Having owned Chelsea F.C. for a few months, Todd Boehly has outlined his vision for the Premier League, including a season-capping North v South game, an expansion of “multi-club” ownership, and a four-club post-season relegation playoff tournament.
How have these ideas gone down with supporters?
North (and south) stars
We polled 2,000 fans of the 20 Premier League clubs via YouGov Direct. The data shows that a plurality oppose the idea of an “all-star” game: while two in five back the idea (42%), nearly half are against it (47%).
Over two-fifths of these World Cup fans say they would advertise to themselves via TV adverts (43%), making it the most popular advertising medium. But a similar proportion would also advertise to themselves via online mediums such as social media, apps, websites, or on-demand TV services (41%).
There are some generational differences here. More than half of younger fans support a North v South match (56%), with two-fifths dissenting (37%) – with the reverse true for over-55s (37% support; 55% oppose). So, if an all-star season-ender isn’t necessarily going to appeal to most Premier League supporters, it might earn a warmer reception among younger demographics.
We also asked fans about their predicted outcome for a hypothetical North v South game. Three in five think the all-star northerners would win (60%) – with just one in five predicting victory for the southern team (20%). The remainder don’t know either way (20%).
Premier League fans don’t want to change the relegation system
While fans are more divided on an all-star game, their opinion on relegation playoffs is more clear-cut. Two-thirds of fans (67%) want to keep the current system – where the three lowest-ranked Premier League clubs drop down to the EFL championship – while just one in five think the post-season tournament would be the better option (21%).
Unlike the North v South game, this is broadly consistent across every age group. Considering the widespread outcry towards the would-be European Super League – a proposed breakway competition featuring 12 elite continental clubs, with no promotion or relegation – this rejection isn’t all too surprising.
Another idea that has been put forth is a greater emphasis on the “multi-club” ownership model used by entities such as the City Football Group and Red Bull – where one company owns a network of teams across the globe. But two in five Premier League fans say it’s wrong for a club owner to own a team based in another national league (42%), with just three in ten saying it’s right (28%). A third don’t know either way (30%).
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Methodology: YouGov polled 2,000 supporters of English Premier League clubs online on 15 September 2022 between 15:02 and 17:16 BST. The survey was carried out through YouGov Direct. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, region, and social grade. The margin of error is 2% for the overall sample. Learn more about YouGov Direct.