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The table below summarises the relative confidence (or lack of) of Division One supporters at the start of play. As ever, the results are sensitive to timing... surveying the Watford masses after the influx of signings might have yielded more positive voting. In any case, with 20 set of supporters anticipating a top-half finish, a lot of people are in for disappointment...

                         VOTES        MEAN PRED
 1    Manchester City      19           1.22
 2    Birmingham City      27           2.41
 3    Wimbledon            33           2.88
 4    Preston North End    28           3.11
 5    Wolves               41           3.38
 6    Bradford City        29           3.41
 7    Watford              92           3.63
 8    Barnsley             25           4.83
 9    West Brom            39           4.92
10    Coventry City        25           5.52
11    Sheffield United     43           6.07
12    Nottingham Forest    23           6.68
13    Burnley              21           7.05
14    Crystal Palace       49           7.21
15    Millwall             30           8.50
16    Portsmouth           31          10.00
17    Norwich City         25          10.08
18    Sheffield Wednesday  26          10.19
19    Crewe Alexandra      22          10.91
20    Gillingham           26          11.76
21    Stockport County     35          12.89
22    Rotherham United     36          14.67
23    Grimsby Town         31          15.39
24    Walsall              27          16.15

TOTAL                     784           7.31

The Perfect Table
The table below summarises the pet hates and sympathies of Division One supporters by standardising each club's votes to a weight of 25 and then summing. Thus, a club with 25 correspondents has the votes added straight into the pile, whilst a club from which 50 responses were received will have its votes halved. From Watford, for example, the number of votes for relegation for each club according to the Hornet's support is multiplied by 25/92=0.272. Clear ? Good.

The biggest question mark has to be over the apparent popularity of Watford... logic dictates that many supporters ethically opposed to the Hornets would not have bothered to complete the survey, hence the vote is biased in our favour. Millwall, unsurprisingly, is the least popular away trip whilst the City Ground was the only venue not to receive a single vote. Manchester City, with 339 votes either up or down, attracted the most interest. Norwich, with only 17 in total, comfortably the greatest apathy. Good to see Preston's part in the end-of-season comedy being recognised by the masses.

                               UP     DOWN     TRIP    POINTS                   
  1    Preston North End     66.6     38.5      7.7      28.1
  2    Crewe Alexandra       64.5     37.4     17.4      27.1
  3    Coventry City         62.5     41.0      3.1      21.5
  4    Watford               34.1     12.9      4.0      21.2
  5    Nottm.Forest          27.3     25.3      0.0       1.9
  6    Norwich City           7.5      8.0     13.8      -0.5
  7    Rotherham United      49.3     50.1     17.7      -0.8
  8    Wimbledon             22.5     48.8     33.8     -26.3
  9    Walsall               26.6     53.3     10.2     -26.6
 10    Bradford City          7.8     37.3      4.7     -29.5
 11    Portsmouth             4.9     39.2     55.8     -34.3
 12    Gillingham            11.0     48.5     31.3     -37.5
 13    West Brom             24.8     62.8      2.0     -37.9
 14    Barnsley              12.6     57.8      5.4     -45.2
 15    Burnley               10.7     62.5     10.8     -51.8
 16    Sheffield United       9.9     74.7      4.4     -64.8
 17    Stockport County       5.0     70.0     20.5     -65.0
 18    Grimsby Town          14.5     83.2     98.9     -68.6
 19    Sheffield Wednesday   14.9    104.6      4.3     -89.7
 20    Wolves                23.2    129.1     20.1    -105.9
 21    Crystal Palace         1.0    141.6     41.4    -140.6
 22    Birmingham City       30.5    177.4     34.7    -146.8
 23    Manchester City       57.6    213.0     22.2    -155.3
 24    Millwall              10.5    193.6    114.7    -183.1

 TOTAL                        600     1800      600

Choice Signing/Weakest Link
Lee Hughes was the object of most clubs' desires, with supporters of 22 clubs nominating him as their one to sign. Nottingham Forest and, more predictably, West Brom were the two exceptions. The ginger one was followed by John Hartson (14 clubs), Tommy Mooney and Chris Bart-Williams (each 13 clubs) in the popularity stakes.

The Weakest Link polls were wide-ranging but included (deep breath) 179 different players, 15 areas of teams, 11 Chairmen, 10 Managers, 9 sets of Supporters, 7 Boards of Directors, 6 Coaches/Assistant Managers, 5 Ticket Offices/Admin Staff, 4 Mascots (including both Harry and Harriet), 3 Chief Executives, 2 Ex-Chairmen, 2 Stadia (and one lack thereof), 2 Bank Balances, 2 rival clubs and 2 Referees. There were also votes for one of each of the following: a fitness coach, a Chairman's Brother, an ex-Manager, a Travel Manager, a Director, a Toilet Cleaner, a set of supporters of a nearby Premiership club who play at Old Trafford, a Programme Seller, a set of caterers (guess), a tannoy announcer and a nation (the Norwegians). Supporters of 11 clubs claimed not to have a weakest link, whilst fans of 4 clubs thought everything was wrong and one individual didn't know.

Best Ever Elevens
Worthy of note are Steve Bruce - for making it into three best-ever elevens as well as winning "weakest link" votes from Palace before he's even taken charge of a game, and Stuart Pearce - for being the only person to unanimously claim a position in a best-ever team, no challengers daring to contest the Forest left-back slot. Eighteen candidates were suggested as Palace's best ever right-back, clearly a problem position, including one vote for Dean Austin, the club's "Weakest Link". Birmingham's 23 nominations in midfield, fourteen of whom were nominated once only, are probably also worthy of note. Finally, if anyone were in any doubt regarding the potential of Crewe's Dean Ashton, the fact that he gained two votes more than the next most popular nominee for the all-time team from this fabled production line speaks volumes. Is he seventeen yet...?

Favourite Slaters
Manchester City fans, deep in Corrie country, expressed the highest degree of indifference to this category, followed closely by fellow Lancastrians Stockport and Burnley. The vast majority of Stuart's support came in Watford, unsurprisingly, although he did gather 15 votes from elsewhere. Zoe found favour in Barnsley, Norwich and Nottingham with one third of correspondents at each club voting for her. Kat, Lynn, Little Mo and Big Mo find their fanclubs in Norwich, Grimsby, Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.

Overall, Zoe won the most votes (165) followed by Kat (143), Stuart (65), Little Mo (46), Big Mo (31) and Lynn (13). 275 obviously don't watch the right telly.

Most popularly received by Gillingham (who are virtually French anyway) and Norwich (where Delia's influence is clearly rubbing off), Aubergines were utterly rejected by the Yorkshire vote, the five Yorkshire clubs being the five with the lowest rate of acceptance in the division.

Walsall take the pie-eating crown, with an average of over 15 pies per supporter per season. If I was being really arsey I'd allow for the greater number of games Walsall fans saw. But I'm not. PNE and Pompey trailed in the Saddlers' wake. More revealingly Wimbledon and Palace came in 24th and 23rd respectively in terms of pie consumption... a message for the caterers at Selhurst, perhaps ?

Living Rooms
PNE proudly boast the messiest living rooms, followed by Walsall. This paints a clear enough picture of our respondents from these clubs, who were also the highest pie consumers. Half of PNE's respondents likened their living rooms to Wembley Stadium... Pompey's vote may have been biased by the use of Steve Claridge as one possible response category. West Brom and Sheff U fans claim to have the tidiest living rooms.

Burnley fans were fondest of the sunny months, followed by Barnsley and Coventry, who can be excused for having had quite enough of the football season. Birmingham and Forest claimed to enjoy the summer the least.

Gillingham were Cricket's biggest advocates, followed by Bradford and Coventry. Stockport were the only side where less than half the respondents voted in favour, which is as good a commendation for Stockport as I can think of. Except the McVities factory...