We recently issued a short survey which was open to members and non members. Its aim was to establish supporting habits now the club is back playing football at the Ricoh and also to try and get a feel for whether those completing the survey believe the club should attempt to purchase the remaining 50 % of shares in ACL (Arena Coventry Limited) following the sale of the council share to Wasps RFC.
In total we received 504 responses. Of those completing the survey 39% had now bought season tickets at the Ricoh.
When questioned about how many of the opening 6 games at the Ricoh that had been attended by those completing the survey the highest category was that completed by those that had attended none of the opening games (18.85%) followed by those that had attended all 6 matches (17.46%).
However perhaps the most interesting and revealing section of the survey are the answers to questions 4 and 5 and we provide some analysis below.
Question 4 asked. “If you have attended fewer than 3 games why is that “?
The highest ranking answer to this question with 46% was those who object to the conduct of SISU (46%) followed by the cost of ticket prices (31%) and those who now have other priorities (29.46%).
There was a narrative element of this section to state other reasons for non attendance which 143 responded to. Of these respondents, 46 have done so merely due to a fault in the survey which didn’t allow those that had attended 3 matches or more to progress through the survey without making an entry in this box.
Of the remaining 97 responses, 15% reiterated that the conduct/continued ownership by SISU was the reason for their non attendance. 9% confirmed that they were now doing other things on a matchday, 8% repeated that cost was the main issue and 2% confirmed that they were now not going to the Ricoh due to poor performances on the pitch.
Of the actual responses where a new reason was given the vast majority (33%) stated that they were now living away from the area and the combination of cost and time prevented them from attending. 6% said they had already made other arrangements prior to the agreement to return to the Ricoh and were therefore unable to attend games yet. 5% talked about the Sixfields effect and how they had lost the "buzz". 4% cited the accessibility of the Ricoh. 3% said they were being selective about which games they were going to. 3% said they were apathetic 2% talked about off field negativity and how they were fed up with it. 2% blamed the city council, whilst the following reasons all received 1%: the ticketing arrangements versus Gillingham, a lack of ambition by the club, the managers performance, the preference to attend away matches, health issues and the sale of ACL to Wasps RFC.
Question 5 asked the question; As you know, 50% of the shares in ACL have been sold to Wasps Rugby Club. The shares in ACL currently owned by the Higgs Charity are now to be sold. Should CCFC attempt purchase those shares?
78% answered yes to this question. 495 responded to this specific question.
Respondents were given the opportunity to add a comment to their Yes/No response. One hundred and fifty five (155) respondents, equal to 31% of those answering Q5, took the opportunity to do so. It is important to note that due to the limitations on access to the original survey responses it is not possible to determine whether those respondents making comments had answered ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to Q5 or even if they had answered that question, although it is sometimes possible to infer what their response might have been, given the nature of their comments.
Of these 155 respondents:
• 70 (45% of comments) were either clearly in favour of CCFC attempting to purchase the shares, or were in favour with some concerns or doubts
• 66 (43%) were against such a purchase
• 19 (12%) we classified as ‘don’t knows’ (‘D/Ks’).
Note that these D/Ks included respondents who genuinely felt they lacked the knowledge to comment, e.g.:
➢ With the lack of information regarding the future of the club I do not have an opinion either way at the moment.
or those who expressed general uncertainty, e.g.:
➢ But are we going to have a new ground built or not?
and those who were simply:
➢ Not bothered
Comments in Favour of CCFC Buying the Shares
Of the 70 comments in favour of CCFC buying the shares, about half (36) were very clearly in favour, citing the advantages of working in partnership with Wasps (and others) – at least two respondents were in favour of a merger with Wasps – and the benefits for CCFC’s future viability, or simply that it would show:
➢ …a lack of ambition in not bidding for the shares and that:
➢ …50% is better than nothing
Of the remaining comments in favour of purchase, many also expressed ambiguity or uncertainty about the club doing so under the current ownership. Thus:
➢ It makes sense to do so. But then again I don’t want SISU here at all
➢ But only if SISU intend to invest money in the team and stay for a long period – I doubt both
and even more clearly:
➢ I think CCFC should bid for the 50% share that is on offer, but I do not trust SISU to use it to the advantage of the football club, the team and the supporters
Comments against CCFC Buying the Shares
Only a handful of the 66 respondents who were against purchase and added comments– four at most – indicated that their opposition was because they wanted or expected CCFC to build their own ground. About the same number stated that the owners had already had plenty of time and opportunity to purchase the stadium, and had now missed their chance. Two further respondents thought the money would be better spent on the team.
The overwhelming majority of the remaining 56 respondents opposing CCFC buying the shares did so because of their opposition to the current owners of the club. For example:
➢ I don’t want the current owners of CCFC to have a stake in ACL
➢ Not as long as SISU are owners
➢ The stadium must not fall into the hands of SISU
Or even more succinctly:
➢ To SISU? Are you joking?
• Most respondents to Q5 (78%) indicate that they wish CCFC to buy the Higgs Charity shares.
• Of the 70 people making additional comments and favouring such a purchase, around half thought that this would clearly benefit the club. The most of the remaining respondents making comments in favour of the principle of buying the shares expressed at least some concerns about the current owners owning those shares
• A minority of respondents to Q5 (22%) indicate that they do not wish CCFC to buy the Higgs Charity shares
• Of the 66 people making additional comment and opposing such a purchase, the overwhelming majority oppose it because the shares would be owned by the club’s current owners
• Bringing together the results for those making comments in favour and those making comments against CCFC buying the shares (133 comments) suggests that up to around 90 respondents in total (about 68%) expressed at least some concern about the current owners buying the shares from the Higgs Charity
You can see the full survey results by clicking on the attachment below.