Exposed: The “Proportional” Bad Boys of Football

I have been contacted by my readership all week asking for a difference in working out  to see who “proportionally” are the top clubs for crime. Please try to read the entire article before ignorantly commenting as my analysis will show why proportional workings out are not truly reflective of criminal activity within football.

As requested, I have worked out using the following formula:

Average Attendance / Total arrests

1. Barnet – 0.883

2. Lincoln City – 0.734

3. Port Vale – 0.685

4. Leeds – 0.640

5. Oxford united – 0.605

6. Darlington – 0.534

7. Mansfield Town – 0.508

8. Gateshead – 0.485

9. Accrington Stanley – 0.448

10. Millwall – 0.444

Premiership Goons Escaping  (Despite having far more arrests)

– Manchester United – 0.366

– Manchester City – 0.230

– West Ham – 0.220

– Arsenal – 0.178

The above data presents League 2 “bad boys” Barnet as the “worse” team in English Football. Lincoln City came in second while Port Vale subsequently in third having had an average attendance 4820 with 33 arrests in total giving them a percentage of 0.685. Look at Oxford United! Who has ever heard Oxford United being a club renowned for hooliganism and being worse than Millwall? Even Conference team Mansfield Town finish above Millwall with a grand percentage score of 0.508 based on an average attendance of 2758 and a total of 14 arrests. Even though Luton Town has had 6 more arrests than Mansfield Town, Mansfield, somehow, are far worse than Luton just because Luton have more fans turning up to games every week.

This does not mean much to be fair. You cannot dilute the hard statistic, that being, the statistic being total number of arrests. All this means is the bigger clubs managing to rake in bigger attendances can literally get away with murder because they have far more fans turning up every week than a team like Millwall. If that is the case, then all Millwall are guilty of is lacking financial capital and Premier League status to rake in the larger numbers and increase their attendance. Therefore, Millwall are not a bad club, they only lack in attendance and if that is the case, then why not charge £1 a game, rake in a full attendance and that should bump up your average attendance and decrease the appearance of criminal activity? The statistics can be duped this way. This formula, not only working on averages and proportional data, distorts the hardcore evidence and protects the wealthiest and most successful clubs just because they are most popular.

Even if we did go on this data, who on Earth is calling Barnet scum? Who is publishing the hooligans at Mansfield Town? And as for Oxford United? Well, not just a place for academics! No, how about this one, let’s just attack Millwall. They are the real scum (rolls eyes in sarcasm).

How can Sheffield Wednesday be justified as having 39 arrests last year, making them the worst team in League One (at the time), and yet Gateshead had 3 arrests all season and they are in the top 10 worst teams under a proportional formula and Wednesday somehow escape the top 10? 

It just doesn’t make sense and it is not a true reflection of crime that occurs at each club.

As before, please see the real bad boys of football bellow:



Posted on April 22, 2013, in Speaking Out and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Sean,

    Part of the issue here, which I think you have highlighted, is that small sample sizes create extreme results. The top ten clubs with the highest arrests as a proportion of average attendance, are all clubs with low average attendances. I can pretty much guarantee you that the bottom ten clubs will also have small average attendances! If you really want to dig into the data you need to look at the arrest correlation over a sequence of years – that will help separate statistical randomness from clubs with a serious issue of arrests. Identifying the causes of those arrests is somewhat harder!

    • Hi Sam,

      Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I ultimately think that you are right in what you say. The thing with data is that it can be manipulated to either victimize or save a club’s reputation.

      Overall, the number of arrests and banning orders are not bad considering how bad the 70s-90s were for football hooliganism. I personally think that we have come such a long way since then and so now it has literally fallen down to nit picking past reputations to suit media sensationalism.

      I shall definitely look into what other forms of data I can find though and try to put together another way of presenting.

      May I be cheeky and ask (without mentioning your name), are you a journalist yourself? One that works for something to do with the clock? 🙂 Apologies if not. Just your name rung a bell. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: