In a recent meeting with CAST, owner Thomas Sandgaard said that he felt Charlton lagged behind other clubs in match day ticket sales and that this was a key area for focus and improvement in order to build revenues.
Following the low attendance at The Valley for the Plymouth Argyle match on Tuesday 16th August, CAST launched a brief survey to investigate this issue further. We received 2,001 responses between 18th and 25th August, making the results very robust statistically and representative of the fanbase.
Of these respondents, 1,130 are not season ticket holders in 22/23. We have highlighted their answers throughout as they are the key audience for building match by match attendance.
We will alert the football club and the Fan Advisor to the publication of these results and provide more detailed analysis if required.
The survey results emphasise that there is an overwhelmingly strong perception that match day football at The Valley is too expensive:
- 83% overall, rising to 87% for non-season ticket holders, disagree that present League One match day prices of £23 to £34 at the Valley represent good value for money.
- 93% overall (94% of non-season ticket holders) do not agree that the £3 surcharge added the day before the fixture is fair.
We asked specifically about attendance at the Plymouth match as research data is particularly accurate when based on recent actual behaviour.
A large majority (84%) of survey respondents who are not season ticket holders did not attend the Plymouth match. Fans could select maximum three reasons and we immediately see price highlighted as a significant issue for this group:
- 58% - too expensive/ need to budget
- 27% - live too far away
- 16% - work/ family commitments
- 15% - disillusioned with the club
- 13% - travel/ parking too difficult
- 12% - preferred to watch on stream
- 6% - on holiday
25% of season ticket holding respondents did not attend the Plymouth match with the main reasons being that they were on holiday (43%) or work/ family commitments (24%).
Of all non-season ticket holders, 18% say they are likely to attend 11 or more home matches across the rest of this season; 27% are likely to attend 6-10 times while 46% are in the 1-5 matches only category. This suggests a lot of work needs to be done to stimulate more regular attendance.
When asked more generally about what would encourage them to attend The Valley more often, non-season ticket holders gave the following reasons – again, they could select up to three:
- 68% cheaper general match day prices
- 41% removal of the £3 surcharge imposed the day before the match
- 38% Charlton pushing for promotion
- 26% attractive style of football under Ben Garner
- 17% special offers for an individual match
- 15% special offers for a series of matches eg a bundle of five tickets for £100
- 12% change in personal circumstances
- 12% great atmosphere at The Valley
There is reasonable optimism about Charlton’s prospects for the season among the fanbase, with 58% thinking we will reach the play-offs, though only 6% have their sights on automatic promotion. Just over a third (35%) believe we will finish 7th to 12th.
We asked fans about their present financial situation. 40% responded that they ‘generally get by OK’, while a quarter reported that they ‘have to budget for everything’ (21%) or that ‘it’s a constant struggle’ (4%). 28% selected ‘comfortable’.
Profile of respondents
- 89% male
- 24% under 35, 33% 35-54, 22% 55-64, 21% 65+
- 66% live in SE London/ Kent; 17% elsewhere in London/ SE; 15% elsewhere in UK; 3% overseas
- 64% have supported Charlton for 30+ years; 22% for 20-29 years; 9% for 10-19 years
- 21% are members of Valley Gold
- 45% are members of CAST
Thanks to all who participated in the survey. A lot of fans provided additional comments and we will follow up next week with analysis of these.
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