THE BLOG

Football Fans Have an Addiction to Score That's Impossible to Kick

18/07/2013 15:19 BST | Updated 16/09/2013 10:12 BST

The cramp in my stomach is becoming unbearable. Sweat, chills, nausea. Too ill to sleep. Too tired to stay awake. The overwhelming urges and cravings are on their way again. A need like nothing else I've ever known is taking hold of me. It's on its way - I need my fix of football news!

Granted, this may be slightly exaggerated and more like an extract from Trainspotting, but the passionate football fans among us can't go long without filling up on the latest transfer rumours, managerial appointments and club news to feed our addiction.

In my eyes, the game evokes passion and excitement unlike any other sport - and it seems that the UK agrees with me. PERFORM released the findings of its annual study into sports media consumption in the UK recently. It said that time spent by fans consuming sport in an average week has shot up from 6.2 hours to 8.1 hours year-on-year, with football being the most followed sport in Britain. Almost half the adults across the country - 44% to be precise - consume all things football. That compares to 27% following F1, 26% keeping up-to-date with tennis and 22% interested in rugby union.

Whether the season's in full swing and we're desperate to keep up-to-date with what our club's doing to ensure some end-of-season silverware or if we're willing our team to break the bank as the summer transfer rumour mill spirals out of control, one thing's for sure - we'll be reading all about it. But what drives our obsession with the beautiful game?

It might be its simplicity? The rules - once you've mastered the meaning of offside - are relatively straightforward and almost anyone can play. Whether it's professionally, for your local team or in the park with your friends, if you can kick and run - you can have hours of fun passing the ball around.

Perhaps it's the adrenaline that slowly builds throughout the football-free summer. The anticipation that grows ahead of the start of the new campaign as your team rebuilds its squad in search of prizes next season. The rush that follows as the players step onto the pitch for the season opener whilst the crowd unite and sing until their throat strains.

Or it could be the sheer aesthetic beauty as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi dribble down the flank and gracefully cut in before pinging the ball effortlessly into the top corner. Whatever the answer, there's no doubt that football's one of the most beloved sports in the world - and not just in Britain.

We alone have had our football news application - THE Football App - downloaded more than 8 million times from addicts across the world in as little as four and a half years. Our users know that they'll receive live scores and commentary for over 1,500 games per year, in-depth games analysis and up-to-date player statistics whilst we curate headlines, news, and video from a growing list of sports news and content providers from around the world.

It's crazy to think that once-upon-a-time there was no such thing as the internet. We only had the television and newspapers that would report to us according to their daily schedule - we didn't have access to up-to-the-minute information. But the rate at which technology has been evolving means we can not only logon to the internet via our PC when it's convenient, we can fire-up our smartphones or tablets from virtually anywhere and access football news whenever we want.

In fact, PERFORM's study tells us that not only is online a growing method for Brits to consume sports news, but it's the second most popular behind the television. And rest assured that it won't be long before mobile starts battling for that mantle as popularity for this method of sports news consumption has grown by 12% - to 33% - in just two years.

But what it comes down to is there's always a game, a rumour and a statistic that'll capture the attention of the football junkie and make them crave more. That's why kicking the habit's so impossible and why we're always on the lookout for our next score. We love the game, it's as simple as that.