In this second post about football-related arrests I’m going to add some context. Yes, it’s interesting to know that in the last decade almost 2,000 Man United fans were arrested, but this also has to do with the size of their support base. Old Trafford is the biggest ground in the Premier League and, when the Red Devils play at home, there are 75.335 people on average in the stadium.
Getting the approximate number of the fan base it isn’t a particularly easy task, so I used the attendance to home matches to weight the different crowd sizes. Please, be aware that this data also includes supporters arrested in other stadiums, but the attendance stats are only referred to the home grounds. Despite of this limitation, I still think that considering the home attendance is a good measurement and that it fits the purpose of this post. I must also warn you that I only have data about Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two. I have discarded those teams that have played some of the last 10 seasons in the National League as I wouldn’t be comparing the same time period.
Manchester United is no longer on top, in fact, it is not even in the top 10! The team with the most fans arrested compared to their support base is actually Millwall. Surprised? Well, maybe not considering that Lions’ fans have been involved in some serious rioting in the last few years. An interesting fact is that there is not a single Premier League team on this list, as most of them currently play in Championship and League One.
But what about the Premier League? There must be teams with a more problematic support base than others. Well there are, but the teams in the top 3 are actually very close to each other. Stoke City, Sunderland and Chelsea have around 1.3 supporters arrested for every 10.000 home attendees. This ratio also includes the seasons that Stoke and Sunderland played in lower divisions.
In a previous post I showed that the number of Manchester United fans arrested was twice as big as Manchester City’s. But, compared the home attendance, the difference is smaller.
There is a very clear leader in Championship. Leeds United has a whopping ratio of 2 arrests for every 10.000 supporters. It’s not surprising considering that they have been involved in very serious clashes against other crowds, the last one just one month ago. In further posts we will take a close look to some of the most problematic teams. The chart above shows an interesting trend, the gap between the first positions of the top 10 and the last is quite wide. This means that there are just a few teams in Championship with a high ratio of arrests but that’s not the general behavior, as we will see in a little bit.
League One is a rough place, with teams like Millwall or Port Vale showing a worryingly high ratio of arrests. In this case, most teams show a higher ratio than in the two previous competitions. But, League Two is even worse. I haven’t created a top 10 for League Two because there are many teams that have recently played in the National League and I don’t have this data, but you can check the chart below to see what’s the ratio of arrests in each competition.