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Which Premier League Club Would You Support If You Were Reborn?

Sometimes we pick soccer teams. Sometimes soccer teams pick us. But no matter how you came to support your favorite Premier League club, consider this for a second: What if you were reborn and you had to pick a different team than the one you support now? Who would you switch your allegiances to and why?

As a child in Wales, the nearest professional team to me was Swansea City, which was 23 miles from my house. When a close friend of mine and his father took me to a game in 1979, it was love at first sight and I’ve supported the team ever since.

But if I was reborn and had to choose all over again, I would pick Manchester City. Not because of all of the money the club has and the players they’ve bought (and will buy this summer). But it’s because they play an attractive style of football, they understand marketing and, perhaps most importantly of all for me, they’re early adopters of technology (which is my second love, after soccer).

Take a look at Manchester City’s website and you’ll see how technologically advanced they are. Not only does the club have the best website in the Premier League, by far, but consider the following:

  • they were one of the first Premier League clubs to set up an official Facebook page, which they actively update,
  • They created a site called My First City Game, which encourages City supporters to share their stories of the first City game they ever attended,
  • Their Be Part Of It website features an interactive map around the world where you can find your nearest City supporter, as well as add your name to the map,
  • Manchester City has their own FourSquare page and encourages supporters to check in at games at the City of Manchester Stadium; In the past, they’ve even had promotions where if you check in using FourSquare during one of the games, you were eligible to receive a free T-shirt,
  • MCFC has an active Twitter page, which they update daily,
  • On their official Flickr page, Man City has more than 1,440 photos (again, this is updated quite often),
  • Last but not least, Manchester City and Umbro have joined together to allow City supporters to pick the songs that are played on the PA before each game.

At the end of the day, City understands technology but, better yet, they understand how it can be used to attract new supporters, get them more involved in the club and keep them as loyal supporters. It’s got nothing to do with the football they play on the pitch. But it’s got everything to do with feeling like you’re part of a community.

For the record, I’m not a Manchester City supporter. I remain a Swansea City supporter. And my allegiances to Swansea helps me remain unbiased when I cover the Premier League each season for EPL Talk. But I do admire what City are doing and I’m starting to see other Premier League clubs beginning to take notice and understand how social media can help their club.

But what about you, if you were reborn, which club would you switch your allegiances to? It doesn’t have to be because of social media. It can be for different reasons altogether. Share your stories below in the comments section.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

38 Responses to Which Premier League Club Would You Support If You Were Reborn?

  1. Rich Uncle Pennybags says:

    Man City, because i like $$$$$$ + monopoly :)

  2. Jack says:

    I’m a City fan and I’d still pick City. Nothing could ever make me want to change. I love our history, the fact that we’ve been all the way down to the 2nd division, still supported them and come back. Couldn’t be more proud to be a proper manc, not a tourist.

    • ayessdeeeff says:

      I think you had to pick a different team. Not “if you could do it over again, would you change your team?”

  3. Alex says:

    I became a Liverpool supporter because my first exposure to the EPL was a bunch of Man U idiots, and I wanted to pick their rival. I have no idea how I’d pick a new club in my theoretical rebirth, so I’ll go ahead and say I’d stick with LFC. Maybe I’d consider a club that featured Americans in their First XI.

  4. Mike says:

    I grew up watching Liverpool on grainy public television broadcasts in Boston. Loved Kenny Dalgliesh and how awesome those late 70s, early 80s teams were. Wish I could have that back, so I guess I wouldn’t change.
    Anyone else remember Toby Charles doing German league games on PBS?
    http://bit.ly/bYgEjP

  5. Todd Courtney says:

    I got the soccer bug in the summer of 2006 watching the World Cup every morning. At the start for the EPL season I needed a team to support, so I spent time looking around and watching for a month or so. I picked Fulham. I live in the USA and they had 3 starters from here. It was that simple. If I were reborn somewhere else I don’t have any idea who I would select, but it is interesting to think about.

  6. Scott G says:

    I’m looking for a club to support right now. When I first started watching the premier league after the 2006 World Cup, I picked Reading who just got moved up and were playing well above their heads. But then they fell apart and were relegated the next year. I lost interest. Now I’m looking again and I’ve determined that these are my criteria:

    The club doesn’t have massive amounts of cash to throw around. I feel that the best moments in sport come when the little guy overcomes their limitations and does something great. Supporting a club that always makes the Champions League seems a little boring to me

    American players (if possible). American players are like the underdogs in international football. I want to see them do well.

    Interesting *young* players. I want to know that the club has a present AND a future. I want something to look forward to.

    Some type of style or attitude that I can support. This one is a little vague but I want to feel like my club and myself have the same views on football, at least in some way.

    And, because of my Reading experience, I want a club that’s very unlikely to get relegated. I’m not going to follow the lower levels, just like I’m not following MLS soccer here.

    In the end, I think Everton will be my team. They’re successful in the premier league without tons of money. Tim Howard is American and I like that they have Cahill too. I’m really hoping Donovan can get back to Everton and it’ll be a slam dunk for my support. They have some really good young players mixed with some savvy veterans. Maybe it’s the hair but I really like Fellaini and Rodwell looks interesting. In addition, I really like David Moyes’s style.

  7. Dave C says:

    As kind of a purist, I’d say that anyone who has “picked” a team to support isn’t a real supporter at all, but that’s another debate altogether.

    @ Scott G – that’s hell of a set of criteria you have there. I especially take issue with the fact that you want a team that isn’t likely to get relegated, because you can’t see yourself following lower-division football. While that may be honest, I would say if you’re not going to follow a team through thick-and-thin, then you’re not a supporter in any sense of the word.

    People often compare supporting a team to being married to someone, and in you’re case you’re not only being extremely picky, but you’re also saying “oh i want a wife who is reasonably good looking, but she must also be almost guaranteed to not get fatter or wrinkly as she ages, because to be honest I can’t see myself staying attracted to an older-looking woman.”

    • The Gaffer says:

      Dave, I disagree with your viewpoint that anyone who picked a team to support isn’t a real supporter. Growing up in the UK, I picked Swansea as the team to support even though I could have picked any team I wanted to.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Dave C says:

        Gaffer – what I mean is that anyone who looks through a list of teams, sees one that meets certain criteria, and chooses to support that team probably isn’t a “real” supporter. In your case, you didn’t really “pick” Swansea, it was “love at first sight” as you said. Which kind of harks back to my comparison to being married/falling in love. You don’t really “choose” who it happens to. If any one told me they “picked” their wife because she met a list of criteria, I would be very suspicious of whether or not that was real love. And I think the same goes for football teams.

        For my part, I had a passing interest in Tottenham when I was a young kid for similar “criteria” based reasons. But it passed. I also declared my allegiance to Milan during Channel 4′s Football Italia days. But that passed too – probably due to having no real link to Milan.

        Perhaps my true love is Hull City – they’re my home team, and I watched nearly every single game of their premier-league lifespan. But if I’m honest, I never saw them more than a handful of times in the lower divisions (despite living there), so I would be weary of calling myself a true fan. But it’s more real to me than Spurs or Milan ever were.

        • Scott G says:

          You’re right. I would in no way classify myself as a “real” supporter right now. I’m just inclined to like Everton at this point. Once the season starts and I get to watch them, I’ll develop more of a feeling towards them, one way or the other.

          While I’m at it, I’ll also be watching other clubs and looking out for other potential favorites.

    • Scott G says:

      I’m not saying I wouldn’t follow a club to the lower levels given enough time. If, for instance, I stayed with Everton for 10 years and then they were relegated, I could very well follow them. But when I’m just starting out and have no affiliation with any team, I figure it’s only practical to pick a team that’s unlikely to get relegated. It would be MUCH harder to follow a lower level club from America. You wouldn’t see them on TV much and there would be less news and discussions regarding those teams.

      Maybe my impartiality and the cold logic I’m using at this point is a bit foreign to you as you’re comparing it to your feelings towards your own club. But at some point, we all pick a team. Without any friends, family, or regional biases, I have to make my choice based on something.

      • Dave C says:

        Yeah, to a certain extent I’m probably being a bit Anglo-centric in my views. I guess just picking someone for whatever reason probably makes for a more exciting viewing experience than just being a neutral.

    • Decker says:

      By Dave C’s rationale, if you’re not from a certain country, you’re not a real supporter of any of that country’s teams. Because anyone not from UK has to “pick” a team to support by default. Likewise with Spain and La Liga. Likewise with US and NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, Nascar, Team Edward, Team Jacob.

      • Dave C says:

        Yeah that’s pretty much my point exactly. I mean I could trust someone who adopts some team out of some genuine personal link to a club. E.g. if you’re a foreign exchange student, and you end up studying in Manchester, then sure you can be a Man U/Man C fan as appropriate. I’m just suspicious of someone who looks at a league table and a set of criteria, and just “picks” a team. I’m pretty sure most such allegiances are really just passing fads.

  8. MennoDaddy says:

    As a Yank, I picked Spurs three years ago when I was looking for an EPL team to support, because they seemed the closest soccer analogue to my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. I’ve never regretted that decision, even though I joined the fraternity shortly before the disastrous Juande Ramos years. I’m a Spurs supporter through and through now.

    But as an intellectual exercise, if Spurs disbanded tomorrow I’d probably gravitate towards Everton or Fulham for the same reasons as Scott G and Todd. As long-time follower of the USA MNT but new to EPL (and the EPL “purist fans” can bite me), I can see the appeal of mid-table teams with American players. Out of those two, I have a particularly warm spot in my heart for Everton.

    Any of the traditional “big four” are out for me. It’d be like choosing to root for the Yankees, Red Sox, or Lakers. Ugh. I love a good underdog, and the highs and lows that go along with it. Maybe that’s why I like Spurs so much.

    • Scott G says:

      Yes, I’m decidedly anti-Yankees with regards to baseball so that idea of always buying great players from teams who can’t afford to keep their superstars is a bit hard for me to accept.

    • soonerscotty says:

      I bleed Liverpool Red because my uncle was a Liverpool supporter. Granted he was in the military and stationed in the UK in the ’70s at the height of the glory years so, I suppose he kind of bandwagoned but, what was a Yank airman supposed to do?
      YNWA!

      and to MennoDaddy:
      “It’d be like choosing to root for the Yankees, Red Sox, or Lakers.”

      Some US sports fans were BORN to the big teams here in the States, just like most fans in the UK were born to their affiliations.

      Though I know what you mean about people getting on the bandwagon.

  9. John R says:

    I dont know about being able to switch teams, since i wasnt birthed into a certain team and already had to make a somewhat arbitrary choice. Growing up in Texas at a time when there wasnt any real EPL coverage, i just watched any games i could get and enjoyed it no matter who was playing. Now, however, with more coverage, Ive developed a passion for Newcastle United. I have no good reason, there is just something about Newcastle that I love. I cant exactly explain it, but I just got sucked in. Some reasons i I think may have leaned towards newcastle are the fact that they are a decently successful team who have not one any major silverware recently, so they are kind of the lovable losers, if you will. Also, and this may be the dumbest reason ever, but I am also a big time two-tone ska fan, so the black and white color scheme is near and dear to my heart. so yea, lame reasons, but I did end up a big newcastle supporter. howay the lads.

  10. Jon says:

    Manchester United was the first foreign team I heard of about 8 years ago as a teenager and I have supported them ever since. Up until about 3 years ago the only games I could watch were the Champions League on ESPN so somewhat out of necessity I had to pick a big four team. That being said, if I were to somehow start all over now I would pick Everton. I love how the club is run effectively even with limited finances. David Moyes has done a fantastic job. Also Tim Howard being American (and Donovan’s loan) make me somewhat partial to them.

  11. soonerscotty says:

    I’m pretty sure that I’ll be reincarnated a Scouse so it’ll be Liverpool…even in the afterlife!!!
    YNWA!

    • vinnie says:

      ditto!

      a true supporter doesn’t change their favourite club; no offence to americans but this (european football) is not a sporting franchise where you can change the branding overnight to maximize market exposure or in this sense, change a club as a knee jerk reaction

  12. SeattleToffeeFan says:

    I picked the Toffees back in 2002 when Moyes came on and they’re still my team. Obviously Howard is a big part, but still they got tons of talent with very little money. Cahill, Rodwell, Fellaini, Heitinga, Baines, Piennar….
    It’s sad they couldn’t get a UEFA Cup spot last year, but they should still do well this year.
    Feed the Yak!

  13. Alan Knut says:

    Manchester City earlier in the day announced the “the boys” will be “here” and linked to a map location. Turns out anybody who showed up got to play in a match against the City first team. How amazing is that?

  14. Patrick says:

    Easy for me, Fulham or New Castle.

    Just something mundane and cliche to me about going along with Manchesters, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool types. Besides red kits just seem wrong to me

  15. jeremyredman says:

    Well First off you never do it all over again.I am Arsenal supporter now and a Arsenal supporter forever( AND I GOT A BIG ASS ARSENAL TATTOO ON THE BACK OF MY HEAD TO PROVE IT). I can’t believe you guys like City! You should just jump on the bandwagon now while you can.You just like the money and big signings. They don’t play that good football yet and the History of the club is shit. You can really tell you guys are a bunch of Americans by the answers you give. I don’t got any problems with you yanks but pick a club and stick with it and be a real supporter through the thick and thin and ups and downs. Screw City! Over 300 million pounds spend and counting in two years and they still won’t win a title. You can bet on that!

  16. I support newcastle because i was born and grew up in the north east

    depends how you define reborn really, you should support your hometown team really, although its difficult not to get lured in by the big sides, but my most local league team is Newcastle. Followed by the mackem scum down the road

    • cj1234 says:

      i totally agree with everything you say I’m from the North east and i support blyth spartans as there my closest club most people around here support newcastle(as most newcastle fans come from Northhumberland, Northh or south tyneside rather than the “toon”) but to be honest the big club in the Northh east for me would have to be the wearsiders there’s something sad and deluded about newcastles millions spent and still nothing really there and this big club status, sunderland are true underdogs and have managed to win the most league titles of any Northh east team so I’m going for the underdog and the glory (kinda), strange going for sunderland but the spartans still hold a dear place in my heart. i think for me supporting a little club and going to alot of newcastle games with it being so close i would of picked them but Ive been to a couple of sunderland games now and the roker roar its still there its electric compared to newcastle and the big one for me being a thick and thin spartans fan is atmosphere and croft park of course isn’t well known for that. but i could never be a boro fan!

  17. Mike C says:

    Ok, I have just about the most random reason to be a current City fan – I too am a Yank and a huge Oasis fan. I’m also a huge sports fan in general, and always wanted to get into football, but never found MLS too enticing. I decided to start following the premier league a bit more when Reyna signed with City, as I figured it made sense for me to follow and American I had liked in interntaional play, and the home team for Oasis to boot.

    So several years later, they finally have the resources to play with the big boys, and everyone is whining about it – suits me just fine. I’ve been called a fairweather fan before (lifelong Cowboys fan, through thick and thin), but don’t care – City has clearly been through the ringer just in the last 10-15 years, and their fans deserve some success.

    If I were to pick again, its hard to say, as it’s been a recent conversion to being a true “blue” football fan. Maybe Newcastle, as my wife’s family is originally from there.

  18. Terry B says:

    I’m a Chelsea supporter and I’ll always be a Chelsea supporter. They’re my club and I can’t imagine anything else. But I think being a fan of such a big club allows me to cheer for other teams, especially teams who don’t threaten my teams position anywhere else. For instance, since Wigan has appeared in the Premier League I’ve enjoyed watching them play and each year, for me, they get more and more exciting. Now with Roberto Martinez, I expect great things from them. They’ll never replace Chelsea in my heart, but I always hope they do well (so long as it doesn’t foil Chelsea in some way).

    So, going by The Gaffer’s “What If…” scenario, I suppose, if we were on another world, I could see myself supporting Wigan full time.

  19. ScottM says:

    I am from the Bahamas, born in Trinidad ….So I wanted to follow the best league in my opinion(where the best Caribbean players go)and that was the EPL. My father studied in Aberdeen and would tell me stories about Charlie Cooke, his ball skills etc. I learnt that Cooke played for Chelsea so I picked his old team just for that reason, despite my countryman Dwight Yorke a great player in the EPL who played for Villa and Man U. I am 21 now so this was back in the early 90′s when I first heard about this Charlie Cooke guy. The stories of my father and his interest in this Scot made me pick chelsea and being patient payed off. If i were to be “re-born” i would simply pick the team wherever my rebirth occurred haha. Never had the privilege of being from a country with substantial leagues :(

  20. Nickram Boo says:

    I’m a Man Utd supporter, but living in Islington north London, I have many Arsenal friends. Arse would be my pick

  21. McQueen says:

    I was “supporting” Arsenal, some 10 years ago. The quotation marks are there because–living on the West Coast with the most basic of TV cable packages–I couldn’t do much more than read post-match reports on the web. This was back when Henry, Bergkamp, Cole, and the rest were playing for the team. Caught a game or two here and there and really liked the play.

    Now, with the much better TV coverage, a better TV cable package(!), and a renewed interest in football abroad; the idea of better supporting an EPL team seems much more attainable and enjoyable.

    So to the original question, who? Stay with Arsenal? Choose anew?

  22. Arjunred says:

    Do you think city plays attractive football they only play fucking defensive football.last season they played this fucking football against united (4 times) n arsenal

  23. Lewinbrau says:

    Wasn’t the purpose of this article to “hypothetically” choose a team to support because of some logical or emotional reasons, putting aside those that you have already established ?
    Ranting over whether someone chooses Man C or Liverpool or Everton is a waste of everyone’s time and energy.

    I think the examples the author is trying to get from his readers are things like this: I love a team because of their ability to engage their fans with technology and social media…therefore, my “born again team” would be ManC. Or, my reason to love a team is based purely on blood relatives, so my “born again team” would be Portsmouth since my grandfather grew up there. The most popular example is how many American’s have played on the team.
    All of these are valid reasons in order to hypothetically pick a team. Stop wasting everyone’s time and calling them bandwagon fans and remember the purpose is to pick a team based on some logic other than what drew you to your current favorite team.

  24. mat r. says:

    unlike everybody else here, i support a club no other club could compare to. i support the famous wimbledon fc. and i,m a born AMERICAN. wimbledon introduced me to football. the other clubs don’t have what wimbledon has because wimbledon made it in the top tier of english football for 14 years on a shoe string budget, without there own ground and a small fanbase. no club had done it before us and no club will ever do it again due to the climate of football and how foreign investors invest even in the worst of the top tier teams. you can have your man u’s, you chelski’s, your liverpukes and all the other “famous” clubs, i,ll be loyal to a team that inbodies the real american spirit of making it on hard work and being the underdog, forever wimbledon, i,m a don til the end of time.

  25. cj1234 says:

    being a small town supporter and two big clubs near me I’m heading for the one with the most memorable fans and that would be sunderland, there fans never sit down, never shut up, they have a good away following, they seem to have a good history, in my opinion as a neutral at there ground its the best in the region not just for atmosphere but also spectator views and they have biggest trophy cabnent in the region(mind you that’s mostly before my time) but after abit of thought into what ive seen of the clubs around the north east id have to go local and for a big club so if i was born again and forgot about little league football id follow sunderland in the prem, theyre the side for me.

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