A recent study was conducted, with the aim of finding out who the various clubs in the Football League and Premier League’s fans believed their biggest rivals were.
The study was called “The League of Love And Hate” with twitter user @ChrisRWhiting publishing the results.
Rochdale’s biggest rivals with 74% of votes were deemed as Bury which will be little surprise to no one who follows either club. Rochdale and Bury historically have had many games between the sides due to both sides often playing at the same level. Bury vs Rochdale was also voted the 30th biggest rivalry in the Premier League and Football league the same data.
With Bury’s exodus from the league this season, the derby will be sorely missed on fans from either club’s calendars. The hope is that Bury gets back to where they belong soon.
Oldham was voted 2nd by 72% which is largely due to the geographical proximity of the clubs. However, Oldham has spent a great deal of recent history in leagues above Rochdale. This led to a derby fixture between the sides quite the rarity but one that was looked forward to all the same, despite how cold Boundary Park could be.
Burnley came in at 3rd, with 56% of fans asked voting for them which again is probably largely down to how close Burnley is to Rochdale. There always used to be in trouble in the games vs Burnley. Of course, now there’s 2 leagues that separate the sides, making a reunion only possible through a cup draw.
Wigan at 4th with 46% is a strange one for me as I don’t really see Wigan as rivals, to be honest, and never have. The clubs often play against each other at youth level but in recent history, the first teams have been in different leagues most of the time.
Finally, Accrington came in at 5th with 37% of people asked voting. The club has enjoyed many a game recently. With the added factor that Accrington’s manager John Coleman left the Crown Ground for a brief spell in charge of Rochdale – which ultimately led to relegation and a failure to compete for promotion and cost him his job.
I would easily replace Wigan with Halifax on the list, as Halifax was a regular derby a long time ago before they suffered their financial troubles and now call the National League their home.