TERRACE TALK: Fans get a chance to have their say with our Non-League survey, in association with the FSA.
The Non-League Paper has teamed up with The Football Supporters’ Association to launch a return to football survey which will allow supporters to share their views on the game’s restart.
Non-League has always prided itself on being closer to the fans and the community, brought together by clubs, and this is a chance for loyal followers to be heard.
The survey launches today and will gather a picture of the attitudes of spectators to allow clubs and league administrators information that enables them to plan with more certainty.
In drafting the survey, The FSA – the national democratic group for football supporters in England and Wales – have consulted with clubs, supporter representatives and league officials.
We have heard from players, managers and administrators – now is the chance for supporters to have their say. We are encouraging as many fans, club officials and volunteers as possible to complete the survey to provide better data for us all.
It represents the biggest canvassing of opinions across the game since the declaration of the Health Emergency in March and the FA announcement on scenario planning considerations.
The survey is anonymous but gathers enough detailed data to allow analysis by club and league demographics to establish a baseline of pre-Covid-19 activity against anticipated post start of any new season activity and highlights any continuing areas of concern.
The survey covers positive and negative drivers for attitude and behaviours towards football at a time of wider economic and social concerns.
Supporters are being asked to contribute data on key business and operational elements such as attendance at matches (home and away), spend in the ground, what mitigation would make spectators feel safe including free text option.
The start of the new Non-League season is dependent on Government decisions and the developing picture more widely as lockdown restrictions are eased – but all levels will start at the same time, with fans.
The FSA said: “After the confusion and discord surrounding the end of the season, The FSA has welcomed The FA’s announcement that it is their intention for the whole of Non-League to restart as one game, whenever that might be.
“We give our backing to the FA’s decision that the Non-League season will only start when fans are allowed into grounds.
“The FSA believes that it is supremely important for the voice of football supporters to be heard in any discussions about the restart of football.
“To obtain the most accurate view of fans of Non-League we urge everyone to share the survey as far and wide as possible.”
The results will be published in The NLP on July 19 and shared with leagues and The FA.
Northern Premier League chairman Mark Harris says it is crucial supporters are able to watch football again safely – and, with their help, Non-League will be better prepared to return.
The Football Supporters’ Association has partnered with The NLP in launching a return to football survey aimed at gathering attitudes of fans which will provide administrators information to plan for the new season.
The results will be shared with The FA and leagues to give them a better picture of what is required to satisfy the needs of supporters as matches.
The survey is available to fill-in now and chairman Harris is one of several league chiefs backing the idea.
He told The NLP: “I think it’s critical, not only that we make our clubs ready to be playing football again at the earliest opportunity, but that we create an environment in which fans feel comfortable and confident that they can come back and watch football safely.
“Although The FA will be taking the lead in producing club guidance information, what we need to do is ensure that guidance is well informed. We’re delighted to be working with The FSA on this to ask fans for their thoughts, we can’t do it without them.
“This is very much a two-way street, leagues cannot enforce and police what happens at individual club level and it relies on fans acting in a responsible way.
“By creating a set of guidelines that meet the government requirements, that gives our clubs as much advice as possible in identifying and dealing with pinch points and areas of concern, a survey of this nature will help inform decision making.”