Playing with (numerical) figures

Debates about our historic playing level crop up on here from time to time and my opinion is firmly in the mid third division band.

This leads into the various underachieving/overachieving comments in relation to that.

If someone asked me the question “what percentage of the time that you have been regularly attending WFC games have they spent playing in the third division?”, my instant off the cuff response would be 90% or higher. It just seems like it.

The actual divisional split over the time that I have been regularly attending surprised me, in that over the 53 seasons since 1968/69, 39 (73.5%) have been in the third division, 9 (17%) in the fourth division and 5 (9.5%) in the second division.

In purely percentage terms, our time in the third division is less than I instinctively thought and therefore it follows that our time in both the second and fourth divisions is more than I thought. It just doesn’t seem to me, for example, that almost 10% of my regular supporting time has been watching second division football.

On one hand perhaps I shouldn’t have been that surprised because I often tell aquaintances who support other clubs that we usually have a bit of success once a decade.

You who have attended games for longer than I have will possibly have seen a greater percentage of “success” than me when the late fifties/early sixties are taken into account. Indeed those supporters of more recent years will have a great record of “success”.

Getting precious little enjoyment out of my support for the last couple of years, but that’s for another thread.

First attended in 71-72 so my figures will be similar to yours.

The period between 1995 and 2007 saw us promoted four times, and relegated thrice, so that was quite exciting I suppose, especially as we also had cup games against Leeds, Ipswich, Forest, Sheff Utd, Charlton, West Ham (every month or so :smile: ), Bolton, ManYoo during that time.

I started in 61, just after Bill Moore’s team was relegated (saw 2 games in Div 2: 0-6 to Newcastle and 0-0 vs Stoke including Stanley Matthews) and I think we were in Division 3 until 68/69 so my percentage will be higher. We next went higher under Coakley.

What it shows is that our average position is around the mid-point of Division 3.

Wayne Clarke season to Dicky Dosh final season as season ticket holder. Alot of success in that period. Proportionally too much success!

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1980 for me so I think 8seasons level 4. Level 2 ,5 seasons

For our first 70 years or so we were always at the bottom level of the professional pyramid (which wasn’t always 4 levels) or out of it after failing to gain re-election (as demotion wasn’t automatic even when we finished rock bottom on more than one occasion). Even when we managed to get back in it was due to election not due to promotion - our first ever one not coming until 1960 so anyone who was watching us before that won’t have ever seen us in a higher division to split their supporting time between.

If you ignore all that and only go on the last 62 years when there have been 4 tiers, we’ve spent 6 in what is now the Championship, 11 on the bottom rung, so that’s 47/62=72.5% in Div 3/League 1.

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