Posted: Tuesday May 29, 2012 11:34AM ; Updated: Tuesday May 29, 2012 11:34AM

Man United survey finds support doubles to 659M

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LONDON (AP) -- Manchester United says a global survey has found that its fan base has doubled to 659 million in five years, more than any other football club.

The figure is based on the responses from 54,000 people in 39 countries. A similar survey in 2007 indicated that United had 333 million fans, based on 27,000 responses.

The latest findings show that United's stronghold is Asia, with 325 million fans, followed by Africa and the Middle East with 173 million.

The survey was conducted before the season that just ended with United failing to win a trophy for the first time since 2005.

United's popularity helps to provide the commercial revenue to soften the impact of a 423 million-pound ($663 million) debt resulting from the Glazer family takeover in 2005.

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