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"Big" Clubs

Alan

…unlucky Del - No chance 😉
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So I've just read that Brendan Rodgers thinks (or at least says) that if Celtic were in the English pyramid they'd be at least the 6th biggest club in the country.

This brings up an issue that I've never quite understood in the European game: what makes a "big" club so big? There's hardly an end to the feeling that clubs such as Wigan are "small", yet we've lost to them on Tuesday, so does the "size" of the club even matter?

Interested in the thoughts here. Who are the big clubs in the world? Why are they big? And is Brentdan actually right about something?
 
Celtic are an absolutely massive fish but in a very small Scottish pond. They get 60,000 every week, they won the European cup before any British club, there was a time in the 80s where Celtic and Rangers probably would have beaten or at least run close all the big English teams. So I guess that is where the legend of "massive" status comes from. With the current weakness of the Scottish game they are unlikely to make great progress in the Champions League and there is now no chance whatsoever of them coming into the English pyramid, so they are realistically as big as they can ever be now. They could have a massive pot of money (they don't - their record signing is only about £7m off the top of my head) but enticing the top talent north of the border is extremely unlikely to happen.

What makes a club BIG?

Fanbase - big crowds in the ground, lots of shirts on the street, popular among the armchair support.
Ability to sign top players
Prolonged success or top flight good finishes, preferably with some serious European runs. Regularly to finals in domestic trophies and often winning them.
When drawn against the other big clubs in the league programme, Sky immediately drooling over the fixture.

It is probably impossible to have a rank of BIG clubs because a lot of the factors are fluid. 15 years ago Leeds would be on your list, and Newcastle and Villa would be on the periphery of it as well. Not now. Of those three, Newcastle are the closest with their massive support, but their last meaningful success was 12 years before that of Wolves.

The only certainties for the list among the English clubs are Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham (just about) and probably Liverpool (hanging in there on their previous dominance). And Chelsea and Man City are nouveau arrivistes to that list as well.

Then compare those teams with the global big clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, AC Milan (who are in the doldrums), Juventus. How many of the English teams as of today fit in with that list of the absolute top teams?
 
What he didn't say is Rangers are bigger than Celtic, both have the potential to be bigger than Liverpool but not as big as Man Utd.
 
Celtics league attendances in recent years have been a fair bit below 60,000.
Yes if they played in the PL they would eventually be able to compete in the top 6, still think they'd be more competing with Spurs, Arsenal etc for top 4 not the title.
Plus attracting big names up to Glasgow won't appeal as much as going to London or Manchester.
If you had there current side plunged into the PL for 38 matches I think they'd really struggle.
They played well Wednesday but some have gone over the top with it, they only Drew, Celtics away form in the CL for the last 10 years has been appalling.
There's no appetite whatsoever of having the old firm in England, simple reason why should they be parachuted in?
 
What he didn't say is Rangers are bigger than Celtic

How have you worked that one out?

Plus attracting big names up to Glasgow won't appeal as much as going to London or Manchester.

The two of them have attracted some massive names in the past. They'd be absolute powerhouses if they joined the Premier League. Forget 60,000, Celtic would need to build a bigger stadium.
 
Always thought that Celtic (and Rnagers for that matter) if they ever got into the PL (wont happen anytime soon) would be on a par with Newcastle (obviously not this season), massive fanatical support and fanbase but unless they got a owner with major wedge wouldn't quite get upto the standards of the real big guns.
 
In England club size now is only really driven by whether you are in the Premier League or at least have parachute payments from it. Hence the reason why Bournemouth signed Wolves' centre forward last season when every other metric beyond current league status would indicate that Wolves are by far and away the bigger club.
 
It's primarily a question of fanbase (which incorporates catchment area, appetite for football in that area and competition for fans in the same region) and history (what you've won, more importantly in a timeframe that people who are alive now can actually remember or have family who can remember). So despite not being in the top flight much between them in the last 15 years, Leeds, Forest and Sheff Wed are big clubs, Bournemouth, Swansea, Watford etc are not. It shouldn't be terribly difficult to understand.

None of said status gives anyone a divine right to beat anyone else, but when you're looking at the long term potential of a club then it's an obvious factor as it's very difficult to change that status, it takes decades to alter perceptions (Forest haven't been in the top flight since 1999, for instance, and yet they're still perceived as a fairly big club if only they could get a decent owner again). Wigan will never be as big a club as Leeds in my lifetime, transient league status doesn't change that. All things being equal - so let's say all the clubs are in the same division, all have stable, sensible ownership, all have similar budgets, all would have some reasonable hope of success in the coming season - then you would strongly suspect that the likes of Wolves, Leeds and Derby would attract better off field deals and essentially better players in a straight choice than the likes of Wigan, Brentford and Burton. That's just the order of things.

It's one of the reasons why Afobe's move in January was absolutely shit for him as well as us, Bournemouth will have no serious longevity in the top flight.
 
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Interested in the thoughts here. Who are the big clubs in the world? Why are they big?

Barcelona
Real Madrid
Bayern
Man Utd

Those four have the super wealth, huge grounds and fanbases to match and incredible trophy winning history to elevate them above anyone else in terms of club size (more or less permanently I would say), helps that all play in the best leagues in Europe. Juve and Milan would have been on the list in the early/mid 90s when Serie A was the best league in the world but its long standing decline knocks them down a rung now.
 
Size of club in the Championship, Newcastle have an average home attendance so far of over 50,000 with 96% of the ground full while Wolves are ninth with just over 20,000, 66% full.
 
Glad Deutsch added history into the mix.

Appreciate your difficulties Al. It's quite subjective in some ways. But way to start a thread that some people will start falling out with each other over...
 
Size of club in the Championship, Newcastle have an average home attendance so far of over 50,000 with 96% of the ground full while Wolves are ninth with just over 20,000, 66% full.

Newcastle are less than 10 matches into their championship experience. We are four years into it.

As a better comparator. When we were top flight (first season with Mick at least) tickets were fucking gold dust. We were something like 99% capacity. Smaller ground, obviously. However, if they build it, they will come would now apply for me. If Fosun can deliver top flight (good football) and expanded the stadium to 40,000 plus I think we could fill it. Not sure beyond that level, but hey Old Trafford was 42,000 before redevelopment.
 
Of course that is after the Stretford End and so on were seated. With terraces all over the joint in the time of the holy trinity United would have got 65k plus in. Nothing compared to the old and incredibly dangerous Ibrox though. Sure that held about 118k for one auld firm game.
 
When the redevelopment of Old Trafford first started, the capacity was about 36,000.
 
Lowest old trafford capacity was 44,000 after the taylor report, attendances around the late 80's were in the high 30's, couple of mates of mine were Utd supporters at that time and would sometimes take a notion to head up on a Saturday Mornig for a game and never had an issue getting in. Of course that was before they became successful.
 
Holy trinity was late sixties though. Plus don't remember we had occasional huge crowds then too. Was it the Liverpool championship game when they estimate there was about 55k in Molineux even though the official crowd was lower.
 
Reality is as to what constitutes a 'Big Club' is probably affected by your age & what the club you support was doing at the peak time you were able to visit/follow them

People aged 25 - 35 will have a different view of us than those aged 60+ (same goes for Forest, Derby, Leeds etc.)
 
Glad Deutsch added history into the mix.

Appreciate your difficulties Al. It's quite subjective in some ways. But way to start a thread that some people will start falling out with each other over...
Apologies, I didn't think it would be an inflammatory subject.
 
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