It’s great to see Manchester City in the ascendency and Manchester United consistently failing every year, but the blue half of England’s greatest city is still behind the red in terms of global support. The legacy of Sir Alex Ferguson lives on in nations around the world, and it will take a while for that to diminish.
Younger fans are growing up now, and fewer of these are likely to follow the underwhelming Old Trafford outfit. Meanwhile, City are alluring more supporters in the far reaches of the globe now thanks to their success, but it could take more than a decade for there to be a significant swing in followers.
City Failed to Attract Thai Fans Even with a Thai Owner
It’s amazing to think that even when City had a Thai owner, there were few supporters from Thailand that backed the team. Thaksin Shinawatra owned the club between June 2007 and September 2008 and made an incredible profit, but perhaps wasn’t there long enough to interest supporters from his home nation. Leicester City, in contrast, have been owned by the Thai King Power Group since 2010, and the Srivaddhanaprabha family have enjoyed great triumph in alluring Thais to the club than City had.
Thailand represents the sort of country that City should be trying to garner more support in. Despite being relatively unknown on the world stage and never having qualified for a World Cup, Thailand is a football-mad nation with a lot of interest in the Premier League. In a survey in the Bangkok Post in 2016, it was discovered that the EPL was more popular than the Thai League 1 and that United was the most followed team with over 31 per cent of the vote. In contrast, City only had a 3 per cent share at the time.
Things could be slowly shifting, though, as the football industry is continuing to expand in the Southeast Asian nation. Along with a plethora of ways to watch the matches, the betting sector is beginning to flourish. Indeed, people who want to wager on the games now need to turn to review pages to find the best football betting website because there are so many options. There are numerous international brands, some with attractive bonuses such as 200 per cent deposit matches up to 20,000 baht. All players need to do is click a link to be taken directly to the various sites. Staking on the games can give bettors another reason to support teams, and City are likely to be favoured by bettors because they have a high chance of winning.
Haaland Transfer Will Attract Swathes of New Supporters
City will pick up new fans around the world in their thousands every time they claim more silverware. As long as they dominate the top flight every season, upcoming football-watching generations are more likely to pick the light blue of City over the red of United. There are other ways that City can attract new supporters, though, and even encourage some people to switch their allegiance.
One of the ways to do that is to sign international stars that everyone has heard of. Pep Guardiola has traditionally signed players that are famous in footballing circles but are not quite household names. That changed this summer when he opted to bring in Erling Haaland for £51 million, a player widely considered to be the best striker on the planet.
The Norwegian is only 22 years of age, meaning he hasn’t even entered his footballing prime yet. However, he already has a superior strike rate to most others in his position around the world. This is highlighted by the fact that he put away 62 goals in 67 league appearances at Borussia Dortmund.
Because Haaland is the pride of Norway and probably the best player the country has ever produced, City will doubtlessly attract loads of new fans from the Scandinavian nation. They’re also likely to allure Dortmund fans who have seen the hitman in action before and are desperate to see more of his clinical finishes. Indeed, football lovers around the world who want to witness beautiful goals are going to be watching City matches this season to see what Haaland can do.
City are definitely on the way up in terms of global support, but overtaking United is going to take time. The City franchise will help a lot as well, with all the sister clubs in various countries drawing attention to the main event in Manchester.