Premier League polling: Who really is the biggest Premier League club?

Ahead of the new season, over 4,000 fans of Premier League clubs were asked who they perceive to be the biggest club as well as their hopes and dreams for the upcoming campaign.

By Tim Williams Published: 1 August 2022 - 10.09am

It’s the age-old debate football fans can’t resist: which club is the biggest in the Premier League?

Supporters revel in gleefully explaining why their club rules the roost and defend them to the hilt when their standing is besmirched.

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For the loyal legions of fans, hearing their club disparaged evokes a visceral emotion akin to the feeling when they concede a goal, because they want to be associated with glory, prestige, success and being the best.

The debate has raged on for years, with little empirical data or objective criteria to provide a clear picture or reliable answer to one of the more impassioned football arguments.

Until now!

With the new Premier League season fast approaching, BT Sport commissioned a survey of fans to ask for their predictions for the upcoming campaign and their beliefs about wider topics and themes.

Over 4,000 participants were asked multiple choice questions about the teams they support and to predict where each team will finish in the table.

They were also asked about their team’s biggest Premier League rival, who they believe plays the best football, which club is the biggest, who will win the Champions League and much more.

So who do fans really think is the biggest club in England?

The survey reveals that despite a lack of recent success, Man Utd are perceived to be the biggest Premier League club by fans.

Even though they haven’t lifted the title since 2013, 43% (1,735 participants) elected for the 20-time champions of England.

Despite a lean period, Man Utd dominated English football for years under Sir Alex Ferguson and have a huge global following and considerable commercial revenue.

Those surveyed were also asked what the key drivers were behind their decision, with the size of the fanbase (64%) and trophies won (63%) coming out on top.

The Red Devils claim to have a community of 1.1 billion fans and followers and they have won over 65 trophies in their illustrious 144-year history.

Other factors included the quality and depth of the playing squad, the size of the stadium, the annual spend on transfer fees and the number of commercial deals.

Notably, Man City were voted the second biggest club with 22%. They have dominated English football recently, winning four league titles in the last five seasons, but don’t share a decorated history like their rivals. 

Surprisingly, Liverpool were only third with 16%. The Reds have won six European Cups and are synonymous with the English game.

Chelsea (5%), Arsenal (4%), Newcastle (1%) and Tottenham (1%) make up the top seven.

Despite perceiving Man Utd as the biggest English club, 64% of respondents agreed that they will never recover to the level of success they achieved during the Ferguson era.

The club have struggled since the legendary manager’s departure and have turned to former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag to restore former glories.

Speaking of the Ferguson glory days, opinion is split among Premier League fans over whether the current Man City team is better than Man Utd’s treble-winning team of 1999.

Perhaps unsurprisingly though, only 16% of Man Utd fans agree compared to 72% of Man City supporters.

BT Sport will show 52 live games from the upcoming Premier League season.