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Through boredom more than anything I decided to do a little analysis of Bristol City's historic league positions since 1950/51 season (the first year with 92 teams in the league) and thought I'd share the results. 

Things to note:

In the first 8 years of analysis, there was no division 4. The league was split into a division 3 North and South. When working avg league position during the time city were in division 3 South I have doubled the league position and subtracted 1 to give an approximation of where we ranked in the football pyramid .. e.g. 1950/51 season city finished 10th in division 3 South. In this scenario I've given them the benefit of doubt and therefore ranked as the 19th best team out of the 48 in the 3rd divisions.

From analysis of the 71 years using this method citys average position in the footballing pyramid is 42nd best team. This today would give us the final relegation position in the championship.

Further to this, during the 63 years in which there has been a 4 tier professional football league structure in the English league, City have spent:

4 seasons in Division 1

32 seasons in Division 2

25 seasons in Division 3

2 seasons in Division 4

City have managed to make the top 6 in the second tier 5 times in their 32 seasons in the division, and just once since promotion to the top flight in 1976.

Since relegation from the top flight in 1980, city have spent 2 years in tier 4, 20 in tier 3 and 19 in tier 2.

City haven't finished above 13th in the league pyramid since the 92 team league came into action.

Should finishing above the relegation zone therefore be seen as a success for City? 

Is this how other clubs view us, and why Johnson got credit when we missed out on the play offs by a whisker and reached the league Cup semis? Because to most clubs we are a struggling division 2 side?

This has just been shared for info and worth remembering stats do not however tell the whole story! If city won the championship next season, they would then have to win the Premier league every year until 2104 before our average league position since 1950/51 was 20th (final prem spot) ... however some may say this is distinctly possible with Pearson as manager, so long as he lives for another 83 years as City manager, living to 140.

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31 minutes ago, Berkshire Red said:

Through boredom more than anything I decided to do a little analysis of Bristol City's historic league positions since 1950/51 season (the first year with 92 teams in the league) and thought I'd share the results. 

Things to note:

In the first 8 years of analysis, there was no division 4. The league was split into a division 3 North and South. When working avg league position during the time city were in division 3 South I have doubled the league position and subtracted 1 to give an approximation of where we ranked in the football pyramid .. e.g. 1950/51 season city finished 10th in division 3 South. In this scenario I've given them the benefit of doubt and therefore ranked as the 19th best team out of the 48 in the 3rd divisions.

From analysis of the 71 years using this method citys average position in the footballing pyramid is 42nd best team. This today would give us the final relegation position in the championship.

Further to this, during the 63 years in which there has been a 4 tier professional football league structure in the English league, City have spent:

4 seasons in Division 1

32 seasons in Division 2

25 seasons in Division 3

2 seasons in Division 4

City have managed to make the top 6 in the second tier 5 times in their 32 seasons in the division, and just once since promotion to the top flight in 1976.

Since relegation from the top flight in 1980, city have spent 2 years in tier 4, 20 in tier 3 and 19 in tier 2.

City haven't finished above 13th in the league pyramid since the 92 team league came into action.

Should finishing above the relegation zone therefore be seen as a success for City? 

Is this how other clubs view us, and why Johnson got credit when we missed out on the play offs by a whisker and reached the league Cup semis? Because to most clubs we are a struggling division 2 side?

This has just been shared for info and worth remembering stats do not however tell the whole story! If city won the championship next season, they would then have to win the Premier league every year until 2104 before our average league position since 1950/51 was 20th (final prem spot) ... however some may say this is distinctly possible with Pearson as manager, so long as he lives for another 83 years as City manager, living to 140.

I did a similar post ages ago, but that wasnt with our current 'run' at this level including 2 season gap. 

Basically though, until this League 1 was our level. 

Now, as discussed a billion times, our current run is effectively our best of all time. 

Great post, thanks for sharing 

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6 minutes ago, RalphMilnesLeftFoot said:

I did a similar post ages ago, but that wasnt with our current 'run' at this level including 2 season gap. 

Basically though, until this League 1 was our level. 

Now, as discussed a billion times, our current run is effectively our best of all time. 

Great post, thanks for sharing 

Our current run is our best of all time?

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46 minutes ago, Berkshire Red said:

Should finishing above the relegation zone therefore be seen as a success for City? 

It should be seen as a slightly above average finish. Nothing to get excited about, but equally not a disaster when compared to our historical levels of achievement. 

That being said, I don't think there is much wrong with expecting more than an average finish, especially when the guys at the top of the club told us many times over that they expected more. 

54 minutes ago, Berkshire Red said:

Is this how other clubs view us, and why Johnson got credit when we missed out on the play offs by a whisker and reached the league Cup semis? Because to most clubs we are a struggling division 2 side?

Likely yes. I find most other fans view us with a mixture of apathy and curiosity. I tend to get a pretty mute reaction whenever I tell someone I support City, people just don't really have much of an opinion on us, and we don't feature strongly in the wider football conversation.

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But if you go back to our formation our average league position is in the top couple of league one (3rd division in old money)....I too was once very bored at work and used the time appropriately as per this conclusion.

So we really belong in League one....or a yoyo club between Championship and league one.

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1 hour ago, Moments of Pleasure said:

Our current run is our best of all time?

 

46 minutes ago, glynriley said:

LEO.gif.ca13f6c0146cfd716126246c0bb166d5.gif

Statisticly we're in our joint longest sustained run at this level since the 1960s.

4 seasons in what was the Prem and then being one of the first teams alongside Wolves to be relegated from the top league to the bottom league is not our best and is actually an anomaly. 

We're now at 11/13 seasons at this level or there abouts.  which is our  joint longest consecutive run at this level, ever. 

 

Aside from that, then yeah we're doing aces as it happens 

 

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2 hours ago, Berkshire Red said:

Through boredom more than anything I decided to do a little analysis of Bristol City's historic league positions since 1950/51 season (the first year with 92 teams in the league) and thought I'd share the results. 

Things to note:

In the first 8 years of analysis, there was no division 4. The league was split into a division 3 North and South. When working avg league position during the time city were in division 3 South I have doubled the league position and subtracted 1 to give an approximation of where we ranked in the football pyramid .. e.g. 1950/51 season city finished 10th in division 3 South. In this scenario I've given them the benefit of doubt and therefore ranked as the 19th best team out of the 48 in the 3rd divisions.

From analysis of the 71 years using this method citys average position in the footballing pyramid is 42nd best team. This today would give us the final relegation position in the championship.

Further to this, during the 63 years in which there has been a 4 tier professional football league structure in the English league, City have spent:

4 seasons in Division 1

32 seasons in Division 2

25 seasons in Division 3

2 seasons in Division 4

City have managed to make the top 6 in the second tier 5 times in their 32 seasons in the division, and just once since promotion to the top flight in 1976.

Since relegation from the top flight in 1980, city have spent 2 years in tier 4, 20 in tier 3 and 19 in tier 2.

City haven't finished above 13th in the league pyramid since the 92 team league came into action.

Should finishing above the relegation zone therefore be seen as a success for City? 

Is this how other clubs view us, and why Johnson got credit when we missed out on the play offs by a whisker and reached the league Cup semis? Because to most clubs we are a struggling division 2 side?

This has just been shared for info and worth remembering stats do not however tell the whole story! If city won the championship next season, they would then have to win the Premier league every year until 2104 before our average league position since 1950/51 was 20th (final prem spot) ... however some may say this is distinctly possible with Pearson as manager, so long as he lives for another 83 years as City manager, living to 140.

A good post this.

Even if we look at other metrics other than historical performance we appear to be a mid-to-top half championship side as best and all our expectations should be in line with this imo.

If we take average attendance (stats below from 2019-2020 pre-COVID) as a silent indicator of club size - we don't actually do too badly but still only just creeping in to the championship play offs when you take into account Sunderland in league one with huge support (30,118) and three clubs in the prem with lower average attendance than ours (Watford (20,837), Burnley (20,260) & Bournemouth (10,510).

If we go with wages spent as an indicator we drop down even further. Please feel free to update this if anyone has more up to date info than me but of the below screen grabs from the 2017/2018 & 2018/2019 accounts have us paying below the championship average in terms of wages and I can't really see that having changed too much in the past couple of years.....?

image.thumb.png.3ca95b20409944b0cac104c4740aac30.pngimage.thumb.png.6fedce41c1766f164eb1824fe87b199c.png

image.thumb.png.855becf43cd5fe45f6ddd057982eb87b.png

Edited by WirralRobin
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2 hours ago, Bat Fastard said:

This poster is far too erudite for this forum!

Give it time and we’ll knock the eruditioness eruditity eruditeness erudity eruditedness - whatever it is, we’ll knock it out of him!

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1 hour ago, RalphMilnesLeftFoot said:

 

Statisticly we're in our joint longest sustained run at this level since the 1960s.

4 seasons in what was the Prem and then being one of the first teams alongside Wolves to be relegated from the top league to the bottom league is not our best and is actually an anomaly. 

We're now at 11/13 seasons at this level or there abouts.  which is our  joint longest consecutive run at this level, ever. 

 

Aside from that, then yeah we're doing aces as it happens 

 

11 consecutive seasons at this level?

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I've never got the fascination with the past, I mean let's be honest, you're only as good as your last season. 
Have Brentford been a Premier League club in the past? No, Are they now? Yes and that is all that matters and rightfully so.

I don't think a single one of our fans would care about our past if we were to get promoted next season. The past are nice, or not so nice, memories but they have no impact on where any club "deserve to be", that's all on the last season and how they performed.

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3 minutes ago, Spike said:

I've never got the fascination with the past, I mean let's be honest, you're only as good as your last season. 
Have Brentford been a Premier League club in the past? No, Are they now? Yes and that is all that matters and rightfully so.

I don't think a single one of our fans would care about our past if we were to get promoted next season. The past are nice, or not so nice, memories but they have no impact on where any club "deserve to be", that's all on the last season and how they performed.

Clubs are defined by their history . It’s massive in football. Liverpool & Man Utd are not the biggest clubs in the country because of money alone. They attract big investors & a world wide fan base because they’ve been winning trophy's regularly for over a hundred years. People call Newcastle a massive club but in trophys won they’re not . History defines you. We’re a small club because we’ve won **** all. Preston , Huddersfield , Blackpool have rich histories & are remembered for it. It wasn’t sustained though so they’ve dropped off the radar .  

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17 minutes ago, Rich said:

The following link which has been produced very professionally gives our Rank as 34th and median position as 39th

All Time League Table - HOME - All time league table

As mentioned above, the positions have been calculated from 1950/51 season. If you're going to include pre war time and pre 92 team leagues also then you're going to get a very scewed data set.

Citys first season in the football league, there were only 36 teams over 2 divisions. Inclusion of this information does little but skew the data.

Would say if you were to include this information, you'd be better off calculating a relative position in the league, then estimating a league position finish as if there were 92 teams. City finishing 16th out of 20 in the second division of two 20 team leagues (as in 1912) should not really be used to bring citys average league position up really and show us as more successful? If anything finishing in the bottom 10% of the whole league system at the time is probably better shown as an 82nd/83rd position really. Hence why started in 1950/51

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6 minutes ago, Berkshire Red said:

As mentioned above, the positions have been calculated from 1950/51 season. If you're going to include pre war time and pre 92 team leagues also then you're going to get a very scewed data set.

Citys first season in the football league, there were only 36 teams over 2 divisions. Inclusion of this information does little but skew the data.

Would say if you were to include this information, you'd be better off calculating a relative position in the league, then estimating a league position finish as if there were 92 teams. City finishing 16th out of 20 in the second division of two 20 team leagues (as in 1912) should not really be used to bring citys average league position up really and show us as more successful? If anything finishing in the bottom 10% of the whole league system at the time is probably better shown as an 82nd/83rd position really. Hence why started in 1950/51

And yet, the variance (at least for Bristol City) isn't too great when you compare the two data sets. Combining all three of the numbers that you and @Rich give means we have 42nd, 34th, and 39th, that averages out to 38th. Equivalent of 18th in the Championship in the current structure, or one place higher than we finished this season.

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14 minutes ago, Berkshire Red said:

As mentioned above, the positions have been calculated from 1950/51 season. If you're going to include pre war time and pre 92 team leagues also then you're going to get a very scewed data set.

Citys first season in the football league, there were only 36 teams over 2 divisions. Inclusion of this information does little but skew the data.

Would say if you were to include this information, you'd be better off calculating a relative position in the league, then estimating a league position finish as if there were 92 teams. City finishing 16th out of 20 in the second division of two 20 team leagues (as in 1912) should not really be used to bring citys average league position up really and show us as more successful? If anything finishing in the bottom 10% of the whole league system at the time is probably better shown as an 82nd/83rd position really. Hence why started in 1950/51

Sorry, I don't agree with how you've calculated the two div 3 tables. It's all hypothetical, the northern division could have easily been much better than the southern division, or vice versa. The only way you can work out an average position is to take overall positions and average that out over the amount of seasons. Some teams might not even be in the league but have an average position higher than an existing team and, there will be teams sharing that average position. Why not start from when we got promoted in 1965? That'll skew the figures even more.

Or try when I started going 1967, 29 in the 2nd tier, 4 in the 1st tier, 20 in the 3rd tier and two in the 4th tier, definitely a championship club in my eyes. But a vastly under achieving club at that.

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3 hours ago, Spike said:

I've never got the fascination with the past, I mean let's be honest, you're only as good as your last season. 
Have Brentford been a Premier League club in the past? No, Are they now? Yes and that is all that matters and rightfully so.

I don't think a single one of our fans would care about our past if we were to get promoted next season. The past are nice, or not so nice, memories but they have no impact on where any club "deserve to be", that's all on the last season and how they performed.

Exactly. You don't drive forward by only looking in your rear view mirror. Not so long ago Man City, Chelsea and Leicester couldn't even hold down a place in the top division, let alone win it. We should never be just satisfied with our lot, always strive for better.

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54 minutes ago, Rich said:

Sorry, I don't agree with how you've calculated the two div 3 tables. It's all hypothetical, the northern division could have easily been much better than the southern division, or vice versa. The only way you can work out an average position is to take overall positions and average that out over the amount of seasons. Some teams might not even be in the league but have an average position higher than an existing team and, there will be teams sharing that average position. Why not start from when we got promoted in 1965? That'll skew the figures even more.

Or try when I started going 1967, 29 in the 2nd tier, 4 in the 1st tier, 20 in the 3rd tier and two in the 4th tier, definitely a championship club in my eyes. But a vastly under achieving club at that.

Of course its hypothetical, but without any teams from North and south playing in a league format, I'd say assuming for example 8th / 24 in one regional parallel league is roughly equivalent to 15th/16th out of the 48 teams across the parallel leagues is the easiest way to approximate. It could equally have been the case that in years where city have succeeded (e.g. recent league one winning season) that had all 92 league teams played in 1 league we may have finished higher than 45th. However, we didn't play in a league with championship teams so to assess us as better is not possible, but likely probable. As detailed in OP stats are obviously not the full picture. 

The stats simply show the average league position city have finished each season. It doesn't claim we are the 42nd best club, in which case your point about clubs no longer being in the league is more valid.

As stated in the OP the reason for selecting the start date as opposed to the date they got promoted was to give an unbiased representation. It was the date for introduction of a 92 team league system and so seemed an arbitrary point to start. I'm sure selecting different start dates could be applied to make it look more or less favourable to city, however as we currently have 92 teams in the league system, analysing since introduction of 92 team league was my goal

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