Premier League 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.

The main headlines that jump out at me are:

  • Despite a disappointing season, Man Utd finished more days in top spot than Liverpool
  • Chelsea only spent two days outside the top four all season – they and Liverpool were the only clubs never to slip into the bottom half
  • Norwich were the only team never to set foot in the top half

I actually had some help in writing this one from PA’s new sport data journalist Phil Leake, with the resulting story going out on our sports wire – if you fancy a longer read then click here.