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Man City May Be Top Of The Table, But Their Fanbase Still Dwindles In Comparison

manchester city away jersey Man City May Be Top Of The Table, But Their Fanbase Still Dwindles In Comparison

Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium sounds classier than the Sports Direct Arena, has the fifth largest capacity in the Premier League but they will want to grow their fan base, both nationally and internationally, to help them expand and go on to become more successful.

City has just over 1 million fans on Facebook whereas rival Man Utd has over 20 million. You could say this doesn’t mean anything but in my opinion it is hugely significant. At the moment Manchester City are still a small club in terms of global fan base mainly because they have been largely unsuccessful in the Premier League and FA Cup for a long time until now. It’s obvious that Man City just doesn’t have the same amount of foreign support as Manchester United. Last year United had revenues double that of Manchester City and a large amount of that was due to the huge amount of merchandise sold in continents such as Asia. At present City aren’t real players in the foreign merchandise market mainly due to the fact they haven’t been a major force in the Premier League, a competition that is beamed around the world every weekend. This limits their revenue numbers and although Sheikh Mansour seems to have an incomprehensible amount of money, it could hit them hard when it comes to the financial fair play rules imposed by UEFA.

Another thing is that Manchester City doesn’t have a large amount of fans outside Manchester and the North West of England. Or outside of the Stockport area, Man United fans would tell you. I live just west of London and have never seen someone wearing a Manchester City shirt except when they have been playing at the nearby Wembley. You always see plenty of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea shirts. Even though Chelsea is local, they did seem to become a lot more popular circa 2005.

There is often an obsession in England about supporting your local team, but the truth is that many people don’t. Children pick a team to support when they are young, mainly due to their peers at school. Conversations about football, and dare I say banter, start at a very young age at school. When you’re young, you normally support who your friends support and who are doing well. If Man City can start a ‘dynasty’ by winning the Premier League this year, then in the future children are going to grow up seeing Man City doing well, so naturally more people will start to support them. This means that we will see more Man City shirts all around the country if they replicate United’s success in the Premier League era. Their fan base will grow rapidly which will only do positive things for them as a club.

More success will lead to more fans worldwide thanks to the exposure of the Premier League around the world. Again Man City will hope that over the next 20 years they will be as popular and recognised all over, not only the UK but around the world.  This will help them financially but if City can become as popular as Man United worldwide, together with the owner’s deep pockets, they could well be an unstoppable force in the future.

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30 Responses to Man City May Be Top Of The Table, But Their Fanbase Still Dwindles In Comparison

  1. A set of fans that threw coins at Newcastle away fans today…

    • Joe says:

      Every teams’ fans throw coins at players. If you think they don’t you need to watch more games. Even today alone, Joey Barton complained about being pelted with coins at Stoke.

      • City season Ticket Holder says:

        I was at the game. A Newcastle fan threw a loud firework into the east stand. A fan was hurt and about 85% of the Newcastle fans were cheering. So the city fans began to throw coins. Then the Newcastle fans began stamping on chairs and throwing them into the city fans. Please do research and make a fair and balanced comment!

    • Joe says:

      And they throw them at fans too. That’s just how it is. Especially when you add alcohol. Nothing special here.

    • Adrian Meta says:

      Because an idiot Newcastle fan lit a firework in the stadium.

  2. Firstly, I’ve been to plenty of Newcaslte games in my life, home and away where there have been no problems that have been major (except Sunderland games where there has been unfortunate clashes).

    Secondly, I never said at the players, it was at the fans. There was also a Newcastle fan that launched a firework at the City fans. It’s hardly acceptable to merely accept “every fan throws coins”, because although there is notable poor behaviour at the odd Premier League game (which is rarely dealt with by the FA or EPL), it is hardly acceptable behaviour.

    And “what more games”? I am a local of Newcastle who has been an avid fan of Newcastle since the age of 4. I watch more games in a weekend than some people I know watch in a year.

    • Why? says:

      You have to be joking right Rob! Why would City who were coasting the game behave like that and not the Newcastle fans? It was them who were getting beat wasn‘t it? I’ll tell you shall I the things you conveniently seem to have turned a blind eye to or just wasn’t there so don’t know about therefore meaning you have read some moronic Newcastle blog or the likes, did you forget the seats that were ripped up and threw at the home fans simply because it was not going how the NUFC fans thought it would? Or didn’t you hear the huge bang accompanied by the flash of the pyrotechnic firework threw into the home fans? (surely this was picked up on TV as well) Missed those did we? I haven’t seen behaviour like that since Millwall at Maine Rd in the 90′s (with the exception Utd every year) the away fans behaviour was something from the past I thought had long since gone, disgraceful, as is your comment!
      I note here you seen the fire work which people had to be taken out because of do you think the City fans should just laugh at this disgusting behaviour as it’s good old drunken yobbish Newcastle?

      ‘Firstly, I’ve been to plenty of Newcastle games in my life, home and away where there have been no problems that have been major’

      Yeah it’s fine it you have a bunch of thick drunken morons throwing ripped up seats and fireworks that not a problem!! I take it that it’s only a problem if it not a Newcastle thug doing eh? That’s ok is that how it works for you? Did the City fans throw coins at the away fans and that’s why the Neanderthal threw the fire work he just happed to bring into a Premier League ground? I tell you now if I got my hand on one of those idiots I’d have done more than throw a coin at the gutless little rats!

      How the hell you have the cheek to say what you’re saying I don’t know!!! You seem to be typical of many of the morons who were drunkenly wondering around the Etihad ground in large groups singing ‘glory hunters’ etc which is rich as City fans were less in numbers last year than in 2003! And even in the old 3rd div sold out near enough every game! The same cannot be said for one of the clubs that the term ‘glory hunter’ seemed invented for i.e. In 1990/91 season Newcastles average home attendances were 16K!! Maybe you can tell me why? While you’re at it why were the clearly deranged Newcastle fans were singing ‘we still get more than you’ in regards to crowds? As you simply don’t! Newcastle Av home this year 46,871, City’s home av 47,028 I’m sure even you will agree that we indeed get more than you! You lot can’t even get a song right! You should stick to the thugery then try and blame others for your behaviour! You seem good at that.

      • Well I actually did pretty much say that I didn’t condone the firework launched by the Newcastle fan, that in itself was disgusting.

        And I see you’ve been doing all your research to try and get a point across, but whatever. We averaged over 40,000 in the Championship 2 seasons ago and I’m just going to come out and say that 46,000 for a side has only recently been promoted is a pretty good show by the fans.

        I probably shouldn’t of merely alluded to the fact in my first comment regarding City fans throwing coins, but whatever, it was just a passing comment on a footballing blog =) I don’t really think any of it is acceptable, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your little rant with all of the facts and figures you’ve Googled up.

        Look forward to the next one, Mr. Why! =)

        • Why? says:

          If you attack somebody mostly they have two options ‘fight or flight’ it’s well known. Basically if you don’t behave like animals and attack people you should have no problem and not be attacked (obviously unless you come from Newcastle it would seem!), but that didn’t happen did it?
          ‘I probably shouldn’t of merely alluded to the fact in my first comment regarding City fans throwing coins’
          you’re right you should have said a bunch of Newcastle retards were intent on causing trouble, that would have been more like it, instead you tried to make the City fans out as the thugs.

          I already knew that Newcastle fans are fickle and that when they were down in the early 90′s deserted in droves having only £16k but then after huge spending and what looked like success (turned out not to be though) came out of the woodwork, I wouldn’t need to Google that ;) So you see I just new that they would appear when things were going well again i.e. now. I point to fans that were singing ‘we still get more than you’, why they were doing this I don’t know? But it turns out they couldn’t even get that right. If you mean you look forward to the next City game you may not feel that way after the 90 minutes are up ;)

  3. Alan Knut says:

    0.01 percent of fans are massive c*nts when they get alcohol in them. Fact. They are very hard to single out and deal with. It should never happen, but it does. Part of the culture in England, but it has improved massively.

    I don’t know what this article was trying to point out. There is a lot of text for “City have fewer fans than Manchester United according to facebook”.

    People flock to success, if City dominates the league, Europe, and have marketable players, then they will have a very large following. They need the money for FFP, but I have a feeling there is a plan in place for FFP at City. There are tons of loopholes in FFP, such as players bought before 2010 not counting.

    • Why? says:

      They lost £194m that’s correct. But you seem to forget they spent around £140m on players that year and they have also wrote off the amortised players fees up to £35m which are on this years balance sheets, they paid them off before FFP comes in. Take these costs off as it’s clear they don’t need to spend more than maybe £25-£40m max in a season from now on as the squad is as good as any, if not better, so it comes to around £19m in losses. Now add the player expenditure prediction for next year and you have a loss of £60m max next year end.
      Now the big differences for next years, year end are at least £25m for the Champions money (group stage only), £35m for the Etihad deal, higher placing money say £3m more, higher tickets sales etc say £3m and a new deal with Umbro for the kits is expected to be around the £200m mark over ten years so £20m a season. That little lot comes to a whopping £86m showing a £26m profit crazy isn’t it? After next year City are expected to overtake Arsenal and Chelsea on the commercial front putting them in the top 6 or 7 earners in the World. They have double their income near enough every year yet the media will focus on the loses that are obvious for what is basically a new business after the take over.
      That’s mind blowing my friend!

  4. david st hubbins says:

    citeh only sold about 14k tickets to their big friendly in San Francisco at the Giants’ stadium… by far the most pathetic turnout of any of the 2011 summer USA friendlies

    • Why? says:

      That’s because as the writer clearly points out they don’t have those glory hunters yet! But mark my words they are in the post LOL.

  5. Tommy says:

    Asia isn’t a country. It’s a continent.

  6. Mr Malletop says:

    Isn’t this article just stating the bleeding obvious?

    • The Gaffer says:

      If it was, then there probably would have been zero comments. But I would argue that the answer to your question is no.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Why? says:

        It is obvious Gaffer, but the subject will bring the comments. I thought the same as Malletop at first but the writer has done really well they are generating discussion as you rightly point out, and surely this was the aim.

        • Why? says:

          The title is rubbish and makes no sense though as whatever your told City have one of the highest number of supporters attending matches in the premier league and that‘s nothing new. So maybe you should change that.

  7. James says:

    Longtime US-based City fan here (since you were asking where we were) … City’s ambition to be a worldwide brand won’t happen overnight, and it’s not what anyone associated with the club is expecting. With the purchase of players and hiring of staff, it took a couple of seasons just to progress to be competitive on the pitch with the elite English teams, and they are likely to fall short in the Champions League. (Based on the performance against Bayern Munchen, I cannot see them competing against Barcelona, etc., just yet,) Those player/management moves were steps in which they had full control of who to buy, who to hire, etc., and made plenty of mistakes (starting with Robinho on the day they bought the club) … Turning people’s hearts and minds will be a much tougher task, and it may well be a generational thing. Until there is a generation of fans who know of City as nothing but a top-flight club on par with Utd, Chelsea, etc., City’s worldwide profile will remain relatively low. Keep in mind that the Abu Dhabi investment in Man City is not aimed to turn a quick profit. They invested in this club (and other entities around the world) in order to have profitable enterprises in place decades from now when their oil supplies run out. In the meantime, they have plans to develop the area around Etihad Stadium (some call it a potential “Las Vegas of Europe”) to further increase both the profile of the club and build an attraction beyond just traditional football fans.

  8. Evan says:

    “Another thing is that Manchester City doesn’t have a large amount of fans outside Manchester and the North West of England.”

    It’s because we lack the millions of glory hunting rags that are attracted to United.

    This article made me laugh. We beat United 6-1 and are 5pts clear. But somebody still had to find a way to put United on top to make themselves feel better.

    Trust me, I’m glad that City doesn’t have millions of more fans.

  9. Ally says:

    Evan,
    I didn’t want to put Man Utd on top with this article, I just wanted to talk about Man City from a different angle, at the moment Man City are better than United but as they have only won the FA CUP recently people, glory hunters, aren’t going to start supporting them yet. That’s all I wanted to put across, not promote Manchester United.
    Ally

  10. somervillain says:

    This is close to pedantic, but “dwindles” is incredibly misleading in the headline. It’s flat-out the wrong word. The author uses it to mean “to pale in comparison,” while in actuality “dwindle” means to decrease. City’s worldwide fan base is the opposite of dwindling. It is inarguably growing as more fans around the globe jump on the bandwagon. I’d suggest an editor replace “dwindles” with “lags behind” or something more appropriate.

  11. Andyb says:

    Fanbases grow when teams are successful. City have only been considered a title threat this season. In 10 years time when they’ve won at least 5 premier league titles their fan base will globally increase. Its only a matter of time.

  12. hoyage says:

    I suppose united had a massive worldwide fan base in the late 80s before they won anything didn’t they? This article just stupid of course teams worldwide support will grow with success its the same in any sport. Would the Yankees be a worldwide brand with out winning all the things they have. Worldwide support comes when teams grow and tests what city is doing its a team in growth just like united was 2 decades ago.

  13. seaside blue says:

    i dont normally reply to articles let alone silly stupid ones and i dont know if this is a serious post or just a wind up but if you want facts then heres some MAN CITY STILL HOLD THE RECORD FOR THE BIGGEST CROWD EVER RECORDED FOR A LEAGUE GAME OUTSIDE OF WEMBLEY SECONDLY MAN CITY HAVE WON EVERY TITLE AND CUP IN ENGLAND MAN CITY WON A EUROPEAN TROPHY BEFORE LIVERPOOL THE ONLY TROPHY THEY HAVENT WON ISTHE CHAMPION LEAGUE MAN CITY SOLD 22MILLION REPLICA SHIRTS LAST SEASON AND CITY ALREADY HAVE ONE OF THE BIGGEST FAN BASE IN THE UK manchester and its surrounding towns and villages has a population of 7.5 MILLION PEOPLE THE VAST MAJORITY OF WHICH SUPPORT THE ONLY TEAM IN THE WORLD THAT WAS FORMED BY THE CHURCH FOR ALL PEOPLE TO ENJOY THAT IS WHY IT IS CALLED GODS OWN CLUB AND THE ALTER OF FOOTBALL NAMELY MANCHESTER CITY FC capacity at the etihad soon to be 84 000 THE BIGGEST IN THE UK just thought we should give the idiot who wrote this nonsence a HISTORY LESSON

  14. SilvasCity says:

    I don’t understand why we need more fans? Aside from my children I don’t really want fans who never saw Maine Rd., who never experienced a train ride to bournemouth, or who didn’t cry when we turned the tides on gillingham on 30 may 1999. I love this club for everything that it was, I loved how every musician I listened too in the 90′s was a city fan, and I love where this club is going. I still check ebay once a month in hopes of finding a rare yellow kit and I will never give up my collection of random city trinkets from over the years. F*ck united, I don’t care if 6,999,999,000 people support them, City is a team that belongs to the people of Manchester and their ancestors. And I’m damn proud to say I love City, whether its Rosler and Kinkladze or Silva and Nasri you’d best believe I will still be investing all of my excess funds into going to City games.

  15. Thomas says:

    Considering this is their first season in the UCL, and they are now a force to be reckoned with domestically, it wont take long for a horde of new fans to take shape.

    City, to this point have lacked “star power” in the sense of having an internationally recognizable star. Yes they’ve spent ungodly sums of money, but I think they will begin to “arrive” as more of their players become household names…Silva will soon be in B’Allon Dor finalists, and they have players with the “it” factor, such as Ballotelli and Aguero.

    GIve it another year or two, and they will be “the new Chelsea” as far as international support goes.

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