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Report 7: Football League Record by Decade

'Miscellaneous Reports' is an ever-growing collection of pages that reflect broad aspects of Argyle's playing history. If you have an idea for another, please get in touch.



1. This report compares Argyle's playing record by decade. Note that the numbers are based on match dates, so some seasons appear across two decades.

2.  The average home attendance gives a reasonable indication of a successful team, although oddly, the best attended period coincides with some of the worst results. These were the post-WW2 years, when football was hugely popular after many years of austerity.

3. A better indication of success is the proportion of games won. The green, yellow and grey bars illustrate the percentage of games in that decade that were won, drawn and lost (detailed figures appear when you hover on a bar). 

4. The blue bars need some explanation. A simple total of points is not much use when comparing seasons because the number of games varies. The average points per game (using 3 points for a win in all cases) is a better indicator, i.e. total points divided by total games. However, most would agree that a win in a higher division is more impressive than in a lower one, so without some form of a weighting, we still don't get a true view. The blue bars are the result of applying a weighting factor of 1.2 in favour of each higher division. (continued in next column)

So how does this work? A win in tier-4 gets 3 points, a win in tier-3 gets 1.2 x 3 points and a win in tier-2 gets 1.2 x 1.2 x 3 points. This method is also used for draws. Thus a record in a higher tier is given more weight than a similar one lower down. Of course the big question is what should that factor be? How much better is each tier compared with the next lower one? The report starts with a factor of 1.2 but to be honest, it's a guess. And by the way, reducing the factor to 1 is the same as no weighting, so the bars reduce to the actual points gained.

You can change the weighting factor here: (between 1 and 2).

Like the bars in the previous column, detailed figures appear when you hover on a a blue bar.

5. So what are the best and worst decades? From the number of games won, the 1920s is the best, but this was in tier-3. With a small rise in the weighting factor, the 1930's soon comes into its own. The worst season is a close-run thing; at least using the default weighting. Despite the high attendances, the four seasons in the 1940s were not the best, nor were the 1990s, but it's the latter case that takes the wooden spoon if you raise the weighting factor.

Decade Seasons in Tiers Average
Top Player This
Hover in cell for top 10
 Won  Drawn  Lost  Ratios
Hover in cell for values
Weighted average points
per game
(see note 4)
Hover in cell for values
1 2 3 4
1920-290010012,129Starts: F.Craig (352)
Goals: J.Leslie (75)
1930-39090017,609Starts: S.Black (270)
Goals: S.Black (76)
1940-49040023,075Starts: W.Shortt (139)
Goals: W.Strauss (30)
1950-59055018,894Starts: P.Jones (313)
Goals: M.Tadman (58)
1960-69082013,732Starts: J.Newman (298)
Goals: W.Carter (50)
1970-7902809,875Starts: K.Hore (245)
Goals: P.Mariner (47)
1980-8904607,271Starts: K.Hodges (390)
Goals: T.Tynan (94)
1990-9902536,736Starts: M.Barlow (281)
Goals: M.Evans (35)
2000-09062211,070Starts: P.Wotton (286)
Goals: P.Wotton (48)
2010-1900168,114Starts: C.Nelson (209)
Goals: R.Reid (36)
All040391112,100Starts: K.Hodges (502)
Goals: S.Black (146)

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