Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The World Cup - so who will you support?

A great "little Scotland" story here about the Aberdeen store that was baffled when the police visited to gently warn that the xenophobic football t-shirts in their window might cause offence.

The vendor simply can't see the dark side of their "Anyone but England" T-shirts for this year's World Cup.

(Yes, we can all see how the "funny" side and also see how it slots us again as nation that can only define itself in terms of it's neighbour's success or failure).

It looks like this company hasn't done it's market research either. Scots are regularly asked their opinion on independence but there's only a little work done on transferability of national sporting loyalties.

The t-shirts and the Caledonian cringemouths aren't right - a majority of Scots do support England over other football teams when their own isn't playing.

I recall a huge Telegraph survey on the state of the Union in 2006 and a very little reported question it contained.

Asked who they supported when England was playing a foreign team, 48% of Scots said that they would support England.

A far smaller number, 34%, said they would support the foreign team, or the "anyone but England" side. This poll was taken at the high tide of support for independence when 52% of Scots surveyed backed the break-up of the Union.

So, on these figures almost half of Scotland will be supporting England in South Africa this year. But you won't know because they won't be wearing the shirts - probably because they're not available in many stores in Scotland.

Statistically speaking anyone selling England football tops in Aberdeen this summer would find a far better market than those appealing to Little Scotlanders.

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