A NEW survey has Burton Albion in second place in a table detailing the longest-suffering football fans in the West Midlands – despite the Brewers’ recent footballing success.
The statistics, pulled together by broadcaster ITV ahead of the launch of a new animated comedy based around football, were drawn from the English National Football Archive (ENFA).
ENFA’s top ‘stattos’ crunched data from 220,000 match results since the first Football League season in 1888-89 to rank the current 92 Football League clubs by their lack of success, weighted by extra factors including the size of their average home crowds.
However, Albion’s rather prominent placing can easily be put down to the fact that the results are traced back to 1888, which leaves the club at a massive disadvantage – as it was only founded in 1950.
While like many clubs it has enjoyed its own up and downs in recent years, Burton Albion has enjoyed considerable success, ranging from holding Manchester United to a draw in a famous FA Cup tie to achieving promotion to the football league for the first time in 2009, as well as making the League Two play-offs last season.
Walsall topped ENFA’s the West Midlands section of the ‘Long-Suffering Fan Index’, with Aston Villa boasting the least-pained supporters.
In compiling the index, ENFA’s statisticians factored in data on everything from honours won to average league position, promotion and relegation, and progress each season in the FA Cup.
They also weighted the results according to average home attendances, so that the index was not merely a measure of on-field success or lack of it.
The news comes only weeks after a survey commissioned by the club saw fans praise the Brewers in a range of areas.