Which is the best league in Europe?

Chris PolechonskiSenior Research Executive Digital, Media and Technology
May 25, 2013, 11:00 AM GMT+0

A majority of British football fans say the Premier League is the most exciting European league, while a plurality thinks La Liga has the best players

Ahead of today’s Champions League final, a YouGov poll shows British football fans are divided over where the Premier League ranks alongside the other top flights in Europe. Two-fifths (40%) think it is on a par with other European leagues, while 38% go further and say it is the best domestic competition.

When asked which European league is the most exciting, however, over half (53%) of British football fans think that it is the Premier League. One in ten (10%) pick La Liga and an equal amount say the same of the Bundesliga.

Despite having no teams in the European finals this year, a plurality (35%) of British football fans say Spain’s La Liga is the league with the best players in the continent. Just under a third (32%) think the Premier League has the best players while 11% think it is the German Bundesliga, despite two German teams competing in the Champions League final tonight.

Bans for racism

This week UEFA announced that they will impose a ten match European ban for players and officials found guilty of racism.

When asked how long a footballer on a first time charge for racism or homophobia should be banned, 29% of football fans believe that this should be for 6-10 matches. Eighteen per cent think that the ban should be 4-5 matches, while the same number think there should be more than a ten game suspension. One in twenty (5%) say the player should receive no ban.

Non-football fans take a harsher view regarding punishment towards racism, however, with more than one in five (21%) believing that players should receive a lifetime ban. This is compared to 16% of who think a 4-5 match suspension would be adequate and 15% who think 6-10 games, with the same number saying more than ten matches.

These opinions do not quite reflect the policy of the FA, which last week announced that players found guilty of racially abusing an opponent for the first time will be suspended for a minimum of five matches. This will rise to a minimum ban of ten games for a second offence. The same punishment will also apply in other discrimination cases, including religion, sexuality and disability.