7 EPL teams with the biggest fanbase in South Africa

Although South Africans support their local teams, especially those in the Premier Soccer League, you will also find them supporting and discussing teams in the EPL.

The most popular EPL clubs have a large South African fanbase because of their policy of signing top African and South African players.

Also, some teams in the EPL have held their pre-season tours in the country, thus cementing their support from South Africans.

Here is a list of the EPL teams with the biggest fanbase in South Africa.

1. Manchester United

Manchester United logo
The Manchester United Football Club logo

Manchester United is the Premier League club with the most supporters in South Africa.

The club’s popularity in South Africa traces back to the team’s success in the Premier League and the signing of one of South Africa’s biggest stars, Quinton Fortune.

Furthermore, the club has held several pre-season tours to South Africa, which helped to increase its popularity in the country.

Manchester United was founded in 1878 and plays at Old Trafford, with a stadium capacity of 74,310. The club also boasts a global fanbase of 142 million, known for their enthusiasm and spirited support.

2. Arsenal

Arsenal Football Club team poses for a picture
Arsenal Football Club players posing in a team photo. Image: Instagram/arsenal

Arsenal FC is one of the most supported EPL teams in South Africa. The team increased its popularity in the country during the Arsene Wenger era, especially after winning the league in 2003-04 without losing a game.

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Also, Wenger’s policy of finding talent abroad and scouting African players like Kolo Toure and Nwankwo Kanu, helped increase Arsenal’s popularity in South Africa.

With more than 90 million followers worldwide, Arsenal was founded in 1886 and plays at the Emirates Stadium, which has a capacity of 60,704.

3. Chelsea

Chelsea Football Club players lining up
Chelsea Football Club players. Image: Instagram/Chelsea FC

Chelsea enjoys a significant number of followers in South Africa. While it is not the European team with most fans in South Africa, its popularity increased significantly after Roman Abramovich took ownership in 2003.

The team began investing in top players and enjoyed success in local and European tournaments. Players like Didier Drogba, Solomon Kalou, and Michael Esien propelled Chelsea’s popularity in South Africa. 

Chelsea was founded in 1905. The club plays at Stamford Bridge, which has a capacity of 40,341, and the club has over 100 million fans globally.

4. Liverpool

Liverpool Football Club players during a match at a stadium
Liverpool Football Club players. Image: Instagram/liverpoolfc

Liverpool is among the EPL teams with the biggest fanbase in South Africa. The club’s close rivalry with Manchester United could explain why it is popular in South Africa.

Over the years, Liverpool has featured many African players, including El-Hadji Diouf, Momo Sissoko, and Sadio Mane.

These players have helped grow its audience in South Africa and increase its worldwide popularity to 70 million fans.

The club was founded in 1892. The team plays at the Anfield Stadium, which has a capacity of 54,074.

5. Manchester City

Manchester City players pose for a photo at a stadium
Manchester City players. Image: Instagram/man city

Manchester City was not always the most popular team in South Africa. Its rivalry with neighbours Manchester United made most South Africans notice the team.

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The club’s popularity has increased since 2010, when it won its first-ever English Premier League title. Today, the club boasts over 20 million fans worldwide, known for their unwavering loyalty.

Manchester City has also signed several African players, including Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Riyad Mahrez.

The club was founded in 1880 and plays at the Etihad Stadium, which has a capacity of 53,400. 

6. Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur players celebrating during a match
Tottenham Hotspur players celebrating after scoring. Image: Instagram/spurs official

Tottenham Hotspur has successfully attracted fans from outside England, including South Africa.

Founded in 1882 and playing at the Tottenham Stadium with a capacity of 62,850, the club has a history of playing attractive, attacking football, which is often appreciated by fans worldwide and explains their support in South Africa.

The South African government’s tourism board has also sponsored Tottenham Hotspur to boost international tourism. Tottenham is marketed as being a big club and thus deserves more fans.

But Tottenham’s popularity can also be attributed to two South African internationals, Mbulelo Mabizela and Steven Pienaar.

7. Everton

Everton team pose for a picture at a pitch
Members of Everton FC posing for a photo. Image: Instagram/Everton

Everton is also on the list of EPL teams with the biggest fanbase in South Africa. The team gets its support in South Africa because of the club’s association with Steven Pienaar.

Pienaar joined Everton FC in 2007 and appeared in 189 matches. He was also the South African men’s national team captain when he played for Everton.

As of 2023, Pienaar serves as Everton’s international ambassador.

Founded in 1878, Everton has over 3 million global fans and plays at Goodison Park with a capacity of 52,888.

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