England fans value victory over Italians

Updated: 
 England fanEnglish football fans are prepared to spend more supporting their team than Italian fans according to research by finance house ING ahead of Sunday's Euro 2012 quarter-final.

According to the pollsters, people in England were prepared to "sacrifice more" based on three economic measures: giving up money, giving up holidays and giving up 1% of their purchasing power.

Goal getters

ING polled 16,000 people in the 16 Euro 2012 finalist countries on a diverse range of football-related questions, including whether they were "big fans" of the game, the amount in euros they would be willing to sacrifice for their team to win and more.

The English might be widely regarded as more reserved than Italians but the results suggest emotions are set to flare.

Asked if they feel pride if their team wins, almost 60% in both England and Italy answered "yes". Italy had a higher proportion of "big fans", at 34% compared with England's 24%. But England fans are prepared to put their money where their mouths are.

Euro 2012 in euros

When it came to the amount of euros fans were willing to sacrifice to see their team win England's fans averaged €207, whereas cheapskate Italians offered a paltry €167.

Both sets of fans were prepared to give up two days' holiday for their team to win but when it came to the number of people prepared to sacrifice 1% of their income on their team to win a staggering 12% of England fans said they would. Just 8% of Italian fans said they would.

Another figure in the survey was that England fans were prepared to take three hours off work on average to watch Euro 2012 matches. Italians said just one hour. Mind you, that might be because England fans have to work harder in the first place.

On average England fans expect to spend about €15 on supporter gear, with Italians spending €16.

More than a game

ING senior economist Ian Bright said: "Of course football matches are not decided by the support of the fans but football matches do play a big part in the lives of many of the team's supporters. Football is more than just a game.

"We know that people respond in an emotional way to events. Football exposes some fascinating economics lessons. One of them is the need to control emotions. On the field, sticking to a long-term plan and trusting objective statistics can keep emotions under control and, in the long run, may bring better results. The same can hold true off the field as well."

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