Sky Bet's Fan Hope Survey - Do United Fans Still Think They're in a Title Race?

Fan Hope Survey Sky Bet
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How the Fan Hope Survey Works

Sky Bet have once again asked Premier League fans how optimistic they are for their club for the remainder of the season. Fans were graded on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most optimistic), and after the first instalment of the Fan Hope Survey at the start of the season in August, Sky Bet are back with round 2 and there are some dramatic changes from the fans.

The research was completed by Sky Bet in partnership with YouGov and surveyed 1,168 UK adults aged 18+ who are fans of the associated clubs. For more information about the Sky Bet Fan Hope campaign and the research, please contact [email protected]

United faithful not giving up hope, Liverpool fans in disarray, City followers in dreamland

As was the case at the start of the season, Manchester City fans are the most hopeful. Back in August, the Citizens supporters hit a score of 9.24 of optimism on a scale of 1-10, which was higher than any other club as only champions Liverpool scored a 9.04.

Since August, City have moved to the top of the table with an 11-point gap on their neighbours, whilst they won an extraordinary 21 games on the bounce in all competitions. As a result of their record-breaking run, the optimism of City fans has increased to 9.35 and it seems the blue side of Manchester are already preparing for their title celebrations.

On the other hand, Manchester United have moved down from fifth to seventh, with a score of 7.90 in August. The club hit the statistically best form out of any club in the league throughout Project Restart, and after a bit of a slump in 2021, they have now registered a 7.03 on the Fan Hope score.

At the start of the season, Liverpool fans were arguably the most optimistic they've been before any season as they entered the campaign as defending champions. In August, they sat just behind City on the Fan Hope table with a 9.04 tally and now, after losing a staggering six on the bounce at Anfield, fans have come crashing down with a 6.32 score, moving the club from second into ninth.

With Liverpool fans fearing the worst and City followers with their feet up waiting for the title, the research also revealed that an incredible 44% of United fans still feel they’re in the title race, despite the 11-point gap.

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What're fans saying in north London?

It's been another topsy-turvy season in north London, with Tottenham Hotspur moving from title contenders to Europa League hopefuls pretty rapidly. At the same time, despite going unbeaten in the league throughout January, Arsenal have been in tatters all season long and they still have a task on their hands to finish inside the top half.

Both Spurs and Arsenal are failing to see the positives since August - a time where they were already languishing down at the bottom - as the clubs sit 15th and 17th, respectively in the Fan Hope table of February 2021. In fact, the Gunners supporters sit with a torrid score of 4.76, whilst those across the city registered a 4.97 out of 10, and with both sides facing an uphill battle to get into just a Europa League spot, this in itself is generous.

How confident are the new boys 7 months into their stay?

The return to the Premier League for Leeds United has been one of the stories of the season, with the club bringing back the entertainment value of a newly-promoted side. However, despite being the seventh highest scores in the league, Leeds are still fighting to stay inside the top 10 come to the end of the campaign, but this is more than impressive for a club that spent 16 years outside the top flight.

However, their praise from around the country has been reflected in their Fan Hope score, as they sit fourth with a score of 7.43, which moves them up five places and ahead of Everton, Liverpool, Chelsea and United. It should be noted as well that despite this rise from Leeds in the Fan Hope table, their score has only increased by 0.7, and their move up the graph has been as a result of other clubs' lack of hope - it seems the Leeds fans have been hopeful all along!

Fulham fans have also dropped down a little, moving down one place into 14th with a score of 5.18 from a tally of 6.81 back in August. However, since then, the Fulham faithful have seen their side move from certain failure, to more hope as of late, with a recent win at Anfield putting them just one point away from moving out of the drop zone.

The Relegation fighters are filled with fear, but other contenders have since blossomed

In what is the biggest drop of them all, Sheffield United fans have slumped from contenders for the European spots last season, to delivering one of the worst Premier League seasons ever a campaign later. The Blades fans, as a result, have gone from scoring a whopping 7.82, which saw them sit seventh on the Fan Hope table in August, to a telling 2.40 and a spot in 19th seven months on.

West Bromwich Albion fans - although four points ahead of Sheffield United - sit bottom of the Fan Hope chart, dropping from a 5.95 out of 10 to survive at the start of the season, to a drastic 1.94. It does seem as if Sam Allardyce will be relegated for the first time in his career this campaign and unfortunately for him, the Baggies fans seem to believe so too.

Also slumped towards the bottom are Newcastle United fans, who in truth, haven't been optimistic in the best part of a decade. The fans of the North East outfit scored a 3.71 out of 10 back in August, which was the lowest of any club in the league back then. Seven months on and with just a point keeping them from dropping into the relegation zone, their score has decreased to a 2.63, and they're only safe from being the most pessimistic club in the league because of the disasters that are unfolding at Bramall Lane and The Hawthorns.

On the other hand, both Aston Villa and West Ham United have moved up to fifth and third in the Fan Hope table, respectively, with both clubs turning from relegation fighters to Europa League hopefuls across the 2020/21 campaign. The Hammers, in fact, have moved all the way from 17th to second, whilst Everton have moved from 18th to eighth as a result of Liverpool's demise and their growth under Carlo Ancelotti.

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