Size of each club's fanbase

Some interesting, if somewhat odd numbers from Roy Morgan:

New research from Roy Morgan shows that Brisbane Roar outdid southern rivals to top the Roy Morgan A-League supporter ladder, with 523,000 fans. Support for the Roar is up 96,000 (+22.5 per cent) on a year ago; high-profile English star player turned manager Robbie Fowler was appointed to helm the team in April.

Defending champions Sydney FC were second in fan support, on 444,000 supporters; down significantly on a year ago as delayed stadium construction leaves the club without a dedicated home ground for a second year.

Melbourne Victory is again Victoria’s leading club, and third nationally in terms of support, with 413,000 fans. However, the 2018 trophy-winners Perth Glory had the largest percentage increase, adding 94,000 supporters following their first Premiership, an impressive increase of 36.2 per cent on a year ago.

Other clubs to experience an increase in support include Adelaide United with 340,000 supporters (up 19.3 per cent), Melbourne City on 178,000 (up 21.9 per cent) and Central Coast Mariners on 123,000 (up 23 per cent). The increases will be welcome news for the sport’s administrators, who have dealt with dropping game attendances in recent years.

They also have some numbers which may be cause for optimism about TV viewership:

In total, more than 2 million Australians watch either the men’s A-League or the women’s W-League on TV. This includes an impressive 760,000 watching the women’s game, meaning that well over a third of the Australians who watch domestic football (soccer) on TV now watch the W-League. This is the first time Roy Morgan has released TV viewership figures for the W-League.

Wonder how they defined fan though. Seems odd our support would drop too.

Yeah that’s what I wonder too. Some of those movements, like CCM, make no sense.

Serious polling companies that don’t say anything about the margin of error :man_facepalming:

Very rough calculations for context:

This year’s sample size of 13,744 is great for estimating the percentage of the population supporting each club. Assuming their methodology is good too, you could get a margin of error of around about ±0.1%.

But then when you multiply that by 20.5m (approx Aus population 14+) to try to estimate the number of supporters, you’re talking about a margin of error of ±25,000 for the top 5–6 teams.

A lot of the apparent changes are outside the margin of error and seem a bit strange to me too, so on top of wondering what the exact question is, I wonder if they even might’ve (not maliciously) changed the wording of it slightly between years.

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Yeah that’s not great. I haven’t looked at ghe methodology yet but do they state what sort of method they use to contact people? The percentage of people watching A-League skews much older than you would expect based on the other information we have about A-League demographics. This makes me think they may only be calling landlines too.

It says it’s based on the Single Source Survey, which seems to be a regular survey that Roy Morgan does with thousands of questions. It looks like it’s done in person (YouTube).

When you have information on your sample, you can do better than just calculating percentage = respondents / sample size, but when you have a specific question in mind, you can do even better by purposely targeting (over-sampling) particular demographics. Given that this is part of a general-purpose survey, I imagine/hope they would’ve done the first part, but they definitely didn’t do the second.

I wouldn’t advise the A-League and clubs to make big decisions based on these numbers — and definitely not the year-to-year changes.