80% of non season ticket holders who responded to the CAS Trust annual season ticket renewal survey over the last two weeks said that they would be likely to return if there was a change of ownership. 62% were prepared to go so far as to make a personal pledge that they would buy a season ticket. One commented:
“Should a new buyer come in we will be back immediately with hope in our hearts and a song in our voice”
Such a level of commitment suggests that a new owner could expect an immediate return of a quarter of a million pounds from respondents and their families alone. If 80% of all lapsed season ticket felt the same way then a windfall approaching £800,000 might be banked.
However, 97% of non season ticket holders said they are very unlikely to buy a season ticket for next year unless there is a change in the club’s ownership.
This is a stark message to CEO Katrien Meire who stated at a meeting with CAS Trust members on April 8th that one of her top priorities was to “re-engage with fans”
There was a total of 1463 respondents to the survey and for the first time in its history there was a higher response from non season ticket holders (56% compared with 22% last year). This is hardly surprising given the well-publicised drop in sales but these are the people – most of whom had previously held tickets for many years – that Meire must win back. There is little sign that she is winning the battle. 79% of respondents said their main reason for not purchasing was in protest about how the club is run. A further 8% said they had just lost interest.
Furthermore, when asked about how they felt about the future of CAFC under Duchatelet, 81% of respondents were very negative and 13% quite negative. That leaves just 6% feeling at all positive. 62% said they felt more negative than when responding to CAS Trust’s attitude survey last October which suggests that any initial positivity that accompanied the appointment of a British management team has quickly evaporated.
On the subject of protests there was little change in attitude since last October. 88% of respondents still felt that protests should continue, with equal preference for whether these were at The Valley or in Belgium. Many commented to express their admiration for those organising the protests although some expressed their dismay at the divisions now apparent among supporters. There is a small group of respondents (5%) who feel quite or very negative about the future of the club under Duchatelet but disagree that the protests should continue.
When asked last October how they thought the team would fare this season nearly 60% answered “bottom half but not relegated”.
Maybe Charlton fans do know a thing or two ?
Full results of the survey are as follows:
Are you a current Charlton Athletic season ticket holder?
For how long have you had a season ticket?
1-3 seasons 6.12%
4-6 seasons 8.95%
7-9 seasons 6.44%
10-20 seasons 36.73%
20-30 seasons 22.29%
30+ seasons 19.47%
Assuming there is no change in the current ownership, do you intend to buy a season ticket for 2017/18? (this question asked of season ticket and non-season ticket holders)
Yes, already have/will do so in the next couple of weeks 13.89%
Yes, but will probably wait until the summer 14.92%
No, probably not 13.20%
No, definitely not 57.98%
What is the main reason you probably or definitely will not buy a season ticket?
(season ticket and non-season ticket holders)
Personal circumstances (non-football related) 6.69%
Poor quality of football 5.11%
Poor value for money 1.28%
Lost interest 8.36%
Protesting about the way the club is being run 78.56%
If there is a change in ownership at Charlton Athletic how likely are you to buy a season ticket for 2017/18 ? (season ticket and non-season ticket holders)
Very likely 60.77%
Quite likely 23.11%
Not very likely 6.39%
Not at all likely 4.33%
Not sure/Don't know 5.41%
Are you prepared to make a personal pledge to purchase a season ticket for 2017/18 if there is a change in ownership? (season ticket and non-season ticket holders)
Overall, how do you feel about the future of Charlton Athletic under Roland Duchatelet?
Very positive 1.15%
Quite positive 4.94%
Quite negative 12.69%
Very negative 81.22%
Still thinking about the current ownership and management of the club, how have your feelings changed since the last Trust fan survey (Oct 2016)?
A lot more postive 1.15%
A bit more positive 4.37%
No change 31.96%
A bit more negative 20.35%
A lot more negative 42.17%
To what extent do you agree with the following statements:
a) The fan protests about the way the club is run must continue in Charlton
Strongly agree 73.59%
Slightly agree 15.23%
Slightly disagree 4.80%
Strongly disagree 6.37%
b) The fan protests about the way the club is run must continue in Belgium
Strongly agree 73.10%
Slightly agree 15.48%
Slightly disagree 4.72%
Strongly disagree 6.71%