With the 2022/23 season fast approaching, the latest Supporters Survey has revealed a huge appetite for EFL action from fans all over the country with almost 90% of respondents saying they are excited to watch matches across all the competitions.
More than 32,000 fans representing all 72 Clubs across communities in towns and cities in England and Wales took part in the survey – the first since 2019 – and provided valued insight on a broad range of issues affecting EFL Clubs and Competitions.
The feedback to the survey, which went live earlier this year, indicated how eager supporters have been to get back and watch their Clubs across the season and enjoy the unique live matchday experience that football provides.
Matchday is still a core fixture for the supporter experience with 89% of respondents agreeing that nothing quite beats absorbing the energy and exhilaration of seeing matches live from the stadium.
The connection supporters have with their Clubs is deep-rooted with 62% having supported their clubs for 30 years or more and 89% believing that their Club is important to the social fabric of the town or city it is based in.
Football also has a huge social impact on people’s lives beyond the game itself, underlining the importance of Club community work. 85% of supporters can see the crucial role that Clubs play in fostering a community and being actively involved in it, and 75% of fans agree that football has a central role in their family life.
The findings also revealed:
- Covid had no impact on the number of home games attended by 62% of supporters, and 8% attended more matches than usual since the pandemic.
- Match attendance is a social activity for most fans, with 90% attending with friends or family.
- The majority of fans strongly agreed that their Club provides an inclusive and enjoyable matchday experience for all supporters, regardless of a supporter’s background, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability.
- Supporters are more cognisant of their Club’s community activities with activities relating to mental health initiatives being ranked as the most important followed by healthy lifestyles and education.
- The overwhelming majority of supporters think the development of homegrown players is important with three-quarters believing it is something that their Club is good at.
Fans also provided detailed feedback on how they perceive the EFL and its polices, how their Clubs communicate with them online and offline, how they consume football content including the EFL’s online streaming service, iFollow, as well as their opinions on match officials and broadcasting.
Trevor Birch, the EFL’s CEO, said: “The response from supporters to engage with this survey has been fantastic and more than 32,000 fans took the time to give us their views. I would like to thank everyone who provided their input, which will prove invaluable to Clubs and the EFL as we look to capture the thoughts and feelings of supporters across a broad range of subjects.
“A number of unexpected challenges and changes have shaped the world in last two years and Clubs, supporters and local communities have shown remarkable resilience in the wake of the Covid pandemic and its impact. I’m delighted that we were able to return to football as we know it at the start of the 2021/22 season.
“This year we asked a range of questions that reflect the football landscape in 2022, focusing on the relationships between fans and their Clubs and the role football plays in the lives of supporters up and down the country. We also sought views on attendance, particularly as we continue to recover from the Covid restrictions. Then there are other aspects of the match experience, such as travelling to games, attitudes to fan behaviour, stadium safety, impact on communities and important work around equality and inclusion.
“It is pleasing to see that Clubs continue to enhance the competition and the match experience, to meet the needs of fans.”