League 1 table “footprints”, 2020-21

As is traditional, here’s a look at how each club moved around the league table over the course of the season. 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, based on where they finished at the end of the day
  • The season is considered to run from the date of the first match to the date of the last, excluding the play-offs
  • To make it easier to read across a row, I’ve added dividing lines in both directions to indicate the automatic promotion and play-off spots, the division between the top and bottom halves 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 at 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.

Champions Hull ended every single day of the season in the top five, while Lincoln never left the top seven. Nobody else even retained an unbroken membership of the top half, although Ipswich only spent one day outside of it.

Only two clubs never ventured into the top half all season: Rochdale and Shrewsbury.

The play-off picture changed quite a bit over the course of the campaign, with Oxford finishing in the top six despite spending just seven days there in total. Meanwhile four clubs with at least 100 days of tenure in a top six spot missed out: Charlton, Portsmouth, Ipswich and Doncaster.

Between them, Blackpool and Oxford spent more time in the relegation zone than they did in the top six (a combined 71 days to 53).