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Wednesday, 27 February, 2002, 16:26 GMT
Soccer violence declining say fans
Hooliganism at Cardiff City
Hooliganism picture not so grim, according to the fans
A quarter of football fans have experienced hooliganism at Premiership matches, a survey has found.

But most fans questioned by the University of Leicester's Football Research Centre thought that overall violence at soccer matches is on the decline.

Of 30,000 people questioned, 25% had experienced hooliganism at football matches and even more said they had witnessed some kind of racist act, either on or off the pitch.

But assistant researcher Sam Neatrour said: "More than one third of all fans who have returned to their club in the last few years point to a decline in hooliganism.

Football fans
1% from ethnic minorities
14% women
33% earn more than 30,000
25% experienced hooliganism
20% say football most important thing in life

"New stadiums and decreasing violence are making people come back to football."

The survey of supporters at all 20 Premiership clubs over the 2000 to 2001 season found that more than half were white males aged between 30 and 50.

At most clubs, supporters from the ethnic minority communities made up only 1% of the crowd.

Only Arsenal was different, with 7.7% calling themselves "not white British".

High earners

But in other ways, the survey bucks the traditional image of a footie fan as a working-class man.

One in seven are women, a third of supporters take their children to games and a third said they earned more than 30,000 a year.

At Leicester City, 26% of fans are female.

At Spurs, 61% of fans said they were middle to high earners and at Chelsea only 38% earn less than 30,000.

London clubs Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs charge the most for their season tickets at 747, 614 and 546 respectively.

A fifth of fans said football was the most important thing in their lives.

See also:

12 Jan 02 | Wales
Key test for war on hooligans
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