I had a bit of time on my hands today and like you do, started wondering about the names of football teams, or to be more precise their suffixes: City, United, Albion and the like. 10 minutes later, by the combined power of Google and MS Excel, I had in my hands a list.
Taking the top five tiers from the Premier League to the Conference Premier the most popular team name was ‘Town’ as in Huddersfield Town, Swindon Town and Braintree Town. In total 17 teams were named ‘Town’. Second most popular was ‘United’ as in Leeds United, Manchester United and Sheffield United, which accounted for 15 teams. Completing the top three was ‘City’ with this suffix being sported by no fewer than 14 clubs. Outside of this pack Rovers in fourth place mustered a mere five clubs, with Athletic on four and Albion, County and Wanderers all on three.
Where this gets interesting though is if we compare the distribution of the teams named ‘Town’ and ‘City’
As we can see there is a clear pattern here with clubs named ‘City’ more represented in the higher divisions and those named ‘Town’ better represented in the lower divisions. The explanation, of course, would seem to be that clubs from large settlements (i.e Cities) are more likely to possess the support and resources necessary to be successful at the top level compared to clubs from smaller settlements (i.e Towns). Stating the obvious perhaps, but still interesting nonetheless.