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10 Least Interested Fanbases in World Football

Willie GannonSenior Writer IDecember 3, 2012

10 Least Interested Fanbases in World Football

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    It's no secret that most fans only "sing when they're winning." Trophies attract fans like nothing else. No amount of history, it doesn't matter if big-name signings come and go and regardless of catchment area size—trophies are the only currency most fans are interested in.

    OK, maybe that's not so hard to believe for some and it is no great secret that international football attracts fans like flies to a light-bulb, especially around World Cup time.

    So who are the guilty parties?

    Who are the fanbases that only support their team when they're winning trophies? Whose set of fans are sheep being kowtowed by their owners? Who sing regardless of winning but are uninterested at the same time?

    With that in mind, here is a list of the 10 least interested fanbases in world football.

    Some are on the list because they attract millions when all is going well, some are here because they don't attract anyone and some are here because they are so desperate to attract fans they will even create mock porn videos.

    Read on, and remember, this is just a bit of craic and good fun with no great science to it but a shed of statistics little men in white coats have spent years putting together. Enjoy.

AC Milan

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    AC Milan are one of the most important clubs in world football, but their fans are snobs.

    The San Siro is one of the most majestic footballing basilicas in the world with a maximum capacity of around 83,000.

    When it is full, the noise and power it generates makes sure it has one of the best atmospheres in the world.

    However, Milan only tend to fill their stadium for big and important matches. In between, they barely fill half the stadium.

    This season, AC Milan's average home attendance is just 46,326 and the lowest attendance of the season was just 33,046, leaving them with an average of 55 percent capacity.

    Is this a case of the stadium being too big or the fans being uninterested?

    This season, it would definitely seem the latter.

    If anything and you're on holiday in Italy, you could do worse than to visit Verona when Milan are playing, at least you'd be guaranteed a ticket.

Arsenal

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    Arsenal's stadiums have never been known to be "rocking."

    Highbury was known, to away fans, as the Library and since moving to the Emirates, the atmosphere has not gotten much better.

    Despite having an amazing statistic of almost full capacity for every single home game, the Emirates is not exactly a hot-bed of excitement or one of the 101 stadiums you would wish to visit before your days end.

    Sadly, the Emirates has one of the dullest match day atmospheres in the Premier League and only seems to come to life when the Gunners are winning.

    Are Arsenal the least interested fans in the Premier League? 

    In some ways yes, but overall one would have to say no. However, they have sat back blindly over the last seven years and watched without complaining while their team has been asset-stripped.

    This season they are finding their voice. But is it too little too late to stop the rot?

Arsenal FC

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    Arsenal de Sarandí are the smallest club in the Argentine top flight. They also have the smallest stadium in the Argentine top flight.

    The Estádio Julio H. Grondona, named after one of their founding fathers, holds just 16,300 fans per game and only averages 7,438 per match, which is a poor 45 percent of maximum capacity.

    So why the lack of interest in little old Arsenal?

    Well, the club were founded in 1957 and named in honour after Arsenal in England.

    Then, the founders decided that the club colours should be sky blue and red in honour of the traditional powerhouse football homes of Avellaneda, Independiente and Racing.

    With the club having such an identity crisis, named after one team and coloured after two other teams it is little wonder that El Arse, yes you read that right, have such a small support.

Brazil

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    Brazil's fans are famous all around the world for the energetic support they offer their team during the World Cup.

    The home of Pele and Neymar is synonymous with good football and the samba beat, and everyone knows about Brazilian fans.

    Except, Brazilian fans aren't all that amazing when it comes to supporting the domestic game.

    In a country that hosts almost 200 million people, most clubs only half fill their stadiums.

    When you realise that Santos' home ground, the Estádio Vila Belmiro, only has a capacity of 15,800, their average fan attendance of just 7,912 really shows how uninterested Brazil's fans are in Serie A.

    But when the World Cup or the Copa America comes around, they appear in their droves.

Chelsea

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    Chelsea's fans are on the list because Roman Abramovich has basically neutered them and turned them into sheep.

    During the Russian Oligarch's nine years as the Blues' owner, he has gone through 10 managers including the latest incumbent Rafael Benitez.

    Not once during those nine years have Chelsea fans complained about their owner hiring or firing managers, until now.

    Since Rafa was appointed, the Blues' fans have come to life. They are giving the Spaniard a hard time over comments he made about them when he was manager of Liverpool.

    They didn't complain when Carlo Ancelotti was sacked after winning the double the season before. They didn't complain when Guus Hiddink decided he did not want the job. They did not complain when Roberto Di Matteo was sacked and they barely made a whisper when Jose Mourinho was sacked in 2007.

    They've been disinterested while Roman was in charge because his money guaranteed trophies.

    For nine years they have sat back, and now they decide to make their voice heard against a man they know is a stop-gap manager.

    The Blues' fans deserve their place for their apathy over the last nine years.

Chievo Verona

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    The photo above is from the recent Serie A match featuring Chievo Verona and Siena. 

    Make no mistake about it: the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi is one of the finest stadiums in Italy and at its 39,371 capacity, it is ideal for top-flight matches.

    However, Chievo just cannot attract crowds to their matches.

    This season the highest attendance was just 11,000 for the visit of Lazio while the Siena match, above, featured just 9,500 fans.

    Their average gate is just 9,857 which leaves them with a miserable capacity of just 25 percent

Ireland

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    Ireland's fans are known around the world for being the best, and when it comes to international football, they take some beating.

    During Euro 2012 when Giovanni Trapattoni's team played the most dispirited style of football since Jack Charlton's Ireland team of the early '90s, their fans sung as if they had won the tournament.

    This, of course, was fantastic and showed the kind of spirit that was sadly missing from their team. They even won a special UEFA award for their contribution to the competition.

    They made the front pages of national newspapers across the world, television shows paid tribute to their phenomenal support and if truth be told, they did make the tournament a better place with their never-say-die singing attitude.

    The YouTube video of the Irish singing "The Fields of Athenry" while being hammered by Spain is, without doubt, one of the highlights of the entire competition.

    So how do Ireland's fans make this list?

    They make it because of their complete lack of interest in their domestic league. 

    Shamrock Rovers are the biggest club in Irish football and can only manage a paltry crowd of around 4,000 in their 6,000 capacity stadium in Tallaght.

    Clubs regularly go out of business due to lack of interest and a severe lack of fans. Take Monaghan Town for example: their small Gortakeegan Stadium can only hold 2,000 fans but does well to beat the 500 mark.

    No wonder they went out of business halfway through the season.

    This disinterest is further exemplified when you realise that every single weekend more Irish fans travel to England and Scotland to see the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Celtic than go to the entire six fixtures of the League of Ireland.

    Ireland's fans deserve their place almost more than any other team.

Scotland

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    Scotland has a population of just over five million people, but the vast majority of those only support two teams—Celtic and Rangers.

    The two Glasgow giants fill their respective stadiums, of around 60,000 capacity, each and every week. However, not one other club can claim that distinction.

    Clubs like Aberdeen, the last Scottish club to win a European trophy, where Pittodrie has a capacity of just 22,199, can only attract an average 11,218 per home game. Kilmarnock only attract just over 4,000 to their 18,128 capacity stadium, Rugby Park.

    It's the same right across the entire Scottish family. 

    Outside the big two, fans just aren't interested in Scottish football.

Wigan

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    The best thing you can say about Wigan Athletic fans is that they are nice.

    They know that the Latics are just along for the ride in the Premier League with the added bonus that Roberto Martinez's teams play good football and produce good young players.

    However, the Latics' stadium is also the only one in the Premier League to fall into the 70 percent capacity bracket.

    At full capacity, the DW Stadium can hold 25,138 fans, notice I did not say screaming. Their average capacity works out at just 18,000 fans per match, leaving the Latics with the lowest fan average in the Premier League.

    When you consider that every other club bar Sunderland and Aston Villa, 84 percent and 83 percent respectively, feature attendances in the 90's, you realise the lack of interest in football in Wigan.

Espanyol and Getafe

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    Whether they like it or not, Getafe and Espanyol are blood brothers when it comes to Spanish football.

    They are the little cousins of Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, and are based in the respective cities.

    While Madrid and Barca are two of the best supported teams in the world and regularly fill their stadiums, the same cannot be said of Espanyol or Getafe.

    Both clubs struggle to get past the 50 percent mark when they play at home every second week.

    Such is the disinterest in Madrid, a city with a population of just over three million people, in Getafe that in 2011 they decided to ask fans to donate sperm so they could increase their fanbase.

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