Te aim of the 2014 member survey was to gain feedback on the Iron Trust’s second year of operations and, more importantly, give an indication of what members expect from the organisation in the future.
The questions were based on the 2013 survey questions, which had been determined by a sub-committee of the Trust’s board. A total of 29 responses were received. This page lists the responses and what conclusions the Trust’s board believe can be drawn from the response.
Q1: Do you feel valued as a supporter of Scunthorpe United
Answer: Yes: 12 (41.3%) No: 17 (58.7)
Conclusion: It is a concern that more than half of respondents said they did not feel valued by the football club
2. After two seasons we now have a £3,500 shareholding in SUFC. Last season we held a Q&A with chairman Peter Swann and manager Russ Wilcox after our AGM, held a race night which packed out the executive lounge at GP and raised more than £1,000 for local charities, agreed to take an active role during consultation of any new stadium, continued dialogue with SUFC senior staff and entered into a dialogue with Humberside Police following concerns raised by members after the Grimsby game. Do you consider this a success for our second year?
Answer: Yes: 27 (93.1%) No: 2 (6.8%)
Conclusion: The percentage of members saying they were happy with Trust activities in the past year was up on the previous year, albeit with a lower response rate. This is reassuring
3. What should the Trust’s current focus be?
Raise money to buy shares: 1.19; 2.8; 3.2
Gain seat on the board: 1.4; 2.9; 3.7
Work to improve fan experience: 1.6; 2:12; 3.20
This has changed significantly from the previous survey, where fundraising to fund the purchase of shares was the least popular of the three options. This year it has shot to the top. Since the last survey (summer of 2013) was carried out the club’s advanced social media strategy is well established, away coaches now always run even when bookings are low and the club’s matchday catering has now been taken in house – all possible reasons for this change.
4. Where should the Trust spend money?
Shares: 1. 24; 2: 5; 3.0; 4.0
Community projects: 1.1; 2.13; 3. 10; 4.4
Club projects: 1.4; 2.12; 3. 14; 4.0
Kit sponsorship: 1.0; 2.0; 3.4; 4.25
Conclusion: There is clear indication that purchasing shares in Scunthorpe United Football Club is considered a priority by all members who responded to the survey. There is a willingness to accept Trust money on projects with the club or community, but an indication that kit sponsorship would not be seen as a good use of resources.
5. Which events should the Trust be doing to raise funds?
Player evenings: 25
Band/race night: 20
Prediction competition: 2
Other suggestions included evenings with non-Iron sporting figures, an annual dinner, be part of the club’s open day and
Conclusion: Once again, there was interest in all possible fundraisers but merchandise, evenings with former players and band/race nights stood out. There is a second race night planned to be held on November29x at Glanford Park, following on from the success of the evening held in February at the same venue. There is also a “Hat-Trick Draw” ready to launch once bank account details are confirmed.
6. Do you have any ideas or skills that could help the Trust?
This included a willingness to help recruit members in SULSESC, that the Trust needs to interact better with supporters who get to more away than home games, suggestion to run networking sessions with local companies and offer to work on the proposed Iron Museum project.
7. Some fans have decided against joining or renewing the Trust. We are keen to see if we can do anything to change their minds, have you been given any reasons for them not joining the Trust?
• Some don’t believe get anything for money, don’t believe the trust are a credible voice at the moment. Don’t believe the Trust are progressing forward (quickly enough)
• Tried to renew last year online but did not seem to be set up
• I was a member the first season but didn’t renew. I fully appreciate the time and effort that goes into the Trust by its board members but I just can’t personally see it going anywhere re getting on the board and having a proper say on running our football club. Now we’ve got Mr Swann and his wife, soon to be added to by some of Swann’s other friends / acquaintances I can only see this getting harder rather than easier. I’m sorry to be blunt, that is just my honest opinion This is not a criticism of the hard work done by the people running the Trust.
• I think that the Trust has been too diversified in its infancy and not got their message over to a lot of fans what they are about I think in it’s infancy the Trust should have kept to a few core objectives , recruit members , raise money , buy shares with an aim to getting fan representation . Other things such as a Museum should have come further down the road.
• I think a lot of fans still don’t know what the Trust is about and I feel they have not got this over to the majority of the fans.
• Still unaware of Trust’s aims.
• I suspect many fans don’t bother with Trust if the club appears to be on the up. Need to have a much higher profile to let fans know the Trust can provide a strong voice continuously. Getting involved in community projects would help.
Conclusion: The Trust needs to be clearer about its aims, particularly to potential members.
8. Do you support the current plans for a new stadium?
Conclusion: There is clear support for the stadium, though almost a third of respondents either did not approve of the proposal or were undecided.
9. What are most important elements would like to see in stadium, or questions?
• Safe standing. real ale. good local sourced food. no sun in the eyes of the home fans.
• Room to develop without having to relocate again.
• Keeping ticket prices same or even lower.
• Incorporating club history into the new ground in form of statue or similar to help celebrate past glories of the club/players and be a standout figure point to all stadium visitors.
• Improved PA system enabling better match day experience.
• Ground capacity not becoming too big, never sold out GP when was in Championship.
• Keeping fans close to the pitch.
• Access for those who don’t drive, ground is moving further away from town centre now.
• Parking for those who cannot get in the official car park.
• Ensure the club is always self sufficient whatever the future holds, Scunthorpe would not be the same without a football club!
• Got to be fast and easy getting to and from ground.
• If it is out in the sticks the public transport should be free.
• Adequate parking.
• Affordable refreshment kiosks inside the ground.
• A supporters club bar.
• Ticket collection booths for ‘big match’ days.
• A friendly face.
• A statue of Jack Brownsword.
• A legends wall.
• I believe my concerns and wishes were covered by the recent consultation evening. Mr Swann is clearly enthusiastic with the project and his understanding is better than most chairman of the wishes of the fans. In addition everything he said he would do he has done.
• Better exits from the car park. More efficient up market facilities for casual food and drink, including at the bar.
• Need to think about how acquaintances at Glanford Park can get together again at the new ground when they only see each other at a match.
• Good bar facilities.
• Plentiful good toilet facilities
• Ensure that plans and arrangements for new stadium does not mean that arrangements for fans currently at the old stadium are not overlooked. In other words don’t forget the here and now by getting excited about the future.
• I like the New Showground as a name rather than Iron Arena.
• I would like to see a proper survey of supporters before deciding on the name or change of badge.
• I would like to see the roads around the development named after former players, chosen for by fans.
• My matchday experience will be reduced as I will not be allowed to stand. I will also likely have to pay to park, and if I want to eat/drink beforehand will have no choice but to do so through the club.
• Make sure the experience of the ordinary fan is being taken into consideration.
• From this point on we are entirely in Mr Swann’s hands and benevolence. I hope we don’t become a ‘Darlington’.
• An area be allocated to the Iron Trust with office facilities.
• Improved home fan facilities especially in the choice of food and drink availability.
• A Larger and wider selection of merchandise in regard to the club shop.
• As the club is bigger than Mr Swann he should revisit his view in regard to the way the club safeguards it’s history for future supporters and incorporate a Club museum within the facilities.
• The stadium should be as multi-functional as possible to enable the maximum revenue base possible to be generated out of the football season.
Conclusion: There are clearly plenty of areas where fans have ideas / concerns, which we hope the club will find a way to take on board when finalising facilities in the stadium. The Trust has made it clear to the club it is happy to lead any stadium-specific consultation.
10. Any additional comments on Trust:
• What are the future plans/goals of the Trust should they gain/lose a seat on the board?
• Doing a fine job.
• To an extent the Trust is playing catch up and in reality is doing nothing more than the various other supporter groups. I am personally bitterly disappointed you have decided not to pay for the advertisement for the wrap at the front of the club. I am also disappointed you haven’t given any indication as to the reasons. Other groups are sponsoring a kit for a player (or 2) I would like the Trust to do this in future.
• Congratulations on a valuable job well done – further thanks to the writer of the very well prepared newsletters. Keep it up
• I don’t think the Trust has got to the point in terms of membership where I thought they would be. I think this is because they have not got over to fans what they are about. Fans have been confused with talk of shares, board representation , charities, Museums etc.In it’s infancy it should be kept to a few basic core objectives. Recruit members, raise money ,buy shares , publicise the rising number of shares. When established then get involved in Museums, charities etc.
• Lack of progress on joint projects.
• Basically need to maintain a much higher profile with supporters. Really need a much higher base of members or club will ignore Trust.
• The Trust needs to be more inclusive and engagement with the membership needs to be stronger for it to be a credible supporters organisation.
• It would be good practice (and ease of access) to have any minutes of Trust meetings held (either Trust board or general member meetings) published in a section on the Trust website under their own tab for members to be able to refer to should they wish to do so.
The reason for not renewing the stadium wrap is because the board felt it was not a good use of Trust finances to spend £150 on this. Instead, a feather flag was purchased at a cheaper price which the board felt provided the same, if not better, visibility before matches and provided far more flexibility in terms of attending other events. Both surveys have clearly indicated kit sponsorship was a low priority for members, hence it has not been pursued – with finance instead primarily being used on share purchases (currently standing at £3,500 worth at time of writing). We will also ensure all possible Trust documents are added to the “documents” section of the Trust website.
Overall conclusion: It seems a priority from members is to raise fund and increase the percentage of shares in the club owned by the Trust, on behalf of fans.