Chelsea fans are the most likely to back the women’s side
With the women’s football World Cup kicking off later this week, there is no denying that women’s football has increased in stature over the last decade.
YouGov previously found that one in six English people – including almost four in ten England football fans – will be following a great deal or fair amount of the women’s World Cup. A new YouGov survey also shows that 48% of fans of the England national team also support the Lionesses.
But do domestic clubs receive a similar level of support transfer? We asked 2,148 football fans whose main club is one of the 2023-24 Premier League teams to what extent they supported their club’s men’s and women’s teams.
Across fans of all 20 Premier League clubs, only 28% say that they also support their club’s women’s team. For a further 39% there seems to be some residual goodwill, saying of the women’s team: “I prefer if they win when they play, but I wouldn't say I support them”. A further 26% express complete indifference to the women’s side, saying “I don't care if they win or lose, and I wouldn't say I support them”.
By contrast, fully 87% say they support the men’s team, while 12% clearly more casual fans say they preferred their club win when they play, but don’t see themselves as supporters.
Of the eight clubs with fanbase samples large enough for us to look at in detail, Chelsea fans are the most likely to describe themselves as supporters of the women’s team, with 48% saying so. Manchester City, Manchester United, and Newcastle United fans are next most likely to do so, at 30-31%.
Liverpool fans are the least likely to say they are fans of their women’s team, at just 18%.
How many supporters of Premier League teams also watch the women’s team?
Only 16% of fans of Premier League teams say they watch their club’s women’s side play very or fairly often, compared to 74% for the men’s teams. Half say they “never” watch the women’s side (48%).
Unsurprisingly, given the higher levels of support, it is Chelsea fans who are the most likely to watch their women’s team play, at 32%. Manchester City fans come second at 28%, followed by Arsenal at 27%.
By contrast, only 7-9% of Liverpool, Newcastle, Tottenham, and West Ham fans say they watch their club’s women’s teams play frequently.
How many supporters of Premier League teams also follow the scores for the women’s team?
While many fans don’t watch their club’s women’s team play, somewhat more do keep up with their progress. Across all 20 Premier League teams, 27% of fans say they follow news and scores for their club’s women’s team very or fairly closely, compared to 90% for the men’s team. More than four in ten (44%) say they never check in on the women’s team.
Again, Chelsea fans are the most likely to follow how the women’s team is doing, with 43% saying they follow very or fairly closely. Close to four in ten Arsenal fans say the same (38%), as do 30-32% of Manchester City, Manchester United, and Newcastle United fans.
Liverpool fans are again the least likely to frequently track the progress of the women’s side, at 17%.