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NEW REPORT REVEALS WHICH FOOTBALL FANS LIVE IN A FANTASY WORLD

Proving that love is blind, Manchester City fans are officially the Premier League’s top dreamers and optimists, according to a national football report launched today.

The ‘Football Fan-tasy’ report, an in-depth study by Littlewoods Football Pools, measures fans’ dreams and expectations against the reality of their clubs’ recent performances on the pitch, to finally uncover which fans live in a world of fantasy.

Almost 6,000 fans representing all 92 league clubs were studied in the report – produced in conjunction with the Football Fans Census – with each club ranked by comparing fans’ predictions over the next five years with their team’s record over the past five years.

Factors such as league performances, trophies won, the number of changes in manager and financial stability were used to benchmark each club, and with a new season upon us, fans will be hoping that the old saying ‘anything can happen in football’ rings true.

Manchester City fans were ranked highest in the Premiership “Dreamers Index” – ahead of fans of Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth, who finished second and third respectively. After a great start to the season, including a derby win against Manchester United, it seems that new City coach Sven Goran Eriksson shares the fans’ faith and optimism. Despite not winning a trophy in over 30 years and never finishing higher than eighth in the Premiership, City fans expect to win the FA Cup and Carling Cup by the time of the London Olympics.

Fulham and Wigan supporters were the biggest doom merchants in the Premiership; mirroring their clubs’ recent battles with relegation and managerial changes, whilst fans of Everton, Birmingham City and Aston Villa harboured the most realistic expectations after modest achievements on the pitch.

Hull City supporters entertain the most unrealistic hopes and ambitions in the Championship, with many dreaming of a place in the Premiership by 2012. Followers of Hartlepool, who have never been higher than the third tier of English football, can see their side progressing from League One, whilst League Two side Morecambe– newly promoted to the Football League, have set their team an optimistic target - League One football with 5 years.

The report also reveals that supporters of northern clubs out-do their southern counterparts when it comes to football fantasies, with northern teams topping each division of the “Dreamers Index”, and southern clubs such as Fulham, Southampton and Bournemouth having a more pessimistic view of their teams’ future.

Jon Sheehy, director of marketing for Sportech plc, owners of Littlewoods Football Pools, said: “Pressures within the modern game and the recent influx of major foreign investment has meant that fans’ hopes, dreams and expectations of their club have never been higher – or more unrealistic.

“To finally establish which supporters live in a dream world and which ones have the closest grip on reality, we have produced this in-depth report. By separating fact from fiction, we’ve hopefully given fans of all clubs the chance to see whether their dreams for the future are likely to come true, or simply cause more misery and heartache.”

Download your copy of the ‘Football Fan-tasy Report’ for free at Littlewoods Football Pools.

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Media enquiries: Contact Chris Hughes (c.hughes@brahm.com) at Brahm PR on 0113 220 0626 or Tim Downs (t.downs@brahm.com) on 0113 220 0590.

Note to editors:

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