The passion and support for Serie A clubs remains as high as ever, with the latest figures from a 20-year plus study showing that 24.6 million follow a top-flight club on the peninsula – down just 0.16% on 2021/22 – and a number of clubs have increased their percentage of that following during the last 12 months.
Global market research duo StageUp and Ipsos have been compiling the data since the 2000/01 campaign. They have uncovered that while reigning champions AC Milan’s support has expectedly risen 13% since last year, so have the followings of Udinese, Fiorentina and Torino. They have also found that 41% of the Italian population support a Serie A club.
Udinese topping year-on-year increase
After languishing in mid-table during the 2021/22 campaign, the strong start by Udinese this term and their continued flirtation with European qualification appears to have had a positive impact on their popularity throughout Italy.
The Zebrette have increased their support by 16% to 179,000 in the last 12 months, just ahead of the Rossoneri’s improvement and Fiorentina in third place with 621,000 – a 10% rise.
Considering that Torino ended the 2021/22 season in 10th place and currently sit one place further down the Serie A standings, the Granata recorded an 8% increase in supporters to 450,000, which the study attributes to the number of Toro fans clubs throughout the country. However, the high ticket prices at crosstown rivals Juventus could also mean that local fans are heading for the other Turin giant.
Clubs on the slide
Having become accustomed to entertaining spectators in stadiums and on TV, an eighth-placed finish for Atalanta last season contributed to the biggest fall in support to a Serie A club, with 314,000 reported fans which is a 10% drop. Bologna, with a similar number of followers (310,000), witnessed a fall of 9%.
These figures may continue if superpowers Juventus, AC Milan and Inter continue to swallow up the market share of supporters, with the trio accounting for 67% of the fans. Juventus continues to have the biggest fan base across the peninsula, though, with just over eight million cheering on the Old Lady.