League 2 table “footprints”, 2021-22

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 Forest Green didn’t set foot outside the automatic promotion places all season and were only off top spot for a total of three weeks.

Swindon were the only team besides Forest Green who never set foot in the bottom half of the table.

Rather incredibly, Bristol Rovers were promoted automatically despite not reaching the top three until the final day and actually spending more than 80% of their campaign in the bottom half of the table. They dislodged Northampton, who spent just over half the season in the top three but had to settle for a play-off place.

Barrow and Hartlepool both finished the season in the lowest position they occupied during it, with both teams limping over the finish line after a poor run of form.

Harrogate also began the season more impressively than they ended it, finishing in the bottom half despite only four clubs having spent more time in the automatic promotion places.