Brexit with balls - how did your club vote? | inside World Soccer

Brexit with balls - how did your club vote?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Brexit with balls - how did your club vote?

It's been a long drawn out process with plenty of ups and downs and with an eventuality that's likely to end up being detrimental to the country – no, we're not talking about England's campaign to win the World Cup in Russia next summer, but the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.

Attitudes to Brexit differed significantly up and down the country, but what about football fans? How did they vote, and how do they feel about the Brexit process now? In an in-depth report by AskFans – an independent fan-driven football opinion site – nearly five thousand football fans of the twenty current EPL teams were asked to give anonymous answers to various questions raised by the whole Brexit debate.

As it turned out, only the supporters of four teams – Chelsea, Everton, Tottenham and West Brom – gave a more positive response for Brexit than the result of the EU referendum itself, which resulted in a 52%-48% split in favour of leaving the EU. Of those teams, Chelsea fans were the most fervent Brexiters with a 61-39 split, which is odd given that Chelsea and their fans visit mainland Europe every year courtesy of the UEFA Champions League.

The 57-43 split favoured by Everton fans is a little hard to understand, given that the team's fans whom ranked second-most in favour of remaining in the EU were their fellow city-dwellers Liverpool, who revealed they voted an overwhelming 77-23 for the 'Remain' campaign.

It's perhaps no surprise that supporters in one of the UK's most 'diversity-friendly' cities – Brighton – were most in favour of Remain, with only nineteen percent voting to leave.

Swansea fans seem the most patriotic in the UK, as sixty-six percent of them say that patriotism was the main reason they voted for Brexit. Manchester City fans mainly blamed media persuasion (57%) with Chelsea fans citing the slightly thorny issue of immigration (52%) as their main influencer – another oddity given that Gary Cahill is the only Brit who can hold down a regular place in Chelsea's first team.

Fans were also asked if they regretted their vote, and here the most telling aspect of AskFans' investigation came to light. The top seven sides whose supporters were most passionate about voting for Brexit, were exactly the same seven sides whose supporters regretted how they voted. Joining the four teams mentioned above in the 'top seven with most regrets list' were Newcastle United, Manchester City and Huddersfield Town.

On the flip side only thirteen percent of Brighton fans seemed to want to change their minds if a second referendum was held, only beaten by Leicester City as the team with the least regrets. To complete the picture, the Brexit-Remain split among Leicester City fans was 71-29 in favour of remaining.

A curious snapshot then, but how does that compare with the entire nation? Of course the vote way back in June 2016 was 52-48 in favour of Brexit, but a recent YouGov poll forty-seven percent of those polled now feel it is wrong to leave, compared to forty-two percent whom still think it is the correct thing to do. When it comes to Brexit, the UK public may be as enthusiastic about the decision made and the result gained as the English FA were about appointing Sam Allardyce as manager.

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