Writer: Stuart Smith
Date:Tuesday June 17 2008
FANS HAVE THEIR SAY AS LEAGUE PUBLISHES
SUPPORTERS SURVEY 2008
The Football League has launched the results of its latest fan consultation - The Football League Supporters Survey 2008. The survey, which was conducted on The League`s behalf by SportsWise, features the views of 40,316 supporters on a variety of current footballing issues.
In launching the report Football League Chairman Lord Mawhinney said:
"I am grateful to the more than forty thousand supporters who took this opportunity to tell us what they think about The Football League, their clubs and the matches they watch. Their views are very important and will help us shape the future direction of League football.
"We are heartened to see that fans share our views on so many of the key issues facing football. Like us, they believe that clubs need to be community focussed, with an emphasis placed on developing their own young players.
"They also want to see fair play on the pitch, with participants respecting match officials."
Of the 40,316 supporters that took part in The Football League Supporters Survey 2008, 53% support Championship clubs with 30% and 17% supporting League 1 and League 2 clubs, respectively.
The results of the survey reveal that:
THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE:
51% of fans believe that The Football League does a good job, compared to 16% who feel that it does not.
72% of supporters believe that Football League matches provide good family entertainment.
Fans identified players showing dissent or a lack of respect to match officials as the most important area for the football authorities to address in the area of 'Fair Play`, with 29% of supporters believing this to be the case.
The next most popular answers were players diving (26%) and players feigning injury (23%).
56% of supporters believe that the standard of refereeing in The Football League is average or above.
However, only 17% feel that refereeing standards are improving.
Supporters placed a strong emphasis on clubs having a programme to develop their own young players. On a ten-point scale fans indicating an average rating of 9.1 on this issue.
Asked whether they favoured the introduction of a home-grown players policy, 42% of supporters believe that clubs should be required to have a certain number of home grown players in the professional squad and 40% felt that there should be a minimum number in their 16-man matchday line-up.
42% of supporters with children under the age of 16 have come into contact with their club`s Community scheme. As a result, half had been given the opportunity to attend a Football League match.
Respondents attended an average of 16 home matches and 5 away matches each season.
Supporters identified match atmosphere as the single most important aspects of the matchday experience.
This was followed by good sight lines and safety.
58% of fans prefer to see their club`s midweek matches scheduled on Tuesday nights compared to the 36% that prefer Wednesdays.
7.45pm is the most popular kick-off time with 49% of supporters, although 24% prefer 7.30pm and 15% would like to see 8.00pm used.
73% of fans oppose artificial turf being permitted for Football League matches
Just 15% of fans would like to see artificial pitches trialled.
61% of fans believe it should be mandatory, under Football League regulations for clubs to field first strength teams in Cup matches.
37% feel the club should field at least six of the players that have played the most first team matches that season, whilst 24% feel the club should field all 11 first team regulars.
Asked whether they felt valued by their club, supporters gave clubs an average mark of 6.6 on a ten-point scale. The club whose fans feel most valued is Charlton Athletic (8.2).
91% of supporters were able to enter the name of their club`s shirt sponsor unprompted.
More than a third of supporters (36%) indicated that simply the association of a brand with their club will actually change their consumer behaviour by making them more likely to buy the products in question over other competing products.
85% of supporters have purchased their club`s replica shirt at some point.
35% of fans buy a shirt every season.
61% of supporters feel that the introduction of the League-wide smoke-free policy at the beginning of the 2007/08 season has improved their matchday experience. Whereas just 9% felt it had detracted from matches.
Date:Tuesday June 17 2008
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