Which Football Team Has The Most Fans?

Have you ever wondered which football team has the most fans? Some fans love that only hundreds of people support their local club. Others love knowing that their club has a worldwide fanbase. Which one are you?

If you get warm and fuzzy knowing your club gets love from around the world then you will enjoy finding out who the most popular clubs are, read on.

Years ago, you could count fans based on ticket sales. As teams went global, it became harder to track. So who has the most fans?

To answer this, we need to decide how we are going to measure what is a “fan”.

Money Made

We could measure by how much money a club makes, but the data is muddy at best. You can support a team without ever purchasing something from the club.

Working out which are the wealthiest clubs is a subject for a different article, for now, let’s assume that we don’t equate money to fan loyalties.

If you are interested in club wealth, here is an article answering How much is Arsenal worth? (a lot)

Tickets Sold

Related to money made is the number of tickets sold. Ticket sales used to be a straightforward metric that you could use. If a team had more ticket sales year on year, you could assume their fanbase is growing. Since so many clubs are global now, you can’t rely on ticket sales.

We can’t even count who watches matches online or on TV. The data for this is all over the place. You cannot know that someone was watching a game because they support a team versus if they wanted to watch the football.

Social Media Following

It isn’t fair to say everyone has a social media account these days, but enough do that this is a good proxy for how many fans a team has.

Following a team on Facebook doesn’t mean you’re a fan. It is a powerful indicator and is something we can get precise data for. The social following of clubs will be the focus of our article moving forward.

The three social networks we’ve decided to get data for are:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

There is a huge caveat here that these social networks are very Western-centric. Football is very Western-centric in terms of where the big leagues are, so this feels like an excellent trade-off.

The Teams Everyone Talks About

Fifteen names kept coming up in my research. Teams that by their numbers of mentions alone suggest they are household names. All the usual suspects are on this list, but have we missed any out? Comment below, and we’ll include teams we’ve forgotten in future updates to this article.

  • Real Madrid
  • FC Barcelona
  • Manchester United
  • Chelsea
  • Juventus
  • Bayern Munich
  • Paris Saint-Germain
  • Liverpool
  • Arsenal
  • Manchester City
  • Inter Milan
  • AS Roma
  • Tottenham Hotspur
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • AC Milan

Each team is huge in its own right, with massive followings across the country, and, indeed, the world.

For each team, we’ve worked out how significant their social media presence is.

With all that in mind, as of June 2020, the teams look like this.

Which Football Team Has The Most Fans on Social Media?

Team Instagram Facebook Twitter Total Online Followers
FC Barcelona 86,335,528 103,179,128 32612450 222,127,106
Real Madrid 87,758,250 112,739,530 11,372,093 211,869,873
Manchester United 35,527,655 73,195,551 21,969,998 130,693,204
Chelsea 22,005,917 48,053,516 14,339,342 84,398,775
Juventus 39,803,475 41,357,613 1,917,309 83,078,397
Paris Saint-Germain 29,104,209 41,333,666 7,825,335 78,263,210
Liverpool 25,970,979 36,245,295 14,598,345 76,814,619
Bayern Munich 21,319,594 49,546,753 4,865,977 75,732,324
Arsenal 17,557,589 37,599,843 15,812,470 70,969,902
Manchester City 18,947,875 39,499,564 7,949,185 66,396,624
AC Milan 7,760,959 25,104,148 7,344,233 40,209,340
Inter Milan 5,107,029 23,681,172 2,157,421 30,945,622
Borussia Dortmund 10,624,298 15,145,444 3,538,303 29,308,045
Tottenham Hotspur 8,029,574 15,507,012 4,295,395 27,831,981
AS Roma 3,277,312 9,495,861 1,876,986 14,650,159

This shows that FC Barcelona has the most significant worldwide following.

Now, if a few of those clubs could send a couple of tweets out about The Footy Tipster, we’ll be laughing!

Do you use social media to keep up with your favourite teams? Do you find it useful or is it more for entertainment? Let us know in the comments below

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