Survey Results on Supporters' Attitudes to Direction and Ownership of SAFC
Last week Red and White Army (RAWA) launched a survey to collate supporters' attitudes to SAFC's current owners. Thank you to all the supporters who have taken the time to complete the survey and the hundreds of you that have joined our membership (it's free!) in the last week.
The elected committee took the decision to launch the survey following regular feedback in recent weeks and months about supporters’ growing frustrations with the direction of SAFC and the ownership. This feedback came from three main areas,
Emails from our membership
From many of our co-opted representatives which covers various aspects of our support – from our Family Rep to Atmosphere Rep, from Corporate Rep to Away Fan Rep. A real mix of supporter background.
Social Media and online forums
After taking on board this feedback it was clear there was a large part of our fanbase who were frustrated, angry and disillusioned with the owners and that there were various reasons for this. We collated the most common themes as to why fans were unhappy to try to understand if there were particular things that could be addressed to improve matters.
We closed the survey on Monday 20 July, one week after it was opened. In total we received 4,258 responses.
We don’t have a statistics expert on the RAWA committee at the moment but SurveyMonkey inform us that to be within 3% accuracy of a population of 10k you need 1k responses. So hopefully it follows that garnering a healthy 4,258 responses will give us a reasonable indication of what the fanbase at large think.
194 responses to the survey were received after Stewart Donald’s BBC Radio Newcastle interview aired on Thursday and the subsequent release of RAWA’s summary of the fan’s groups meeting with the club later on Thursday evening. Being such a small number, less than 5% of total responses, we don’t believe those events had any significant bearing on the overall results of the survey.
We feel it is important to note that throughout the survey, fans were given the opportunity to freely state whether they are happy or not with the current ownership. In fact, the positive option was always offered first. We did include some questions about why people didn’t renew their season tickets and why they are unhappy with the owners. Sadly, that is just reflecting the reality of the messages we are receiving from members and the wider fan base.
Summary of survey responses;
- 82% of respondents are unhappy with the current owners. Only 4% are happy
- Respondents were allowed to give multiple reasons for why they are unhappy with the current owners;
79% are worried about the management of the Academy and the loss of Academy products to other clubs
78% are worried about the direction of the club
76% feel the owners do not have the financial capabilities to take the club forward
Only 48% chose being unhappy that the owners have twice failed to get us promoted – the second lowest selected option.
The results of this question quite possibly highlight the concerns of fans regarding the long-term sustainability of the club, rather than just short term ‘success’
- 90% of respondents think the current owners should sell to a reputable buyer. Only 3% think they should stay.
- 82% would support Red and White Army applying pressure on the owners to sell to a reputable buyer and at a realistic price. 7% would not.
- 58% (2,468) of respondents were season ticket holders for the 19/20 season. Of those, 62% (1,535) cancelled or postponed renewal.
-Respondents were allowed to give multiple reasons for why they cancelled or postponed their season ticket. The top three reasons for people to cancel or postpone renewal were;
They are unhappy with how the owners are running the club.
They did not like how the renewals/refunds were originally handled by the club.
They want to wait and see what the arrangements are for home games next season due to COVID19.
In analysing the survey results, we have noted that 137 IP addresses have appeared more than once. That means that more than one survey was completed using that IP address. In total 293 surveys were completed across those 137 IP addresses. There could be genuine reasons for this, such as more than one fan using the same device / router to complete the survey. Naturally we understand that more than one fan can live at the same address…. And of course, we understand that it could also be the same fan completing the survey more than once. These responses represent less than 7% of the overall responses (4,258) so we are happy that they do not unduly influence the overall results.
The Red and White Army elected committee members and co-opted representatives will be discussing the results of this survey in detail and discussing what action might be appropriate, in consultation with Red and White Army members.
In the meantime, we are also focussed on this week’s Emergency General Meeting in which we propose to convert RAWA to a Supporter’s Trust.
If you haven’t already joined Red and White Army and you would like to, please visit https://www.redandwhitearmy.co.uk/. It’s FREE and all you need is your name and an email address.
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