NFST Football Reform Survey

Supporters overwhelmingly back an independent review into English football

Forest supporter survey highlights need for fan-led review

Nottingham Forest Supporters’ Trust recently ran a survey in the aftermath of the ‘Project Big Picture’ proposals. The plan, devised by leading clubs in the Premier League, led to significant debate about the future of English football and the widespread acknowledgement that a ‘reset’ is needed to secure the viability of the game beyond the challenges of the pandemic.

The Supporters’ Trust in recent weeks has supported the Football Supporters Association’s (FSA) Sustain the Game! campaign which calls for a fan-led review into football as promised in the Government’s manifesto. However, Project Big Picture instigated huge debate and the Trust felt it was important to directly canvas opinion amongst the whole Forest fan base.

Alongside its close relationship with the FSA, the Trust has regular, formal dialogue with senior officials at the club. This constructive relationship, built over the past three years, allows the Trust to share feedback it has collected so the club can receive views from supporters. This survey builds on two previous member surveys run by the Trust, but this time, the questionnaire was opened up to both members and non-members alike. The survey was amplified and shared by the club on social media, and on the Trust’s own channels. An impressive 623 responses were received.

Key findings

  • 92% support an independent fan-led review of football
  • 75% believe that English football needs a full “reset”

Top three priorities

  • Greater distribution of wealth
  • Equal voices for all clubs
  • Level playing field across the game

Top three fears

  • Distortion of power within a few clubs
  • Forest unable to compete in the EPL
  • Formation of a European Super League

Elliott Stanley, Nottingham Forest Supporters’ Trust chair, said:

“This survey represents perhaps the largest study into the views of Forest fans on the future of football. Although Project Big Picture was not taken forward by the Premier League, the topics it raised are vital to discuss and analyse carefully as a ‘reset’ of some sort is likely in the near future.

“Our survey highlighted what’s important to Forest fans, what they want to see and what fears Project Big Picture provoked. Obviously, there are a range of opinions and all viewpoints have value – but it is interesting to see the overwhelming desire for a fan-led review into the sport, a call for independent regulation, and a desire to see competitiveness and an equal voice for all clubs in the future. It is these principles we’ll take into upcoming meetings with the club, the EFL and the FSA.”

You can view the survey results presentation by clicking here