Forget being screamers on the terraces, lockdown football fans are now two screeners in their living rooms.
With Premier League fans now only able to get their football fix on television, supporters are turning to tech to enhance their match day experience.
According to a poll of 2,000 supporters commissioned by Smart Energy GB, fans use an average of two devices to watch the match, yelling at the TV and sharing their reactions on social media.
Nearly half of those surveyed revealed they are using more technology to recreate the football atmosphere, with one in five using video calls to turn themselves into sofa pundits.
According to research 53 per cent watched matches last week with the Merseyside derby watched by a record 5.5 million viewers with a further 4.5m watching Crystal Palace's win over Bournemouth, the first Premier League game screened on the BBC.
The study also revealed one in six people are looking forward to the games even though they’re not usually avid football fans, while a fifth of respondents watched together as a family – as they’ve got used to doing things together during lockdown.
Amazingly 31 per cent have been so happy about the return of the sport, after months of classic matches and predictable highlights, that they didn’t care about the games being played in empty stadiums.
However, one in five admitted they were worried about their increased energy usage.
"Matches behind closed doors brings about a greater reliance on TV’s, laptops and smart devices as people try to recreate that matchday atmosphere you get nowhere else but on the terraces," said Smart Energy GB's Robert Cheesewright.
"Increased energy use during the Covid crisis has meant an increase in bills for many households, but there is a simple way to stay in control and that is by getting a smart meter installed.”
Five ways football fans can help manage their energy consumption
1. Cook for everyone at once – If you have a busy household, make sure you’re catering for everyone, even those watching something else in another room. Plus, it’s more sociable.
2. Get the barbecue out – If the weather’s good, it saves on using the oven and can be a great way of making more of an event of the football – even if it’s just for the two of you in your household.
3. Ask your energy supplier for a smart meter – They are the best way to monitor the energy you are consuming via a handy in-home display, which shows you how much you are spending in near real time. And if you’re on a prepay tariff, you can top up during half-time without leaving the sofa.
4. If you’re sticking the kettle on after the match, make sure you only boil the amount of water you need, rather than filling it up to the max.
5. When you’ve finished with the TV - win or lose - remember not to leave it on standby and switch your electronics off at the wall when you’re not using them.