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Study: Villa fans write fiction, read the Sun, and love custard

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YouGov have made profiles of "quintessential" fans of soccer clubs, and what it says about Aston Villa is a bit surprising.

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The most-Villa Aston Villa fan may be a 28-year-old man who writes fiction, reads The Sun, and loves custard. At least that's what I'm taking from the publicly available profiles at YouGov. YouGov is an international market research firm that does thousands of surveys of people and asks marketing questions. In this process, they've come across 390 self-identified Aston Villa fans. And now we can see what makes us stand out. For instance:

  • Aston Villa fans are much more politically conservative than are fans of other clubs
  • Our hobbies that we're more likely to have than fans of other teams are exercising, playing an instrument, and writing fiction. So we're a fairly creative lot
  • We love some yuk sung, the Chinese lettuce wraps of meat. I can't deny that they're delicious.
  • But we also like custard, and cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches more than the average football fan
  • We're most likely to drive a Citroën and do our banking at HSBC

YouGov are quick to point out that the information in their profile is not that of a typical fan, though. If it was, "most gorups would look very similar, and you wouldn't learn a lot... [instead] it reveals the quintessential, rather than the average, member of that group." Their methodology is actually pretty interesting, and their explanation is quite clear:

We compare the group to their natural comparison set (for example, fans of Downton Abbey compared to anyone who has rated any TV shows) and see which of the thousands of datapoints most overscore in our target group... example: many of the football teams show a "female" character - this does not mean that most of the fans are female, but simply that compared to other football teams, there are "more" female fans than you would expect.

It's a pretty fascinating tool to play around with, and I'd encourage you to head over and have a look. While eating some custard, of course.