Surveys, they’re a tricky thing to get right.
I’ve had some experience of creating them, and they’re a beneficial tool to evaluate whether your product or service works.
What you want from your customers/clients/fans are honest answers to help you continuously improve.
This is why it’s so disappointing that Sheffield Wednesday decided to add two very loaded questions within their ‘fan survey’ last week.
It was nothing less than an attempt to validate their current position on financing the club.
Question 12: Would you prefer the prices…were reduced to previous eras? The consequence of this would be the sale of key senior players, regular promotion…of academy youngsters and reduced level of investment.
Question 13: Alternatively would you prefer the club to build on the current investment, maintain the pricing structure, and extend our ongoing strategy towards promotion to the Premier League?
Answer question 12 incorrectly, and you obviously want the club to fail.
Answer question 13 correctly, and we can carry on doing what we’re doing with fan ‘approval’ because it’s all sunshine and unicorns.
Maybe I’m just cynically reading it wrong…
Let’s look at question 12 and 13 in more depth.
* ‘Build on current investment.’ Our recruitment strategy has been, at best, slapdash. For every Fernando Forestieri (£3.71m) there are three or four of the likes of Darryl Lachman (£900k), Rhoys Wiggins (£900k) and Almen Abdi (£3.24m).
* ‘Sale of key senior players.’ We’re not a selling club. We accumulate. As discussed previously, we have very few players who would fetch a profit for the club.
Getting some wages off the books might not be the worst plan. Especially when and if our injured players return.
* ‘Regular promotion of academy youngsters,’ into the first team. This has only started to happen under our new manager. Carvalhal wasn’t interested in promoting youngsters, and it’s one of the reasons we have an ageing squad.
I don’t think any fan walked away from the Birmingham match thinking we’re getting value for money or that there is a ‘strategy towards promotion to the Premier League.’