Manchester United and Buriram United emerge as Thailand’s most loved football clubs


Football in Thailand is as popular as ever and recent poll results shed light on the prevailing loyalties of Thai fans, both for the English Premier League (EPL) and the Thai League 1.

A survey conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration’s Nida Poll Research Center has identified Manchester United and Buriram United as the most supported clubs in their respective leagues amongst football fans in Thailand.

The poll, which took place from July 13-19, 2023, saw 2,500 participants aged 15 and above providing insights into their football-watching habits.

When quizzed about the EPL, an impressive 61.52% of respondents confirmed they follow the league.

Of the 1,538 individuals actively watching the EPL, a significant majority (84.72%) identified as occasional followers, while 15.28% asserted that they consistently keep track.

Among those EPL enthusiasts, Manchester United emerged as the clear favorite, securing the allegiance of 34.59% of respondents.

Following closely, Liverpool claimed the loyalty of 31.79%, while Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal trailed at 7.09%, 5.72%, and 5.27% respectively.

It’s noteworthy that a diverse 1.37% of fans cheer for other teams, including Newcastle United, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham, Nottingham Forest, and Burnley. Meanwhile, 14.17% remained neutral, asserting no particular favorite.

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On the home turf, Thai League 1’s following appears slightly lower but remains significant, with 53.8% of the total population acknowledging their interest.

Out of the 1,345 respondents who track the Thai League, Buriram United reigns supreme with 36.13% pledging their allegiance. They’re followed by Port FC at 12.49% and Muangthong United at 11.67%. Other notable mentions include BG Pathum United, Chonburi FC, and Leo Chiangrai United. It’s interesting to observe that, as with the Premier League, a portion (21.19%) of fans don’t dedicate their support to a specific Thai team.

Year-on-year comparisons provide additional context. Compared to 2022’s data, the proportion of those engaging with the EPL in 2023 has experienced a boost.

The same trend is observed with the Thai League 1, indicating a thriving football culture in the country. However, in both leagues, while the overall viewership has surged, there’s been a notable rise in occasional followers as opposed to regular ones.

The changing loyalties within Thai League 1 are also noteworthy. While Buriram United, Port FC, Muangthong United, and other teams saw their fandoms grow, Chonburi FC witnessed a decline in supporters.

Over the years, the Nida Poll has established itself as a trusted barometer of public sentiment in Thailand, normally beyond the realm of sports. The survey’s insights into various socio-political and economic issues frequently inform public debate and policy decisions in the nation.

Most popular Thai League 1 teams

1. Buriram United – 36.13% of respondents.
2. Port FC – 12.49%.
3. Muangthong United – 11.67%.
4. BG Pathum United – 4.46%.
5. Chonburi FC – 3.79%.
6. Leo Chiangrai United – 2.97%.
7. Khon Kaen United – 2.01%.
8. Sukhothai FC – 1.41%.
9. Other teams – 3.88%
10. No particular favourite team – 21.19%

Most popular EPL teams in Thailand

1. Manchester United – 34.59% of respondents.
2. Liverpool – 31.79%.
3. Chelsea – 7.09%.
4. Manchester City – 5.72%.
5. Arsenal – 5.27%.
6. ‘Other teams’ – 1.37% including:
Newcastle United, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham
Nottingham Forest, Burnley
7. No particular favourite team – 14.17%