Manchester United remain the biggest club in England, despite a downturn in success over the last six years, ahead of rivals Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. Back-to-back reigning Premier League champions Manchester City are still only the fifth biggest club in the country.
This is all according to the ‘Big Club Survey’ run by Betway, in which more than 3,500 football fans were asked to score out of 10, in terms of importance, the key criteria that determines the size of a football club.
That includes a variety of things like total silverware, match-going support, worldwide support, recent silverware and transfer spend.
Of the 10 criteria, total silverware was ranked the most important factor, ahead of match-going support. European pedigree was ranked third, while recent silverware as low as eighth in the list, below stadium size. Transfer spend was ranked 10th in term of importance, suggesting that fans don’t believe having a big budget alone automatically makes you a big club.
|Rank||Big Club Criteria|
|5||Total Premier League Seasons|
|7||Recent Premier League Seasons|
|9||Number of International Players|
The ‘big club’ factor were then applied to every club that has ever played in the Premier League.
Manchester United came out top of the list, scoring maximum points in six of the 10 categories, including both total silverware and match-going support, the two most important.
Manchester City placed fifth. They did top three of the categories, but these were among the four determined least important by fans – including total spend and recent silverware.
|8||West Ham United|
|20||Brighton & Hove Albion|
Newcastle were beaten to a place in the top 10 by Leicester, Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton. Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest made the top 20, despite not featuring in the Premier League since 1999. Similarly, Leeds have survived as the country's 16th biggest club.
Watford and Brighton are also deemed to be among England’s 20 biggest club against the criteria, despite only recently becoming fixtures of the Premier League. Brighton in particular ranked fourth for match-going support, the second most important 'big club' factor.