Fans are split right down the middle over football’s return, a survey carried out by the Daily Mirror's publisher Reach has revealed.
Forty-eight per cent of supporters, who responded to Reach’s online questionnaire across the country, opposed football’s restart with 47.7 per cent in favour.
Fans were united in their sympathy for any players who do not want to return for health reasons and nearly 90 per cent said they backed their stance.
They understand the reservations, particularly of BAME players, who do not want to endanger their families and 87 per cent say they would support any who refused to return.
Reach surveyed over 14,000 fans online across its national and regional titles in England and Wales and unsurprisingly Liverpool supporters were most in favour of football restarting.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are on the verge of winning their first title for 30 years and 90 per cent of Reds fans want the action to resume with just eight per cent against.
Their enthusiasm is not mirrored by fans from the other clubs near the top of the Premier League and Manchester City are the most opposed with 80 per cent of supporters against restarting.
City trail Liverpool by 25 points and their opposition perhaps reflects the mood among their fans that their two-year reign as champions will soon be over once the season resumes.
Sixty-three per cent of Chelsea fans, 61 per cent of Tottenham supporters and 60 per cent of Manchester United followers are also against football’s return.
Over three-quarters of Everton fans opposed coming back with 76 per cent saying they are against the Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’.
This opposition extends to the clubs at the bottom of the Premier League fighting relegation and 65 per cent of West Ham fans and 61 per cent of Aston Villa do not want to see football come back.
Leeds fans were second to Liverpool in wanting football to restart with Marcelo Bielsa’s Championship leaders well placed to end the club’s 16-year Premier League exile and 76 per cent of their supporters are in favour.
Reach’s titles are seen by over 22 million fans every month and the survey is a fascinating snapshot of the football public’s mood ahead of the game’s resumption on June 17.
Nearly three-quarters of fans are in favour of relegation and 95 per cent of Leeds supporters are adamant the bottom three teams should come down from the Premier League.
Unsurprisingly, 58 per cent of Villa fans and 53 per cent of West Ham supporters do not think there should be any relegation this season.
Null and void came out top with 38 per cent as the best option if the season cannot be finished with points-per-game on 36 per cent.
Matches will be played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future and 65 per cent of fans say they will feel safe to return to stadiums when they are told it is safe again.
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Whose fans are most in favour of football returning?
Liverpool – 90 per cent
Leeds – 76 per cent
Wolves – 72 per cent
Crystal Palace – 69 per cent
West Brom – 69 per cent
Whose fans are most opposed to football returning?
Manchester City – 80 per cent
Everton – 76 per cent
Hull City – 72 per cent
West Ham – 65 per cent
Chelsea – 63 per cent
What should happen if the season is curtailed?
- Null and void – 38 per cent
- Decide final placing on points per game – 36 per cent
- Base final positions on standings as they are – 26 per cent
Are you in favour of neutral venues?
- No – 56 per cent
- Fine – 28 per cent
- Don’t care as long as football returns – 16 per cent
When should football restart?
June – 27 per cent
July – 14 per cent
August – 13 per cent
September – 19 per cent
Later than September – 26 per cent
Didn’t respond – 1 per cent
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