man u fans in annual shocker

Most of the Red Devils' annuals are sold outside of Manchester, data shows

Manchester United have proved yet again that their fans are a loyal bunch - if not hailing from the environs of Old Trafford itself.

Recent data from charts company Nielsen BookScan reveals that 82% of the latest issue of The Official Manchester United FC Annual was sold outside of Lancashire (the geographical region in which the club is based).

The book is the bestselling annual in the regions of: Northern Scotland, Borders, Northern Ireland, Lancashire, Yorkshire, East of England, Midlands, Wales and the West, Southern and South West.

The only three geographical regions in which it is not the bestseller are: Central Scotland (where The Official Rangers Annual is the bestseller), London (Arsenal) and the North East (Newcastle).

Rivals Liverpool have almost as wide a spread, selling 81% of their annuals outside of their geographical area, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City completing the top five.

Nottingham Forest, Hibernian, West Bromwich Albion and Heart of Midlothian fans are the most truly local fans in the UK, with more than 90% of the sales of the football teams' annuals occurring in the region in which they are based.

Man United topped Forbes' 10 most valuable sports brands list in 2011, and is known for its global fanbase.