The geography of London football
From the mammoths in the middle to the minnows on the margins
Generalising very loosely, the recent geographical distribution of London football clubs by league division looks something like the graphic on the right. Thus, London’s most consistently successful clubs tend to be located relatively centrally, north of the river. Spurs are the farthest flung exception to this rule.
Conversely, a location just inside the Greater London boundary is usually an indicator of non-league status. Barnet had managed to avoid dropping out of League Two in recent years but it was often a close-run thing – and they finally lost the battle on the last day of the 2012–13 season. The freshly relegated Bees will be crossing the borough border into Harrow from the start of the 2013–14 season, when they will take up residence at a new stadium called The Hive, located south of Canons Park.
Hoping to disprove the ‘central is better’ theorem, Leyton Orient are reportedly considering relocating close to the eastern edge of London in response to West Ham United’s planned – and now approved – move into the Olympic Stadium (shown in the computer-generated image below).
Greater London’s top football clubs – mapped and listed
The map above shows the ground locations for all the London clubs in the top six tiers of English football – although in the 2012–13 season there were no London clubs in the fifth tier, the Conference Premier, officially known as the Blue Square Bet Premier. The black lines on the map are borough boundaries. (After mouseover the map changes to a satellite version.)
The map also shows the locations of:
- The 2012 Olympic Stadium – which is likely to become the home of West Ham United in 2016
- Wembley Stadium – the home of English football
- Battersea power station (represented by a jagged-topped icon on the map and visible at the corner of the stadium in the artist’s impression, right), where Chelsea had hoped to relocate, though there now seems almost no chance of this.
These are the 19 London clubs mapped above, listed alphabetically within each division:
|Barclays Premier League||Arsenal||Emirates Stadium|
|Barclays Premier League||Chelsea||Stamford Bridge|
|Barclays Premier League||Fulham||Craven Cottage|
|Barclays Premier League||Queens Park Rangers||Loftus Road|
|Barclays Premier League||Tottenham Hotspur||White Hart Lane|
|Barclays Premier League||West Ham United||Boleyn Ground, Upton Park|
|npower Championship||Charlton Athletic||The Valley|
|npower Championship||Crystal Palace||Selhurst Park|
|npower Championship||Millwall||New Den Stadium|
|npower League One||Brentford||Griffin Park|
|npower League One||Leyton Orient||Matchroom Stadium, Brisbane Road|
|npower League Two||AFC Wimbledon||Cherry Red Records Stadium||npower League Two||Barnet||Underhill Stadium|
|npower League Two||Dagenham & Redbridge||Victoria Road|
|Blue Square Bet South||AFC Hornchurch||Bridge Avenue|
|Blue Square Bet South||Bromley||Hayes Lane|
|Blue Square Bet South||Hayes and Yeading United||Kingfield Stadium, Woking (temporary)|
|Blue Square Bet South||Sutton United||Borough Sports Ground, Gander Green Lane|
|Blue Square Bet South||Welling United||Park View Road|