I really do wonder how interesting posts like this and the other sports stuff I’ve done are for most of the readers of this weblog. Still, they (obviously) interest me. Here’s another one, about the orientation (in this case, the goal-to-goal direction) of Premier League pitches.
You’ll see that back in the olden days, when stadiums were within a community, there is no evident rhyme or reason for their orientation; seemingly just plonked down on a spare bit of land. The eight modern stadiums, (Arsenal, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Reading, Sunderland, and Wigan Athletic – all built since 1994) all have a fairly similar orientation. In fact, a quick look on Google Earth at all of the stadiums built in the last 20 years by clubs in the three lower divisions reveal the same thing in all but a couple of cases.
I had a quick chat with my mate John, (who knows an amazing amount of stuff about football; ask him who was Albania’s most-capped player, and he’d probably be able to tell you without an ‘umm’ or an ‘aah’) and we came to the conclusion that it’s probably something to do with getting the most amount of sunlight possible onto the grass, while still having big stands for lots of paying customers.