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Fan Survey results
Fan Survey results

Headlines from the York City Fan Survey 2005

Citys Trust has published the results of the York City 2005 Fan Survey carried out a few months ago.  The survey has provided important information on the profile of the Clubs supporters, their attendance at matches and, most importantly, what they think about the services and facilities offered by the Club and how things can be improved.


Trust Board Member and the Clubs Communications and Community Director Sophie McGill commented The Fan Survey provides some useful information for the Trust and the Club.  It is another way in which weve looked to engage with and listen to our supporter base and we will use the results going forward.


McGill added The Football Club is perhaps the single biggest community activity in York throughout most of the year.  The survey results demonstrate, once again, what a loyal and committed fanbase we have.


Whilst the Premiership clubs undertake an annual fan survey, below the top flight it is unusual for clubs to engage with their supporters in such a way.  To add to the myriad of ways in which York City already communicates with its supporters, both the Trust and the Club have been keen to sound out the wider fanbase by way of a survey.


The questionnaires were distributed at two matches in April 2005 and the survey was also available on the Trusts website.


Some of the headlines are:


  1. 451 surveys were returned over 20% of the average home gate a very good response level for a survey of this nature.


  1. Ages filling in questionnaires ranged from under 16 to over 75.  On balance, Yorks supporter base is aging, with around 60% aged 45 year and over, albeit the average age of respondents (47 years) is not dissimilar to the average for Premiership clubs.


  1. 85% of respondents were male and 15% female, in line with the Premiership fan survey.


  1. 65% of the responses were from season ticket holders.  77% of season ticket holders are also Trust members so 23% are not.


  1. No surprise, York City fans are loyal they attend, on average, 16 home games and those who go to away games, 5 away games.


  1. Yorks supporters display a high level of commitment.  Over 48% of respondents said that York City was a very important part of their life and 7% went as far as to say that York City was the most important thing in their life.


  1. 82% are attending the same number or more games as they did when York were in the Football League


  1. It is most common to go to games with adult family (47%) or adult friends (33%); 15% of spectators go with their own children.  Of York fans who have their own children, over 60% go to games with them a very high proportion.


  1. For the 2004/05 season, 44% of the fans thought that the price of watching York City was about right (or would pay more), but 56% thought the opposite.


  1. When asked what is the most important thing you would change?, the highest response was for ticket pricing and improvements to refreshments (35 respondents each).  Only 4 respondents said kick off days/times.


  1. The Clubs (award winning) match day programme, public address system and stewarding were all well rated by supporters (% thinking good or very good 67%, 69% and 48% respectively) although a few supporters say the PA is too loud.


  1. Refreshments, half-time entertainment and toilet facilities received lower scores, albeit satisfaction ratings for refreshments and half-time entertainment were better than in the Premiership fans survey.


  1. 43% of York fans buy a programme every match they go to...but 53% never visit the social club.


  1. The local press is the most heavily used source of information on the Club (84% use the York Evening Press to get information about the Club), followed by local radio (69%) and the internet (61%).


  1. 56% agreed that the Club is keen to take account of supporters view and only 9% disagreed.


  1. Over 50% of supporters consider that York City is active in the community, and just 5% disagree.  However, a significant minority responded that they didnt know enough to either agree or disagree.


  1. 42% are more optimistic than three years ago about the Clubs financial outlook and 29% are less optimistic.


  1. Based on the survey responses, some confusion still exists amongst supporters about the respective roles of the boards of the Trust and the Club.


  1. We asked fans if they watched any other teams more than 5 times per season the answers ranged from Aberdeen and Berwick Rangers to Norwich City and Tiverton Town.


  1. We asked supporters which one thing they would change to improve the experience of going to the match.  One fan suggested certain ex-directors to be put in stocks and have stuff thrown at them (perhaps a raffle to decide who gets to throw).



The survey has provided

  • important information about how the fans view going to watch York City;

  • supporter characteristics;

  • the key communication issues that need to be addressed; for example making clear the state of the Club finances and the extent of its involvement with the community;

  • the importance of the communication channels available to us; and

  • evidence of some commercial opportunities available to the Club.


Commenting on the survey results, Sophie McGill said The survey provides the Trust and the Club with information to help inform decision-making.  For instance, initiatives like the new 29 season ticket for under-12s are aimed at making football more affordable for people with young families and to try and attract a younger audience to follow York City.


Further details from the Fan Survey will be published in the Clubs match programme along with the implications for how the Club is run.


The Trust/Club intend to repeat the survey next year, to not only track how attitudes change over time, but also investigate any new issues arising.  Next year, subject to time and cost, the survey may also be widened to try and capture more information from potential new supporters (or lapsed supporters) of York City.


The 2005 Fan Survey project was led by a Trust Member volunteer, David Brewis, who has worked on customer questionnaire projects previously.  The Trust and the Club are grateful to David for leading the work to complete the fan survey in such a professional way.  In addition, the Trust is grateful for the support of a number of other volunteers who helped distribute the questionnaires and collate the results.  York City benefits from the support and assistance of many volunteers in many ways.

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