The good, the bad and the ugly: Away Fans Survey returns

Birmginham City fans PA 44464256

The Away Fans Survey, the largest ongoing study of the away fan experience in England and Wales, is back again and we're after your help once more.

Since it began back in 2012, more than 20,000 of you have taken the time to give us your opinions as part of our Away Fans Survey.

We collate ratings on everything from the price of matchday pies to the position of the away sector and everything in-between.

All your feedback (good and bad) gets passed to clubs and we also share our datasets with each of our affiliate supporter groups, so they can see the concerns away fans have about their ground.

Because of the work we’ve done over the past eight years, clubs are able to see where they are, whether the changes they are making have had an effect, and the areas in which they still need to improve.

Data is all well and good but we also give people the opportunity to offer specific comments which the survey might not cover.

Some of the comments are well thought out, well constructed pieces of feedback highlighting specific areas of concern that need to be addressed. Others, not so much. Judge for yourself which is which.

We’ve also anonymised some clubs as we find they’re more likely to act on criticism when they’re informed privately - public shaming often leads to them digging their heels in.

What you had to say about your experiences in 2018-19

The Good:

"I really appreciated the welcome that the [Club]’s fans and club put on for us, it was relaxed, friendly and welcoming - which definitely didn't prepare us for just how dirty their team was!"

"Great vibe at the outside bar - police on horseback really friendly too, stewards in the away end sensible and relaxed about standing and goal celebrations. Impressive."

"There was free cold water in the concourse to drink - a good touch."

"It's nice to see the local police be proactive and helpful with respect to away supporters on social media etc, they're probably up with the best policing I've seen on my travels and SYP should take note."

"It’s the stewards that make it for me. Been a couple of times now and they’re one of the best. The fact that they are happy to let you out to have a smoke at half time is brilliant. Just shows what intelligent people you have as stewards."

"A lovely gesture at the end of the match to hand out the pastries that hadn’t been sold."

"Excellent leg room. Excellent fanzone with band playing, food outlets and real ale outside of ground. Very friendly atmosphere. Good pricing at £20."

"Police at [Club] are excellent. Pre-match Twitter and face to face."

The 'Must do better':

"The half-time "entertainment" was by far the worst I've ever seen in a sporting arena of any description, utterly dreadful."

"PA system far too loud and intrusive, completely destroyed the ability for either home or away fans to create any kind of atmosphere despite best efforts."

"As with every ground, get more staff serving at the bars. It’s not rocket science."

"Before kick-off the home team was announced but not the away team which I found disrespectful."

"When leaving the match, the lighting was not particularly good and this combined with the poor car parking surface, positioning of the away coaches and damaged street furniture was not good, and could have been dangerous."

The Ugly:

"If there is ever a competition for most mean minded but complacent club in the entire universe, [Club] can count on my vote."

"Their clappers used by the home fans are a total embarrassment and should be banned from football completely."

"Can’t fault the stadium. Refreshments poor, cocky, arrogant, fawning PA at half time. It’s [Club], wouldn't expect anything different."

"[Ground] is a s**t hole, flatten it and start again."

"This ground needs demolishing."

This season's Away Fans Survey is a streamlined version of what we've used in previous years. The 2019-20 survey should only take around two to three minutes to complete (and is usable on all desktop and mobile devices) for your ease and convenience.

We look forward to hearing about your away days this season!

Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this post.