Ahead of the start of the new season, the EFL has released the findings of its most comprehensive fan survey for nearly a decade. In January, supporters of all 72 EFL Clubs were given an opportunity to have their say on the major issues that affect clubs and competitions in what is one of the most wide-ranging surveys of its kind. The EFL regularly asks fans for their views, but the EFL Supporters Survey 2019 is the biggest since 2010, with nearly 28,000 fans providing feedback on a host of significant issues that have impacted the game in recent seasons.
The findings reveal the following:
- Supporters maintain a deep emotional and social connection to their club
- Clubs are meeting fans’ needs in relation to safety, atmosphere, ticket sales and information about their team
- Supporters across all sections of society agree their Clubs are providing an excellent overall matchday experience
- Most BAME, disabled and LGBT supporters rate their Clubs as inclusive, feel valued by their club and acknowledge that their football team provides an important focal point for the community
- With a 21 per cent increase in female survey respondents since the last full survey was completed in 2010, female fans continue to show a strong attachment to their club and the matchday experience.
Brentford fans rated the Club tenth across the EFL in terms of satisfaction with their matchday experience. Of those that replied, 92 per cent told the EFL that Brentford provides "an inclusive and enjoyable matchday experience for all supporters regardless of background, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity". Information was also provided on fan bahviour in buying tickets and on a matchday.
A total of 86 per cent of Bees fans rated the atmosphere at Griffin Park as good or very good while safety at the stadium and the attitude of Club staff and stewards was also rated highly by more than three quarters of responders. Supporters also had their say on a range of issues including match officials, on and offline content, broadcasting and VAR. The EFL and its Clubs will now use the overall findings and club-specific data to improve the matchday experience and to help future decision-making.
Mark Rowan, EFL Communications Director, said: “The EFL regularly engages with supporters on various important topics but this is the first time in almost a decade that we have carried out such a detailed and comprehensive survey.
“It is important that we listen to supporters and provide opportunities for feedback, alongside delivering our Clubs with a robust piece of research that will help them improve their own matchday experience across a range of areas that EFL fans directly interact with. The results tell us that supporters are engaged, tech-savvy and maintain strong emotional connections to their Club and community.
“What’s also clear is that supporters from all sections of society generally feel safe, welcome and included while watching football in the EFL with so many of our EFL Clubs providing a positive, inclusive environment for football fans. These results demonstrate that collectively Clubs are working incredibly hard to ensure the matchday experience is a welcoming experience for all. The EFL will continue to review the full results with the intention of using them to assist in influencing decision-making in the future.”