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 Close Season Survey - Results

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Posts : 209
Join date : 2011-12-16

PostSubject: Close Season Survey - Results   Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:20 am

Morning all.

Last month, the annual Close Season Survey asked for your opinions on all things Argyle - here are the results and comment from me, based on comparisons with previous years.

If you want any further details on any of the results, just ask - I'll do what I can to fill in any blanks.

Thanks to all who participated this year, too.


At Home Park, things are very much on the up for Plymouth Argyle, as Derek Adams builds upon last season’s promotion success with some exciting new recruits, whilst the club is also pressing on with the latest version of its plans to redevelop the Grandstand and other facilities at Home Park.

For the first time in well over a decade, the Green Army is looking forward to a new season playing at a higher level and optimism is apparent, a mood which is largely reflected in the results from this year’s Close Season Survey.

Carried away by the team's successful push for promotion, more than a quarter of respondents said that they went to more games last season and over a third say that they intend to go to more games next season in League One, with 15% saying that they will be upgrading their membership level to do so.

This rising tide of confidence is also shown in the responses to other questions, with 83% agreeing that “they are optimistic about the future of the club” and 68% saying that “they feel that they know where the club is headed”.

Some serious issues do remain however, with the general condition of the ground (and the Grandstand in particular) giving cause for complaint, along with perennial gripes about the long queues for refreshments, the quality of the food and drink on offer, the conduct of the stewards at times and the level of communication from the club to the fans.

But when it comes to the playing side of the operation, Derek Adams and his team can bask in the warm glow of the Green Army's high approval ratings.

More than 98% are satisfied with the performance of the management team, up 6% on last season, while the first team is not far behind, with more than 95% expressing satisfaction with their output.

There is an interesting difference in the split between the "very good" and "good" marks - the first team have 50% of respondents saying they were "very good", but the management team get nearly 72% at that rating!

Those high grades translate to great belief in Argyle's ability to hold their own in League One next term, with two thirds of all respondents predicting a mid table finish and a further 20% thinking a play off berth is not beyond our reach.

Off-field, there are continued signs of improvement in many areas, although some enduring problems persist as well.

On the bright side, more than two thirds give a “thumbs up” to the club shop team and to the turnstile operators, while more than half are happy with the buying and collecting of match tickets. Over 60% approved of the match day programmes again this season, with only 3% disappointed with their match day reading material.

But the scores for Argyle's communication and marketing aren't quite as high, with 40% critical of the club's dispatches to the fans and only a third approving of the way the club markets itself. The difficulties that emerged from the two epic FA Cup matches against Liverpool may be a factor in this outcome.

Just over half are satisfied with the club’s official website and its social media accounts score nearly as well too, although there are a few critical remarks about style, as much as content.

Last year's low water mark for the stewarding team has not seen an improvement - approval ratings have actually dropped further from 29% to 28%, but while 35% express disapproval, that's 5% better than last year's negative rating. A small advance, perhaps.

Getting a pint and a pasty at Home Park continues to be a source of great irritation too, with nearly 44% stating they were unhappy with the quality of the offering and 60% who think it takes too long to get served, both of which are lower ratings than the club achieved last year.

Other parts of the "match day experience" could be improved as well, if the Green Army had its way. Only one in five is impressed by the non-football entertainment, with 30% not happy with it – but nearly 40% expressed no opinion at all.

Feelings about the club’s music policy are a bit Marmite – with nearly 45% equally approving or disapproving of playing music to celebrate a goal.

When it comes to ticket prices, £15-20 is considered to be the “right price” for an Argyle match by most, but there is still strong support for occasional ticket offers to boost attendance, with more than 78% approving of these promotions and only 6% saying that they’re unhappy – this remains pretty consistent over the years. Most Argyle supporters understand the benefit of attracting new or lapsed fans back to Home Park in this way.

When asked more subjective questions, there are some interesting results. Asked "how valued you felt" by the club, the average score has improved again to 6.33 out of ten, slightly up on last year, while more than 8 in 10 said that they would recommend Argyle to their friends and family.

The proposition "I feel a real part of my club" saw agreement from 54% - a 2% increase on last year - with less than 20% disagreeing, but a quarter are neutral in this question.

The idea of more closely identifying with the club by taking up the offer of a loyalty card was seized upon with great enthusiasm - nearly 85% approved of the concept.

86% of all respondents agree that Argyle is important part of what Plymouth is about, something that may be reflected in the club’s potential role in the forthcoming 2020 celebrations.

A massive majority - 90% - agree that the "club should invest in youth", with the remainder mostly being neutral on this issue.

80% continue to agree that there should be an appropriately sized supporters bar within the ground, with 13% neutral on the idea – the Green Army is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to have a drink or two at the ground again.

The age old debate over the shade of green to be used on Argyle shirts continues to rumble on, with “mid green” and “dark green” locked on 44% and 39% respectively – an argument without end, it seems.

On the topic of away kit choices, just under a third approve of the designs that they have been presented with recently.

60% of respondents continue to say that the kits should only change every two years, with the remainder split between once a year, or once every three years.

As in past years, the two most well-known supporters groups are the Argyle Fans Trust and the Green Taverners, with consistently high levels of awareness and name recognition (nearly 95% for the AFT and 91.5% for the GT’s). The regional supporters branches are known to over 70% of all respondents, while the Senior Greens hit 85% on this measure, as do the Argyle Community Trust, but the Vice Presidents is known only to just over half.

Positive opinions on each of the supporter bodies remain high, with the GT’s maintaining their place as the most popular (62% approval) with the AFT close behind on 55%. However, there has been a slight rise amongst those who hold negative opinions about supporters groups, but overall, 54% of all respondents want supporters to have more involvement with the club.

A new section specifically asked female supporters for their views, with those responding suggesting that they enjoyed the match day atmosphere and being part of a friendly family experience, but there was disapproval expressed about the standard of the toilets, steward conduct and strong language. There was almost no interest in a "women only" area.

Finally, in this fast moving, socially interactive, shiny and modern world, some old traditions still keep their place. Just under two thirds want Semper Fidelis to be played in full as the teams come out, with a fifth saying an edited version is acceptable and just one in ten who say that it isn’t important to them.

91% of respondents were male, fairly evenly spread amongst the age groups, but with lower counts in the 26-45 age range, two thirds are married or living with a partner, with just over a quarter having children at home.
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Posts : 1699
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Age : 57

PostSubject: Re: Close Season Survey - Results   Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:45 am

Maybe next time ask if fans feel that the club acts on things found to be 'lacking' in the survey or just ignore it, year after year.
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Posts : 209
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PostSubject: Re: Close Season Survey - Results   Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:51 am

I might just do that, if I'm still involved next year.
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Posts : 1699
Join date : 2013-11-21
Age : 57

PostSubject: Re: Close Season Survey - Results   Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:55 am

Perhaps after all they do listen and concerned that pasties and coffee (coffee wtf) can run out before kick off, Brent decided to build six restaurants and a café because hey, competition is important.....

Cheers John, thankless task, cant believe a business would ignore such a comprehensive survey of it's customer base.
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Age : 68
Location : Plymouth

PostSubject: Re: Close Season Survey - Results   Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:38 pm

Many thanks John for your comprehensive breakdown and who knows with the proposed restaurant and cafe competition, the club may get its act together and sharpen up the refreshment experience!
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