Less Man United fans up north than down south, research finds

There are more Man Utd fans in London than Manchester according to new research by Virgin Media.

The findings were released ahead of the Premier League’s return this weekend. 18% of Manchester United fans are based in the capital, while only 14% are from Manchester itself.

This proves a well-established football fan theory that there are more Manchester United fans in London than in Manchester.

The case is similar for their north west rivals Liverpool too, with 14% of the club’s fans based in London, compared to 13% in Merseyside.

The insightful survey found around half of all fans (55%) support their local team with the average football fan living 83 miles from the team they support.

Liverpool fans live furthest away from their club, with fans living an average of 129 miles away, more than double the distance for Aston Villa fans from Villa Park (52 miles).

The research comes as Virgin Media offers fans a convenient way to watch football this season with their Sky package.

The sports bundle allows football fans to keep up to date on their favourite football club when not being able to visit their favourite football club.

Watching football on the television will appeal to those fans supporting teams a long way from home.

More than a fifth of football fans (21%) admit that they have never even been to the ground of their team and nearly half (44%) get mocked by their mates for this.

On average, fans will travel 396 miles to watch their team six times over the course of a season. Everton fans will watch the most games in real life, on average watching nine games per season while Tottenham fans will watch the least (two).

Almost a third of fans say that watching football matches on TV is great because of the comfort and convenience, with 14% saying that watching games on TV is better than being in the stadium.

David Bouchier, Chief TV & Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, which commissioned the study, said:

“It seems that distance isn’t a barrier for football fans – with many living miles away from the team they support, and some who’ve never been to their club’s ground to watch a game before.”

According to Virgin Media’s study, the primary reason fans pick their favourite team is following family tradition (31%). A fifth (20%) are attracted to the club’s successes and a similar number (19%) are loyal to individual players. Some fans are drawn to teams by ‘wanting to be different to friends and family’ (12%), because they like their kit (11%) and some are even drawn to a team because of how attractive their players are (5%).

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