New research by www.footballtips.com has uncovered which football fans are 'most likely' to troll other supporters online.
Manchester United fans topped the poll after almost two thirds (64 per cent) quizzed in the study admitted to doing it before. Chelsea (58 per cent) and Crystal Palace (55 per cent) supporters were second and third respectively.
The team at www.footballtips.com carried out the study in a bid to reveal more about the attitudes of football fans. For the purpose of the study, 3,600 UK-based adults aged 18 or over were quizzed, all of whom revealed that they followed football, supported at least one of the Premier League teams and were active on social media. Respondents were split evenly across all 20 teams.
Initially, all respondents were asked “Have you ever gone out of your way to be mean or troll a fan of another football team online?”
Taking into account all answers, Manchester United fans topped the poll, followed by Chelsea and Crystal Palace supporters.
They were followed by: Tottenham 52%; Arsenal 50; Everton 49; Manchester City 47; Bournemouth 44; Watford 41; Liverpool 37; Cardiff 35; Burnley 33; Brighton 30; Newcastle 28; West Ham 26; Fulham 25; Huddersfield 24; Leicester 23; Southampton 22; Wolves 21.
When relevant respondents were asked why they trolled online, 38 per cent said it was ‘just banter between teams’, 31 per cent revealed it made them ‘laugh’, 26 per cent stated it was because they hated the team they trolled and the remaining five per cent blamed boredom.
Of the respondents, 73 per cent said they had been trolled online and 54 per cent said it affected them.
Dean North, spokesperson for www.footballtips.com said: “Online bullying and trolling is a massive issue in the football industry.
"There is always going to be rivalry between teams and it can be hard to know where the line is as to knowing what is acceptable and what isn’t.
"We all need to start adopting more empathy and thinking about how our words can actually affect someone else. Trolling isn’t a joke and shouldn’t be shrugged off. Before you troll someone, think about how you’d feel if it was happening to you.”
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