Anorak News | A Lack Of Colour

A Lack Of Colour

by | 24th, June 2003

‘WHEN David Beckham went to Spain, he just became another Manchester United fan who lives a long way from the club he purports to support.

A Spurs fan

The statistics from the FA Premier League’s National Fan Survey say that, on average, Manchester United fans live 99 miles away from Old Trafford.

And this figure does not take into account the legion of United fans that we are continually told live and breathe the club in Thailand and deepest Laos. These are the fans who actually go to Old Trafford with a season ticket.

More than 80,000 supporters from last season’s 20 Premiership were asked to fill in a form about what they do and do not do.

The overriding statistic is that, since only around 29,000 fans responded, the majority of fans care not a jot for surveys.

We can also suppose that of the thousands who did, there exists a certain degree of falsehood.

It’s not a perfect science. But we are able to see a few trends.

United have the fewest number of season ticket holders who were born within 20 miles of the ground (around 55%), which is the same as Southampton, a club that until Portsmouth’s resurgence were the only decent side south of the capital.

Sunderland top this table, with over 90% of its most loyal fans being born and bred in the locale.

Top of that list, Sunderland are bottom of at least one another – the one that reveals the typical male supporter’s income.

Sunderland fans are the poorest in the top flight (although they are now one of the poorest in the second by dint of their recent relegation). Only 5% of their supporters earn in excess of £50,000 annually, and 77% earn less than £30,000 a year.

The richest are fans of Tottenham Hotspur, who can boast that 32% of their supporters earn in excess of fifty grand per annum, putting them ahead of Chelsea (2nd) and Arsenal (3rd).

Indeed, of the 20 clubs, the top seven are all from the south of England, with only Southampton (5th placed) interrupting a string of London clubs and their wad-waving fans.

Other stats show that Manchester United have the highest proportion of married support, while West Ham, Everton and Arsenal have the most single fans. Make of that what your will.

These singletons should head to Middlesbrough, home to the highest concentration of female support (21%) and away from Arsenal, which has the lowest (8%).

But the real talking point must be that, on average, only 2% of fans are from an ethnic background, with 98% of all fans polled ticking the box marked ”white”.

Tottenham and Arsenal have the highest proportion of non-white fans with 6% apiece, but this is still lower that you’d expect given the number of black footballers.

Posted: 24th, June 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink