Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal: English football clubs ranked by how much fans love them

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Football is an absolute institution in England and we wouldn't have it any other way.

From the dizzying heights and prices of the Premier League to the pluckiness and charm of Non-League, there's something about England's footballing pyramid that keeps us thoroughly entranced.

Sadly, the tragic global situation has meant that supporters around the country have been forced to cheer on their teams from home, but a return to the terraces is now tantalisingly close.

Clubs you have a soft spot for

And while everyone will obviously be cheering on the club they love dearest to the heavens, I can't be alone in suspecting that some fans will also have a vested interest in other outfits' performances.

Ok, ok, ok, maybe you're an ardent subscriber to the belief 'one shall only ever support one football club', but you're not telling me that you don't at least have a soft spot for another club.

Besides, if we're being honest, I think we've all sat down to watch a football match as a neutral fan and wanted one team to win more than the other even if it doesn't impact your number one club.

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England's most loved and hated clubs

We all have our reasons for having crushes on certain rivals clubs from the type of football they play to former players or managers and I'm sure a couple of examples are already coming to mind.

But as far as English football as a whole is concerned, then Transfermarkt has a fascinating way of highlighting which clubs are loved or hated the most by supporters.

That's because the data gurus boast a popularity table that is calculated by randomising match-ups between two clubs and asking supporters to vote on who they'd rather see win if they played each other.

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The most popular clubs in England

Now, as you can probably gather from that, overall popularity percentages are calculated from who fans select or ignore the most from all the random combinations that are thrown their way.

And all that leads to a revealing table of the 119 English clubs on Transfermarkt, which, in effect, ranks them by how much supporters either love them or hate them. Check out the final table here:

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So, there you have it, Liverpool are officially the darlings of English football.

Liverpool lead the way

Considering how many supporters were desperate for them not to win the Premier League title last season, that might come as something of a surprise, but you can't argue with the data.

Nottingham Forest can consider themselves unlucky to miss out on top spot by a hair, while Burnley and West Bromwich Albion bring up the rear as far as Premier League clubs are concerned. 

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As for why Hayes & Yeading FC finish rock bottom with a popularity ranking of just 24%, we have no idea, but it's clear that certain clubs' lower profiles have made their life harder in the final table.

However, it speaks volumes that even the 'least-liked' club from English football's high echelons still gets the thumbs up from almost a quarter of football fans.

It goes to show that there's some serious love in the English game, even for clubs you don't support, so it's right about time that we got excited for fans getting those turnstiles spinning again. Bring it on.

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