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Regional publisher launches gadget to map cities’ football rivalries

A regional publisher has launched a new gadget aimed at mapping where football fans who support rival teams live.

Reach plc’s central data unit is surveying people in Greater Manchester ahead of this Sunday’s derby between Manchester City and Manchester United, with readers being asked to enter the first digits of their postcode and which club they support.

The results will then be used to create a map showing which areas are predominately inhabited by City or United supporters.

A previous poll was run by the MEN in 2012, and Reach now hopes the new tool could be used to conduct similar surveys in cities such as London, Birmingham and Bristol.

How the map looked as of Wednesday afternoon

How the map looked as of Wednesday afternoon

David Dubas-Fisher, sport data journalist at the unit, told HTFP: “Ask a Manchester United fan where City’s supporters are from and they’ll probably tell you that they’re all from Stockport. Ask a City supporter the same about United and they’ll say Salford, or Surrey.

“Which areas of Greater Manchester are blue and which ones are red is a hot topic in Manchester whenever the derby rolls around. To try dispel or prove the myths – but mostly just for a bit of fun – the Manchester Evening news ran a survey back in 2012 asking readers for their postcode area and which team they followed.

“The results proved to be a hit with readers and seemed to back up the perceived wisdom with City being more dominant in south and eastern Greater Manchester whereas United came out on top in the west and north.

“A lot has happened since the survey was run, including Manchester City winning three league titles. We thought it was about time that we re-ran the survey to see how things have changed.”

The gadget has been created in such a way as to limit readers from entering multiple times, and they are presented with an “as it stands” map once they have voted.

David added: “With the survey being self-selecting the results won’t be scientific, but they should give us an indication of where loyalties lie around the region. It is also, after all, mostly just a bit of fun.

“We do hope to expand it to other Reach titles as derbies come up. London, Birmingham and Bristol are three such cities where it would hopefully do well.”


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  • November 8, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    I can help here, David, without the help of this new tool. Most Manchester United supporters live in Devon.

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  • November 9, 2018 at 8:58 am

    City’s fans are in Abu Dhabi while United’s dwell in the bottom of the pond at the end of our road.

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