton’s coming of age. 1976-77 they were 3rd division champions and averaged 20,197 (a pretty excellent average for the third tier even by today’s standards) more than, 2 first division clubs (stoke who were relegated and Leicester who finished 11th) and 19 second division clubs.

In 1977-78 Brighton were the 12th best supported club in the country from the second division. Averaging higher attendances than 12 top flight clubs and only Tottenham averaged higher than them in the second division.

Fast forward again to their first top flight season 1979/80. Yes they may have only averaged 24,745, but this still made them the 12th best supported club in the country. And wouldn’t you know they got bigger crowds than Leeds united who finished above them in the league that season.

Yes their crowds dropped off after this, but not to alarming levels, around 18,000 the two following seasons and 14,000 the year they were relegated (still the 22nd best in the country and better than 4 other top flight clubs).

The point is Brighton have always got good crowds, in comparison to comparatively larger and equal sized clubs. And with success and a right sized stadium will continue to do so.

You have to also remember that 25,000 in a 30,000 capacity stadium in those days was a near sell out every week, as 30,000 was merely the maximum the stadium could hold, as in terraced days it was more a guideline than a rule. If Brighton had, had a bigger stadium say 40,000-50,000 like a lot of other clubs, you would’ve seen more fluctuation with crowds and ultimately a larger average. (I personally will always prefer the median over the mean)

All this basically means Brighton are a club who punch above their weight continuously and although a 30,000 seater might be good enough for a derby, Middlesbrough or Blackburn when they are in the top flight. For a Brighton it would be too small, as history has proven that Brighton when in the same division as these teams, (generally with a decent sized stadium) get bigger crowds than them. Hence me saying they could sustain 40,000. It took a while but I got to the point.


I just realised it looks like i am dimissing northern teams, i am not. It's just that the balance is unfair, the north has it's big city clubs represented, it's medium city/big town clubs represented, and it's small town clubs represented in the league. The south has the former two, but not the latter. How is the town of darlington or Grimsby any more deserving of a league place than bigger or equally sized southern towns like slough, dartford, stevenage, bath or hastings etc (who were denied entry in the past despite getting good crowds and being in "working class" towns) etc

Last edited by bigbossman; February 17th, 2009 at 07:10 AM.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #391
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Sorry. Not convinced by that argument at all. Brightons average attendance figures crept up over the 20k mark for 4 seasons or so 30 years ago in a stadium that had a capacity of 32k.
When they got to the top their attendances did not continue to rise and when they went down so did their attendances. As Jim B says, if Brighton ever came back to the top division then a 30k stadium might be up for argument but 40k is way too big for the forseeable future.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 12:36 PM   #392
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I currently live in Darlington and have lived in Dartford for a number of years I think I can comment on this. You are probably right there was a northern bias in the football league. This was down to the voting on teams for election into the league. All the clubs are businesses so they are going to vote for teams that create more local derbies, bigger crowds and have lower transport costs to get there. As the football league was founded in Lancashire of course you are going to get a northern bias. Just as you get a southern bias in Rugby Union, which still exists, look at the treatment of Rotherham and Leeds.

With regards to Dartford Ok they were up for election to the league, but Wattling street was never up to hosting league football. When Maidstone played there they had to spend a fortune bringing it up to basic standards and it was still terrible. Also I doubt Dartford could ever have enough support to sustain a professional team. OK Darlington and Dartford are of a similar size, but Dartford is now really just a suburb of Greater London and most people support the London clubs, mainly Chelsea and Charlton. Darlington don't get big crowds but people come from a wide area to watch them. This wouldn't happen in Dartford, people would not come form outside Dartford to watch them. From living there why anybody from outside Dartford would ever go there is beyond me!!
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Old February 17th, 2009, 12:43 PM   #393
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bigbossman - I don't think that anyone would dispute that a 30K capacity stadium would serve Brighton well if and when they get to the Premiership.

But, as things stand, a 40K stadium would be too much. There is no evidence or history to support the argument that such a stadium would be required. Sure, if Brighton were to get to the Premiership and if they were to consolidate their top flight status over a number of years, then it might be worth looking at 40K. But not now. And not on the never-never.

You mention the likes of Southampton, Portsmouth, Leicester and Derby. You say that Brighton would need a bigger stadium than any of these. I fail to see why. Brighton is comfortably the smallest city among them, with a population in the region of 150,000. By contrast, Leicester has a population of about 330,000; Southampton, 300,000; Derby, 230,000; and Portsmouth, 190,000. And I cannot imagine that Brighton is more of a hotbed of football than the others. If anything, I would incline towards the opposite.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 01:06 PM   #394
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Originally Posted by Republica View Post
It has some character and that is its only positive (more later). Endless improvements would be needed to match the stadiums of the last 2 world cups.

Dirty.
Dark.
Bad views.
Access problems at leppings lane end.
Tiny concourses.
3rd world toilets.
Frequent flooding.
Bad access to the ground.
Trams stuck in traffic all the way.
Poles all over the place.

As for its character, the kop is the only stand with any, and it needs a new roof. The other three stands need updating and leppings lane needs completely rebuilding as it is a dump. I am not going to have respect for a ground just because it has 4 individual stands. Theres bugger all of quality in there apart from the odd old bit which can be saved. I dont think a football ground deserves any respect. The fact is its way behind the times and needs an all round makeover.
Totally agree with you about Hillsbrough. Although only 3 of the stands need replacing the main stand was upgraded for Euro 96. The main problems are leppings lane, which should have been bulldozed in 89 after the disaster. It was always a death trap, I was crushed in that end in 1985 at a Wednesday v Liverpool game. The kop needs replacing along the lines of the holte end at Villa. Also their is a problem with the other stand I think its listed, but I'm not sure, so would be difficult to modernise. The problem is replacing both the Kop and leppings lane end is beyond Wednesdays finances at the minute.

This highlights the problem of the Yorkshire region. Bramall lane will never be big enough and their is doubts on the finances for both Hillsbrough and Elland road.

So I'm going to throw a real wild card in. Odsal Stadium Bradford!!! Yes its S*** hole, but there is loads of space to redevelop. Plus this ground is going to be redeveloped and their is talk of Bradford City finally moving there, they should have done this permanently after the fire.

My proposal is to build a 30 000 permanent seat stadium in the bowl with executive boxes and facilities at the back. This is viable as both Bradford City and Northern RL will be playing there. Then you add a 20 000 temporary seat second tier over the bowl to be removed after the world cup. This would be like the olympic stadium and the stadiums in Euro 2008. Also you wouldn't just be relying on the world cup games to pay for this. RL world club challenge games could be played there, plus RL internationals and Challenge cup semi finals. I anticipate that the temporary tier would be present for 2 -3 years before the world cup. Depending on other events and building schedule. I think this would possibly be cheaper, quicker and more viable to do than either Hilllsbrough or Elland road. Plus there would be no worries about FIFAs ridiculous space round the pitch rule!

As I said its a massive wild card
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Old February 17th, 2009, 02:34 PM   #395
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I know there's one white elephant in Germany as a result of the 2006 finals, but I really don't like the idea of 40k seater stadiums being built anywhere and then left half-empty (or worse) for the next 20 years... Bradford, Plymouth, Brighton, etc., all cities that are never going to sell 40k tickets for football - the locals simply aren't interested enough.

To contradict myself, the only other thing I would add to the debate over which city/club needs a bigger stadium would be this...

In 1996 when Sunderland were building the Stadium of Light, many of our supporters (including myself) questioned the logic of building a 40k seater stadium for a club which hadn't managed to regularly sell-out Roker Park in the top division (capacity 20k at the time). A year after the 40k Stadium of Light opened an extra 2k seats were crammed in due to demand (and this was in the 2nd division), 2 or 3 years on and we were adding another 6k seats.

In short, even those of us who think we know everything, don't.

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Old February 17th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #396
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Sorry. Not convinced by that argument at all. Brightons average attendance figures crept up over the 20k mark for 4 seasons or so 30 years ago in a stadium that had a capacity of 32k.
did you not read my post??

You quote the 20,000 figure like it has always been the barometer for a well supported team…

As I mentioned, you look to actual attendances, and compare them to now. Whereas I look and see a clubs position in the attendance charts and relate it to now. As I mentioned Brighton tend to finish above certain clubs when ever they are in the same division as them and many times when they are not, not below, and the reason for the small crowds of late is down to the restriction of their stadiums.

Let me explain why you can't directly compare attendances of different eras

There is a table that says Tottenham are the third best supported club of all time. (http://www.nufc.com/html/attendance-all-time.html). I found this staggering, and had to investigate myself. Basically the table takes average attendances from when a club joined the league and averages them out over a leagues history. That sounds a fair way to adjust, no? However a few things make it not so.

Different eras have different averages, basically, the chart showed Tottenham had an higher all time average than Arsenal which, although statistically correct, was statistically misleading, as Arsenals sample was taken from 10 more league seasons than Tottenham’s and those extra ten seasons were from an era when the game was growing and thus attendances were always going to be Lower than the statistical average. If you take it from the point when Tottenham joined the league Arsenal were higher. However this can still be considered incorrect as different eras produce different average highs. Meaning a team that was successful in a fallow attendance period would likely have similar attendances to a team that was average in a remarkable attendance period. And it doesn’t take into account what division you were in. Thus the best way to rank is to average your position in the attendance charts, and for that, Arsenal in the 20th century were the countries best supported,

Top 10 in order
Arsenal, Liverpool, Man U, Everton, Spurs, Newcastle, Man City, Chelsea, Villa, Sunderland.

However even that is a flawed average as it doesn’t take into account different divisions. So the best way to do it, is to have every clubs average national rank based on the division they were in then you can compare. It would take an age to do that. Brighton’s top flight average position is 17th although to see where that would rank them against others I’d have to do a massive comparison and I can’t be bothered!

Basically this amounts to the fact that you can’t compare a clubs average in the 1940s or 1960s to that of the 1980s because different factors made it so that attendances during both eras were wildly different. If I take a random sample of seasons, lets say as we are in the 2008/09, lets take 20 years ago and 60 years ago, for comparisons sake.

1948/49

The champions were Portsmouth who averaged 37,082. That was however below the league average of 38,792 (League record). Two clubs averaged above 50,000 that season Newcastle and Arsenal, Tottenham in the second division averaged above 48,000. The lowest in the top flight was from Huddersfield who averaged 22,100. The Lowest in the league was Accrington Stanley who averaged around 6,000. Those are the key stats.

1988/89

The champions were the mighty Arsenal. The gunners averaged a “paltry” 35,595. However that was the third highest. Not one club averaged above 39,000. The highest average was 38,574 by Liverpool. The second division high was 23,500 from Manchester city. And the top flight low was 7.800 from Wimbledon. The top flight average was 20,561 (the 4th highest in the 80s and the highest since 81/82). The league low was 1,947 from Halifax Town.

The highest attendance in 1948/49 was 78,299 in the Merseyside derby @ Goodison (coincidentally their record high). The highest in 1988/89 was 46,377 from the Man U/QPR game.

Basically all this proves is that you can’t compare eras. So to say that Brighton have only broke 20,000 5 times makes them small. Means nothing, because in the seasons they broke those figures, it put them in the top supported clubs in the country, which should be the main factor!!

Quote:
When they got to the top their attendances did not continue to rise and when they went down so did their attendances. As Jim B says, if Brighton ever came back to the top division then a 30k stadium might be up for argument but 40k is way too big for the forseeable future.
They did not continue to rise because they couldn’t. Most clubs attendances go down when they do. Whether it be Leeds or Leicester. Their crowds have still gone down, no matter how remarkable they are for their division.

I also explained why 24-25,000 in a 32,000 capacity stadium was a near sell out!! 32,000 represented the maximum the stadium could hold if everyone was bundled in a filled space effectively. Thats why if you look through the record books most clubs highest 10 or so crowds are at fluctuating levels, rather than around a constant number!

In 1987/88 Arsenal’s given capacity was around 57,000. In that season Arsenal got the league’s highest attendance. 54,703. I obviously wasn’t there that day being barely 2 years young. But by all accounts talking to older friends/relatives who went it was rammo despite Arsenal apparently having space for 2,000 more people!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimB View Post
bigbossman - I don't think that anyone would dispute that a 30K capacity stadium would serve Brighton well if and when they get to the Premiership.

But, as things stand, a 40K stadium would be too much. There is no evidence or history to support the argument that such a stadium would be required. Sure, if Brighton were to get to the Premiership and if they were to consolidate their top flight status over a number of years, then it might be worth looking at 40K. But not now. And not on the never-never.
Firstly the debate shouldn’t really take into account Brighton’s current division as a 40K stadium would be for the world cup. The case would be then could Brighton ever sustain a 40,000 seater and imho they definitely could!

Let me put it this way, when Southampton were getting 32,000 every week, there was definitely a mandate for them to add an extra 5-8,000 seats. For the simple reason they weren't getting the maximum value. I.e. most games could've got higher crowds, and the really big games, would've got even higher. Same with Brighton, and the same with a lot of clubs.

Sell outs are all well and good but anyone can sell out a stadium that is too small for them. Manchester united, Arsenal, Tottenham etc. and even if you are not it doesn't mean you couldn't get bigger crowds Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston villa etc season tickets being the main reason

Quote:
You mention the likes of Southampton, Portsmouth, Leicester and Derby. You say that Brighton would need a bigger stadium than any of these. I fail to see why. Brighton is comfortably the smallest city among them, with a population in the region of 150,000. By contrast, Leicester has a population of about 330,000; Southampton, 300,000; Derby, 230,000; and Portsmouth, 190,000. And I cannot imagine that Brighton is more of a hotbed of football than the others. If anything, I would incline towards the opposite.
I didn't actually mention Brighton being bigger than Southampton, Portsmouth or Leicester, however. Let's do a quick comparison.

Brighton is not comfortably the smallest city, it is actually comfortably the biggest, the football club is called Brighton and hove Albion and represent the twin city of Brighton and Hove. Which has a population of 253,000.

According to the ONS (official) figures on urban areas out of the cities you mentioned it goes like this:

(City proper)urban area
Brighton (253,000) 461,000
Portsmouth (198,000)442,000
Leicester urban area (285,000) 441,000
Southampton (228,600) 304,000
Derby (222,000) 229,000

Brighton is the 12th largest urban area in the country

The teams I actually said Brighton were bigger than are your derby’s, Middlesbrough’s and Blackburn’s, and I see you didn’t try and compare them to Brighton!

One thing you guys don’t take into account is catchment area, Brighton’s nearest league clubs are Gillingham, Portsmouth and Crystal Palace, if you take in the approximate population between, lets say only Sussex (for arguments sake)with a population of 1.5 million, and one league club. You can see why Brighton might be so big. Even if Crawley or Eastbourne borough made the league the catchment area is still large enough to sustain two to three well supported clubs. After all Crawley is on the borders of league-less Surrey which has a population of over a million, and Eastbourne catchment area moves into Kent with over 1.8 million people.

The reason for me is simple we have more people in the south than the north. Wigan are comparatively big in Greater Manchester as Fulham are in London the obvious difference being Fulham take their fan base from a greater population. Thus Fulham can get bigger crowds!
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Old February 17th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #397
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Originally Posted by Benjuk View Post
I know there's one white elephant in Germany as a result of the 2006 finals, but I really don't like the idea of 40k seater stadiums being built anywhere and then left half-empty (or worse) for the next 20 years... Bradford, Plymouth, Brighton, etc., all cities that are never going to sell 40k tickets for football - the locals simply aren't interested enough.
...
I fully agree with you there. Here in germany a few clubs suffer from too large stadia. And that is one of the worst szenarios that can happen to a club.
1860 München for example, currently 2nd Bundesliga, is almost about to go bankrupt, mostly because of the horrendous rent for the, in their case completely oversized, Allianzarena. Hertha BSC Berlin is for several years allready still looking for optional possibillities to leave the famous and beautiful Olympic Stadium in Berlin. And there are other examples where an oversized stadium creates a lot of problems because of the great costs.
And sadly it also causes a poor stadiumatmosphere which in turn makes it rather unattractive for people to visit the matches again. Stadium sizes should allways much rather be calculated according to the clubs average attendancies with a reasonable plus and not to meet the maximum possible attendancies for one or two matches during the season. And the reason why many German stadia even though several of them are still rather large are so crowded, allmost to the max, is that their sizes have been well calculated to match those numbers anot only because the popularity of soccer or the secific club increased so much. It's much rather a mix of a reasonable capacity, good marketing, good ticketing and the usual factors licke success. But even large teams like Cologne or Gladbach had well attended matches in their stay in the second Bundesliga, because of those other aspects like: not oversized stadia, reasonable ticketprices and a still fairly popular second Bundesliga.
It really doesn't make all that much sense to expand or build a stadium that is way too big for the local team. The local club will most certainly not profit in any way then. And that is why some stadia for the European cup in Switzerland and Austria were just temporarily expanded and downsized again after the cup. An oversized infrastructure is most certainly not beneficial at all for most clubs or cities.
So I suggest it would be much better to focus on the reasonable local demand and then either expand a stadium temporarily just for the Worldcup or just consider the clubs and cities that reasonably can get a 40k stadium filled, that would be much more beneficial for all parties than having oversized stadia here and there after a Worldcup.

Last edited by Alemanniafan; February 17th, 2009 at 03:19 PM.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #398
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
did you not read my post??

You quote the 20,000 figure like it has always been the barometer for a well supported team…

As I mentioned, you look to actual attendances, and compare them to now. Whereas I look and see a clubs position in the attendance charts and relate it to now. As I mentioned Brighton tend to finish above certain clubs when ever they are in the same division as them and many times when they are not, not below, and the reason for the small crowds of late is down to the restriction of their stadiums.

Let me explain why you can't directly compare attendances of different eras

There is a table that says Tottenham are the third best supported club of all time. (http://www.nufc.com/html/attendance-all-time.html). I found this staggering, and had to investigate myself. Basically the table takes average attendances from when a club joined the league and averages them out over a leagues history. That sounds a fair way to adjust, no? However a few things make it not so.

Different eras have different averages, basically, the chart showed Tottenham had an higher all time average than Arsenal which, although statistically correct, was statistically misleading, as Arsenals sample was taken from 10 more league seasons than Tottenham’s and those extra ten seasons were from an era when the game was growing and thus attendances were always going to be Lower than the statistical average. If you take it from the point when Tottenham joined the league Arsenal were higher. However this can still be considered incorrect as different eras produce different average highs. Meaning a team that was successful in a fallow attendance period would likely have similar attendances to a team that was average in a remarkable attendance period. And it doesn’t take into account what division you were in. Thus the best way to rank is to average your position in the attendance charts, and for that, Arsenal in the 20th century were the countries best supported,

Top 10 in order
Arsenal, Liverpool, Man U, Everton, Spurs, Newcastle, Man City, Chelsea, Villa, Sunderland.

However even that is a flawed average as it doesn’t take into account different divisions. So the best way to do it, is to have every clubs average national rank based on the division they were in then you can compare. It would take an age to do that. Brighton’s top flight average position is 17th although to see where that would rank them against others I’d have to do a massive comparison and I can’t be bothered!

Basically this amounts to the fact that you can’t compare a clubs average in the 1940s or 1960s to that of the 1980s because different factors made it so that attendances during both eras were wildly different. If I take a random sample of seasons, lets say as we are in the 2008/09, lets take 20 years ago and 60 years ago, for comparisons sake.

1948/49

The champions were Portsmouth who averaged 37,082. That was however below the league average of 38,792 (League record). Two clubs averaged above 50,000 that season Newcastle and Arsenal, Tottenham in the second division averaged above 48,000. The lowest in the top flight was from Huddersfield who averaged 22,100. The Lowest in the league was Accrington Stanley who averaged around 6,000. Those are the key stats.

1988/89

The champions were the mighty Arsenal. The gunners averaged a “paltry” 35,595. However that was the third highest. Not one club averaged above 39,000. The highest average was 38,574 by Liverpool. The second division high was 23,500 from Manchester city. And the top flight low was 7.800 from Wimbledon. The top flight average was 20,561 (the 4th highest in the 80s and the highest since 81/82). The league low was 1,947 from Halifax Town.

The highest attendance in 1948/49 was 78,299 in the Merseyside derby @ Goodison (coincidentally their record high). The highest in 1988/89 was 46,377 from the Man U/QPR game.

Basically all this proves is that you can’t compare eras. So to say that Brighton have only broke 20,000 5 times makes them small. Means nothing, because in the seasons they broke those figures, it put them in the top supported clubs in the country, which should be the main factor!!



They did not continue to rise because they couldn’t. Most clubs attendances go down when they do. Whether it be Leeds or Leicester. Their crowds have still gone down, no matter how remarkable they are for their division.

I also explained why 24-25,000 in a 32,000 capacity stadium was a near sell out!! 32,000 represented the maximum the stadium could hold if everyone was bundled in a filled space effectively. Thats why if you look through the record books most clubs highest 10 or so crowds are at fluctuating levels, rather than around a constant number!

In 1987/88 Arsenal’s given capacity was around 57,000. In that season Arsenal got the league’s highest attendance. 54,703. I obviously wasn’t there that day being barely 2 years young. But by all accounts talking to older friends/relatives who went it was rammo despite Arsenal apparently having space for 2,000 more people!!



Firstly the debate shouldn’t really take into account Brighton’s current division as a 40K stadium would be for the world cup. The case would be then could Brighton ever sustain a 40,000 seater and imho they definitely could!

Let me put it this way, when Southampton were getting 32,000 every week, there was definitely a mandate for them to add an extra 5-8,000 seats. For the simple reason they weren't getting the maximum value. I.e. most games could've got higher crowds, and the really big games, would've got even higher. Same with Brighton, and the same with a lot of clubs.

Sell outs are all well and good but anyone can sell out a stadium that is too small for them. Manchester united, Arsenal, Tottenham etc. and even if you are not it doesn't mean you couldn't get bigger crowds Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston villa etc season tickets being the main reason



I didn't actually mention Brighton being bigger than Southampton, Portsmouth or Leicester, however. Let's do a quick comparison.

Brighton is not comfortably the smallest city, it is actually comfortably the biggest, the football club is called Brighton and hove Albion and represent the twin city of Brighton and Hove. Which has a population of 253,000.

According to the ONS (official) figures on urban areas out of the cities you mentioned it goes like this:

(City proper)urban area
Brighton (253,000) 461,000
Portsmouth (198,000)442,000
Leicester urban area (285,000) 441,000
Southampton (228,600) 304,000
Derby (222,000) 229,000

Brighton is the 12th largest urban area in the country

The teams I actually said Brighton were bigger than are your derby’s, Middlesbrough’s and Blackburn’s, and I see you didn’t try and compare them to Brighton!

One thing you guys don’t take into account is catchment area, Brighton’s nearest league clubs are Gillingham, Portsmouth and Crystal Palace, if you take in the approximate population between, lets say only Sussex (for arguments sake)with a population of 1.5 million, and one league club. You can see why Brighton might be so big. Even if Crawley or Eastbourne borough made the league the catchment area is still large enough to sustain two to three well supported clubs. After all Crawley is on the borders of league-less Surrey which has a population of over a million, and Eastbourne catchment area moves into Kent with over 1.8 million people.

The reason for me is simple we have more people in the south than the north. Wigan are comparatively big in Greater Manchester as Fulham are in London the obvious difference being Fulham take their fan base from a greater population. Thus Fulham can get bigger crowds!
Mate, you clearly have FAR too much time on your hands.

I really haven't got the time to answer you in any detail (except to say that I did have a good chuckle at the way you managed to massage the figures to get Arsenal to the top of the attendance charts).

So we'll just have to agree to disagree. Until such time as Brighton has established itself as a perennial Premiership club, there will be no need for a 40K stadium. Brighton aren't even in the Championship and don't look like getting there any time soon. In fact, they're currently sitting in the League One relegation zone. League Two beckons and the Premiership is a long, long way away. Why run before you can walk? A 30K stadium would more than suffice for the time being.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #399
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I currently live in Darlington and have lived in Dartford for a number of years I think I can comment on this. You are probably right there was a northern bias in the football league. This was down to the voting on teams for election into the league. All the clubs are businesses so they are going to vote for teams that create more local derbies, bigger crowds and have lower transport costs to get there. As the football league was founded in Lancashire of course you are going to get a northern bias. Just as you get a southern bias in Rugby Union, which still exists, look at the treatment of Rotherham and Leeds.
Agree with you totally, the southern FAs shot themselves in the foot by trying to outlaw professionalism, if it wasn’t for the tenacity of Arsenal and Millwall maybe football would’ve split along the lines of Rugby. An amateur south vs. a professional north.

Personally I think the election system in many ways was a good idea in so far as it kept out the absolute tosh. For example Histon can make the league this year. And for me they should definitely not be allowed, they come from a village of 4,000 people and are bankrolled, that’s hardly fair imho. What should’ve happened was that if you were repeatedly up for vote you get automatically relegated etc etc


Quote:
With regards to Dartford Ok they were up for election to the league, but Wattling street was never up to hosting league football. When Maidstone played there they had to spend a fortune bringing it up to basic standards and it was still terrible.
That really means nothing, If Dartford ever made the league so would they and Maidstone’s liquidation resulted in Dartford’s.

Quote:
Also I doubt Dartford could ever have enough support to sustain a professional team. OK Darlington and Dartford are of a similar size, but Dartford is now really just a suburb of Greater London and most people support the London clubs, mainly Chelsea and Charlton.
Chelsea??? Dartford is a Charlton/millwall area first. With a large smattering of Tottenham and Arsenal. And a smudge of man u/Liverpool.

But to say Dartford couldn’t sustain a professional team is bull.

Dartford are currently the 4th best supported team in the 7th tier of the football pyramid. Averaging 1,048 at a level where the average crowd is 389. Only FC united of Manchester, Boston United and Dover Athletic average more at this level. And they are averaging 600 more than the aforementioned Maidstone united.

Only three teams in the level higher, (conference North/south) average better, Chelmsford, Wimbledon and Telford

Pretty good , no?

http://www.european-football-statist...t/aveengnl.htm

Dartford has a similar population to Darlington in terms of the town proper, but Dartford is part of a larger urban area, a continuos massive of built up land from the centre of London all the way to Gravesend. Their catchment area is far large. You also fail to take into account, local ties.

Lets take local rivals Gravesend and Northfleet (Ebbsfleet united) for instance took 30,000 to the football trophy final, more than former league Torquay. Yes many will say that most of them were their “owners”. However this is not the case, although I have no figures I have a lot of friends from the Gravesend area who support teams like Arsenal, West ham or Millwall, who went to Wembley because Gravesend were there, it caught the towns imagination, and there is a genuine feeling that if they ever made the league these people would turn up there. The same happened when Charlton got to the prem, a lot of man united fans became Charlton fans oddly!

Quote:
Darlington don't get big crowds but people come from a wide area to watch them. This wouldn't happen in Dartford, people would not come form outside Dartford to watch them. From living there why anybody from outside Dartford would ever go there is beyond me!!
Come on Zens is a legendary night club!! Anyway that’s your opinion and I totally disagree with it. County durham has less than a third of the population of Kent, and just over half the population density. Dartford has a far wider amount of people to choose from. Hence why Dartford has more potential than Darlo will ever have! You can say who will support Dartford, but Reading never got an average above 16,000 before they won the championship, and then all of a sudden Reading pride lead to sell outs every week and talk of expansion to 38,000!!!

Never underestimate the power of a big catchment area, and before you say what about Wimbledon, yes they had terrible crowds when they just entered the league but by the time they were an established club they were getting decent-ish crowds.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #400
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It has some character and that is its only positive (more later). Endless improvements would be needed to match the stadiums of the last 2 world cups.

Dirty. - Can be washed..
Dark. - The light doesn't effect the pitch, so whats wrong?
Bad views. - Only in some places.
Access problems at leppings lane end. - Rubbish.
Tiny concourses. - Can be expanded easily on ALL stands.
3rd world toilets. - Rubbish! unless you are in the away end.
Frequent flooding. - Rubbish! Flooded once due to extremely heavy rain
Bad access to the ground. - Rubbish again, dual carriageway outside, link to M1 too.
Trams stuck in traffic all the way. - Not usually a problem..
Poles all over the place. - there are 2 on the kop with several on the Leppings Lane end. There is talk of a rebuild.

As for its character, the kop is the only stand with any, and it needs a new roof. The other three stands need updating and leppings lane needs completely rebuilding as it is a dump. I am not going to have respect for a ground just because it has 4 individual stands. Theres bugger all of quality in there apart from the odd old bit which can be saved. I dont think a football ground deserves any respect. The fact is its way behind the times and needs an all round makeover.

You are joking about Character right? Kop the only one? Take a look at the North, first cavalier stand to run the full length of a pitch in Europe.

South - Orginal bricks still remain there, they were brought in from our previous ground too.

The North and South are fine, the Leppings lane end only needs a new roof (Yeah, the disaster happened there but get over it, if it wasn't for a fence around the pitch no one would have died).

The place oozes Character and charm, ask any true football ground guide reviewer.

The ground does need modernisation, but I take it you love the walkers stadium, St Mary's, Pride park etc..
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