We received just over 2,000 responses to our recent survey of Charlton fans. We asked fans for one word to describe the football club.
‘Discombobulated’ was a one-off but very appropriate answer, with many using the more straightforward synonym of ‘confusing’.
40% of fans used a positive term such as ‘optimistic’, ‘promising’ or ‘exciting’ especially with regard to on-field. The survey closed before the end of the transfer window so will not encompass concerns about the lack of another striker joining the squad.
However, just as many chose a negative word, ranging from ‘underachieving’ to ‘expensive’.
The most popular word of all was ‘Transition’. Whether fans will conclude that is for the better or for the worse remains to be seen.
We received over 1600 comments on the current state of the club. The following are typical examples:
"After the ownership issues of recent years, it’s good that we have a little stability as a club. However, there’s a tendency for every positive to be accompanied by a negative mis-step in the decision making. Club needs a CEO & Board of experienced advisors. Re: attendances & ticketing, I generally agree with the consensus that lower, more affordable ticket prices would encourage larger attendances. In the current climate, higher prices will have a detrimental effect & deter ticket sales, especially with the £3 premium."
"Thomas Sandgaard saved our club. He's a good man and has now learnt Charlton Athletic is not about him, and rightly has been less public. This is a great club and just needs gradually moving forward in the right direction. This is happening and I see great shoots of recovery both on and off the pitch. Let's hope we can get a good run and increased support will follow. I travel from Ireland nowadays and the club is a very big part of me and my family's life. Thank you"
"The whole day should be part of the fun. Corporate is ok but we the masses rely on the super slow bars in the stands and to pay over six pounds for a hit n miss beer is awful, especially as you have queued up for twenty minutes."
"A lot of 'one step forward and two steps back' with the ownership so far. Does a lot of good things but ruins them with silly decisions and own goals eg. 'Ladies' not women; £3 surcharge; Addicks to victory. Outwardly looks disrespectful to employees. Promising a lot and delivering little."
"I am far happier with Thomas Sandgaard as owner of CAFC than the various previous dreadful owners since 2014/5. However TS has made a number of serious errors and inadvertently alienated a good many fans. The Valley will only be filled nowadays by an achieving team - put that right and attendances will improve. Club also needs to appoint an experienced Chief Executive with a football background in my opinion."
“While strategic ticket pricing is essential -as empirically demonstrated following Back to The Valley- so is building belief and excitement among the fan base that the club is on the right track to get back into Championship. Building ‘brand Charlton’ through better communication of values, owner’s vision, investment in the training ground, success and future plans for Academy, significant financial investment in players by TS, CAST, history, etc. will help to make people want/look forward to attending matches and being part of the club again."
The main findings of the survey were reported here: