A recently published survey by leading Tory spiv merchants YouGov (an internet based market research company targeted at their politician mates in Westminster) has attempted to shed some light on who amongst Londoners has the most liked and least liked fans of the london football clubs.
Except of course it does nothing of the sort.
In their press release YouGov offer up a fancy graph and a few well chosen and spurious platitudes below the dramatic headline ‘Fans of Chelsea and Millwall rated worst in London’ which will doubtless find its way into every fucked up Fleet street rag (when they’re not busy hacking phones or paying off shady contacts) and be the talk of the Commons drinking club.
The reality is less alarming and frankly not very newsworthy. Polling just 1011 participants (in a city of 8.6 million people) it asks the very vague question “generally speaking, do you have a positive or negative impression of fans of the following football teams?” then lists all the London league clubs.
And with every single club the highest rating is “no opinion/don’t know”. Even Chelsea.
And given just 32% out of the 1011 surveyed have actually encountered an Arsenal fan (the highest percentage of people to encounter fans of any particular club) where do you think these people are getting their impressions from? That’s right, from the media – the very institutions who hold the average working class football fan in utter contempt. Just to add insult to injury the second highest number – 31% – have never encountered any fans of the football clubs listed!
Let ’em come
Let’s look a bit closer at Millwall given the headline screams they’re the worst fans in London. Only 12% out of 1011 polled have ever encountered a Millwall fan. Yet all 1011 participants are asked to given their impression of Millwall fans. 7% said it was ‘generally positive’, 45% said it was ‘generally negative’ while 47% had ‘no opinion/don’t know’. So even with all the bad press Millwall fans constantly receive, more people have no opinion about the fans than have a generally negative view of them.
And so it goes on with all the other London clubs.
What then is the point of this? Well YouGov get a tidy pay packet out of it and a slap on the back from their spiv mates in the government who will use it as concrete evidence that something has to be done to counter the ‘negative image’ football fans have with the general public. Just watch the Tory (and Labour) PR machines go into overdrive as even stronger legislation is sought, both inside and outside the ground, to ‘control’ unruly football fans.
It’s bullshit statistics with a heavy political agenda from a mercenary bunch of rich clueless idiots on behalf of the tax avoiding expense fiddling privileged political elite.
- YouGov ‘Fans of Chelsea and Millwall rated worst in London’ press release
- Actual survey results (pdf)