Study: Sydney FC Most Popular A-League Club, As Support For The Phoenix Plummets

Study: Sydney FC Most Popular A-League Club, As Support For The Phoenix Plummets

A-League Premiers Sydney FC have topped the Roy Morgan A-League supporter ladder for 2018 with 613,000 supporters an increase of 11.7 per cent over a year ago following the clubs back-to-back wins as A-League Premiers in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Defending A-League grand final champions Melbourne Victory were second with 526,000 supporters, down 8.7 per cent on a year ago despite the club becoming the first to come from outside the top two sides during the A-League finals to win the Grand Final.

A-League club supporter ladder 2018


Brisbane Roar are the third most widely supported club in the A-League with 461,000 supporters, down 19.8per cent on a year ago. The Roar have not tasted success in the A-League since winning the ‘double’ in 2014 and being crowned both A-League Premiers and Champions.

The Western Sydney Wanderers are in fourth place overall with 289,000 supporters just ahead of Adelaide United with 263,000 supporters and Perth Glory with 253,000 supporters although all three clubs have lost support over the last year.

All three clubs to increase support over the last year are based in New South Wales. In addition to Sydney FC becoming Australia’s most widely supported A-League club the Newcastle Jets marginally increased their support to 146,000 (up 0.7 per cent) and support for the Central Coast Mariners was up 3.1 per cent to 99,000.

Most A-League supporters are men but West Sydney has highest degree of female support

Analysing the gender breakdown of the 2.75 million A-League club supporters shows just two-thirds of A-League supporters are men (67 per cent) compared to only a third that are women (33 per cent). Of Australia’s nine A-League clubs eight now field teams in the female counterpart the W-League.

The gender split is apparent when analysing the supporters of Australia’s A-League clubs. Over two-thirds of supporters of Sydney FC (72 per cent), Melbourne Victory (71 per cent), Perth Glory (70 per cent), Brisbane Roar (69 per cent) and Melbourne City (67 per cent) are men compared to less than a third of these clubs supporters being women.

The clubs with the highest degree of female support are both based in New South Wales led by the Western Sydney Wanderers with 43 per cent female supporters and the Newcastle Jets with 42 per cent.

Interestingly the Central Coast Mariners are the only Australian A-League club not to have a team in the W-League. The Central Coast Mariners withdrew their W-League team during the 2010-11 W-League season. The W-League is set to kick off next week with a Sydney derby between Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC.

In-depth Roy Morgan research into participation rates in all four football codes, including Soccer, show that increasing female participation over the last year is supporting overall participation in all four football codes.

Over 400,000 women play soccer regularly or occasionally – more than all three other football codes (AFL, Rugby League and Rugby Union) combined.

Gender split of support for Australian A-League clubs – June 2018


A-League supporters more likely to be on the lookout for a new mobile phone

Roy Morgan is able to analyse the demographic makeup and intentions of A-League supporters across a vast array of important indicators – including the likelihood supporters of different clubs have of intending to buy or upgrade their mobile phone within the next two years.

Nearly half of Melbourne City supporters (49.4 per cent) intend to buy or upgrade their mobile phone within the next two years – significantly higher than the average Australian aged 14+ (33.8 per cent).

Supporters of other leading A-League clubs are also far more likely to intend to buy or upgrade their mobile phone within the next two years including supporters of the Newcastle Jets (46 per cent), Sydney FC (44.9 per cent), Western Sydney Wanderers (44.8 per cent), Melbourne Victory (43.7 per cent) and Adelaide United (43.5 per cent).
Intention to buy or upgrade mobile phone within next two years – June 2018


Commenting on the study, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said: “The new A-League season starts this weekend with a Melbourne derby between defending Grand Final champions Melbourne Victory and local rivals Melbourne City while defending Premiers Sydney FC travel to Adelaide tonight to begin their title defence.

“Off the field Sydney FC has emerged as Australia’s most widely supported A-League club with 613,000 supporters – up 11.7 per cent from a year ago following the clubs’ third Premiership last year.

“In second place are last year’s Grand Final Champions Melbourne Victory with 526,000 supporters ahead of 2014 Premiers & Champions Brisbane Roar with 461,000 supporters.

“Unsurprisingly Melbourne Victory (seven total Premierships & Championships), Sydney FC (six total Premierships & Championships) and Brisbane Roar (five total Premierships & Championships) are the three most successful clubs in the history of the A-League.

“Sports, and clubs, looking to grow their support are increasingly looking to engage women and girls as supporters and A-League clubs are at the forefront of this push through their heavy involvement with the W-League which starts next week.

“Although most A-League clubs also have a corresponding W-League team, the one exception is the Central Coast Mariners. The growing interest in professional female sport suggests that perhaps it’s time for the Mariners to revive their W-League team to tap into this growing market.

“Roy Morgan’s analysis of female participation in all four codes of football – including soccer – undertaken earlier this year showed that it is the increasing participation of women and girls in football that is holding up overall participation levels for the sports as male participation has dropped in recent years.

“To learn more about who A-League supporters are and what drives their spending and lifestyle choices contact Roy Morgan for detailed demographic and psychographic analysis.”

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