Everyone remembers Gazza’s tears at Euro 96, but a recent study shows that modern football fans in England do not have the same emotional attachment to their national team, especially supporters of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.
The survey, carried out by bookmaker Paddy Power, discovered that fans of the so-called big six clubs rate their disappointment at 4.7 out of 10 when England lose, whereas fans of the rest of the English league clubs grade their sadness over an England defeat at 5.6 out of 10.
Those numbers perhaps reflect the fact that fans of the big six clubs are used to the success that those teams enjoy, and England’s status as one of the world’s leading international football teams is less significant.
It’s fair to say that the club game is much more prominent in relation to international football compared to times gone by, and it’s probably true that supporters are more invested in club football than ever before.
However, if Gareth Southgate and his team could go on a good run at this summer’s European Championships, then there’ll be a chance to instil the same feel-good factor that gripped the nation during their World Cup exploits in 2018.
England are one of the tournament favourites in the Euros betting, and with 17 of Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad representing the big six clubs, we may see a shift in footballing priorities among fans of the country’s biggest clubs if England can get their hands on the trophy.