Football Poll Report

Nigerians Tip Liverpool FC to Win the English Premier League 2019/2020 season

Abuja-October 9th, 2019 – Latest poll released by NOIPolls has revealed that a significant proportion of respondents (39 percent) have predicted Liverpool FC to win the English Premier League. This tipping cannot be unconnected to the recent form and performance of Liverpool FC in the present season where they have raked in 8 wins in as many matches they have played in the season as at the time of this report. Manchester City FC who are currently the defending champions of the league after winning the coveted trophy last season were tipped by only 18 percent of respondents to retain their title.

In terms of followership, 44 percent of respondents say they follow the English premier league.  Expectedly there are more males (62 percent) who follow the league than females (25 percent). In terms of support, among those that follow the premier league, Chelsea FC (34 percent) have the highest proportion of respondents who support the team and interestingly, there are more females (41 percent) who support Chelsea than males (31 percent). This is then followed by Manchester United (30 percent) and then Arsenal (23 percent).

In comparison, only 22 percent of respondents say they follow the Nigerian Premier league with the South West (25 percent) having the highest proportion of respondents who follow the Nigerian Premier League. 78 percent of respondents say they do not follow the Nigerian Premier league. The reason for this high proportion of Nigerians who do not follow the league cannot be unconnected to some factors bedevilling the league which include perceptions of match fixing in the league and bad officiating, poor coverage of matches and low publicity and general maladministration. It is hoped that the League management company (LMC) will do more in this regard to gain more followership in the league. In terms of support, 32 percent of Nigerians support Kano Pillars FC with the Northwest region accounting for the highest number of respondents (74 percent) who say they support the club. It is then followed by Enyimba FC where 17 percent of respondents say they support the club. Also, a good proportion of respondents (44 percent) tipped Kano Pillars to win the Nigerian Premier League. This tipping can be attributed to their current form of play and success in the league. These are some of the key findings from the football poll conducted in the week of 30th September 2019. 

BACKGROUND

The English Premier League is arguably one of the best leagues in the world when compared to other leagues and when factors like followership and team performance is put into cognizance. The suspense, thrills, intensity and entertainment make millions of football lovers around the world stay glued to their television sets week in week out to watch their darling teams play classical and entertaining football. The English premier league boasts of having some of the best coaches and players in the world.  For instance, coaches like Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino, Unai Emery, Frank Lampard, etc make up the list of some of the high profile and world class coaches who lead their troops to perform on a weekly basis and of course mesmerize fans with their tactical nuances and savvy manoeuvres. World class players plying their trade in the league play tricky, dexterous and professional football which is adored and appreciated the world over by fans. Some of the players who thrill fans include Kun Aguero, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City, Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min of Tottenham City etc. Aside from the coaches and players, other factors that make the league interesting include the fantastic nature of pitches, and the overall management of the league which is seamless, world class and simply precise. The recent introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has also increased the efficiency of refereeing in the league. Additionally, another factor that make the league world class is the ability of lowly rated teams to stun and upset big teams in the league which does not happen frequently in other leagues. For instance, only recently, Norwich City, a newly promoted team stunned Manchester City, the defending champion and a contender for the title with a score line of 3-2 in favor of Norwich City, which to many bookmakers was surprising and unpredictable. Only last three seasons precisely in 2015/2016 season, Leicester City FC won the league after narrowly escaping relegation the preceding season, beating all the top teams to the title. In terms of revenue, [1]the English premier league raked in a whopping $7.3 billion in revenue in 2017/2018 season alone which makes it one of the highest earning leagues in the world.

On the other hand, the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) the home base football league which enjoyed huge followership back in the 1980’s, is currently faced with myriad of challenges that have affected its growth and overall development to a world class league. The league is gradually losing followership due to the various problems bedeviling it which range from a lack of sponsorship deals, to limited coverage, lack of adequate representation on cable TV as well as in the local media, maladministration and poor playing facilities as well as bad officiating among many other issues. Hopefully these impediments will be addressed with the current leadership of the League Management Company (LMC), which is saddled with the core responsibility of organizing and promoting the League to meet global technical and commercial standards.

Considering the above, NOIPolls conducted its annual football poll to gauge the perception of Nigerians regarding the EPL and the NPFL.

SURVEY FINDINGS

In order to ascertain the followership of the English Premier League among Nigerians, respondents were asked if they follow the English Premier League and the result reveal that 44 percent of Nigerians follow the English Premier League as against 56 percent of respondents who say they do not follow the league. The South-South region (53 percent) account for the region with the highest proportion of respondents who follow the English Premier League. Also, there are more males (62 percent) than females (25 percent) who follow the EPL. Age group (18-35) have more respondents (50 percent) than age-group (36-60) (45 percent) who follow the league. 

Nigerians were then asked the English Premier League club they mainly support and the poll reveal that a good proportion of respondents (34 percent) said they support Chelsea with the South East (50 percent) the region with the highest proportion of respondents who support Chelsea FC. Interestingly, there are more females (41 percent) than males (31 percent) who support Chelsea FC. This is then followed by Manchester United FC (30 percent), Arsenal FC (23 percent), Liverpool FC (8 percent) and then Manchester City FC (5 percent)

Respondents were asked their opinion of who will win the English premier league this season and a good proportion of respondents (39 percent) say Liverpool will win the league. This is coming on the hills of Liverpool winning all 8 games that have been played this season. There are more males (43 percent) than females (6 percent) in terms respondents who believe Liverpool FC will the league. Interestingly 39 percent of females think Manchester United will win the 2019/2020 season. Other teams predicted to win the league include Manchester City FC (18 percent), Chelsea FC (17 percent), Manchester United FC (16 percent) and lastly Arsenal FC (10 percent).

Our trend analysis of the team Nigerians think will win the league show that it is not always a good omen as only once in the past five polls has our tipped winner gone ahead to win the league. In the 2013/2014 season, Chelsea (40 percent) was tipped the League but Manchester City eventually won; however in 2014/2015 season, Nigerian tipped Chelsea (54 percent) to win the league and they did. In 2015/2016 season, Chelsea (39 percent) was tipped to win but Leicester city won, in 2016/2017 season, Manchester United (45 percent) was tipped to win the league but Chelsea FC won the league and in 2017/2018 season, Manchester City FC won as against the tipping that Manchester United will win. It remains to be seen if the current tipping that Liverpool FC will win will come true. 

On the other hand, the poll sought to know the proportion of Nigerians who follow the Nigerian Premier league and the poll result reveal that only 22 percent of Nigerians follow the Nigerian league with South west (25 percent) being the region with the highest proportion of respondents who follow the league. While quite a large proportion (78 percent) say they do not follow the Nigerian Premier League. This is alarming and undesirable and there is need for the authorities to improve the quality of the league to gain more followership of the league. The South-South (83 percent) has the highest proportion of respondents who do not follow the Nigerian Premier League.

Trend analysis of the followership of the Nigerian Premier League show this to the lowest, the followership of the Nigerian Premier League has been since we started our annual football poll.  It declined from 47 percent in 2017 to 22 percent in 2019. However, there are many factors that could lead to the decline in NPL followership which include poor coverage of the league, lack of good playing pitches, corruption in the league, poor and biased officiating and so on. There is the need for the administrators of the league to expedite action to address some of these issues so as to regain followership of the league.

In the course of the survey, Nigerian were asked the club they mainly support and the poll result reveal that Kano pillars (32 percent) has the highest proportion of respondents who say they support the team.

Also, North-west (74 percent) has the highest proportion of respondents who support Kano Pillars football club. The reason for supporting Kano cannot be over emphasized as it has a rich history of dominant play in the league and have been winning the league in the past. It is then followed by Enyimba United FC (17 percent), Enugu Rangers FC (12 percent), Plateau United FC (7 percent) amongst other teams in the league.

Trend analysis in terms of support show that it has been an affair between Kano pillars FC and Enyinma United FC with Enugu coming in third most of the time. In 2017 for instance, Enyimba United FC had 33 percent) support and then declined to 18 percent in 2017 and then 17 percent in 2019 while Kano Pillars FC recorded 22 percent support in 2016, 16 percent in 2017 and then 32 percent in 2019. Also, Enugu Rangers had 8 percent support in both 2016 and 2017 and then increased to 12 percent in 2019. The followership of the Nigerian Premier League needs to be improved upon as some clubs do not even have followership at all.

Respondents were asked about who they believe will win the Nigerian Premier League and the poll result reveal that nearly half the proportion of respondents (44 percent) believe that Kano Pillars will win the Nigerian premier league. Other teams that were tipped to win the league include Enyimba FC (22 percent), Enugu Rangers FC (6 percent) and Plateau United FC (5 percent). Others include Lobi stars FC and Akwa United FC (4 percent) each, Wikki Tourist FC (3 percent) and Heartland FC (2 percent).

Trending the past winners and past tipping reveal that in 2015/2016 season, Enyimba United FC (40 percent) were predicted to win the league and they eventually won the league, the same occurred in 2017/2018 season when Plateau United FC (35 percent) was predicted to win the league and they did. However, in 2016/2017 season, Enyimba United FC (34 percent) were predicted to win the league but Enugu Rangers FC eventually won the league. In the current season, Kano Pillars (44 percent) are predicted to win the league but it remains to be seen if they will eventually win the league.

In conclusion, a good proportion of Nigerians (44 percent) follow the English Premier league while 56 percent do not follow the English premier league. The English premier has become a household name among Nigerians football lovers and has continued to entertain and impress football lovers. Also, the poll result reveal that Chelsea FC (34 percent) has the highest proportion of respondents who support the club. Furthermore, a good proportion of Nigerians (39 percent) tip the Liverpool FC to win the 2019/2020 premier league. Currently, Liverpool FC is topping the league and have all 8 games played this season. Contrariwise, only 22 percent of respondents say they follow the Nigerian Premier League as against 78 percent of respondents who attest to the fact that they do not follow the Nigerian Premier League. This is appalling and undesirable and there is the urgent need to turn the tide which will increase the followership of the Nigerian Premier League. Also, Kano pillars were tipped by respondents (42 percent) to win the Nigerian Premier League and the same Kano Pillars have the largest followership (32 percent). Lastly, there is the urgent need for the football administrators in the country to step up and fix some of the challenges we are having in our Premier League so as to make it better and exciting and by so doing boost the overall followership of the league, only then shall we have larger followership in the Nigerian Premier League.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of 30th September 2019. It involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning female Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geo-political regions and 36 states and the FCT of the country. Interviews were conducted in 5 languages – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English and English. Although we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained were statistically precise – within a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65%; we recognize that the exclusive use of telephone polling has its limitation of excluding non-phone-owning Nigerians. Nonetheless, with the country’s tele density put over 100 percent by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), we consider our telephone polling approach appropriate. Also, given the rigorous scientific process of randomization and stratification applied, we can confidently stand by the validity of our methodology and approach. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com.

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published. NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking. Press Contact the Editor Email: editor@noi-polls.com


[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/30/european-soccer-posts-record-revenues-as-epl-dominates-deloitte.html