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Thread: Are Manchester United really the 'biggest' club itw?

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    Are Manchester United really the 'biggest' club itw?

    I have noticed many renowned websites mentioning that Manchester United are the BIGGEST(not greatest) club in the world having the biggest fanbase and generating the most commercial revenue globally. I have seen random Americans and Asians with zero interest about Football know what Man Utd is. Do United actually have a bigger fanbase than the 2 Spanish Giants? If yes, then what are the contributing factors to United's global popularity?

    Compared to Real, Bayern, Barca- United aren't that regular in the final stages of the Champions League at all. They have been utter bullcrap for 8 years now, yet they have an insane fanbase in all parts of the world even today in the era of "new age fans" willing to jump ships. Unlike Real and Barca, they haven't even had the most famous players except a pre peak Ronaldo for a few years.

    Always found this weird and odd, hence the thread. How would you explain/rate Man Utd's worldwide popularity compared to other elite clubs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Temptation View Post
    Always found this weird and odd, hence the thread. How would you explain/rate Man Utd's worldwide popularity compared to other elite clubs?
    Nice shirt design. And club name has a nice ring to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio View Post
    Nice shirt design. And club name has a nice ring to it.
    Makes sense. Would you say they're the biggest globally from your experience?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Temptation View Post
    Makes sense. Would you say they're the biggest globally from your experience?
    I am just speaking from own experience but as a kid when I did not watch football I always thought the name Manchester United had a very memorable name.
    But could just be because of the environment I was in.

    If I think globally they are biggest based on my experience? Can't tell for sure. In South America everybody knows Man U but same can be said about other European clubs.
    In middle eastern countries Madrid seems really big. Most arabic people I meet are usually Madrid supporters.
    I think there are a lot of asians that have an affinity for Man U somehow, but I could be wrong.

    Man U could be biggest in terms of absolute fans. But can't be sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Temptation View Post
    I have noticed many renowned websites mentioning that Manchester United are the BIGGEST(not greatest) club in the world having the biggest fanbase and generating the most commercial revenue globally. I have seen random Americans and Asians with zero interest about Football know what Man Utd is. Do United actually have a bigger fanbase than the 2 Spanish Giants? If yes, then what are the contributing factors to United's global popularity?

    Compared to Real, Bayern, Barca- United aren't that regular in the final stages of the Champions League at all. They have been utter bullcrap for 8 years now, yet they have an insane fanbase in all parts of the world even today in the era of "new age fans" willing to jump ships. Unlike Real and Barca, they haven't even had the most famous players except a pre peak Ronaldo for a few years.

    Always found this weird and odd, hence the thread. How would you explain/rate Man Utd's worldwide popularity compared to other elite clubs?
    I think United's popularity worldwide has a lot to do with them gaining a lot of followers from the Asian continent during the late 90's to early 2000s, they were one of the world's greatest clubs then obviously under Ferguson and it's around the time football coverage became more global.

    Used it to their advantage to expose the Manchester United brand.
    Last edited by fergus90; 3rd May 2022 at 02:53 PM.

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    @KingLeo10 Thoughts? You're normally really interested in these type of discussions...

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    Great points by Horatio and Fergus90. Totally spot on about the Africa and Asia thing.

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    Even fanbase wise, I find United's claim hard to stomach, based off the number of followers on social media (twitter, instagram etc.) Was it true in 2008? Probably?

    Is it true in 2022 after the Messi/CR7 eras at Barca and RM. I don't think so.

    They're not even in the discussion for greatest club in the world. Never have, never have been.

    I think Pool is already better than United historically and if they manage a CL/league double the gap will be definitive in Pool's favor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingLeo10 View Post
    Even fanbase wise, I find United's claim hard to stomach, based off the number of followers on social media (twitter, instagram etc.) Was it true in 2008? Probably?

    Is it true in 2022 after the Messi/CR7 eras at Barca and RM. I don't think so.

    They're not even in the discussion for greatest club in the world. Never have, never have been.

    I think Pool is already better than United historically and if they manage a CL/league double the gap will be definitive in Pool's favor.
    Like I said, this ain't about being the greatest but rather the biggest.

    United have a bigger fanbase than us globally.

    Apparently they get the most commercial revenue, best sponsorship deals. Even more than Barca and Real.

    Always surprised by how their continued failure on the pitch doesn't affect their popularity

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    You wouldn't think Man Utd would still be the biggest globally with their lack of success in the current generation.

    Alot of their fanbase was built on the previous 2 generations where the EPL was the most accessible league (and less games aired) while Man UTD were the most successful.

    So unless fandom is inherited, it is unlikely that it is still the case.

    Social media numbers can't be taken in isolation with alot being inflated.

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    What are those "many renowned websites" saying Manchester United is the biggest club in the world?

    The notion of having a "biggest club" itself is quite dubious, as fans of many clubs love boasting "we are bigger than you" etc. to fans of other clubs etc. How do you measure "biggest" exactly? If it is strictly by the number of men's football trophies, Madrid is the "biggest", much bigger than Manchester United and everyone else. If it is by overall trophies throughout all sections of the club and all competitions, not just football, then Barca is arguably one of the biggest, if not the biggest. If it is measured by commercial revenue, Manchester United is definitely NOT the biggest for sure (4th in 2020 behind Madrid, Bayern and Barca, 5th in 2021 behind Bayern, PSG, Madrid and Barca).

    That said, United is definitely one of the biggest football brands in the world thanks to its history, it is probably one of the best known clubs around the world, if not THE. Being English helps certainly.
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    They had the biggest global fanbase until 2009 when Ronaldo went to Real and Ronaldo vs Messi became THE game to watch.

    Now they're probably 3rd or 4th.

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    It's true that there are a number of ways you could define the 'biggest' club but in terms of fans, they are without doubt the most supported team from England. Used to be extremely difficult to get a ticket for Premier League games and only midweek Champions League tickets were easily attainable.

    But a lot of their brand exposure was from the late '90s when football started getting global and they happened to be the best side then, which coincided with being 1 in the Deloitte money standings for quite a few years after that before Madrid took over.

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    I think the claim Manchester United has the most fans around the world is a myth. Not sure how one can know how many fans and supporters a club has. The number of social media follower is a yardstick but not exactly it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luftstalag14 View Post
    I think the claim Manchester United has the most fans around the world is a myth. Not sure how one can know how many fans and supporters a club has. The number of social media follower is a yardstick but not exactly it.
    I don’t think it was a myth in the early 2000s. Their treble pretty much coincided with with global football coverage being available. Plus likes of Beckham being married to a pop star in a world famous group as silly as it sounds.

    Present day I’d be very surprised if they were the most popular club. That title probably lies with Real Madrid, especially when for the new generation of football fans there’s nothing enticing about Manchester United.