Facts, Stats and Stadionbier: The Little Bundesliga Book

I have always been a keen student of Bundesliga statistics, as readers of the Fanatic may well know. Sometime during the summer I had been in the middle of putting together another small number-crunching project about FC Bayern’s trophy cabinet, only to transform it into something else completely. Inspired by a little pocket book from Baedecker containing a series of infographics about Bavaria, I had the idea of turning some of the names and numbers from raw text into pretty graphs and diagrams.

At first it was just meant to be a small feature on FC Bayern. A graphical representation of their domestic trophy catalogue, along with a couple of other random facts. Then, it all snowballed. I quite liked the look of my creation, and despite my being a relative amateur in the world of graphic design I allowed things to take their own course. Before long, I had created similar pages for a couple of other Bundesliga clubs.

Very quickly, I had designed what would be the first of a set of four “cards”. A little map marking the club ground, details about the stadium, and some lighthearted trivia including the number of “likes” on Facebook. When I had completed all eighteen 1. Bundesliga clubs, it was not much of a leap to extend this to the 2. Bundesliga as well. It was rather pleasant flicking through the thirty-six completed cards, and it was at that point things turned in another direction.

The Little Bundesliga Book was born.

The first card was followed by another more complex design, providing a range of historical statistics. Non-domestic honours, biggest victories and defeats, most points and goals, record transfer fee and a lot more. Then there were more fun bits, such as a random line from Stadionanthem and the brand of beer sold at the ground. It was also pointed out to me that this second set of thirty-six cards would make the perfect “Top Trumps” style game.

By now the ideas were flooding through, and the last two cards covering the previous season for each of the three dozen top flight clubs just came naturally. In one small book, there was everything you needed to know without having to trawl through your monochrome kicker Almanach. Everything any Bundesliga fan would ever want, all in one little pocket book.

The result of all of this endeavour was a perfect 144 cards, ready to be converted into a PDF and sent off to a printer – pending a few more tweaks and adjustments along the way.

The cut and paste trophy images were replaced with custom graphics as I delved deeper into the world of graphic design, as I gradually started to inch towards the finish line.

Then came the cover design, where I went just a little bit crazy.

At the moment, the almost-complete set of cards and cover items is sitting on my computer. I have already spoken to a printer for both the A6-sized picket book and another specialist about the set of cards. It’s now a matter of making the numbers work, and for this I set up a campaign on Kickstarter.

The cover design.
The cover design.

Knowing that just a couple of thousand Bundesliga fans from across the world can make the Little Bundesliga Book a reality for the price of a piece of cake and a cup of coffee, it’s now just a matter of pushing things out as hard as I can and waiting for a positive response – with the help of my friends at the Bundesliga Fanatic and our wonderful readers, of course.

You can find out more about the Little Bundesliga Book project at www.bulibook.com, and follow the progress on the dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages. Now, the big one. If you too want to see the book make every Bundesliga fan’s bookshelf, you can back the book on Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1562765/the-little-bundesliga-book

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London-based but with his heart firmly in Fröttmaning, Rick Joshua's love of German football goes back more than thirty years and has witnessed everything from the pain of Spain '82 and the glory of Italia '90 to the sheer desolation of Euro 2000. This has all been encapsulated in the encyclopaedic Schwarz und Weiß website and blog, which at some three hundred or so pages is still not complete. Should you wish to disturb him, you can get in touch with Rick on Twitter @fussballchef. This carries a double meaning, as he can prepare a mean Obazda too.