Out of both domestic cups, 15 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal and to make matters worse, Arsene Wenger’s men have now eclipsed Manchester United as the most popular club in China.
The online survey by Coventry University’s Centre for International Business of Sport (CIBS) – with 15,586 participants – saw the North London side edge ahead of David Moyes’ side to claim more bragging rights.
CIBS researcher Jiajia Song believes the shift in popularity is purely down to the added benefit of securing deals for stars of the game.
“Players like Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podalski, both German international players and players for Arsenal, are likely to fulfill an important commercial and marketing role for club, country and league,” he said.
Europe’s leading clubs now use the Far East as a regular pre-season destination and CIBS director Professor Simon Chadwick feels it is now a necessity for clubs but feels the global fan base is not being maximised.
He tweeted: “There’s no doubt that clubs generate revenue from China, South Korea and Japan.
“Whether they make a profit is a different matter. Typically, less than 10% of turnover from a Premier League club comes from overseas sales. Compare European football to NBA in China, for example.
“The NBA has physical and marketing infrastructure set up on the ground to capitalize on opportunities to serve fans and customers.”
AC Milan took third spot in the survey, followed by Spanish conquerors Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Image courtesy of Xavoun via Wikimedia Commons, with thanks