As disgusting as the idea of a European Super League is, Spurs fans found themselves wondering why our club wasn’t involved, when news of the negotiations broke last week. After all, if there’s money to be made from the potential venture, you’d think we’d be first in the queue.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United were all named as potential founder clubs, who would be exempt from relegation in the proposed league. Creating a competition without the key competitive edge of potential demotion is bad enough, but Tottenham supporters had a bigger reason than most to grumble at the news, having finished above all of these teams in recent seasons.
Spurs and many other big clubs across Europe, were left on the sidelines, while clubs with less supporters such as Chelsea, Manchester City and PSG were busy at the negotiating table. Yet paying fans are of little interest to the organisers. What they value are global television audiences and they can be drawn to teams that they have never seen in the flesh, in an era when many young football fans follow specific players rather than clubs.
A report created by footballpredictions.net sheds some light on the work that Tottenham have to do to be considered part of Europe’s elite. Their real-time ranking of the social media followers of Premier League clubs, reveals how far behind Spurs are when it comes to attracting fans across the world.
The above screenshot shows the top ten Premier League clubs ranked by social media followers. Spurs are sixth, but are way behind fifth-placed Manchester City in all categories. You could put this purely down to City spending so much money to buy success, yet they have also invested relatively heavily to ensure that they are ahead of the game in social media.
Behind Tottenham are Leicester in seventh and their high position goes to show that the best way for any club to expand their fanbase, is by winning things. Leicester find themselves above Everton – a club that traditionally has more fans – by virtue of their popularity after winning the Premier League in 2015-16.
It’s a weird paradox. If European Super Leagues were decided by merit then Spurs (like it or loathe it) would be involved. Yet the fastest way to broaden to club’s appeal to TV audiences and advertisers, would appear to be to prove themselves by winning trophies. Don’t you just hate modern football?