News | Board Update 29th July 2020
29 Jul 2020, Wednesday

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When we compared the results of the recent survey carried out by the Football Supporters’ Association and Non-League Paper only 8.21% of those that responded were under 25 years old. Our fan survey carried out in May identified 14.7% in the same age category, so although we have work to do to encourage more younger fans to attend our home games we seem to be ahead of the curve in some respects.

The majority of fans in the national survey (77.2%) said they would return from the first game back in a hypothetical September start date. A further 18% expect to be back within three months, while one in 20 (4.8%) say it will take more than six months for them to return, or that they potentially won’t return at all.

The fans that responded represented leagues throughout the non-league pyramid:

  • National League – 38.2%

  • Isthmian League – 11.1%

  • Northern Premier League – 19.7%

  • Southern League – 11.1%

  • Step 5/6 leagues – 16.6%

  • Other leagues (including Welsh leagues) – 3.2%

The key findings:

  • An overwhelming majority (88.1%) trust their club to ensure the safety of supporters

  • Four out of five (81.7%) say non-league football should only return with fans in stadiums

  • Fans described themselves as ‘excited’ (54.2%) and ‘optimistic’ (44.9%) about the return of football, although nearly a quarter (22.2%) described themselves as ‘apprehensive’.

  • One in 20 fans (5.3%) won’t be returning to games because their financial situation has changed for the worse since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andy Walsh, head of the national game for the FSA, said “It is hugely encouraging that supporters are excited at the prospect of returning to watch live football and that more than 75% of supporters are ready to come back straight away. We are also pleased to see that fans have endorsed the FA’s decision that non-league should start as one. Fans have expressed their overwhelming desire to only return to football when it is safe to do so.

The results identify a number of key actions clubs need to take for their supporters to feel safe, and for our clubs to survive and thrive post-lockdown it is vital that clubs and leagues work with fans to ensure that our concerns are listened to and acted upon. Non-league has led the way in consulting fans with this survey and it is important to maintain and encourage this spirit of cooperation if the game is to recover from the effects of the public health emergency.”

Where the results make a little more sober reading is regarding the future of away fan travel at the non-league level. While just over a third (37.7%) said that banning away fans from grounds was not a price worth paying for a restart to football, almost half (48.4%) agreed they would be willing to see such a measure introduced if necessary.

While there is no indication that away fans will need to be banned, the results indicate that fans may be less inclined to travel to away fixtures once games are underway again anyway.

As the restrictions in Wales are eased the Club will be working on the appropriate procedures that will need to be put in place to safeguard our supporters on their return to Penydarren Park.


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