The comprehensive survey was filled out by more than 1,500 people after it was set up by the Sheffield Wednesday Supporters’ Trust recently, with the SWST looking to gauge the general mood of Wednesdayites in order to seek a better matchday experience and club relationship.
We looked through the various findings to see what stood out…
The pricing –
Probably the biggest ‘bone of contention’ as it has been put, is the pricing of going to Wednesday games. Whether it’s single ticket prices or season ticket prices, fans seem to be in agreement that they’re being charged too much.
92% of fans feel like matchday tickets offer poor value for money, and just over half (50.2%) feel believe that season tickets are poor value for money. On top of that, 62.6% don’t feel like they’re getting value for money on their membership at the club, and Sheffield-based participants were relatively unanimous (93%) when stating that they didn’t feel the matchday experience for single games was worth their outlay.
Fans predominantly stated that they felt that tickets should be between £20-25 for a standard league match.
Club of the people? –
Worryingly, just 45% of fans agreed that SWFC was a ‘community club’, and 49% said that they felt undervalued. 63.5% feel as though they are taken for granted, 58.5% disagree with the statement that the club listens to their fans, and 72.1% would use the word ‘frustrated’ – other leaders were ‘disillusioned’ and ‘concerned’ – to sum up their current feelings on Wednesday.
Add to that the 78% of fans believe that things are being run in an ‘unsustainable’ way, and it doesn’t make for pretty reading for the club as the end of the 2019/20 season looms.
There certainly seems to be a disconnect between Wednesday and their fanbase at the moment. With concerns over ticket prices, lack of improvement to facilities, the way money is being spent, and the relationship between the fan and the club, there’s plenty to be mulled over at Hillsborough as they look at trying to solve some of these problems next season.
What is clear, however, is that Owls fans are not deterred by bad weather, aren’t swayed by whoever the opposition might be or what category the match might be – putting a lot more importance on form, matchday atmosphere and who they’re attending with.
If Wednesday can harness these factors, and make the matchday experience better value for their supporters – via lowered ticket prices, improvement of facilities, offering pre-match entertainment etc – then they have a good base of fans who could go from going every so often to becoming a regular or even upgrading to a season ticket.
The SWST ‘hope this is the beginning of a new era of openness between Sheffield Wednesday and their fanbase, for the benefit of everyone involved in the club’.