Aston Villa’s Facebook followers figure last month of 524, 589 represented a growth of followers of 68% in a five month period, making it the most impressive percentage increase of all Premiership teams. Since, there’s been another impressive growth with almost 60,000 additional followers in the period of the last month.
One major concern for the club though is the problem of turning Facebook followers into Villa Park attendees.
Last season 684,501 fans (including away fans) came to Villa Park, not too impressive when you consider that’s an average per game of 33,873.
That average gate was 5.8% of the club’s 581,779 Facebook followers.
Compare this to Sunderland who had 742,813 visitors to the Stadium of Light last season – an average of 39,095 per game. With their Facebook followers only clocking in at 50,225, that means their average gate represented 78% of their Facebook followers.
Villa may have 530,000 more Facebook followers, that’s over 11 times the amount of Sunderland, yet Sunderland’s fan presented the club with well over £2,000,000 more in gate receipts last season.
One thing that the below Facebook Followers table does represent though is where most fans regard the club in terms of the real football order. The kind of position that would have been Paul Lambert’s motivation to take the job too.
Lying 7th in the Premier League in terms of followers, it’s only two places below Villa’s 5th placing in the all-time Premiership table and also all-time top-tier league table. Plus, one place below Martin O’Neil’s recent three consecutive sixth place finishes.
Since Facebook for the club is essentially a marketing tool (it is run by the club’s marketing department after all), the disparity between Villa Park attendances and it’s keyboard fans is a problem that the club will surely look to address in the new season.
Overall, in terms of the Premiership as a whole, compared to last month’s table, now that the final silverware has been settled, the main change is seen by the impact of winning the Champions League for Chelsea. They gained a cool million followers in a month allowing them to leapfrog Arsenal into second place in the table.
This growth put them on parallel with the kind of million gains in the month that the monster Facebook clubs like Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid made.
Manchester United – who with their global branding boast more followers than the immediate two teams below them – Arsenal and Chelsea.
Interestingly, the team in 4th place, Liverpool, who were deemed to have had a poor season finishing 8th in the Premiership, still gained more followers than the Premiership champions Manchester City, who lie one place below them in 5th.
The new promoted clubs of West Ham, Reading and Southampton, team-for-team offer bigger Facebook followings than the teams they replaced.
West Ham crash into the top 10 with 265, 456 followers, that’s more than their two London rivals Fulham and QPR put together, who are in 11th and 12th place respectively.
For other insights, see last month’s table and report:
Premiership Club Official Facebook Follows (Glory Hunters) League Table
(correct to 9th June 2012 – May figures in brackets)
1. Manchester United 25,599,273 (24,527,296)
2. Chelsea – 10,902,283 (9,942,089)
3. Arsenal – 10,479,809 (9,984,479)
4. Liverpool – 9,606,237 (9,151,589)
5. Man City – 2,901,830 (2,557,356)
6. Spurs – 1,293,248 (1,215,651)
7. Aston Villa – 581,779 (524,589)
8. Newcastle – 285,819 (267,579)
9. Everton – 241,191 (231,625)
10. West Ham United 265, 456
11. Fulham – 97,525 (81, 549)
12. QPR – 84,462 (73,830)
13. Sunderland – 50,225 (47,607)
14. Stoke City – 47, 847 (46,423)
15. Swansea City – 43,368 (39,740)
16. WBA – 42,859 (16,545)
17. Reading – 37,424
18. Southampton 33, 974
19. Norwich City – 32,242 (27,068)
20. Wigan Athletic – 13,864 (11,575)
The relegated (previous place in fb league)
Blackburn Rovers – 41,704 (14th)
Wolverhampton Wanderers – 31,335 (16th)
Bolton Wanderers – 7,014 (20th)
Others teams of interest
Birmingham City – 36, 865 (35,754)
Celtic FC – 170, 610 (165, 524)
Barcelona – 32,153,057 (30,382,192)
Real Madrid – 29,118,040 (27,662,436)
Bayern Munich – 4,277, 533