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 was 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.
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).