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   League of Shirts > 2012   Subscribe: @leagueofshirts


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League of Shirts 2012

Unimaginable excitement here in our beachside control tower as the fourth season of the Summer League of Shirts kicks off.  The rules are unchanged, though we have increased the number of locations in which shirts are counted, which should give a more representative reflection of football tastes across Europe.

The rules
The rules are very simple.  Points are awarded for each shirt of a football team observed on Italian beaches and in various French tourist locations during the summer months.  One shirt, one point.  Unofficial gear is excluded. National team shirts are excluded. Anything unrecognisable (after reasonable efforts to identify it) is excluded. Bonus points can be awarded at the discretion of the League of Shirts Board. Teams tieing on the same number of points will be ranked by criteria based on the long-term financial sustainability of the club without massive injections of cash from financial backers (ie: clubs that are more self-supporting from their own revenues will be marked up), and a second tie-breaker based on style of play may also be used. Of course we don't have much of this info on the beach, so these criteria are fairly loose. 

Anyway, our decisions are final. Those are the rules.

What's new
Our new spotting locations should mean we get an even greater array of shirts and colours from across Europe this year. Can Inter clinch a third successive title?  Can Barcelona recover from their remarkable collapse in 2011? Will previous runners-up Bayern and Chelsea finally break through? Or will the French and Italians finally start wearing shirts and surprise us all?

The league tables for each week of the 2012 season will appear below.

Follow us
You can also follow us on
Facebook and Twitter, and check in here on our Larpnet site for the first news on the new table each week.  More than 1000 followers across 20 countries so far, astonishingly.  


Summer 2012  -  Week 5

2012 League Round-up: barca champions for a second time, Chelsea remain perpetual runners-up. Arsenal up to 4th, while Inter sink to 4th. The top 10:

10th – Orlando Pirates (2 points)   Bhakashushu Happy People! The Bucs are the second team from outside Europe to finish in the top 10, and the first from Africa. And they finish 20 places above their local Sowetto rivals the Kaizers.

 9th – Manchester United (3 points)  Well it had to happen – after near invisibility last year, and missing out on the Premiership title, the reds are back in our top 10, and this season even Robin van Persie will be wearing their shirt.

 8th – Norwich City (3 points).  Norwich made a fantastic return to the Premiership last year, finishing 12th only two years after playing league 1 football, their lowest point in 50 years. Not quite as high as their 4th place in last year’s League of Shirts, but still at the top of the table. 

7th - Cagliari (4 points) – with a late surge, the Rossoblu remain at the top of the table, and it was good to see some support for the local team, even though Italians tend not to wear football shirts as much as northern Europeans. We hope Cagliari can build on their 15th place finish in Serie A in 2011-12.

 6th – Bayern München (5 points) – a slightly weaker League of Shirts finish than last year, though in a stronger competition, Bayern nevertheless finish in a good position. Perhaps we will see them challenging for the title again next year, in the League of Shirts as in the Bundesliga.

 5th - Paris Saint-Germain (6 points) – PSG’s first appearance since the inaugural league has earned them 5th place. PSG narrowly missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Montpellier on the final day of the season. With big spending this year under wealthy new owners, could PSG be Ligue 1’s Manchester City?

 4th - Internazionale Milano (6 points) – last year’s League of Shirts champions surprisingly slip back to 4th this year, though on shirts spotted this year they were way ahead of Serie A champions Juventus. Good luck Inter in Serie A for 2012-13.

 3rd – Arsenal (9 points) – a late surge for Arsenal puts them in 3rd place this year, a massive improvement on last year’s 7th place with just 2 points. Even without Robin Van Persie, and even with those horrible purple away shirts, Arsenal is an iconic global brand.

 2nd – Chelsea (10 points) – this massive haul of 10 points for Chelsea would have won the League of Shirts last year. But even that wasn’t enough to lift them out of their perpetual runners-up slot. This is the third time Chelsea have come second in the League of Shirts.

 1st – CHAMPIONS – Barcelona (12 points) – A record dozen points sees Barcelona crowned League of Shirts Champions for the second time.  Half that total won them the inaugural championship in 2009. They may have lost out in La Liga to arch-rivals Real Madrid, but as Dani Alves said yesterday: “We're still the team to beat”.   That’s certainly true in the League of Shirts. Congratulations FC Barcelona and their shirt-wearing fans right across Europe.

Here's the full table:

League position   Points
1 Barcelona 12
2 Chelsea 10
3 Arsenal 9
4 Internazionale Milano 6
5 Paris Saint-Germain 6
6 Bayern München 5
7 Cagliari 4
8 Norwich City 3
9 Manchester United 3
10 Orlando Pirates 2
11 Juventus 2
12 Atlético Mineiro 2
13 Porto Torres 2
14 Liverpool 2
15 Tottenham Hotspur 1
16 Botafogo 1
17   AS Saint-Etienne 1
18 Celtic 1
19 Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense 1
20 Eintracht Frankfurt 1
21 Valencia 1
22 Genoa 1
23 Napoli 1
24 St Pauli 1
25 Leyton Orient 1
26 West Ham United 1
27 Sandefjord 1
28 ASCC Chernoviz Passy 1
29 Queen's Park Rangers 1
30 Kaizer Chiefs 1
31 Galatasaray 1
32 Fenerbahçe 1
33 Bursaspor 1
34 Fulham 1
35 Independente Medellín 1
36 Notts County 1
37 AC Milan 1

Summer 2012  -  Week 4

There's something in it now as Barcelona gain points to go 3 points clear at the top, and Chelsea climb above Arsenal to second place. PSG move up to fourth while - to the deligh of League of Shirts fans worldwide, Norwich add two points to go fifth, locked in battle as last year with Bayern, who also have three points.  Also on three points and Serie A's Inter Milan and Cagliari, in 7th and 8th place respectively.     
Serie A 2011-12 Champions Juventus return to the League in 9th, and our second Brazilian club, Mineiro (CAM) are in 10th.

Plenty of new entrants outside the top 10, bringing the number of teams up to 30, more than in any previous year. The diversity of the clubs we've spotted is much greater, reflecting our extra spotting locations particuarly in Paris - with clubs from South Africa, Turkey and Norway for the first time, and also more clubs from latin America. The points total for the League overall already exceeds the total for last year's final week. 

Three clubs come straight in on two points - around the middle of the table. Juventus start in 9th place, Clube Atlético Mineiro are 10th, and inevitably, after a refreshing no-show last year, Manchester United are back and in 12th place (a lower rank reflecting their debt structure).

Newcomers Sandefjord from Norway's top flight, the Adeccoligaen, are in 21st place with one point. We rarely see shirts from Scandinavian countries - presumably because they take their holidays on their own islands. And also new, in 22nd place, our first non-league side of 2012: ASCC Chernoviz Passy, who run children's and youth teams in local competitions in Paris. 

Now this will be contraversial among one group of Leaue of Shirts followers... after some deliberation to assess whether the shirt we saw related to the football club or the rock band of the same name, the Kaizer Chiefs are admitted to the League, in 24th place. This is a few places behind their arch-rivals, the happy people of the Orlando Pirates, who are in 18th on grounds of better financial sustainability.  It's the Sowetto derby, by other means.    

League position   Points
1 Barcelona 9
2 Chelsea 6
3 Arsenal 5
4 Paris Saint-Germain 4
5 Norwich City 3
6 Bayern München 3
7 Internazionale Milano 3
8 Cagliari 3
9 Juventus 2
10 Atlético Mineiro 2
11 Liverpool 2
12 Manchester United 2
13 Porto Torres 1
14 Botafogo 1
15 Celtic 1
16 Napoli 1
17 St Pauli 1
18 Orlando Pirates 1
19 Leyton Orient 1
20 West Ham United 1
21 Sandefjord 1
22 ASCC Chernoviz Passy 1
23 Queen's Park Rangers 1
24 Kaizer Chiefs 1
25 Galatasaray 1
26 Fenerbahçe 1
27 Bursaspor 1
28 Fulham 1
29 Notts County 1
30 AC Milan 1

Summer 2012  -  Week 3

Chelsea knocked off the top spot with a surge from both Arsenal and Barcelona - leaving all three on 5 points each. Barca top the league on financial sustainability, followed by Arsenal in second, and Chelsea third. Our financial sustainability rule separates teams tied on points, and in general marks down teams which are reletively reliant on being bankrolled by outside funders (such as wealthy individuals or other businesses) rather than living off their own revenues - hence the ranking of this week's top three.

Bayern are up to third on 3 points after a mini-surge of their own in the afternoon around the pool, while Inter slip to 5th, and Cagliari to 6th, reflecting a poor showing by Italian tifosi this week. An extra point was enough to keep Paris Saint-Germain in 7th, with league newcomers Liverpool in 8th with 2 points. With 1 point, Norwich slip to 9th, while local Serie D side Porto Torres appear again in 10th. 

We have our first American club of the year: in 11th we welcome Botafogo of Brazil's Série A, a club from a stunning part of Rio de Janeiro and who play in Rio's Olympic Stadium.  And we also welcome to the League our first ever African team - Johannesburg-based Orlando Pirates of South Africa's Premier Soccer League, this week in 16th place with 1 point.

Finally, our third team from Turkey's Süper Lig, Bursaspor, the Yeşil Beyazlılar or green-whites from the city of Bursa - an industrial but still very green city, which is also the home of the İskender kebab.  Bursaspor won the Süper Lig in 2010 becoming only the second team from outside Istanbul to do so. Bursaspor are 21st in this week's League of Shirts.
League position   Points
1 Barcelona 5
2 Arsenal 5
3 Chelsea 5
4 Bayern München 3
5 Internazionale Milano 3
6 Cagliari 3
7 Paris Saint-Germain 3
8 Liverpool 2
9 Norwich City 1
10 Porto Torres 1
11 Botafogo 1
12 Celtic 1
13 Napoli 1
14 St Pauli 1
15 Leyton Orient 1
16 Orlando Pirates 1
17 West Ham United 1
18 Queen's Park Rangers 1
19 Galatasaray 1
20 Fenerbahçe 1
21 Bursaspor 1
22 Fulham 1
23 Notts County 1
24 AC Milan 1

Summer 2012  -  Week 2

After being in second or third place for most of the last few years, Chelsea finally made it to the top spot this week, well ahead of the rest on 5 points. Next come Barcelona and Inter on 3 points, together with 'local' Sardinian Serie A side Cagliari. Paris Saint-Germain make the top 5 for the first time with 2 points, pushing Norwich City into 6th, still on 1 point. All the others are on a point each: Bayern München return to the league in 7th, Arsenal in 8th, League newcomers Celtic in 9th, and Napoli 10th.

St Pauli head the bottom half in 11th, and they are followed by a remarkable bunch of four clubs from London - League 1's Leyton Orient (12th), Premiership returnees West Ham (13th), Queen's Park Rangers (14th) and Fulham (17th). We warmly welcome our first Turkish league sides - Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe - in 15th and 16th respectively.

League position   Points
1 Chelsea 5
2 Barcelona 3
3 Internazionale Milano 3
4 Cagliari 3
5 Paris Saint-Germain 2
6 Norwich City 1
7 Bayern München 1
8 Arsenal 1
9 Celtic 1
10 Napoli 1
11 St Pauli 1
12 Leyton Orient 1
13 West Ham United 1
14 Queen's Park Rangers 1
15 Galatasaray 1
16 Fenerbahçe 1
17 Fulham 1
18 Notts County 1
19 AC Milan 1

Summer 2012  -  Week 1

A familiar look to the top of the table. Current champions Internazionale top the table, followed by last season's runners up and Champion's League winners Chelsea in second - the only clubs with two points. All the others are on a point each, ranked broadly by financial sustainability - led by Barcelona in third, and Premiership side Norwich City in fourth.  Like Inter and Chelsea, Norwich start in exactly the same position as they finished the 2011 season.

In fifth, newcomers to the League of Shirts, we're delighted to see German Kult counterculture and anti-fascist legends the pirates of St Pauli, who narrowly missed out on promotion back to the Bundeliga last season.

Napoli are 6th, followed by newcomers West Ham in 7th - great to have the Hammers back in the Premiership. Local Sardinian Serie A side Cagliari Calcio are 9th, followed by Paris Saint-Germain, absent from the league since 2009 but now heavily bankrolled from the Middle East, and therefore with a sustainability penalty. Both Napoli and Cagliari were in the top 10 at the end of last season.

More English clubs follow - Queens Park Rangers in 10th, clung onto their Premiership status last season.  Notts County are recovering from a bad patch in which they were taken up and shaken out by a Middle Eastern investment company, and are our only 3rd tier club in Week 1. We're delighted to have them in the league. In 12th place in week 1 - AC Milan, restored to the League after their expulsion last year as a result of Silvio Berlusconi's expulsion from national office.  But he still owns the club, so AC Milan languish at the bottom of the League of Shirts.

League position   Points
1 Internazionale Milano 2
2 Chelsea 2
3 Barcelona 1
4 Norwich City 1
5 St Pauli 1
6 Napoli 1
7 West Ham United 1
8 Cagliari 1
9 Paris Saint-Germain 1
10 Queen's Park Rangers 1
11 Notts County 1
12 AC Milan 1

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