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The top 30 signs you’re a true football fan, study reveals

A recent study reveals the top 30 signs you’re a true football fan ahead of a season like no other with the World Cup in December.

Some of the top signs of a true football fan incldues naming the starting XI of England’s World Cup winning team, owning multiple shirts and going to at least five games a season.

A study of 2,000 self-declared fans found having played the game themselves – even Sunday league – also made the top 30 list, as per The Independent.

A third said you’re only a fully-fledged football supporter if you can easily explain the offside rule.

From knowing where all the stadiums are in different towns and cities to collecting merchandise for a favourite team and predicting the substitutions about to be made in a game are also signs of a true fan.

However, 47 per cent said you can only be classed as a full fan if you support both the men’s and women’s teams.

The research was commissioned by the England Teams’ partner Snickers, whose spokesperson Chloe Smith said: “From missing or being late to the birth of a child or a flight abroad as a result of watching football, we know that England is a nation of passionate football fans.

“However, we know you can’t call yourself a ‘full fan’ if you don’t support both the women and men’s football teams.”

The love for women’s football is on the rise with 46 per cent of those taking part in the study having an interest in it, with men more so than women. 43 per cent think that popularity is good for sport as a whole.

When comparing genders, 54 per cent don’t think female footballers are given the same level of recognition as their male counterparts.

As a result, 49 per cent of those with kids would encourage their daughter to follow or play the game as much as they would encourage their son.

Three in 10 said their daughter plays compared to a quarter who has a son who takes part in the sport, and a further 39 per cent has a little girl who already supports a particular team.

It also emerged 59 per cent of those polled have been in love with the game since they were a child, with 58 per cent encouraging their little one to support their favourite team.

TOP 30 SIGNS YOU’RE A TRUE FOOTBALL FAN

1. Being able to name the starting XI of England’s World Cup winning team

2. Playing the game yourself – even Sunday league

3. Going to at least five games in a season

4. Owning multiple football shirts

5. Being able to easily explain the offside rule

6. Owning a full kit

7. Supporting your local side

8. Knowing where all the stadiums are in different cities

9. Knowing what substitutions a manager will make shortly before they make them

10. Watching games other than the ones your team is playing in

11. Knowing the ins and outs of players from different teams from 30 years ago

12. Knowing the name of ends/stands at different stadiums

13. Planning your weekends around the football schedule

14. Cancelling all plans to watch an important game

15. Going to away games and not just home games

16. Keeping track of scores across the board on your phone if you’re not watching it at home

17. Happily watching a match on Sky or BT Sport that doesn’t even involve your team

18. Collecting souvenirs / merch for your club

19. Being a season ticket holder every year

20. Having pictures/prints/framed shirts up in your home

21. Being just as interested in the women’s game as the men’s version

22. Taking a day off work to watch a match

23. Knowing all the football chants/songs for each club

24. Refusing to even wear a colour that your team’s rival plays in

25. Being inconsolable all weekend if your team loses

26. Knowing the number of trophies each team has won

27. Arguing with friends/partner over favourite teams

28. Having a house full of your team’s merch – mugs, scarves etc

29. Getting up in the middle of the night while abroad to watch a game

30. Complaining about VAR

One we think that you also know is the English football league system, there is plenty more going onto outside the Premier League and EFL. There are a total of between level 1 and 8.

Premier League (level 1, 20 teams): The bottom three teams are relegated.

Championship (level 2, 24 teams): Top two automatically promoted; next four compete in the play-offs, with the winner gaining the third promotion spot. The bottom three are relegated.

League One (level 3, 24 teams): Top two are automatically promoted; next four compete in play-offs, with the winner gaining the third promotion spot. The bottom four are relegated.

League Two (level 4, 24 teams): Top three teams are automatically promoted; next four compete in play-offs, with the winner gaining the fourth promotion spot. The bottom two are relegated.

National League (level 5, 24 teams): The champions are promoted; next six compete in play-offs, with the winner gaining the second promotion spot. The bottom four are relegated to either North or South division as appropriate.

National League North and National League South (level 6, 24 teams each, running in parallel): The champions in each division are automatically promoted; next six teams in each division compete in play-offs, with the play-off winner in each division getting the second promotion spot, with four teams qualifying to the National League in total. The bottom four teams in each division relegated to either Northern Premier League, Southern League or Isthmian League as appropriate. If, after promotion and relegation, the number of teams in the North and South divisions is not equal, one or more teams are transferred between the two divisions to even them up again based on geographic factors.

Northern Premier League Premier Division, Southern Football League Central Division, Southern Football League South Division and Isthmian League Premier Division (level 7, 22 teams each, leagues running in parallel): The champions in each division are automatically promoted; next four teams in each division compete in play-offs, with the play-off winners also promoted. The bottom four teams in each division relegated to a level 8 division as appropriate. If, after promotion and relegation, the number of teams in the divisions is not equal, one or more teams are transferred among the four divisions to even them up again.

Northern Premier League Division One East, Northern Premier League Division One Midlands, Northern Premier League Division One West, Southern Football League Division One East, Southern Football League Division One West, Isthmian League Division One North, Isthmian League Division One South Central and Isthmian League Division One South East (level 8, running in parallel, 20 teams in each division): The champions in each division are automatically promoted; next four teams in each division compete in play-offs, with the play-off winners also promoted. The bottom two teams in each division are relegated to a level 9 division as appropriate. If, after promotion and relegation, the number of teams in the divisions is not equal, one or more teams are transferred between the divisions to even them up again.

Level 9 consists of the Northern League Division One, Northern Counties East League Premier Division, North West Counties League Premier Division, Midland League Premier Division, United Counties League Premier Division North, United Counties League Premier Division South, Hellenic League Premier Division, Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, Wessex League Premier Division, Western League Premier Division, Combined Counties League Premier Division North, Combined Counties League Premier Division South, Eastern Counties League Premier Division, Essex Senior League, Southern Combination League Premier Division and the Southern Counties East League Premier Division

Cup eligibility

Being members of a league at a particular level also affects eligibility for Cup, or single-elimination, competitions.

FA Cup: Levels 1 to 10
EFL Cup: Levels 1 to 4
EFL Trophy: Levels 3 to 4
FA Trophy: Levels 5 to 8
FA Vase: Levels 9 to 10
FA Inter-League Cup: Level 11 (contested by representative teams from each league)

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