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Saints hit perfect pitch

Posted on 18 March 2002

New scientific analysis shows Southampton fans to be best singers in the FA Barclaycard Premiership

New scientific research out today shows that Southampton FC has the most tuneful fans in the FA Barclaycard Premiership. Bolton Wanderers' fans are the most off-key according to the report that measures the musical ability of clubs' supporters.

The report, the first of its kind, is written by Professor David Howard, University of York and published by FA Premiership sponsor, Barclaycard. Although Southampton are top of the kops, fans of Manchester United and Derby County are also praised by the experts.

Professor Howard analysed recordings of all Premiership fans singing at home games. Using the latest scientific sound equipment, the professor examined the collective voice of the fans to uncover their relative tuning accuracy and their tendency to go sharp or flat, the key elements of good singing.

David Howard reported: "All the fans sing with real passion and belief, but in some cases the vocal skills of some fans don't come close to matching the ball skills of the players that they support. Southampton fans have good starting pitch and hold their tuning extremely well to produce a consistently outstanding performance.

"At the other end of the scale, Bolton fans' pitch moves around wildly and has an alarming tendency to drift sharp and flat."

Barclaycard Premiership Top Of The Kops League

   Club Fans Score
 Southampton  0.00750
 2  Manchester United  0.03293
 3  Derby County  0.30169
 4  Newcastle  0.42958
 5  Liverpool  0.44509
 6  Charlton  0.46131
 7  Blackburn Rovers  0.95308
 8  West Ham United  1.13514
 9  Everton  1.25426
 10  Leicester City  1.54804
 11  Chelsea  2.01354
 12  Sunderland  2.34639
 13  Arsenal  2.79700
 14  Middlesbrough  2.92625
 15  Ipswich Town  2.96670
 16  Leeds United  3.09867
 17  Fulham  3.14282
 18  Aston Villa  4.32665
 19  Tottenham Hotspur  7.47675
20  Bolton Wanderers 11.25620

The closer the score to zero, the closer the singing is to perfect pitch

Barclaycard sponsorship director, Nic Gault said: "It's fascinating to finally find out which fans really are the best singers but as our table shows, the quality of the singing is not necessarily reflected by results on the pitch. However everyone knows that strong vocal support can often be worth a goal start. If they get it in tune too then that has to be music to everyone's ears!"

Notes to editors:

1. Ten suggested vocal tips for fans at matches

It is important for good vocal health that the voice is warmed up before singing, chanting or shouting and that the body is placed in a position that puts least strain upon and provides a solid platform for the voice to function in a healthy manner. The following ten tips provide some guidance which will help the voice to work in a healthy manner:

Vocal warm-up …

a. Stretch tall, shake shoulders and rotate neck for about 20 seconds
b. Move lips, jaw and tongue over their fullest extent for about 20 seconds
c. Take a few deep breaths in and out
d. Hum very softly to yourself
e. Keep neck area warm too, both during and after the game (wear your scarf!)

Whilst singing …
f. Keep feet placed squarely on the ground (whether sitting or standing)
g. Stretch up tall and keep shoulders relaxed in a low position
h. Don't start too high or too fast
i. Take really deep breaths
j. Listen to everyone else

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153