Everyone knows United fans don’t come from Manchester, right? Wrong, according to research by broadband provider Plusnet.
They wanted to find out which places in the UK have the most local fans.
To analyse hometown loyalty for each professional team, they used Google’s Keyword Planner to see how many times football teams were searched for in different parts of the country. The loyalty rating was then calculated by looking at what percentage of all football team searches from a club’s town or city were made for their local teams.
United were the subject of 45.6% of searches in Greater Manchester – more than three times the search volume of Manchester City – making its fanbase the most local in the nation. Swansea City came a close second, with 45.5% of searches for its area, and Newcastle United was third with 42.4%.
Derby County, Rotherham United, and Wigan Athletic from the Championship also made it to the top 10.
This research also found that United aren’t just the most popular club in Manchester but the most popular in many parts of the country including Hampshire and Cambridge, and second most popular in places like West Yorkshire and the West Midlands. They were even the third most popular search on Merseyside, behind Everton (first) and Liverpool (second).
Just 13 of the 50 counties supported a local team the most. The rest supported either Arsenal or United the most.