1462 supporters responded to our annual season ticket and attitudes survey which was conducted between May 20th and June 1st. The survey asked fans about their expectations for the season ahead; their intentions re buying a season ticket; their thoughts on the current state of the club; their views on Charlton TV and the issue of matches being available on stream; their feedback on CAST's performance. We will be publishing the responses to the question about streaming next week and your feedback on CAST the following week.
Over half of respondents (51%) thought that Charlton would gain automatic promotion next season and 47% thought the club would reach the play-offs. Only two respondents predicted relegation.
99% reported that they felt positive (79% very positive) about the the future prospects of the club under Thomas Sandgaard. This is an increase in positivity since our previous survey in January when "only" 70% felt very positive.
881 (55%) had already bought a season ticket for the 21/22 season (compared to 33% who had bought one for last season). A further 4% said they would definitely buy one. 12% will possibly buy one, so still open to persuasion.
The top three reasons given for buying a season ticket were:
- To show support for Thomas Sandgaard (cited by 70%)
- Because it is the habit of a lifetime (cited by 44%)
- To get together with family and friends (cited by 34%)
(for women respondents belief in the management of Nigel Adkins was more important (42%) than getting together with family and friends (38%). Make of that what you will.......
For the 12% who said they will possibly buy a season ticket the top three factors which would influence them to buy were:
- Lifting of Covid restrictions (cited by 57%)
- New signings (cited by 34%)
- Change in personal or financial circumstances (cited by 29%)
For fans under 35 the issue of Covid restrictions and safety of attending was less relevant (47%) but the need for a change in circumstances was more significant (37%). We assume that this is largely the result of financial constraints or reduced flexibility in working which arose during the pandemic.
The age group most concerned about Covid risk and restrictions was those aged 45-64 (62%). Those aged over 65 were a little less likely to be concerned, with 50% citing it as being a factor in their decision.
New signings as an incentive was consistent across the age ranges.
Cheaper prices and special offers were cited by 19% as something which would encourage them to buy a season ticket. Surprisingly, this dropped to 10% for those under 35.
The top three reasons for not buying a season ticket were:
- Live too far away (cited by 60%)
- Other commitments (cited by 25%)
- Personal circumstances (cited by 23%)
NB - Only 2% (8 people) cited League One football as a reason not to buy.
The transformation of supporter attitudes in the last nine months is exemplified by the following:
- 99% agreed (83% strongly) that they were proud to support CAFC
- 97% agreed (67% strongly) that the club is committed to equality, diversity and inclusivity across all parts of the community.
- 97% agreed (48% strongly) that the owner had sensible ambitions for the club.
- 95% agreed (47% strongly) that they trusted the owner to invest wisely in the squad
- 93% agreed (35% strongly) that the club listens to and respects the opinions of fans.
- 89% agreed (31% strongly) that the financial future is secure. 9% said they didn't know.
- 84% agreed (40% strongly) that there is a plan to achieve Academy Category 1 status. (15% said they didn't know)
The one cloud hovering on the horizon pertains to the ownership of the assets:
- 86% agreed (42% strongly) that they were concerned that the football club ownership is separate from The Valley and the training ground, 9% said they were not concerned.
Analysis of respondents is as follows:
- 67% were CAST members
- 24% were Valley Gold members
- 88% were male
- 3% were under 24
- 17% were 25-45
- 43% were 45-64
- 36% were 65 +
- 98% defined themselves as white
- 74% live in London or the South-East
- 21% live elsewhere in the UK
- 5% live abroad
This demonstrates the need for CAST to find ways to communicate more effectively with fans who are under 24 and fans who define themselves as non-white. This is a key area we wish to improve on.
There were no significant differences between the responses of CAST members and non-CAST members. The same applies for Valley Gold members except that 76% of VG members have already bought a season ticket compared to 55% of non VG members.
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey. These results will be shared with the club as will our analysis of the streaming part of the survey which will be published next week.