Public backs the Premier League’s decision to postpone football following the Queen’s death
September 14th, 2022, Stephan Shakespeare

Public backs the Premier League’s decision to postpone football following the Queen’s death

The Premier League recently announced that all fixtures for the weekend following the death of Queen Elizabeth II would be cancelled: it was a move that prompted criticism from fans, journalists, and commentators such as Gary Neville and Gary Lineker (who argued that football had “missed the opportunity to pay [its] respects” to the sovereign).

But data from YouGov SportsIndex shows that, following the decision to postpone the Premier League, public attitude towards the Premier League improved across a number of key measures. Impression scores, a net measure of general positive and negative sentiment, jumped by more than ten points, rising from 6.6 to 17.0 (+10.4). Perhaps defusing the criticism of Lineker et al. somewhat, the league’s Reputation scores – which measure the prestige of a competition – saw a similar leap: rising from 5.3 to 13.0 (+7.7).


We asked Britons recently via YouGov Daily whether cancelling sporting and cultural events was the right or wrong call to make; half of Britons said the decision was correct (52%), while fewer than two in five said it was not (36%). We can also look to the example of England Test Cricket: YouGov SportsIndex data shows that its Buzz scores fell from 9.0 to 6.5 (-2.5) - compared to a mild rise from 4.8 to 6.3 for the Premier League (+1.5) - after it was announced that the England vs. South Africa test match would resume. Meanwhile Test Cricket’s Reputation scores deteriorated from 16.1 to 13.7 (-2.4) and Impression from 15.5 to 11.8 (-3.7).

A monarch’s death presents brands with a difficult choice: to keep calm, carry on, and risk being seen as insensitive – or to postpone activities, reschedule plans, and potentially lose out on revenue to better reflect the national mood. For all the outcry, as far as the public are concerned, the Premier League made the right call.

This article was originally published in City AM