Irish Supporters Network find mixed views on behind closed doors return to action in latest survey

Fri, May 22 2020

The Irish Supporters Network (ISN) has found that there are mixed views on how the League of Ireland should proceed in 2020.

52.7% of the 826 respondents said that they were for the behind closed doors proposed return to action, while 47.3% were against it.

However, feedback from individual supporters on this specific question included statements of support for their club’s long-term viability as well as a desire for supporters’ well-being, both physical and mental, to be acknowledged and recognised in discussions.

Should behind closed doors games go ahead, a third (33.5%) of respondents stated a preference for a fully-paid streaming service where everyone pays a fee followed by a service that would be available free to certain groups within the supporter base i.e. season ticket holders or club members (31.1%).

A total of 27.3% stated a preference for the option: If it’s not safe for supporters, it’s not safe for anyone else.

Just 8.7% of people stated a preference for a lottery-type system that would allow some fans to attend in small numbers while socially distancing inside the ground.

Asked if they would support measures to not allow away fans in grounds until social distancing measures are lifted, 65% of people were in favour, with 35% against.

An overwhelming majority of respondents were in favour of supporters being involved with the ongoing planning and discussions being held regularly at a national level – 81.5% saying fans should be involved, with 18.5% saying otherwise.

Demonstrating their understanding of how precarious finances are for many clubs at the moment, a majority of participants (58.7%) stated a preference for some level of consideration for their 2021 season ticket renewal as the top remedy in the event of Closed Games going ahead.

Second was an exclusive club event for season ticket holders (21.3%), 17.6% said they would be satisfied with a voucher or other non-monetary compensation while 16.4% of respondents believe an option for a partial refund is needed.

Finally, when asked if their club had engaged with supporters on this topic, 63.8% said No with 36.2% saying Yes. Again, feedback included sympathy that clubs are also working in unchartered territory at present alongside a desire to be included and acknowledged.