A dramatic headline for dramatic times my friends.
Today, we’re announcing our partnership with YouGov and their fancy new ‘Chat’ service. YouGov is all about consumer research. If you work in advertising, your media team has used them to tell you what type of biscuits northerners like. If you’ve seen a poll for the elections, it’s usually them. They are the best in the business, so I’m happy to have them on the site. The tool they’ve given us is called Chat. It’s a little button in the bottom corner of the site. Click it and then follow along. It’ll ask you to answer some very specific questions related to Arsenal. Your reward? It’ll tell you what fans are thinking across those topics instantly. The hope is that we can get a more accurate view of what Arsenal fans are thinking, and it’ll give me some extra content to work with.
My main point of excitement here is tracking fan sentiment around the club in real-time.
We have a little bit of exclusive fresh data (sample 461) to share with you today based around Arsenal, and it might ladder back to why we’re seeing more gaps in the stadium, and why people 27,000th on the waiting list are being offered season tickets after just 3 years of waiting list time.
Before the start of the season,YouGov ran a survey and asked ‘How confident are you in the football team.’ They found that Arsenal fans were confident but hardly bullish. Only 10% of fans felt very confident, 44% felt somewhat confident. ‘Not very confident‘ sat at 36% and ‘Not at all confident‘ was 8%.
Quite staggering that Arsenal fans could feel so low despite unleashing so much cash this summer.
Fast forward 3 games of pain…
Things have taken a dramatic shift for the worse. After only 3 games 33% of our fans are fully ‘Not at all confident‘ about the team (Only 8% registered here before the start of the season). 37% of fans are ‘Not very confident.’
Team positive only makes up 29% of the fanbase as of this week. Where are my people?!
Confidence in the manager has also cratered over the 3 Premier League games. 60% of the fanbase is Not Very Confident or Not at All Confident in the manager. At the start of the season, amazingly, 66% of the fanbase registered Very Confident or Somewhat confident. This is a dramatic decline and shows you how much danger Arteta is in with the fans as we head into a group of fixtures that lead us to a massive derby game against Spurs one game before the international break. No doubt the club will be keeping an eye on this one, and if results are poor, there won’t be much protection for Arteta from the numbers.
Things don’t get much better for Arsenal when fans are asked where they think the club will finish come the end of the season. Now this question is very much wrapped in the emotion of the moment, losing 3 games doesn’t help with clarity, and no fan will listen to the word ‘context’ when they are being lampooned by their mates in the group chat for supporting a relegation fodder side. However, it’s notable that 0% of fans thought we’d finish near the bottom of the table at the start of the season, now 23% do! At the start of the season, a whopping 33% of us thought we’d finish top 4, after 3 games, that’s down to 13%. A massive 60% of us think the club will finish midtable… that’s after spending the largest amount of cash in the league this summer.
So in short, after two surveys, Arsenal fans are in the absolute gutter. We don’t rate the team, we don’t rate the manager, and most of us think Arsenal are heading for another season of midtable mediocrity.
Is that important? Yes. It’s important. That sort of sentiment stops fans from going to games that are midweek. It lessens the appetite for away day season tickets. It starts to break the habit of attending and supporting through thick and thin. This is dangerous territory for KSE because the fans are at the apathy stage with Arsenal before the winter weather has arrived. That spells difficult times for Arteta and it likely means there’s going to be more turbulence at the club if he doesn’t get his act together. We all know it was the empty stadiums that terminated Wenger and Emery. Mikel needs to shape up, get the team playing some sexy football, and he needs to put some results on the board.
I also think the club needs to do a far, far better job of communicating the vision for the future. Where is the football going? Why should I believe in this new project? When do we exit the transition? What is going to stop the next manager arriving and ripping up this plan? Wenger was the master at selling tomorrow, the current crop can’t sell out a home game against the European Cup Finalists.
What a mess we’re in. Let’s hope we can see a solid reaction this weekend. Arteta needs a result and so do the fans.
So, that’s the first of the data runs. Let me know what you think in the comments. I’ll have more time to spend with the next round of data, so I’ll make the charts fancier and do a deeper analysis of the numbers. Also, have a play with the chat feature and answer the questions!
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