WHAT’S THE WAY FORWARD FOR IPSWICH TOWN?
Supporters’ Trust survey highlights why supporters are deserting Portman Road – and what the club needs to do to get them back. You can read the full report here:
As Ipswich Town bring down the curtain on another Championship season, the full results of a survey conducted by Ipswich Town 1st, the independent Ipswich Town Supporters’ Trust, show what the club needs to do to bring the missing thousands back to Portman Road.
Town have yet to announce matchday ticket prices for the new campaign, but the results of the Ipswich Town 1st survey, attached, show that cost is a major factor in putting people off from attending Portman Road. Ipswich Town 1st today asks the Club to consider this carefully when working out how much to charge for matchday tickets in 2014/15.
The survey also shows that fans have a strong sense of community in their support of Ipswich Town, but feel that this is not always shared by the club. One respondent, quoted on p19 of the report, asked “Can we please go back to being a family club? Is the owner ashamed to be known because of the Club’s attitude towards supporters?”.
Many comments from supporters also back up Ipswich Town 1st’s view that a long term strategy is needed to bring fans back to Portman Road. This survey reflects evidence from across professional football, that young adults are being priced out of regular attendance: but the Club needs to look at everything it does, across all age ranges, if it is going to bring large crowds flocking back to Portman Road. The decline in ticket sales cannot be fixed overnight. This has been the subject of discussion between the Trust and the Club at recent Fans Forum meetings.
Alasdair Ross, chair of Ipswich Town 1st said “This survey confirms the strength of the loyalty that fans have towards their Club, but also contains important lessons that the Club needs to learn. The survey describes people ‘drifting away’ from Portman Road, put off by seasons of mediocrity and an apparently ambivalent attitude from the Club towards supporters”
“In a season with two local derbies to look forward to, the Club need to reward the loyalty of those fans by making sure that matchday ticket prices are closer to what supporters consider to be a ‘fair’ price, as well as making more efforts to engage with the local community.
“We’ve been pleased to discuss our findings with the Club at recent Fans Forum meetings, and are encouraged that some of the points made by supporters have been responded to – such as the introduction of student discounts for season tickets. We hope that this full report is useful to ITFC in making plans for next season which will bring back those who have grown disillusioned over recent years”.
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