John McCormick, seeking the truth

I have to say I’m a bit surprised by the poll results to date.

‘Boro being top is reasonable. They have proved they are capable of handling the Championship, have money coming and have a decent manager.

Sunderland in the top six is understandable. It’s a Sunderland site, and no matter how jaundiced the fans are, no matter how concerned over the owner, there will always be a loyal following willing to vote for them.

But last season’s form has gone out of the window with this poll. Villa, who finished bang in the middle of the championship, are up there in second place, while Hull and Derby are out of the running. What’s going on?

I thought it might be something to do with population – the bigger the population might mean the bigger the fan base. Birmingham has just under a million inhabitants – about 300,000 people per club. London has about 8 million, shared between a lot of clubs. After ‘Boro, the two best polling clubs are the two from the biggest cities. It’s possible.

But what about the likes of Birmingham City, QPR or Sheffield United, well behind their derby rivals? What’s more, Norwich is about half the size of Hull or Derby and smaller than Reading. Sheffield is only 2/3 the size of Leeds.  Votes don’t match population sizes. A relationship between population and fan base and hence votes cast for clubs is unlikely.

I could therefore conclude the graph you see below is largely the result of rational thought, with fans putting loyalties to one side in order to give an objective opinion.
But I think it’s more likely that most fans don’t know the poll exists, especially where their club hasn’t previously featured in the headline, which is why I’ve put so many of those clubs up there this time. 

If that description fits you and you’re new to the site you can visit this page, which will tell you what it’s all about.  The poll is still open, so if you want to cast a vote (or six) it’s not too late to do so. 

And with a couple of weeks before it closes there’s time for a brief review of the 10 clubs with the most votes so far. I’ve listed them in order of last season’s placings:

League Club
  % Wins transfers poll position
2016-17 Manager in out
18 Hull new 3 10 9
19 ‘Boro new 5 9 1
20 Sunderland new 4 10 6
3 Reading Jaap Stam 54 3 13 8
4 Sheff Wed Carlos Carvalhal 46 5 4 4
6 Fulham Slaviša Jokanovi 42 3 11 3
7 Leeds new 9 9 5
8 Norwich new 7 15 7
9 Derby Gary Rowett 44 2 5 10
13 Aston Villa Steve Bruce 42 5 3 2
(Correct at the time of writing. Use “comment” for corrections or updates) 

Will the fact that half of these clubs have changed managers over the summer make those readers think again? Or will that happen when those same readers realise that of the five remaining managers, the two with the worst win percentages occupy second and third slots in the poll.

Or will things stay as they are? That’s where my money is.

Whatever happens, I’ll be back just before the season kicks off to tell you who has made the final group.

Click here for the first post in this series

Or here if you want the second

And here for Pete Sixsmith’s welcome to the fixtures

and if all else fails:

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by – and principally for – supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

9 Responses to “Birmingham, Wolves, Brentford, Forest, Cardiff, Preston, QPR and Ipswich go missing from our poll” Subscribe

  1. Keith Brown July 14, 2017 at 7:23 pm #

    Who are Notts Forest ?? They are not even in this division… Oh, I suppose you mean Nottingham Forest. Get it right or just don’t bother…

    • Woody July 15, 2017 at 7:40 am #

      Caution Midlands’ apiarist with buzzing insect in head wear.

  2. Tony Hardy July 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm #

    There’s no wonder that no-one at Forest entered your Poll when you can’t even get the name right – Derrrrrr.

    There’s a Nottingham Forest – there’s a Notts County but NO NOTTS FOREST.

    • John Mac July 14, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

      My apologies. I was trying to save space, so I’ve removed the Notts rather than put in Nottingham.

  3. Ade B July 14, 2017 at 9:22 pm #

    I can’t ever understand how it’s possible to get the name wrong of a 2 times European Cup Winner. Try much harder next time.Herds.

  4. Ajm6730 July 14, 2017 at 11:39 pm #

    No wonder people can’t remember Nottingham Forest.
    Not only is it half a lifetime since they won the European Cup (all credit to them), it’s quarter of a century or so since they were in the top league.
    Great history but another of the also-rans for too long, really.

    • malcolm July 16, 2017 at 10:38 am #

      Two great Forest pub quiz facts.

      1. Monty got a European Cup Winners medal with them, even though he never played a single second for them.

      2. Forest are the only team to have played F.A. Cup ties against teams from all 4 U.K. countries.

    • John Mac July 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

      “Forest… …were never what you’d call a big club. To think that as a player I was watched by 30,000 people at Notts County but I couldn’t get 30,000 to come to watch Forest even in a semi-final of the European Cup.”

      Cloughie, page 256.

  5. Jake July 15, 2017 at 10:59 pm #

    Once, and I remember this vividly, the BBC Grandstand teleprinter (Google it kids) abbreviated Sunderland to Sun’land. I was most upset I can tell you!!!

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