League 1 table “footprints”, 2017/18

As is traditional, here’s an end-of-season look at 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.

Wigan unsurprisingly spent their entire season in the top half of the table, with Shrewsbury and Peterborough the only two other clubs not to slip below 12th for the entire campaign. Frustratingly for the Shrews, they only spent four fewer days inside the automatic promotion spots than the Latics: 200 days exactly, which is over twice what Blackburn managed.

Plymouth‘s “season of two halves” is clearly visible: despite narrowly missing out on the play-offs, they spent over 100 days in the relegation zone and more time at the foot of the table than anyone except Bury.

Only three clubs were unable to break into the top half at any point during the season: Rochdale – who escaped relegation on the final day – plus Oldham and Northampton, who were less fortunate.