Friday, 11 January 2013

Whose the Football Daddy ?

I can't claim to have had an original thought on this subject ..... and perhaps the phrase "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" covers the subject succinctly, but most fans of most sports, especially the league table based sports, whether it be Association Football (Soccer to US visitors), Cricket, Rugby (either code), Baseball, American Football, or even god help us the 'Basketball' (Sorry US visitors, but this just isn't a sport .... its a lot of physical freaks racking up err, well racking up 'basketball scores' as the saying goes), will have wondered who the greatest team is.

Normally we all then set about discussing this with friends or colleagues (who usually are fellow 'aficionados' of the sport), probably over considerably more beers than actual facts, and pleasurably debated or occasionally (when the aforementioned beer count has exceed ability of some participants to handle), argued over the merits of each team.

Now in most countries, and in some sports, those that can actually even be considered for the title 'the best', or 'the biggest', or the 'most successful' are limited. So for example, in Spanish soccer, there are just two teams under any category looked at, "Real Madrid" or "Barcelona" (It's Real Madrid with 32 titles to 21 in case your wondering), and where you can only look at the merits of the other clubs by excluding these two giants. The same goes for Scotland, where its only the 'auld firm' of Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic (It's Rangers in case your wondering again, with 54 titles to Celtic's 43), who can realistically be considered (even with Rangers exiled to the third division for a couple of seasons).

However in England, such is our rich sporting heritage that, no matter which league determined sport you pick, there are multiple teams available to argue over ...... so its maybe its some surprise that the BBC has only this week, decided to address the question of who is the Premier football Leagues 'Biggest Club' .... and the argument still rages!

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Depending on the criteria you can suggest two or more teams, so for example counting only the total number of cups and leagues won you can argue Liverpool at 41, to Man Utd's 38 makes them the biggest team - but if you exclude the minor domestic cup (we, unusually in Europe, have two, not one, domestic cup competitions), then this becomes Liverpool 33 vrs Man Utd 34 ... and so on and so on.

Other teams are available for discussion, but only by excluding historical records. So for instance if you look only at the period since the formation of the Premier League in 1992/93, a tendency amongst kids brought up only with the Premier League, then Liverpool drop back from first or second place, having to then rely on cup successes (much like Man Utd in the later period of the old first division era), and its firstly Arsenal, then Chelsea, and latterly Manchester City who are Manchester United's main rivals.

The BBC article linked, gives you the various considerations in far more detail .... but the fact that you can make a case for more than just two teams, shows how competitive the top English football league is, and that the argument about 'Whose the Daddy' will not be dead for quite some while yet.


  1. Rangers in the lowest tier of football in Scotland is such a success they are hell bent in keeping us there for another year.

    1. Well then, if your conspiracy theory is right, then either the gap between Rangers and Celtic will be 54 - 47 or counting another way and including the Third Second and First Division titles Rangers will accrue 58 - 47 .... it depends on which way you look at the statistics. Which is exactly my point.

  2. Chelsea would only count the last 10 years. But Arsenal would like to ignore the last 8! Statistics are what you want to make of them.

    1. Manchester City would like to count only the last two LOL .... and even then it would only put them second!


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