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Thursday 13 December 2012

Rooney voted number one in fans survey

Striker comes out on top in Barclays Global Fans Survey which involved over 30,000 supporters

  • The 2012 Barclays Global Fans Survey is the third of its kind

  • Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been voted the most exciting new prospect

Over 30,000 Barclays Premier League fans from nearly 200 territories have taken part in the 2012 Barclays Global Fans Survey.

The poll asked fans through a dedicated website  to give their opinions on the Barclays Premier League such as their favourite players, how they follow the league, providing insight into the lifestyle and views of fans across six continents.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney topped the vote with one in five fans voting him as the best current player in the Barclays Premier League.

"It's great to be recognised by the fans in this survey"
Wayne Rooney

A similar proportion of fans named Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the most exciting new prospect over the next five years with the young England star claiming 17% of the vote.

England and Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney said: "It's great to be recognised by the fans in this survey. I get messages from fans all over the world so I know how popular the Barclays Premier League is outside of the UK."

The fans poll, published by Barclays, title sponsor of the Barclays Premier League, highlights for the first time the impact of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter on the way people support football.

They are now cited as the third and fourth most popular online platforms for fans to follow their team (67% and 31%), behind club websites (79%) and football/sports news websites (77%).

The 2012 Barclays Global Fans Survey is the third of its kind after the 2005 and 2008 polls. As well as revealing favourite teams, players and managers, it also provides a definitive portrait of how fans follow and support the most exciting league in the world:

1. From the current Barclays Premier League players; Wayne Rooney (20%) would be first name on the fans’ team sheet, followed by Robin van Persie (14%) and Steven Gerrard (10%).

2. Wayne Rooney takes over from Chelsea striker Fernando Torres who was the favourite player in 2008.

3. Ryan Giggs is the best Barclays Premier League player of all time, according to supporters, overtaking Eric Cantona who topped the poll in the 2008 survey. Arsenal legend Thierry Henry (12%) and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (10%) make up the top three.

4. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson once again topped the poll as the fans' favourite manager, with 41% of the vote.

5. However, the 'Special One', Jose Mourinho, is the manager fans are keen to welcome back with open arms as 38% voted him the manager they would most like to see in the Barclays Premier League.

6. The young players that fans felt will have the biggest impact on the Barclays Premier League over the next five years - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (17%), Jack Wilshere (13%) and Tom Cleverley (8%).

7. Rio Ferdinand has the accolade of top Tweeter, followed by Wayne Rooney.

David Wheldon, Barclays Managing Director of Brand, Reputation and Citizenship said: "It is fascinating to get fan views on the Barclays Premier League. With more than 30,000 fans from nearly 200 territories taking part in the poll we are able to show some genuine insights into who fans follow, their favourite players and how they enjoy keeping up with the Barclays Premier League.

"Social media is having a real impact allowing fans to debate and interact with other fans, something that has grown hugely since the last survey in 2008 when channels such as Twitter and Facebook were still in their infancy."

The increasing popularity of Facebook and Twitter for fans lies in the fact that the majority (72%) claim it has made them feel closer and more connected to their team, with a further 82% thinking it has had a positive impact on the game.

When it comes to following with the Barclays Premier League in general, fans still opt for more traditional channels.  Of those surveyed, 91% rely on TV as the number one channel, followed by the internet (78% via PC and 39% via mobile) and reading newspapers as the third choice at 43%.

Although a new channel to the survey, more than one in three fans (39%) around the world are using social media to follow their favourite League, coming in ahead of radio (20%).

The analysis was carried out as part of ongoing research by Barclays into the attitudes and lifestyles of football fans around the world.

Barclays Global Fans Report - additional findings

League appeal

- The second most popular League to the Barclays Premier League is the UEFA Champions League (90%), with La Liga (48%), Europa League (16%) and Serie A (10%) also proving popular.

- Style of football is the most appealing aspect of Barclays Premier League football (52%). However, atmosphere and passion (49%), competitiveness (48%) and talent (47%) play their part.

Team support

- Style of football (31%), history of success (15%) and family tradition (12%) were the main reasons for supporting a team.

- ·The average length of time that fans have supported their team is 14.5 years

Viewing habits

- Although fans are increasingly using the internet to follow the Barclays Premier League, TV is still the preferred choice, with 61% of fans choosing to watch the League at home with friends or family.

- The average number of hours spent following the League per week is 4.5.

- When attending a live football match, burger and chips is the most popular food choice for match goers, followed by hot dogs, pizza and the traditional pie.

Fan spending

- Barclays Premier League players are most likely to influence fans choices of sports kit (48%), football boots (28%) and clothes (18%).

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Key Points

  • Over 30,000 fans have taken part in the Barclays Global Fans Survey
  • Manchester United's Wayne Rooney voted as best player
  • Survey also highlights the impact of social media