The annual CAST Autumn survey has provided some interesting information about the attitudes of Charlton supporters to the club as 2018 comes to an end. Nearly 700 supporters responded to the survey and told us:
81% of respondents reported that they attend fewer games - 31% are boycotting all home games in protest at the ownership. A further 27% are not boycotting but are attending fewer games because of the current ownership and 23% are attending less often for other (usually personal or family) reasons. The remaining 19% said they either attended despite the current ownership (13%) or because they will always attend regardless (6%)
Asked about how they felt about the future of Charlton Athletic under Roland Duchatelet, 33% reported feeling quite negative and 61% feeling very negative (total 94%). Half of respondents (51%) reported no difference in how they felt since the end of last season, but 31% said they were more negative and only 18% more positive.
This was reflected in the fact that 81% agreed that fan protests about the way the club is run must continue and 86% supported the approach and action of the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD). Alarmingly, 76% of respondents reported feeling less enthusiastic about all things Charlton than they used to. However, 85% said that supporting the team under Bowyer and Jackson is the most important thing right now, regardless of ownership and 93% supported CAST continuing to engage with the club by attending the Fans Forum.
As far as season tickets are concerned, the survey indicated a slight drop in numbers. 34% of respondents had held a season ticket last season and had renewed. 58% had not held one and had not purchased one. 6% had one last season but had not renewed; only 2% had not had one last season but had purchased one for this season.
Of those who had not bought a season ticket 52% said it was because they were actively protesting. A further 40% cited personal circumstances.
Most respondents are still reasonably optimistic about the prospects for the team this season. Only 3.5% thought we would finish in the automatic promotion places but 65% thought we would make the play-offs. Most of the remainder thought we would be in the top half and no-one thought we would be relegated.
We will report fully next week on survey feedback about the performance of CAST but it is noteworthy that the activity of CAST which gained the highest vote as very important (94%) was "intends to engage proactively with eventual new owners to help rebuild the fanbase"