Friday 23 November 2012

Premier League Poverty?

The financial health of the English Premier League is a regular topic of discussion. No matter how you look at it, the sums of money involved in the operation of Premier League teams are immense and it looks even more striking when you consider the locations of their stadia - typically in the most deprived areas of England. This is related to a number of factors (e.g. history, land values), but in my work on neighbourhood deprivation and mapping I've noticed a common trend over the years so I decided to look at the location of all 20 current Premier League teams in England and how deprived their local area is, using the Government's official measure of deprivation (the IMD*). The maps below show each team and its area's deprivation rank within England, where 1 = most deprived and 32,482 = least deprived. Shading: red = poorest 20% of areas in England, yellow = next poorest 20%, and so on... Liverpool is most deprived and Fulham least. See below for more.

Arsenal - IMD 4,432 
Aston Villa - IMD 479

Chelsea - IMD 5,483

Everton - 1,070

Fulham - IMD 19,076

Liverpool - IMD 219

Manchester City - IMD 599

Manchester United - IMD 10,235

Newcastle United - 18,570/6,582 (split)

Norwich - IMD 12,253

Reading - IMD 6,843

Southampton - IMD 855

Spurs - IMD 950

Stoke - IMD 2,171

Sunderland - IMD 6,291

Swansea - WIMD 374

West Brom - IMD 1,619

West Ham - IMD 3,593

Wigan - IMD 429

QPR - IMD 7,848

In Newcastle, the stadium is split between two areas, so I have given the deprivation ranks for both areas. The English Indices of Deprivation obviously only cover England so I have included a map for Swansea which uses the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation figure from 2011. More on that in a previous post. Similar patterns exist in Scotland, as you can see from the bottom part of this 2009 post. What does this tell us that we didn't already know? Not much, but it does provide some hard data and an overview of the contrast between the wealth of clubs and the poverty of many local areas they are located in.

* The English Indices of Deprivation 2010 are used here. They rank each of the 32,482 Lower Layer Super Output Areas of England from most deprived (a rank of 1) to least deprived (a rank of 32,482), taking into account such things as income, employment, education and health. There was a similar piece of analysis in Regeneration and Renewal in 2009 but this looked at the local authority areas only and not the specific location of stadia.