Bristol City Football Club Supporters Trust

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Supporters Trust - Survey results & analysis

Summary of Members Survey 2006



INTRODUCTION

One of the Trust’s aims is to be representative of all City fans. Some means of gauging the strength of feeling on issues that most affect Bristol City Supporters was required with a view to bringing about discernible change where needed. As a result the Trust decided to carry out a survey of its members.

The aim of the survey was to be:

• Fully representative
• Quantifiable
• Independent
• Fair
• Non discriminative
• Actionable

Anyone who was a member of the Supporters Trust on 22 September 2006 was sent a copy of the survey. The majority were sent a link to the survey by e-mail. This enabled them to complete the survey online. Anyone without an e-mail address was sent a paper version. Members were asked questions and to rate what was important to them in respect of Matchday Experience, Ticketing, Products and Merchandise and Communications/Customer Service. Some of the main results are listed below. The full survey analysis can be found here.

MATCHDAY EXPERIENCE

Atmosphere was considered to be the most important factor as to what makes up the matchday experience. 47% of respondents felt that the atmosphere on matchdays at Ashton Gate was average, and 21% said it was poor.

The issue of the East End has been very topical lately. Trust members were asked if they would like to see a return of home supporters to this part of Ashton Gate. 65.3% said Yes compared to only 4.2% who said No. 30.5% of members indicated that they had no strong feelings on the subject.

Linked to the East End question are the issues of unreserved seating and safe standing. 47.4% of respondents would like to see unreserved seating areas in the designated home stands at Ashton Gate and 58.9% said they would like to see safe standing areas.

Like the East End, smoking is an emotive issue. 41.1% of respondents said that smoking should be banned completely, 33.7% said it should only be allowed in designated areas of stands, 8.4% said it should only be allowed in concourse areas. 16.8% of members indicated that they do not agree with a “No Smoking” policy at matches.

TICKETING

Under Ticketing, most people felt that the price of tickets was the most important thing for them. In terms of performance, 45.26% of respondents feel that BCFC’s ticket prices are average, 22.11% poor and 20% good.

Almost two thirds of respondents are season ticket holders. Of these, 60% said that season tickets are fairly priced and 22.1% felt they were not.

PRODUCTS/MERCHANDISE

For Products/ Merchandising there was little to choose between design of the home kit and pricing as being most important. 82.1% of respondents bought merchandise in the club shop in the last two seasons and 58.9% took part in the vote for the new kit.

52.63% of respondents rated the design of the current home kit as good and 16.84% said it is very good.

43.2% of respondents said that the overall quality of merchandise on sale in the club shop is good and 35.8% said it was average. 13.7% said it was poor.

Despite being apparently pleased with the design and quality of merchandise, 50.5% said the merchandise was not value for money. 28.4% had no strong feelings on the subject and 21.1% felt the merchandise was value for money.

CATERING

57.9% of respondents buy food and drink from the outlets at Ashton Gate.

Of those who do buy food/drink, 49.47% rated the price of food and drink as very poor and 18.95% rated it as poor. 18.95% also rated it as average.

Those who do not buy food or drink at Ashton Gate were asked what the main reason for not doing so was. 53.5% said it was because of the price and 25.6% said it was because of the poor quality of food on sale. Of the remainder 14% said it was due to the length of queues, 4.7% said poor service and 2.3% said the poor quality of drinks.

Members were next asked to rate the quality of the products on sale in the kiosks and the service provided. Of those who responded, 32.6% said the quality of products/service was average. However, 22.1% said they were poor and 24.2% said it was very poor. 16.8% said they do not buy food and drink at Ashton Gate.

34.7% of respondents said that they would buy food/drink if there was a wider range available at the kiosks and 40% said they would consider it.

COMMUNICATIONS/CUSTOMER SERVICE

The official club website was considered the most important aspect of Communications/Customer Service although “listening to fans” was not far behind.

When asked if BCFC values their opinion on important issues, 46.3% of respondents answered No, BCFC did not value their opinion. 26.3% felt that BCFC did value their opinion and 27.4% had no strong feelings.

57.9% of respondents either buy or read “Well Red” and 24.2% said it was value for money. However, 25.3% said it was not value for money and 50.5% said they had no strong feelings.

The survey was issued in both hard copy and electronic format. The majority of responses were submitted electronically. 96.8% said they visit the club’s official website. Of these 75% said they visit once a day, 13% once a week and 3.3% once a month. 8.7% visit once an hour.

65.3% contribute to fans’ forums. The most popular choices are OTIB, Rivals, Subcider and the Supporters Trust forum. Other forums mentioned are Citylist, BBC 606 and the Football Forum.

CONCLUSIONS

In some areas the club does not appear to have done badly. Apart from some concerns over pricing, the club has scored fairly well on Ticketing and Products/Merchandise. The club has also scored fairly well on Communications/Customer Service.

It is the areas of Matchday Experience and Catering that give the most cause for concern. At best it appears that the Matchday Experience is considered to be average while Catering is considered to be poor.

The Supporters Trust is keen to see the club succeed both on and off the field and hopes to work with both the club and fans to look at ways in which improvements could be made to achieve these goals.

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Paul Cheesley
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