Supporters' Trust Survey 2022: Results.
Thank you to everyone who participated!
More than 1,700 supporters contributed to an Exeter City Supporters’ Trust survey – providing valuable information and insights for the club.
The survey was conducted during March this year with the support of the University of Exeter’s Business School. Supporters answered 102 questions, with topics ranging from transport to games, to the quality of the food available at the ground.
The survey broadly replicates the 2018 Exeter City Supporters’ Trust Survey thus allowing comparisons between the two.
The 2022 edition was distributed to supporters in March by email which included unique secure links to the online survey. Emails were sent individually to 14,000 email addresses on club database. Hard copies were also distributed at home games.
A total of 2,410 responses were collected, which led to a final sample of 1,724 fans.
647 responses failed the attention check (ie indicating lack of attention, random clicking etc). 37 responses were omitted with less than 10% of survey questions answered, one response was omitted as it came from a repeated email address.
The Supporters’ Trust would like to thank everyone who took part in the survey, it has provided both areas for improvement and has positively indicated that we are heading in the right direction with our efforts to improve the Supporter Experience at St James Park.
The respondents who completed survey were put forward for a prize draw, the winners were:
· Hospitality for 2 people and match tickets in the Heritage Lounge - Nigel Ralph
· 1 x Season ticket for the Big Bank (or season ticket refund if already purchased) - Liz Seward
· A private ground tour for 4 people plus match tickets - Diane Vincent
· A tour of the Cliff Hill Training Ground with our manager - Tony McGinty
· Directors Guest in the Boardroom, match tickets and lunch for 2 people -. Malcolm Gifford
· Hospitality for 2 people and match tickets in the Trust Suite - Mark Stephens
· Junior Grecian Membership - Alex Lane
Improvements since 2018:
· 93.2% believe new investment at the Cliff Hill Training Ground is a worthwhile investment.
· 83.7% thought the big screen had improved the supporter experience.
· 81.2% thought installing the big screen was an improvement to the supporter experience.
· 71.8% agreed that cashless payment options should be available, (this has since been rolled out across kiosks and bars).
· 64.7% felt that the new ticketing system has improved their experience when entering the ground.
· 90% of survey respondents are aware of the Exeter City Supporters Trust and what it offers.
· 86% selected ‘good governance’ – ensuring the club is run with best practice and utilising its assets to best effect when asked what should the Supporters’ Trust concentrate on delivering to its members.
· 56.4% of survey respondents were Supporters’ Trust members.
· 94% think Exeter City FC as a club has a very good image when compared against a typical League two team (our league at the time of the survey)
· 92% think Exeter City FC is strategically heading in the right direction overall
· 91.3% think that off the pitch, Exeter City FC is a professional and well managed club
· 91.1% say that overall, they are very satisfied with all aspects of Exeter City Football Club
· 85.7% believe Exeter City FC provides a superb match day experience
Exeter City Women:
· 97% of survey respondents at least somewhat agree they would like to see greater investment in Exeter City Women FC (since the survey, the club has invested £25,000 into the women’s team)
· 72.4% at least somewhat agree some home matches should be played at St James Park.
· 24.5% engage with women’s football occasionally or more.
· 86% said they are aware that ECFC has a Junior Supporters’ Club.
· 84% think Junior Grecians Membership provides good value for money.
· 83.6% of respondents provided a positive rating of the Family Zone.
Exeter City Supporters’ Trust
90% of survey respondents are aware of the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust and what they offer.
56.4% of survey respondents were Supporters’ Trust members.
When asked what should the Supporters’ Trust concentrate on delivering to its members*:
· 86% selected: Good governance – ensuring the club is run with best practice and utilising its assets to best effect.
· 51% selected: A community-based ethos.
· 33% selected: Profitability of the club.
· 29% selected: Fundraising for the club.
· 16% selected: Increasing its shareholding in the club.
When asked how would you feel about paying more per month*:
· 36% selected: Yes, increase to £3 per month.
· 20% selected: yes, increase to £5 per month.
· 14% selected: Not relevant, no intention of increasing.
· 13% selected: Not relevant, already pay more.
· 12% selected: No, do not increase minimum.
· 2% selected: Yes, increase to £10 per month.
* Based on a potential 1,724 replies.
(Reminder, £2 per month is the minimum monthly payment, anything members pay above this is very welcome and is treated as a donation.)
When asked: There is no proposed plan for this currently, but should the Trust ever consider selling its majority shareholding?
· 35.5% of fans would be in favour if it was a last resort.
· 23.8% were not in favour of the trust selling its shareholding.
· 17.9% of fans would favour the sale of shares if The Trust remained majority shareholder.
Exeter City Women FC
97% of survey respondents at least somewhat agree they would like to see greater investment in Exeter City Women FC.
72.4% at least somewhat agree some home matches should be played at St James Park.
24.5% engage with women’s football occasionally or more.
I would like to see greater investment in Exeter City Women FC?
· Agree: 40%
· Somewhat agree: 28%
· Neither agree or disagree: 26%
· Somewhat agree: 3%
· Disagree: 3%
In the past, have you ever watched a game of club or international adult women’s football?
· Never: 43%
· Rarely: 26%
· Occasionally: 24%
· Often: 6%
· Always: 1%
How frequently do you attend Exeter City Women FC matches this season?
· Never: 86%
· Rarely: 9%
· Occasionally: 4%
*Based on 1,724 replies.
The Junior Grecians
· 29% replied yes when asked: Are you a parent or guardian of a child/children between the ages of 0-16.
· 86% replied yes when asked: Are you aware that ECFC has a Junior Supporters’ Club?
· 10% replied yes when asked: Is your child/grandchild a member. (Membership is currently 675)
· 17% replied yes when asked: Did you know that as a Junior Grecians member your child is Junior Member of The Supporters’ Trust, and that their priority status is carried forward into adult membership?
· 39% replied yes when asked: Are you aware the Junior Grecians membership package has many benefits, including a free ticket offer?
· 84% replied yes when asked: Junior Grecians membership costs just £5 for a 0-4- year-old and £25 for a 5-16-year-old for 12 months membership. Do you think this provides good value for money?
· 23% replied yes when asked: Have you visited the Family Zone?
· 35% replied yes when asked: Were you aware that the Family Zone contains a refreshment kiosk which is open to all supporters prior to the match and at halftime?
* Based on a potential 1,724 replies.
· 86.8% of respondents were male.
· 97.6% consider their ethnicity to be white. (The proportion of white individuals in the local Exeter/East Devon population is 95.8%)
· 66.8% are over the age of 45. (The proportion of individuals over 45yrs in the local Exeter/East Devon population is 47.7%)
· 2.7% are registered as disabled or have a blue badge. (The proportion of individuals with a blue badge in the Devon population is 5.2%)
· 70% of respondents are in a marital relationship or domestic partnership/civil union.
· Most common employment groups are retired 23.1% or professional 24.7%. (Distribution of data is consistent with 2018 survey)
· 70% of respondents have supported the club for 16+ year.
· 57.9% support ECFC because the club is local to them. Family and friends, parents and moved to the area each scored 12%.
· 47% agree to a high/complete extent ECFC is part of their identity, while just 19.9% consider ECFC to be a low/not part of their identity.
· 68.2% do not currently have a season ticket.
· 55.3% regularly attended home games in the 21/22 season.
· 34.5% did not attend an away game in the 21/22 season.
· 68.2% of respondents live within 25miles of Exeter, while 14.5% live 100 plus miles away.
· 46.7% drive to home games and fans have raised issues with parking. This compares to:
o Train 18.8%
o Walk 16.8%
o Get a lift 7.2%
o Bus 7%
· 19.2% of fans travel to a home game alone.
· 68.4% never use St James Park Station and some fans have raised issues with train timetables and the lack of trains stopping at St James Park.
· 74.8% spend less than 1 hour travelling to home games while 12.5% spend more than two hours.
· 49.4% of respondents regularly choose to stand in the Big Bank. The Main Stand accounts for 27.6% and the Stagecoach A.S. Stand 21.6%.
· 91.3% attend home games as part of a social group and of fans who attend as a group, 70% attended in a group containing between 2 and 4 persons.
· Depending on the context, 81%, would support the relocation of the ground away from St James Park. (Yes – if it was a last resort 32%, yes – provided it stayed within the boundaries of Exeter 33.6%). This data is consistent with the 2018 survey.
· 67.9% support another sports team, which is often another football club (75%). The data suggests 11.2% also follow Exeter Chiefs RFC.
· Considering those who support another sports team, most fans (64%) would still attend ECFC if fixtures clashed.
What Success Means to ECFC Supporters
When asked: If you had to choose one measure of “success” at Exeter City FC what would it be?
· 5.3% - A good league position.
· 1.1% - Improving facilities and infrastructure.
· 47.7% - Promotion to and being sustainable in League One.
· 35.2% - Sustainability and ensuring we are a viable club for the future.
· 9% - Watching entertaining football.
· 1.7% - Winning more games than we lose.