Jump to content

User:Oldelpaso/On Football

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page is an attempt to provide advice for editing articles about football clubs. It is intended to supplement the WikiProject Football style guide for club articles, and was inspired by the brilliant copyediting advice given at User:Tony1/How to satisfy Criterion 1a.

The advice given here is based on my opinion of what makes a good football club article, and is not in any way intended as a ruleset.

The Lead[edit]

The opening section of should provide a summary of the article in two or three paragraphs. See Wikipedia:Lead section for the relevant section of the Manual of Style. When writing the lead, it is useful to think "What is the most essential information about this club?" What sets the club apart from FC Boring? For all clubs, the lead should state where the club play (both town and stadium), when the club were founded, what major honours the club have won (or in the absence of any major honours, the best league or cup performance the club have achieved) and the league the club currently play in.


The history should be the first subsection. It is usually the first section in a football club article to reach a reasonable level of comprehensiveness. Remember to cite sources for statements which could be challenged. Think long and hard before creating a History of Example F.C. daughter article; any improvements required in this section will probably need doing on the history article too, increasing the workload.


A good football club article should contain a brief overview of the stadiums a club has played in, without going into excessive detail. If the article about a club's stadium is larger than a stub, use WP:Summary style to bring together the main points from the stadium article. For articles about stadiums in Britain, I apply the "Inglis test" when reviewing. Any article about a stadium in England aiming for GA/FA ought to reference at least one book by Simon Inglis, whose "Football Grounds of Great Britain" is the definitive history of the subject for anything built before the Taylor Report.

Common weaknesses[edit]

This section lists some common weaknesses found in football club articles, and how to avoid them.

  • Recentism. Many football club articles, particularly in History sections, have a tendency to describe events from recent seasons in exhaustive detail, but skim over earlier events. Wikipedia:Recentism is an interesting essay about the pros and cons of recentism.
  • Listcruft. Some football club articles consist of a body of prose, usually dominated by a History section, followed by a series of lists. An example of this is given by a version of Blackburn Rovers F.C. from April 2007. Sometimes lists are the best way of presenting information clearly. However, generally speaking prose is preferable to a list. (See Wikipedia:Embedded list for a couple of good examples). Consider the audience for the article - Wikipedia is intended to be accessible to the general reader. While Statto would enjoy perusing lists of football facts, someone with only a basic grasp of the sport may well find them confusing.
  • Is and Are. Varieties of English vary as to whether or not they use plurals when referring to sports teams. It's not important which approach is used, but ensure that usage is consistent throughout. Avoid following this example, which uses both singular and plural in the same sentence: "Middlesbrough Football Club are an English football club, commonly known as The Boro, that currently plays in the FA Premier League."
  • Writing from a fan's point of view. When writing about the club you support, it is natural to use language which implies emotional attachment, but doing so does not provide a neutral point of view. For example, do not say that a club was "unfortunately relegated" - no club is ever fortunate to be relegated! Every set of supporters regards themselves as loyal and passionate, so describing fans as passionate is fairly meaningless.
  • Beware of using weasel words or peacock terms. Take the following passage: Sunderland won the game thanks to an amazing double save by Jimmy Montgomery to deny Peter Lorimer, described by many as the greatest save at Wembley, and by some even as the greatest save of all time. Why was the save amazing? Who are the "many" and the "some"?[1]
  1. ^ Sunderland fans, at a guess