What keeps English football so popular?

Since it formulated the game some 140 years ago, English football has always maintained world-wide interest. But with the growth of so many other great competitions, what keeps it popular today? According to the inaugural Barclays Premiership Global Fans Report 2005, top flight English football is the most popular in the world "because of its players, goals and style of football"

Published by Barclays PLC the report analyses the opinions of over 26,000 fans from 170 different countries, in 12 different languages and provides marketing insights into a global community of football fans who absorb the 1,000 hours of English Premier League action seen in 517 million homes around the world every week.

League Appeal: Players (52%), goals (47%) and style of football (31%) were voted by global fans as the most appealing aspects of top flight English football. Italian and Portuguese fans bucked the trend, they voted 'atmosphere' as the most attractive part of the EPL (67% and 57% respectively). Nearly half of the respondents from Brazil (46%) revealed that they followed the EPL because of the style of football.

Fan Behaviour: Nearly half the fans surveyed owned an EPL club shirt or item of clothing (48%), videos of club highlights were the second most popular football related purchase (32%). The global fan predominately keeps up to date with all the action on TV for an average of 106 minutes each week. This is followed by the internet (83 mins per week) and newspapers (45 mins per week). Fans in Australia spend the most time playing football (51 minutes per week) whilst fans in Pakistan spend the most time watching football on TV (124 minutes per week)

Clubs: Manchester United has the biggest overall global fan base (25%) and Old Trafford was voted the greatest football stadium in the world (22%).