• Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub


  • A third (32%) admit football is more important than their relationship
  • Over 240,500 Brits ditched their marriage due to their partner’s love of the game
  • 67% have picked football over significant occasions, such as weddings and funerals

One in three British football fans (32%) prioritise the sport over their partner, or are at least hesitant to choose between the two, according to new research.

The study by BonusCodeBets.co.uk questioned Brits on whether they prioritise their love life or their relationship with football, finding 12% held their team in higher regard – while a further 20% expressed an equal affection or were simply unable to pick a winner.

And almost two-fifths (38%) have fallen out with their other half over football at least once.

Most significantly though, 1% of respondents report their love of football was to blame for their marriage ending – equating to 240,500 divorced Brits*.

And for those who are still hitched, they too may be in danger of following suit, with 10% of married Brits confessing to have missed date nights, and 5% having the audacity to skip their anniversary for a match.

And it’s not just marriages and relationships that suffer, as 67% of the nation admit to missing a significant occasion, including family events, weddings and even funerals (2%).

With Valentine’s Day approaching, partners of Luton Town fans may be spending the evening alone as Hatters supporters are most guilty of skipping the celebrations. Almost one in five (19%) have ditched their partner for their team on the day of love, while Bournemouth (17%) and Crystal Palace fans (13%) aren’t much better.

At the other end of the table are fans of Nottingham Forest, Brentford and Fulham, with none of their supporters skipping Feb 14th for football.

Top five fan bases most guilty of skipping Valentine’s Day for football:


Rank Cities % of people who are most guilty of skipping Valentine’s Day
1 Luton Town 19%
2 Bournemouth 17%
3 Crystal Palace 13%
4 Manchester City 12%
5 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12%

While Brits do typically spend £15 more on their loved ones than their football team in an average month, Fulham fans are most likely to splash the cash on sport instead, forking out £59 more on following the Cottagers than treating a significant other.

Those hoping to be showered with gifts should opt for a Brighton fan as a partner. Seagulls supporters spend £68 per month more on their loved ones than they do on things like season tickets and TV packages – more than fans of any other side.

When it comes to football causing relationship spats, one in five (20%) have fallen out with their other half because their team put them in a bad mood, which is particularly notable in the North-East (30%). Just under one in seven (13%) couples have also argued about supporting opposing teams – with this being most striking in Wales (19%), closely followed by London (16%).

For 3% of spiteful Brits, they went ahead and supported their partner’s rival club just to be difficult. This is especially prominent in North London, where 6% of Gunners supporters have seen their relationship affected by their partner crossing the north London divide, while almost one in ten (8%) Manchester City fans’ partners switched to the red half of Manchester.

A spokesperson from BonusCodeBets.co.uk said: “It seems the catchphrase ‘for the love of the game’ isn’t just minced words for Brits, especially the one in three who clearly take sport extremely seriously – and keep their lover on the side-line.

“No one likes home defeats, but football is certainly driving relationships – and marriages – to the brink, and for the 240,545 divorcees, they may as well have said ‘I do’ to the football instead!”