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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Who is the J. League's Most Successful Team? 2014

Barry Barry writes

With the last game of 2013 played, it's time to update the Japan's all time league table.
Points are awarded as follows, with continental cups counted, but show-piece super cups not.

League title: 3 Points
League runners up: 1 Point
Cup win: 2 Points
Cup runners up: .5 Points
Relegation: -1 Point
Time spent in lower division: -.5 per year

Time spent in a lower division is counted for 2014, so here you go, the official list of Japan's most successful club teams:

1) Kashima Antlers 41.5
Jubilo Iwata 21.5
3) Yokohama F. Marinos 20
4) Urawa Red Diamonds 14
Tokyo Verdy 12
 -) Gamba Osaka 12
7) S-PULSE 11

8) Nagoya Grampus 10
9) Kashiwa Reysol 7

 -) Sanfrecce Hiroshima 7
11) FC Tokyo 5
12) Kawasaki Frontale 4.5

They didn't win anything this season for what feels like the first time in an age, but Kashima remain untouchable. The biggest change is back to back champions Hiroshima finally climbing into the top ten. Relegations have held them back so far, but two league titles is a huge achievement and is reflected in their jump up the rankings. Yokohama, who very nearly did the double this season, gain ground on Iwata. The the latter's relegation saw them drop points.

I seemed to have had Nagoya calculated one point short, so apologies and I've rectified that, although it makes no difference to the rankings. No increase for S-Pulse, but expect that to change next season! To quote the club's slogan from 2008, We Believe. :)

With the new league system from 2015 it'll be increasingly hard to calculate this table. In the 2 stage era of old, stage one and two played each other for the title. This gave us an understandable, if not perfect, way to decide the most successful teams. From 2015 we have three stages, with the third being comprised of anything up to five teams. The champions could easily be a team who finished second after 17 games, then bottom after the second 17. Yep, for all the other problems with the new system, it also screws up this table. What a shame.