Historic Scottish attendances

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Historic Scottish attendances

Post by Scottish » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:08 pm

Scottish attendance ratios before the present format was introduced in 2000-01. The figures represent the number of matches the worst supported club has to play to equal one by the best. For post-2000 see here. http://scottishleague.net/forum/viewtop ... f=2&t=4178

First off are the figures for the period 1994-200 when there were four divisions of ten clubs. Note the difference in the top flight between this and later years, on account of there being only ten clubs, which militates in favour of closer ratios as, crucially, these were years in which ALL clubs were guaranteed four home games v the OF.

Level One
2000 8.798
1999 8.375
1998 7.363
1997 8.169
1996 7.721
1995 6.348

Level Two
2000 6.965
1999 16.019
1998 3.071
1997 5.736
1996 5.808
1995 5.577

Level Three
2000 4.889
1999 4.704
1998 4.762
1997 5.775
1996 3.301
1995 7.116

Level Four
2000 2.749
1999 6.485
1998 5.859
1997 10.708
1996 8.381
1995 5.035

The most dramatic differences are in level four which plunges rapidly in 1999-2000 by which time Inverness CT, Livingston & Ross County had all been promoted and in level two in 1998-99, which is accounted for by Hibernian at one end and Stranraer at the other.

In order to keep consistency with comparisons it’s necessary to split the three division period between 1975-1994 into two. Most of the time the structure was 10-14-14 but from 1986-88 and again from 1991-94 it was 12-12-14. I’ll look at the latter set-up first.

Level One
1994 8.822
1993 9.013
1992 7.522
1988 7.818
1987 11.361

Level Two
1994 6.641
1993 7.823
1992 7.645
1988 2.873
1987 10.085

Level Three
1994 3.360
1993 2.758
1992 2.889
1988 10.433
1987 4.501

The presence of Clydebank and Hamilton and playing each other four times saw the biggest gap in the top flight. In the other two divisions the largest difference was on account of the best supported sides being well ahead of the field in promotion-winning seasons, thus enhancing their advantage.These were Dunfermline in level two and Ayr United in level three.

Then for the period when the structure was 10-14-14

Level One
1991 4.725
1990 5.027
1989 7.871
1986 6.905
1985 6.074
1984 4.523
1983 6.855
1982 5.946
1981 5.067
1980 4.077
1979 3.311
1978 6.594
1977 4.798
1976 6.402

Level Two
1991 6.473
1990 8.489
1989 7.789
1986 4.401
1985 4.289
1984 4.496
1983 8.115
1982 10.112
1981 6.773
1980 5.568
1979 6.534
1978 8.006
1977 4.707
1976 3.414

Level Three
1991 3.098
1990 11.197
1989 2.705
1986 8.677
1985 6.003
1984 4.358
1983 4.369
1982 4.167
1981 4.360
1980 4.845
1979 5.861
1978 4.278
1977 4.810
1976 6.370

The years which stand out here are 1982 in level two and 1990 in level three. In the first of these, Hearts (and level two always improved when they were playing there) were involved in a close promotion race with Kilmarnock which they ultimately lost but which produced big gates for the times. Poorly supported sides like East Stirling and Queen's Park were also present and this depressed figures at the other end. In 1990 Kilmarnock played in level three and set crowd records which lasted until the arrival of Rangers at that level this season.

The next like for like comparison is between 1955-75 when there were only two divisions, consisting of eighteen and nineteen respectively (except for 1966-67 & 1974-75 when there were twenty clubs in level two). Note how the ratios go up again owing to the larger number of clubs in each division (particularly the top level), which allows for greater discrepancies. Then how they (generally) drop again the closer we go back to the post-war boom years. The larger ones are explained by the addition of very poorly supported clubs in the top flight – Arbroath, Hamilton, East Stirling for instance and the occasional huge variations in the lower league by the presence of bigger outfits like Morton, St Mirren, Partick Thistle, Dunfermline and Kilmarnock.

Level One
1975 11.432
1974 8.722
1973 7.652
1972 8.597
1971 8.850
1970 9.515
1969 10.379
1968 12.083
1967 8.668
1966 7.804
1965 10.770
1964 9.379
1963 9.643
1962 8.318
1961 5.427
1960 6.590
1959 6.327
1958 5.564
1957 5.237
1956 6.541

Level Two
1975 5.964
1974 8.270
1973 9.904
1972 8.575
1971 12.897
1970 12.019
1969 9.465
1968 13.554
1967 14.163
1966 13.832
1965 9.760
1964 19.170
1963 10.792
1962 10.727
1961 9.244
1960 7.151
1959 8.548
1958 4.885
1957 6.260
1956 5.716

The final set of post-war figures is for the first decade after World War Two when there were two leagues of sixteen (except for 1946-47 when there were fourteen clubs in level two). The C Division is unquantifiable due to two factors – lack of information and the presence of reserve sides in that set-up. The effect of the post-war boom can be seen clearly here (and to some extent in the initial years of the 18-19 set-up as well) as every side boosted figures and the ratio was kept low as a result. Say the ratio was 5.000 then the best supported side would need to gain five supporters to the bottom club’s one just in order to stand still.

Level One
1955 5.342
1954 3.560
1953 4.332
1952 3.632
1951 3.455
1950 4.215
1949 5.658
1948 2.989
1947 2.945

Level Two
1955 3.892
1954 5.919
1953 5.701
1952 5.001
1951 5.384
1950 5.365
1949 3.734
1948 5.436
1947 5.359

The inter-war period saw level one have twenty clubs except for 1921-22 when there were 22. Level two maintained either eighteen or twenty. The top flight’s ratio was pretty consistent until the late 1920s when the initial enthusiasm for Cowdenbeath’s entry allied to conditions in the coal industry saw their fanbase collapse. After their relegation in 1934 the figures move sharply downwards.

In level two the first season is pretty much close to parity. After that the effect of ‘bigger’ teams being relegated kicks in. Things are pretty much on a level after that until the arrival of Edinburgh City in the league in 1931, after which the ratio rises steeply due to their poor support.

Level One
1939 5.677
1938 5.087
1937 5.176
1936 4.502
1935 4.845
1934 9.583
1933 8.062
1932 7.882
1931 7.102
1930 7.950
1929 7.591
1928 6.121
1927 4.024
1926 4.058
1925 3.650
1924 3.961
1923 4.926
1922 5.694

Level Two
1939 8.841
1938 15.183
1937 10.732
1936 11.014
1935 11.322
1934 11.199
1933 13.440
1932 9.816
1931 6.472
1930 5.243
1929 7.211
1928 6.338
1927 3.191
1926 4.000
1925 4.467
1924 4.486
1923 5.272
1922 2.693

In the six wartime and post-war seasons in which there was just one division, numbers fluctuated between twenty in the first two seasons, eighteen in the next two and 22 in the final two.

Level One
1921 6.244
1920 5.988
1919 6.298
1918 5.689
1917 5.230
1916 3.936

In the decade before the First World War and including 1914-15, the size and composition of the divisions changed frequently and with no promotion and relegation with clubs moving up and down via election these figures are not as relevant as others.

Level One
1915 4.207
1914 4.065
1913 4.193
1912 4.653
1911 4.393
1910 5.345
1909 7.282
1908 4.804
1907 5.011
1906 3.254

Level Two
1915 5.060
1914 3.094
1913 3.520
1912 2.384
1911 2.731
1910 2.728
1909 2.907
1908 2.813
1907 2.788
1906 1.618

Before then there isn’t enough information to build up a clear picture except for the first three seasons of league football when there was only one division.

1893 3.216
1892 5.351
1891 3.464

Gorgiewave
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Re: Historic Scottish attendances

Post by Gorgiewave » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:10 pm

What are these figures?

Surely not average attendances.
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Scottish
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Re: Historic Scottish attendances

Post by Scottish » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:09 pm

Gorgiewave wrote:What are these figures?

Surely not average attendances.
Sorry, I should have made it clear that these figures should be read in conjunction with the Scottish attendance ratios 2000-13 thread http://scottishleague.net/forum/viewtop ... f=2&t=4178

I've amended the first post here to show that these figures show the number of games that, on average, the worst supported club has to play to equal one match by the best supported club.

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