ONLY a quarter of football fans support their local team, with others choosing who to support based on the team’s kit, stadium or if anyone else in their family is a fan.
A poll of 2,000 followers of the beautiful game found one in 10 picked their side because they liked the kit, 18 per cent were influenced by who their dad liked – and 13 per cent just liked one player.
Another 10 per cent like to support an underdog team which isn’t doing so well, as they like to see them grow.
Others picked their team because they are the most successful (10 per cent), they have the best chants (nine per cent) and they have a ‘cool’ stadium (11 per cent).
But more than a quarter (27 per cent) have been mocked for not supporting their local side, as 44 per cent admitted to following more than one team.
Although 52 per cent believe it’s ‘wrong’ to root for two teams that both compete in the same division.
It also emerged the FA cup is the best tournament, according to 16 per cent of fans, as it gives underdogs a chance to play the more successful teams and prove their talents.
The research was commissioned by Lottoland.co.uk, whose spokesperson said: “The concept of ‘supporting your local team’ has been a debate for decades.
“It’s surprising to see so few football fans simply support a team because it’s where they are from, but interesting to see their reasons behind their favourite teams.”
Reasons football fans picked their club also include happening to catch a game a team won in a thrilling style and sticking with them from that point onwards.
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Others were bought a random kit by their parents when they were kids and ended up following the team for good.
The study also saw Brazil named the nation most likely to produce the most talented footballers, followed by England, Spain and Portugal.
More than half (54 per cent) of football fans admitted to having strong opinions on football, despite being useless with a ball themselves.
While seven in 10 believe going to an FA Cup final is a ‘quintessentially British’ tradition, as 53 per cent describe attending the showpiece ceremony as a dream of theirs.
Just under half (45 per cent) love the trophy because it throws up the opportunity for a ‘giant killing’ – where a lower-league side knocks out a much bigger team.
Another 21 per cent like it because it means their team will often play young players who don’t normally get a run-out, according to the OnePoll data.
The spokesperson for Lottoland, which has created an online sports book added: “Our study found that supporting a team isn’t as dyed-in-the-wool as you may think.
“There are all sorts of motivations to support a side, and four in 10 have even had their head turned by another side for one reason or another.
“But the majority do believe that when you’ve picked your team, that’s that for life – with no question of looking elsewhere.”