The Social Media Football League Table

Updated: 1918 Football

The Social Media Football League Table
Dan Tracey OLBG editor

Writer, analyst, podcaster, Spurs fan. Three out of four is not bad. If there is a data angle, I will find it.

Although the best clubs in English football are known to compete for Premier League honours, there is a substantial battle emerging off the pitch and it is one that comes in the form of social media.

No longer are footballing institutions simply competing for silverware both at home and abroad, but they are also competing for the attention of a worldwide audience, and this can be gauged via the metric of social clicks. 

Brand New Football League Based on Social Following

Social media follower bases far outweigh the fans we see at games. Where does your team sit in the social media football league?

Whether it be likes on Facebook or retweets on Twitter, these are the currency that drives football clubs in the digital world and for those who ever wondered just who the social media league champions are, we can now provide the answer.

An answer that comes courtesy of tracking the “big three” follower data – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for each of the 92 professional clubs that currently operate within the structure of the English football pyramid. 

Where does your team sit on the football league table based on social media followers

From here, a simple addition of all three platforms, will then give us a league table in terms of overall followers and for those who cannot wait any longer, it is time to dissect the data and hand out the silverware.


To the surprise of hardly many, the top half dozen teams in our 92-team table are comprised of each of the six clubs that planned to leave the Premier League behind and depart to a rival European Super League instead.

Something that gives credence to the fact that the six biggest sides in the land, are also backed up by a hefty social media following and whether it be Manchester or Malaysia, fans across the globe are ready to lend their online support.

While with the makeup of the top six now revealed, it is time to highlight just who is the current pioneers of social media and the answer is as follows: 

Club Division Facebook Instagram Twitter Total Combined Rank
Manchester United Premier League 82,000,000 63,000,000 37,000,000 182,000,000 1
Chelsea Premier League 54,000,000 41,300,000 25,300,000 120,600,000 2
Manchester City Premier League 48,000,000 49,000,000 16,900,000 113,900,000 3
Liverpool Premier League 46,000,000 43,400,000 24,100,000 113,500,000 4
Arsenal Premier League 42,000,000 27,900,000 22,000,000 91,900,000 5
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League 33,000,000 16,300,000 8,800,000 58,100,000 6

As you can see Manchester United are not only top of the table, but they are considerably clear of Chelsea in second and although the latter may be kings of the transfer market during the past 12 months, there is some way to go before they are the kings of the internet.

Manchester United have the greatest number of social media followers of any UK football team

Because the Red Devils currently find themselves with 61.4 million more overall followers than that of Chelsea and although Erik ten Hag’s men have stuttered on the pitch in recent times, they are head and shoulders above the rest on the world wide web.

Not only that, but they are consistent in their route to the top of the standings, as in each of the three platforms, the Old Trafford outfit have recorded the most followers at the time of the data capture. 

With Manchester City managing to do the treble at the end of the 2022/23 season, they have managed to move past local rivals Liverpool and Just like their battles on the pitch, there is very little difference between the two.

Just 400,000 total followers split the two clubs. Manchester City reigned supreme when it comes to both Facebook and Instagram. Liverpool’s legion of supporters managed to claw back some of the deficit on Twitter. 

Often betting fans might cry that odds for their team with betting sites are not as big as they should be, but if all of these fans who follow on social media are also betting on their own teams to win, it is no surprise bookmakers have to tread cautiously with some of the most popular football teams on social media platforms, especially if the social popularity is mirrored in football betting tips.


Now that we know the make up of the top six, it is time to shine a light on those who would compete in the ‘Social Media Premier League’ and for those who would assume that the top 20 teams would also have the 20 biggest online followings, their assumption would be wrong.

Club Division Facebook Instagram Twitter Total Combined Rank
Manchester United Premier League 82,000,000 63,000,000 37,000,000 182,000,000 1
Chelsea Premier League 54,000,000 41,300,000 25,300,000 120,600,000 2
Manchester City Premier League 48,000,000 49,000,000 16,900,000 113,900,000 3
Liverpool Premier League 46,000,000 43,400,000 24,100,000 113,500,000 4
Arsenal Premier League 42,000,000 27,900,000 22,000,000 91,900,000 5
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League 33,000,000 16,300,000 8,800,000 58,100,000 6
Leicester City Championship 8,600,000 7,800,000 2,700,000 19,100,000 7
Aston Villa Premier League 5,300,000 3,400,000 2,300,000 11,000,000 8
Everton Premier League 4,500,000 3,000,000 3,000,000 10,500,000 9

Here we see that six clubs have disrupted the order within the world of social media and although Leicester may have suffered relegation to the EFL Championship at the end of last season, they currently find themselves with the seventh overall fanbase.

A Premier League-sized online fanbase supporting what is now a second tier club and if their impressive start to the campaign continues all the way through to May 2024, the Foxes will soon be back amongst English football’s elite.

While the same can be said for the other relegated outfits Southampton and Leeds. Their internet armies have not decreased since they also suffered the drop a few months ago. Whether they can earn promotion at the first time of asking remains to be seen.

Then again, one should not overlook the online the digital footprint that the trio of Watford, Sunderland and Swansea have amassed. All with more than 2.5m total followers across three platforms, all nestling nicely in the overall top 20. 


Of course, what goes up means something else must come down and of those Premier League clubs who cannot match their status online, it is Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Burnley, Bournemouth, Brentford, and Luton who have suffered the ignominy of virtual relegation.

Although what is more interesting here, is the fact that these four clubs are not simply ranked 21 to 26 in the league ladder, their fortunes are far more varied than that, and it is certainly not good news for Premier League newcomers Luton – as is highlighted in the table below: 
Club Division Facebook Instagram Twitter Total Combined Rank
Stoke City Championship 1,200,000 399,000 1,000,000 2,599,000 21
Nottingham Forest Premier League 875,000 1,000,000 646,200 2,521,200 22
Norwich City Championship 1,100,000 491,000 879,700 2,470,700 23
West Bromwich Albion Championship 876,000 420,000 1,100,000 2,396,000 24
Sheffield United Premier League 1,100,000 670,000 568,800 2,338,800 25
Burnley Premier League 817,000 692,000 811,500 2,320,500 26
Bournemouth Premier League 699,000 805,000 692,200 2,196,200 27
Hull City Championship 1,000,000 549,000 581,000 2,130,000 28
Wrexham League Two 293,000 1,100,000 549,700 1,942,700 29

For the Hatters, they may be a Premier League outfit for the next few months but their online presence has yet to catch up. As a consequence, the Kenilworth Road outfit find themselves lying 38th overall. 

16 places worse off than Nottingham Forest who are the highest-ranked Premier League team that is currently not in the top 20. Not only are they outside the elite, but they have also been beaten to the mantle of best of the rest by Championship outfit Stoke

In the virtual League One, it is celebration time at Ashton Gate, as Bristol City are declared champions, while League Two Salford City are certainly punching above their weight while lying 46th overall - a position better than Charlton Athletic who operate at a league above. 
Club Division Facebook Instagram Twitter Total Combined Rank
Bristol City Championship 221,000 151,000 217,400 589,400 45
Salford City League Two 70,000 284,000 167,300 521,300 46
Charlton Athletic League One 217,000 101,000 192,400 510,400 47

Within the confines of virtual League Two, the champagne corks are being popped at Northampton Town, as they pip Cambridge United to the crown by a rather slender margin of just 400 followers.
While Cambridge’s varsity rivals Oxford United are just a further 1,000 followers behind.

Club Division Facebook Instagram Twitter Total Combined Rank
Northampton Town League One 39,000 86,500 94,100 219,600 69
Cambridge United League One 88,000 48,100 83,100 219,200 70
Oxford United League One 66,000 54,100 98,100 218,200 71
Rotherham United Championship 62,000 32,700 121,300 216,000 72

While spare a thought for Barrow, as with just 73,900 combined followers at the point of data capture, it is they who are ranked the 92nd and lowest side in the broadband-based English football pyramid. Something that suggest their social media team may need some more pre-season training.


Of course, another way to look at all this social data, is by looking at it from a stadium capacity angle and just how many times these respective followers could fill the stadium of their most beloved football clubs.

Now for this to happen we have to normalise the data and therefore, we must assume that a superfan is a follower of his or her favourite club across all three of the social platforms – in doing so, we can get a count of unique fans rather than a combined total.

When taking this count of unique fans and calculating as a ratio of stadium capacity, we then get another league table from our 92 clubs in question and although Manchester United may have been champions from one angle, they do not have all their own way. 

Club Division Total Unique Followers Capacity Unique Capacity Ratio
Chelsea Premier League 120,600,000 40,200,000 40,173 1001
Manchester United Premier League 182,000,000 60,666,667 74,031 819
Manchester City Premier League 113,900,000 37,966,667 53,400 711
Liverpool Premier League 113,500,000 37,833,333 61,276 617
Arsenal Premier League 91,900,000 30,633,333 60,704 505
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League 58,100,000 19,366,667 62,850 308
Leicester City Championship 19,100,000 6,366,667 32,262 197
Everton Premier League 10,500,000 3,500,000 39,414 89
Aston Villa Premier League 11,000,000 3,666,667 42,530 86

This time it is Chelsea who scoop the honours, by virtue of their unique followers being able to fill Stamford Bridge 1001 times over. Now of course, this figure is somewhat enhanced by Stamford Bridge’s smaller capacity to its counterparts, but it is still an impressive feat all the same.

As before, the biggest six clubs fill out the first six places, so now it is time to look elsewhere for the biggest stories in our ratio table and they perhaps do not get any bigger than Wrexham possessing the 14th highest Capacity Ratio in English football.

The club which is owned by the Hollywood pair of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney has a capacity of 10,771 at present and although tickets are rather rare these days, they would still be able to fill the Racecourse Ground 60 times over when you consider their unique online followers. 

Not only that, but the North Wales outfit have found online support from all over the globe. After their ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ documentary was a smash hit, it has also surged the League Two side to 29th overall in the total followers table. 

While there are no less than four Championship outfits among this particular top 20, as the likes of Leicester, Southampton, Watford and Swansea all find themselves mixing it with the Premier League elite.

Once again though, it does not make particularly good reading for Luton, as although they are now settled in the English top tier, they can only fill it 72 times over with unique followers and this makes the bottom ranked of all the Premier League teams. (32nd overall) 

With the trophies now handed out, it is time for either celebrating or commiserating and the beauty of this particular league is that it never really ends. With more followers coming onboard on a daily basis, maybe their clicks will change the online fortunes of the club at the same time. 

Data correct as of 13/10/2023 – social data captured from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Capacity data captured from Wikipedia. 

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