I went to my first home game for three years, this weekend.
I saw us win, which is a bit of a rarity these days, but apart from that I didn’t see much to inspire me or make me think that this team are going places. Well apart from the Championship perhaps.
As I looked around SJP I thought about how things have changed over the past ten years. I won’t list all of the misdemeanors ranging from changing the name of the ground to the disregard for local heroes but I will instead look purely and simply at our league placing.
So, if you will forgive me, here are a few statistics.
Lets start with a topic close to our hearts – relegation.
Since we started in the football league in 1892 we have been relegated 6 times in total – 1934, 1961, 1978, 1989 and then twice under Ashley in 2009 and 2017. So for the statisticians amongst us, that’s a third of our total or 33% of our total relegations have happened under Ashley. And who knows if this season isn’t going to be number seven. Maybe. Maybe not.
Now lets look at our Premier League placings since 1992.
For the purpose of working out the average placing I have used the championship placing as a continuation of the EPL, so for example if we finished top of the championship I would count this as either 21st or 23rd place (the EPL started off with 22 teams).
Since 1992 we have finished 23, 3, 6, 2, 2, 13, 13, 11, 11, 4, 3, 5, 14, 7 and 13. This gives an average placing BA (before Ashley) of 8.6 or 9th.
Since Ashley has taken over, we have finished 12, 18(r), 21, 12, 5, 16, 10, 15, 18(r), 21 and we are currently 13th, giving an average placing of 14.6 or 15th.
So there you have it. Under Ashley there has been no progress.
We have dropped six places on average and judging by what I saw at the weekend, we are going to sail very close to the wind of relegation number three in his eleven years in charge.
So what’s the point of churning out statistics like this?
Well it proves without a shadow of doubt that we are worse off with Mike Ashley.
We have had one good season where we finished 5th but the vast majority of the time we are flirting with relegation.
Time for Mike Ashley to sell up.