It’s fair to say Manchester’s two top flight teams haven’t had the easiest of times in the Premier League recently.
Both teams were nowhere near the title battle for much of last season, and neither side has won the league in three years.
But has the poor run of form for Manchester’s giants affected the city’s well-earned reputation as a football hotspot?
The UK’s leading online sports equipment retailer believes so.
Net World Sports ranked towns and cities to see where the highest number of its FORZA football goals were sold, and it doesn’t look pretty for Manchester.
The city languishes in sixth – a position United’s manager Jose Mourinho will know all too well – behind rival northern cities Leeds and Liverpool, who claimed 4th and 5th place respectively.
With five Premier League teams and another seven dotted throughout the Football League, London unsurprisingly came out top of the alternative table, but it was perhaps Bristol that earned the best result.
Its two professional teams lie in the Championship and League One, but that didn’t stop goal-hungry customers firing their city up to second place.
Similarly, Cambridge found itself in 16th place, hugely outperforming the League Two status of its sole professional team.
As well as analysing the most popular locations, the sports firm also ranked its UK goal sales by how many were bought within the postcode district where a football team’s stadium is based.
Manchester United may have won 20 league titles, 13 of which were in the Premier League era, but based off this league table they’d be joint rock-bottom.
And for all the millions pumped into Manchester City in recent years, they wouldn’t fare much better, finishing 63rd out of more than 100 professional teams.
Only six current Premier League teams would make up this new top 20 – new boys Huddersfield, Southampton, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspurs, Watford and Chelsea, who’d be pipped to the post by Norwich City.
Plenty to chirp about for the Canaries, who ended last season’s Championship in 8th.
So what does all this mean? Could it really put a hefty dent into Manchester’s claims to be the football-craziest place in Britain?
Probably not. Luckily for the city, the Premier League table is more simply based off points won in the Premier League, and both Manchester teams will believe they can top it this season.
Just as long as their fans don’t have to buy anything from Forza.
Image courtesy of Milos Radovanovic, with thanks.