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Fans Without Borders – United 3rd Most Popular In Europe

Fans Without Borders - Mastercard

One quarter of Europe’s football faithful (41 million) are classed as Fans Without Borders, with FC Barcelona the most popular foreign team (29%), followed by Real Madrid CF (10%) and Manchester United FC (8%).

Fans Without Borders have been categorised into three groups:
1. Highlight Fans, representing 60% of all Fans Without Borders, are attracted to a club’s playing philosophy (85%) and success (79%).

2. Regional Affinity Fans account for 12% of the total number of Fans Without Borders. Many of these faraway followers feel a special connection with the team because of a link to the city, with 55% of these fans regularly visiting the club’s region.

3. Star Followers represent 11% of Fans Without Borders – their loyalties are firmly set at the feet of great players and coaches and these fans are prepared to switch allegiance in line with wherever their favourite stars go.

Fans Without Borders ring up €35bn worth of spending each season and here’s how:
- One fifth of the total spend, or €7.5bn, is on Pay TV.
- Merchandising (club-branded goods) earns 13% of our far-away follower’s money.
- Actual match attendance consumes 10% of Fans Without Borders’ spending, with an additional €2.5bn allocated to food, drink and other goods purchased when there.
- 6% of spend is given over to visiting a pub or sports-bar to take in a game on the big screen, and subscription to a club’s own TV channel takes 5%.
- One in four fans attends home matches abroad. Accommodation and travel relating to match attendance, or visits to their favourite stadia, cost Fans Without Borders €8.75bn each year – one quarter of the total spend.
- The impact on tourism is positive; one third of all Fans Without Borders have booked a trip for the sole purpose of watching a match or visiting a stadium. One fifth intentionally combine match attendance with a short city break, or integrate the game into a regular holiday. In total, cities hosting Fans Without Borders at live matches, benefit by around €4.5bn per season.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. CedarsDevil says:

    Seems he is Mr Mike, MG is spot on, or rather on the spot as it were

  2. Mikekelly12 says:

    Blackpool in a spot of bother.

  3. CedarsDevil says:

    Cole on the spot it seems

  4. Mikekelly12 says:

    Could be looking at spot kicks

  5. Wakey says:


    By all accounts he has knuckled down at West Ham and atleast a month back was said to be turning up to training. It’s said that man at WHU are at a loss as to his lack of game time but for so reason Big Sam refuses to pick him. Obviously feels mentally he just sent right yet

  6. Lebomanc says:

    Ferdinand predicted west ham to win 3-1 on twitter!

    And I HATEEE tevez!
    He think we are the underdogs now and still refuses to apologize!

  7. MG says:

    Did he have spotted dick for dessert?


  8. MG says:


    Talking about Ince…



  9. CedarsDevil says:

    Could have spotted something here fellas

  10. Mikekelly12 says:

    Ince spot on

  11. MG says:

    Ince has put West Ham in a spotty situation.


  12. Mikekelly12 says:

    Blackpool have missed some sitters today.

  13. CedarsDevil says:

    Anyone watching the Scottish Cup Final? My Heart has a good feeling about his one

  14. Mikekelly12 says:

    Have a heart four one hibs team

  15. MG says:

    Giggsy was lodging with Ince when his young son wanted to be like the Welshman


  16. Mikekelly12 says:

    The linesman at Wembley is the twat that gave the penalty that never was against Newcastle that ultimately cost us the league!!

  17. CedarsDevil says:


    I’ve got 5 hearts at the minute

  18. zelh says:

    Mikekelly – He also gave the penalty against Sunderland where a Sunderland player touched the ball with his hand in our box. :lol:

    luckily Webb didn’t give it.

  19. Mikekelly12 says:

    5 hearts n 5 mins!
    Hammers win it!!!!!

  20. Mikekelly12 says:

    The blokes a twat!!

  21. Mikekelly12 says:


  22. Mikekelly12 says:

    Bottle of claret on the way to Big Sam from Sir Alex!!

  23. CedarsDevil says:

    This is dicking bollocks

  24. CedarsDevil says:

    Hate the hammers but have nothing but respect for Big Sam

  25. Mikekelly12 says:

    Tough away day at Upton Park next year…… Actuall, fuck that! We’re gonna be fucking invincible next year…. Fucking gonna HAMMER them!!

  26. Ji Sung says:

    Gwan West Ham! Happy for them! prem League wasn’t the same without this last season.

  27. cubs says:

    Tony Watson it was waywaccy baccy.

  28. Mikekelly12 says:

    Yeah, good mates with Sir Alex. He does look like one of those plasticine creature comforts animals!

  29. CedarsDevil says:


    In other words cuddly?

  30. TonyBee Watson says:

    cubs.. what the fuck are you on about….

  31. TonyBee Watson says:

    Big Sam back up……… Steve ‘stab-in the-back’ Kean relegated….

    betcha Sam sends him a get fucked card…

  32. TonyBee Watson says:

    I approached a young lad sat in the dentist waiting room.

    “Hi,” I said, “I’m afraid it’s bad news, I’m going to have to take a few of your teeth out.”

    “Oh no!” He replied, “You don’t even look like a dentist.”

    “I’m not,” I replied, “But you’re wearing a fucking Liverpool shirt.”

  33. TonyBee Watson says:

    Thats life…..

    Ronaldo: scores over 50 goals this year and 10 in the champions league…..

    Messi: scored over 70 goals this year, set a new record by scoring 5 in one match in the champions league !!

    Torres: done fuck all but still in the final

  34. CedarsDevil says:

    Mr Bee

    Hence the saying ‘life can be a bitch’

  35. RedHound says:

    A little bird told me we’re going unbeaten the whole of next season.

  36. cubs says:

    Tony just me.

  37. Costas says:

    See you next year Morrison.

    I wouild have prefered Blackpool to rejoin the EPL, but West Ham will do just fine. The more cunts the league has, the more motivated our players will be to win it.

  38. WillieRedNut says:

    Happy for Fergie’s mate big Sam. Gutted for Blackpool and Olly though. Very unlucky. Karma for Blackburn? Sacked big Sam for stupid reasons. Now, paying the price for that. Enjoy the Championship you fucking mugs!

  39. FootballPakistan.Com says:

    Wonder how many of these “Fans Without Borders” chose Barca only because they like Messi…


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