League 2 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.

League 2 is unique among the top four divisions this season in having the team who spent the most time at the top of the table not finish there: Newport were in first place for 77 days but ended up in fifth.

The Exiles were also one of four clubs who finished every day of the campaign in the top half of the table; the others being Cambridge, Forest Green and Salford.

There were also four teams who never left the bottom half: Oldham plus the final bottom three of Scunthorpe, Southend and Grimsby.

Two clubs – Bolton and Port Vale – were particularly mobile, each occupying 19 of the 24 possible league positions at some point.