Whistle while you work
What's in a colour?
a) Top ten over-performing clubs over whole period
b) Worst ten under-performing clubs over whole period
c) Top ten over-performing clubs since 1997-98
d) Worst ten under-performing clubs since 1997-98
e) Top over-performing club by season
f) Worst under-performing club by season
Some local rivals
Some 'sleeping giants'
Kings of the plastic stadium and official abject dogs of the Football League, Wolves are another lot who consider themselves a big club. In terms of attendance, I'd have to agree. Their average attendance over the past 15 seasons is ranked 16th. For the past two seasons they've stuck dead on that ranking. They are unofficially the 16th best supported club in England.
For much of the recent past, though, Wolves' league position has failed to match up their attendances. Over the best part of the past 15 seasons they've failed to move too far either way from their long-term average of 29th.
All of this means that Wolves are perennial underperformers. Not once in the period covered by the study have they managed to overperform. Historically Wolves underperform by an average of 13 places each season: a figure that was hit bang on last year.
So if Wolves finished 29th in 2004-05 but a position 13 places higher is warranted, by my calculations, then their 'true' position is clearly 16th. A relegation fight but ultimate safety in top-flight football is what their fans might reasonably expect. All in all, if Wolves are to finally realise some of their latent potential, then next season should be a very good year to wear gold and black. [It's orange - Ed.]