Football fans were asked to pay £14.95 to watch games – here’s how they responded

Which team's fans were most vocal? And how did perspectives change?


With the resumption of the Premier League, UK-based fans have come face-to-face with an unwelcome new reality. Unlike in Germany, Spain and Italy, current regulations mean no fans in any stadiums. And so, thanks in part to the efforts of the #letuswatch campaign, it was decided that televised access would be provided for all matches.


If a game wasn’t due to be televised under the existing agreement, it can only be viewed via a one-off payment of £14.95.

That accounts for 160 games, with fans of the leagues less ‘glamorous’ teams likely to be disproportionately affected. For all the biosecure protocols, and more bubbles than a West Ham pitchside, any hopes that football’s return would bring soaring escapism have been skewered by economic reality. 



Which team’s fans led the response?

Unsurprisingly,  the clubs who have already played behind paywalls attract large swathes of attention. Beyond that, however, it’s the reaction of fan communities that have seen Newcastle, the club most featured in online conversations, accumulate over 25k different mentions. 



Not that The Magpies were alone in meeting what they viewed as profiteering with a charitable response. Liverpool, the second-placed club in our analysis, were another – as too were their opponents on the night, Sheffield Utd. 



In fact, fans from all over the country chose this method of protest, which saved at least some from catching their team play out the season’s most turgid draw. 



Initial conversation had, however, played out rather differently. 


In the days following the announcement, talk turned to illegal or pirated streams.



If this talk was destructive, focused on denying revenue to the organisations who had made the decision, then a more constructive rerouting of funds to charities had taken hold by the following week. 

And why food banks? Manchester Utd may sit mid-table in the wider PPV conversation, but their number 10 appears to have have left his mark.



For more football insights, including a weekly-updated table on fan engagement among Premier League fans, follow us at @Pulsar_Football.

Where next?


How AS Roma won at Football Twitter

Pioneering ‘native’ social media comms in a second language

How football clubs strike the right tone on social – with Eoin Doyle of Sheffield United

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