Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Geordies Top Knowledge Of Football League Table With Cockneys At The Bottom

10 years ago

A study of football fans across the country found that supporters in the north east were the most knowledgeable about the beautiful game, whilst those in London were the most clueless.

However, the overall findings of the survey showed a worrying countrywide lack of knowledge when it came to the business of football.

The Open University are launching a new degree in Business Management (Sport and Football) and are using the survey to help launch this new course.

Here are their findings from the survey;

Supporters of Newcastle United and Sunderland are finally united; in trumping the rest of Britain in both their knowledge of the rules of football, and their understanding of the business behind the world’s most popular sport. This is according to new research published today by The Open University Business School and The Football League Trust.

The study of over 1,000 British football fans, carried out by Opinion Matters, compared ‘on-pitch’ and ‘off-pitch’ know-how and uncovered which areas of Britain have the supporters with the best all-round knowledge of the game. Fans from the North East topped the league table with an overall score of 40% (see below), with Londoners scoring lower than any other region (33% overall).

Nationally, the research uncovered huge disparities between British football fans’ knowledge of the rules of the game compared with their understanding of the business decisions behind it. The average fan showed a lack of knowledge when it came to the business of football (scoring on average 16% in the off-pitch questions, versus 58% in the on-pitch questions). This poor awareness of the commercial realities behind the game can undermine a fan’s understanding of the decisions their own beloved clubs are making day in day out.

The study marks the launch of a new ‘BA (Hons) Business Management (Sport and Football) , developed in partnership between The Open University Business School and The Football League Trust, which focuses on business through the lens of the football industry. The degree draws on people’s passion and understanding of football and combines this with the foundations of effective business management. A free taster course starting on Monday 11 August 2014 will introduce students to some of the themes from the degree.

The 20-point questionnaire tackled a wide range of topics, including the rules relating to back passes, time keeping, substitutions, defensive walls and corner kicks, while also covering business and footballing finance subjects, such as players’ contracts and salaries, operating profits, sources of club revenue, TV rights and taxation.

Key research findings:

•     Nationally, knowledge of the business behind the game (16%) falls well behind fans’ understanding of the rules on the pitch (58%)

•     The North East proved a hot bed for rule buffs, averaging a score of 66%, which bumped it to the top of the all-round knowledge league with a score of 40% overall

•     Fans from the Midlands know more about the business side of the game than any other region, scoring 18%, compared to a national average of 16%

•     In the battle of the sexes, male respondents scored highest in both their on-pitch (40%, versus 31.5%) and off-pitch knowledge (17%, versus 13%)

•     Age and wisdom overcame youth, with the 55+ age group scoring the highest overall with 39.5%. The lower the respondents age, the lower the score, with the 16-24 age group achieving just 24.5% in comparison

•     Only 1 in 4 (23.5%) British football fans understand the intricacies of the offside rule, with female fans scoring higher than their male counterparts (25%, versus 23%)

•     Just 1 in 10 fans (12%) understand the basics of football player contracts, with almost half (44%) thinking a player has no option to leave a club aside from being sold or reaching the end of their contract

Details of the full degree or how to sign up to the free course are on The Open University website at


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to

Have your say

© 2024 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks