With the new Premier League season just a few days old, we find ourselves in that unique period of the footballing calendar where fans everywhere can dare to dream of a successful campaign.
After all, every team in the competition begins on a level playing field. However, within mere weeks the league table will begin to take shape – and it is at that point that the work done behind the scenes at each club over the summer months will be able to be properly evaluated.
With that said, supporters of all 20 clubs in the English top-flight were surveyed prior to the start of the season about their hopes for the ownership of their respective teams. It’s no exaggeration to say that there were some fairly damning opinions recorded.
The research was completed by Sky Bet and YouGov as part of their Fan Hopes campaign and the results can be found below.
All 20 Premier League clubs ranked according to fan confidence in their owners
1. Leicester City (96.4% approval rating)
2. Brighton (94.4%)
3. Brentford (91.7%)
4. Aston Villa (89.3%)
5. Manchester City (82.1%)
Fans of FA Cup holders Leicester are the most optimistic in the league about the future under their current ownership. Brighton, Brentford and Aston Villa supporters also share enthusiasm about the coming years under their respective regimes.
Elsewhere, it’s tough to see how fans of reigning Premier League champions Manchester City have much to complain about – and their surveyed supporters tended to agree.
6. Leeds United (80.3%)
7. Watford (77.2%)
8. Chelsea (75.7%)
9. Everton (75.4%)
10. Norwich (70.6%)
Fans of the likes of Leeds, Watford and Norwich – each of whom have been promoted back to the top-flight over the past couple of seasons – indicated that they were mostly behind their current owners.
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has bankrolled Chelsea’s ascent to becoming two-time European champions during his time at the Stamford Bridge helm. The majority of Blues supporters, therefore, are big admirers of their owner.
11. Burnley (62.8%)
12. Crystal Palace (55.6%)
13. Wolves (54.5%)
14. Liverpool (54.2%)
15. West Ham (27.8%)
This is where things start to go downhill. Fans of Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Wolves are very much split on their current ownerships after underwhelming seasons last term. However, West Ham supporters left little doubt that they would like to see the duo of David Sullivan and David Gold depart the London Stadium.
16. Tottenham (25.8%)
17. Southampton (15.4%)
18. Manchester United (9.8%)
19. Arsenal (8.9%)
20. Newcastle (3.1%)
The majority of responses from this final group of supporters were far from positive and – in certain cases – it’s not all that surprising.
Southampton’s majority shareholder Gao Jisheng is clearly not a favourite amongst Saints fans, who will be even more disillusioned now that star striker Danny Ings has been sold to Aston Villa.
So upset were sections of Manchester United’s supporters late last season at the ownership of the Glazer family that they caused the postponement of a home match against Liverpool thanks to their protests. The fact that less than 10% of United fans endorse the current owners is no shock.
Under the stewardship of Stan and Josh Kroenke, Arsenal have faltered badly in recent times, failing to qualify for European competition for the first time in more than 25 years last season. Accordingly, only 8.9% of respondents indicated that they had real faith in the Gunners’ leadership unit.
Newcastle fans seem to have been at odds with owner Mike Ashley ever since he took over in 2007. In truth, even an approval rating of 3.1% seems high for the ever-controversial entrepreneur.
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