SPORT MARKT surveyed around 9,600 football fans in 16 European markets with an average of 600 respondents per country, and found that Barcelona had the most fans with 50.3 million, followed by Real Madrid with 45.9 million. Manchester United (32.8 million) and Arsenal (22.9 million) make up third and fourth places.
Spanish clubs are supported by an estimated 103.5 million while an estimated 99.2 million people across Europe follow English clubs. English clubs have a larger domestic fan base, but Spanish clubs pull in far more supporters from outside the country.
Hartmut Zastrow, Executive Director, SPORT MARKT said the survey results showed the following:
"Along with Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona is the big winner amongst the top European clubs. Despite still having an unusually high fan potential, the main loser over the past five seasons, with 11 per cent less supporters, is Real Madrid."
"The fact that Chelsea FC has increased its fan base by over five times, clearly shows what a fast-moving market football is. One can achieve a lot in a short amount of time."
"Europe still offers massive potential for clubs. In Europe alone, clubs could increase their total revenue by four or five times in the next twenty years. In particular, this allows for new media framework to be created. The teams are no longer restricted to national television.
Furthermore, in the big leagues, TV money has been all but exhausted. With new media, the clubs can, however, uncover new target groups."
"There is a booming market of over 225 million football fans right on clubs' doorsteps. It seems more promising to concentrate business here than in East Asia, where English, Spanish and Italian leagues and top clubs already have prominence."
The Top 20 Most Popular European Clubs
FC Bayern Munich
Zenit St. Petersburg
FC Spartak Moscow