Nearly a third of our panel think Manchester City will win the league this season. The online research comes ahead of the start of the 2019/2020 Premier League season which kicks off on Saturday. In somewhat of a repeat of last season, Man City pipped Liverpool to the top spot by very narrow margins, with 20% giving the reds the edge. Man Utd surprisingly took 3rd place, despite their lack of traditionally good form over the past few seasons, maybe suggesting they see a change in form under veteran forward, Ole Gunner Solskjaer.
Younger generations were more likely to back Liverpool, however, with 31% prematurely crowning them champions ahead of City (26%). And although both teams are home in the North West of the UK, the regional split shows the north west as giving city their support (27% to 21%).
Top scorer for the season ahead was also tightly contested. Kane and Salah took a draw for first place (14%), with Sergio Aguero following with 8% of the vote. Top scorer was one area that saw a more varied result when analysed against the online research demographics. Although Kane and Salah were the top two for most, Northern Ireland couldn’t let Aguero go without a mention, giving him the majority of their support (16%). However, two demographics backed a different horse entirely. 18% of 18-34-year-olds, and 22% of those in the South West, have their money on Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (18%), who scored 22 goals in the Premier League last season.
Whilst the start of the Premier League season normally means great excitement among the UK population, just under half (47%) admitted to being excited about the what’s to come. This number increased to 62% amongst the male population of the UK, suggesting that despite advances in gender equality in the sport, that more still needs to be done to attract more female audiences.
Saying that, however, the data does show more male support for Women’s football, with 24% saying they will watch the women’s equivalent, Super League this year. Whilst 69% of women claim no excitement about the forthcoming Premier League, their female solidarity isn’t a draw to entice them over to women’s football, with 71% saying they won’t be watching.
The online research revealed support for women’s football was higher amongst younger audiences, with 70% of those under 45 stating they will be watching. Perspective audiences were also higher amongst Londoners (36%), compared to the rest of the country, with numbers dropping to just 9% in Scotland. But there is still hope. 19% of the country hadn’t made their mind up, claiming they may tune in.
Hope also lies in the impact of the recent Women’s World Cup. Increased exposure and a 3rd place finish has led to 31% saying they were more likely to watching women’s football as a direct result of the tournament. The greatest influence can be seen on male audiences (38%), those below 45 (88%) and those from the North East of England (41%). This research suggests that with more exposure and showcasing the quality of how England’s women play, demand for women’s football could become increase over the coming years.