Put all 92 football clubs in order of preference

My brother has a theory that if you put any two teams together, your true football fanatic will be able immediately to say which one he or she prefers. This has become his test for who is a genuine football fan and who isn’t because – he says – genuine football fans will have preferences that include all football teams.

Crucially, this has got nothing to do with football ability. It’s purely down to personal prejudice.

Mountaineers and farmers trading mules and horses on
The Library of Congress / FoterHorsetraders recently – arguing about whether they prefer Hull City or MK Dons.

He once challenged a number of us to put all 92 league clubs in order of preference. It was surprisingly easy. The top 20 and the bottom 20 more or less pick themselves. The team you support goes top (for me, Newcastle) followed by the teams you have a soft spot for because of mates (West Brom, Burnley), teams from places you’ve lived or worked or found yourself watching (Darlington, Hartlepool), and teams that for many other random reasons, which we’ll get onto later, you don’t really mind.

If you’d like to try sorting the complete 2013-14 list according to preference, you can find an Excel spreadsheet here: 92 Likeability

The bottom 20 are even easier. Bottom is your favourite team’s biggest rival (Sunderland) followed inevitably by Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City or whoever is currently seen as the dominant bigshot. Then come the biggest rivals of your mates’ teams (Blackburn, Wolves, Aston Villa) and then other teams you don’t like because of what they’ve done to your club (Hereford, Liverpool, Stevenage). And then Leeds and Millwall, because nobody likes them, as the song goes. (Don’t worry; they don’t care.)

The interesting bit is in the middle – around the 45/46 mark, so roughly the top end of League 1 – where the random reasons come into play. Here you’re imagining playoffs between the clubs that come next to each other and then moving teams up and down accordingly.

Genuine football fans have preferences that include all football teams.

So who do I prefer between Norwich and Colchester? Well Colchester, because I once went to a match there and had a pint with some of their fans. So Colchester goes up one. What about Yeovil and Colchester? Well, Yeovil, because they wear green and white like Celtic.

So it’s back to Norwich, who are now sitting above Southampton. They stay that way. Because Chris Hughton used to be Newcastle’s manager and he’s ‘alright’, whereas Pochettino stole Nigel Adkins’ job and he still does all his interviews in Spanish.

This horsetrading bit has been distilled to a pub conversation where you fire pairs of teams at your fellow drinkers and they have to explain their preference:

“Bristol City or Doncaster Rovers?”

“Donny, obviously. Keegan came from there and I used to have a mate who was a Bristol Rovers fan.”

International match-ups are also good:

“Tromso or Steaua Bucharest?”

“Tromso, obviously. Remember Steaua’s boring European Cup Final that they won on penalties? And Tromso sounds like a character from Noggin the Nog.”

And so on. You really need die-hard fans for this. But if you can’t assemble a group of likeminded know-alls, you can still laugh at people who don’t know who they prefer between Anorthosis Famagusta or Hamrun Spartans. Or even what the significance of the question is.

(By the way, Hamrun Spartans. Obviously…)


on “Put all 92 football clubs in order of preference
14 Comments on “Put all 92 football clubs in order of preference
  1. Pingback: Rank all 92 League clubs in order of personal preference | Soccer Digest.net

  2. Hamrun Spartuns suck! Go Birkikara!. Also, over the years Port Vale, Sheffield Wednesday, Edgware Town, Wealdstone & Stenhousmuir have all risen to the top of my like-list. Watford have never strayed above, roughly, 92.

    • How can there be any talkof a bottom 20 without mentioning that monstrosity MK S**m.

      Bottom of a lot of people’s lists of Things I Hate In General, appearing more often than Hitler, Maggie Thatcher and a Smack in the Face With an Iron Bar put together.

  3. It’s a shame Wrexham and Chester don’t appear on the 92 list… ‘We’ve got Mirandinha, he’s not from Argentina..’ , definitely pushes the Toon up my list. Never thought I’d name Fleetwood, Crawley and Forest Green in my bottom 20 though.

    • I was originally going to mention my dislike of Chester as well, and then I realised… You’ll have noticed non-league clubs Hereford and Darlington slipped through my defences though. “Here they come, the mighty champions…”

  4. Tottenham Hotspur
    Queens Park Rangers
    Swansea City
    Norwich City
    Aston Villa
    Nottingham Forest
    West Ham United
    Sheffield Wednesday
    Wolverhampton Wanderers
    Ipswich Town
    Coventry City
    West Bromwich Albion
    Leeds United
    Newcastle United
    Leicester City
    Stoke City
    Sheffield United
    Brighton & Hove Albion
    Derby County
    Peterborough United
    Preston North End
    Oxford United
    Plymouth Argyle
    Bradford City
    Newport County
    Huddersfield Town
    Swindon Town
    Northampton Town
    Notts County
    Oldham Athletic
    Scunthorpe United
    Accrington Stanley
    Carlisle United
    Cheltenham Town
    Wycombe Wanderers
    Tranmere Rovers
    Yeovil Town
    Torquay United
    Southend United
    Bristol City
    Bristol Rovers
    Mansfield Town
    Exeter City
    Hartlepool United
    Dagenham & Redbridge
    Shrewsbury Town
    Rotherham United
    Port Vale
    Colchester United
    Crewe Alexandra
    Burton Albion
    Birmingham City
    Crystal Palace
    Doncaster Rovers
    York City
    Fleetwood Town
    Charlton Athletic
    Leyton Orient
    Bolton Wanderers
    Blackburn Rovers
    Wigan Athletic
    Crawley Town
    Milton Keynes Dons
    Hull City
    Cardiff City
    Manchester City
    Manchester United


  5. I’d have gone Anorthosis Famagusta because it’s one of the teams you can tell people was named after a bacteria just to see if they’ll buy the story.

  6. Written a little spreadsheet for this, using my own answers plus those of yourself and BW. In a lovely turn of events it puts The Mighty Owls at the top of the likeability table.

    Also decided to factor in a little bit of Importance Weighting to it, so that its more important to me that Sheff Urinal are at the bottom of the list than having Newport County just below Mansfield in the Championship in 43rd and 44th.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *