By ANTON RIPPON
It’s an old joke: the Queen fits the exact profile of a Manchester United supporter – she knows nothing about football and she lives in London.
That, of course, in unfair to the tens of thousands of knowledgeable United fans, some of who actually do live in Manchester. And now the Manchester Evening News, in the run-up to the Manchester derby, has an on-line survey to prove it.
Reach plcs’ central data unit asking visitors to their website to enter the first digits of their postcode and which club they support. From the data collected, a map will be drawn showing which areas are predominately inhabited by City or United supporters.
In 2012 the Manchester Evening News ran a similar poll that indicated two general themes: Stockport belongs to the Blues and Salford is Red. East and north of Manchester were City strongholds, while much of the west saw big enclaves of United supporters.
David Dubas-Fisher, sport data journalist at the unit, told the industry website holdthefrontpage.co.uk: “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.
“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.”
To prevent cheating, visitors to the site can only enter once and they are presented with an “as it stands” map once they have voted.