It’s not hard to work out Boro’s standing in the English pyramid – but what about the global game? It is a question the greatest thinkers and scholars have wrestled with since the dawn of time. By which, we mean 1976. It piqued our interest after a flutter of tweets (or whatever they’re now called) proclaiming the international stature of clubs such as Coventry City and Bolton Wanderers. And it’s all down to something called the Opta Power Rankings.
The upshot? We now have a mechanism that compares Boro’ with the rest of the world.
What are the Opta Power Rankings?
No matter what Carlisle United fans might have you believe, attendances are not the single metric by which a football club’s stature is determined. With. the Opta Power Rankings, you have a system that hands more than 13,000 domestic teams an “ability score”. It all starts at zero (Woking, presumably) and goes up to 100 (Manchester City as of 12 September 2023). As you probably know, Opta have a lot of data at their fingertips. And it’s all piled into this.
As an aside, Opta’s data ranked our win at Aston Villa as the fourth-biggest upset during the 2022-3 FA Cup. Anyway, the point is that a lot of numbers are crunched in the rankings.
Boro’s place in the Opta Power Ranking
So, the rankings are updated daily (it seems). We don’t know how wild fluctuations could be on a daily basis, if we’re being honest. But the data we’re using is from 12 September 2023 – just in case you find something different should you go looking. For us at the time of writing, therefore, we can see that Boro’ are 649th in the world with a rating of 70.2. This puts us on a par with Bohemians 1905 from Czechia and Dinamo Tbilisi from Georgia.
The Europa Conference League?
In the cases of the Sky Blues and Trotters mentioned at the start respectively, comparisons were made between their ranking and those of the 32 sides in the group stage of this year’s Europa Conference League. We don’t rank as strongly as either of our fellow English clubs in that respect. But we do outrank two ECL competitors, according to the Opta Power Rankings – namely Aberdeen (SCO) and Spartak Trnava (SVK).
Us compared to other League One sides
Now, the all-important question perhaps – where do we rank in comparison with our fellow League One clubs? And can it give us any insight into where we may finish this season? Well, our current performance puts us in 12th; just above Oxford United, and just below Wycombe Wanderers. And that’s not too shabby. Carlisle rank 22nd, Leyton Orient are in 19th, and our friends up the road at Northampton Town are 17th. Oh, and Cambridge United are 15th.
Before we wrap up (and because we can), the power rankings do go as far down as the non-league scene. So, it’d be rude not to check in on what Barnet, Woking, and Hitchin Town are doing. As you asked, the answer is 3128th, 3345th, and 10,059th.
And there have it. The Opta Power Rankings now conclusively – and objectively – show that Boro’ are MASSIVE. OK, there are still plenty of clubs ahead of us around the world. But look at how our historic rivals are left eating our dust; how those who mock our attendances are wallowing below us in the grand scheme of things. It’s further proof that Boro’ are a club on the up. Mind you, it’ll look different if we lose any time soon – so enjoy it for what it is now!
Main Photo: Stevenage FC