Who would be North East's best-supported football club if fans followed their local team?

Brighton would be the best-supported team in the country if everyone followed their local team.
Brighton would be the best-supported team in the country if everyone followed their local team.
6
Have your say

Britain's biggest football clubs draw their support from far and wide - but what would happen if everyone followed their local club?

That's what amateur football statistician Philip Usher set out to find out, by allocating total population data from the 2011 Census to the closest football club stadium.

He included every club from the Premier League down to the top level of the non-league game, the Conference, and his results make surprising reading.

Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion would be the best-supported club in the country, with more than one million potential fans.

Second on the list were Birmingham City, with a potential 959,000-strong following and Brentford came in third with 899,000.

Newcastle United came 14th in the table, with 797,628 potential supporters, and Middlesbrough were 16th with 758,808.

Sunderland were 64th with a potential supporter of 432,519 - though they were below their Tyneside Conference neighbours Gateshead, who came in 52nd with a potential fanbase of 486,317.

Sunderland were still above well-supported Premier League rivals Manchester United (65th), West Ham United (67th), Aston Villa (69th) and Everton (92nd).

Hartlepool United don't even make the top 100, drawing on a potential fanbase of just 243,323.

Here's the Top 10:

1. Brighton and Hove Albion (Championship) - potential fanbase 1,039,634

2. Birmingham City (Championship) - 958,598

3. Cardiff City (Championship_ - 930,341

4. Swansea City (Premier League) - 906,954

5. Brentford (Championship) - 898,914

6. Dagenham and Redbridge (League Two) - 888,176

7. Gillingham (League One) - 876,663

8. Leicester City (Premier League) - 872,724

9. Plymouth Argyle (League Two) - 870,803

10. Leeds United (Championship) - 868,734