New research from Roy Morgan shows the Brisbane Roar has outdone its southern rivals to top the Roy Morgan A-League supporter ladder with 508,000 fans. Support for the Roar is up 32,000 (+6.7%) on a year ago. The Roar’s season ended this year with a narrow defeat against Western United in the elimination final.
2019-20 champions Sydney FC were second in fan support, on 495,000 supporters; unchanged on last year as they continue to wait on the development of their new stadium, due to be completed in 2022.
Clubs along with Brisbane Roar to experience an increase in support included Perth Glory with 355,000 supporters (up 8.6%), Adelaide United with 337,000 (up 3.4%) and Melbourne City with 187,000 (up 8.7%). Newcomers Western United have attracted 25,000 supporters during their first season.
Melbourne Victory is once again Victoria’s leading club, and ranks third nationally in terms of support, with 443,000 fans. This represents a decrease by 15,000 people year on year, down -3.3%, as the Victory experienced their worst season on record to finish in second-last position.
A-League Club Supporter Ladder 2020
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2018 – June 2019, n=14,383 and July 2019 – June 2020, n=15,007. Base: Australians 14+. *Wellington Phoenix support only includes Australian-based supporters. Western United FC is a new club which played its first A-League game in October 2019.
Gap widens between A-League and European juggernauts
In total, nearly 2 million Australians (9.2%) watch the A-League on TV. However, a much larger 4.7 million (22.4%) have watched any soccer match on TV. This means a significant untapped market is available for the A-League, in the shape of those who exclusively watch international leagues.
A look at who engages with the A-League shows TV viewership is highest for Gen X (10.8%) ahead of Gen Y (9.7%) and 8.5% of Baby Boomers. When it comes to attending a soccer match however, Gen Y leads the way at 5.7%, followed by Gen X at 4.3% and Gen Z at 4.2%.
Over 820,000 Australians attended an A-League soccer match in the year to June 2020. However, this represents a decline of 69,000 (-7.8%) from a year ago as the league battles a competitive sporting market in Australia.
Julian McCrann, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan, says:
“The A-League drew to a close on August 30th with Sydney FC reigning supreme over Melbourne City FC in a 1-0 victory. Sydney FC are winners on the field but, without their own home ground during 2020, they haven’t managed to increase their support on a year ago which is unchanged at 495,000 and the club are now in second place for off-field support.
“Brisbane Roar are in top spot for most supporters at 508,000 – up 6.7% from a year ago, while Melbourne Victory has placed third with 443,000 – a decrease of 3.3%. This places them with easily the most supporters out of any of the three Victorian A-League clubs.
“Typically, success breeds support and it’s definitely true here. Sydney FC (9 total Premierships & Championships), Melbourne Victory (7 total Premierships & Championships) and Brisbane Roar (5 total Premierships & Championships) are the three most successful clubs of the A-League.
“Looking ahead, the challenge for the A-League like most professional sports in Australia, is to secure sustainable sources of income. There are an extra 2.7 million Australians who watch European leagues and not the A-League. This presents as a significant market to tap into during the recovery from Covid-19.
“A second opportunity lies in the number of people who simply watch the A-League on television rather than attending matches. 9.7% of Gen-Ys will watch a game on television, however only 5.7% actually go to a match. The A-League needs to find a way to connect with these supporters of the game to bring their enthusiasm through the turnstiles. This is more important than ever as the A-League looks for a new TV deal, as the current deal is set to run out after one more year.”
View our range of A-League Supporter Profiles.
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Margin of Error
The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.
|Sample Size||Percentage Estimate|
|40% – 60%||25% or 75%||10% or 90%||5% or 95%|