Championship table “footprints”, 2016/17

With the regular season now over – and while we await the play-offs – I wanted to revisit some of the post-season graphics I produced this time last year, starting with something that was very popular last time around: how many days each club spent in each league position.

This graphic works as follows:

  • The clubs are listed down the side, in the order they finished in the final league table
  • Each row shows how many days that club spent in each league position
  • The season is considered to run from the date of the first match to the date of the last and excludes the play-offs
  • I’ve added dividing lines in both directions to indicate the automatic promotion places, the play-off zone, the division between top and bottom half and the relegation zone
  • There are also fainter outlines around each club’s final league position

The idea of this is that you can see the “footprint” that each club left in the table this season. Some stayed up one end, others bounced around a lot more etc. This isn’t supposed to be anything particularly profound, but when I ran it I was surprised to see how much time certain clubs spent quite a long way from their final position and how far most travelled over the course of the season.

Newcastle spent almost as much time in top spot as everyone else combined – 137 days to 139 – but were also one of only three teams to sit bottom of the table after losing to Fulham on the opening day. Brighton spent 140 days – over half their season – in the runner-up spot they eventually had to settle for.

Every club in the division spent at least some time in the top half of the table, although for relegated Blackburn this was literally a single day. Huddersfield were the only club not to spend any time in the bottom half of the table, although Norwich only sat there for a single day themselves.

While Birmingham and Nottingham Forest escaped relegation on the final day of the season, neither spent any time in the drop zone.