With nothing really left to play for, the end of the season for the Saddlers is just a necessity before the reset button is hit. However, a poll on Vital’s twitter page shows an alarming drop in uptake for the iFollow service, plus the reasons why.
The results are alarming, 42% of voters answered that they did not watch the game, when they usually would. That is a huge figure, even though the season is drawing to a close with nothing left to play for. Alarm bells must be ringing for Leigh Pomlett seeing the drop in viewing figures, as the club only earn income when the away team sell over 500 passes. It also gives a view into how the fans feel about parting with their cash, ahead of the early bird season ticket launch, which is due soon.
According to the poll, more people switched off at the weekend compared to those who watched, with only 34% saying they watched as usual. This is another damming figure that will surely have been picked up by the club.
The sad statistic, is that only 2% watched on Saturday, when they usually would not. This shows the Saddlers are not recruiting new fans, or at least encouraging fans to watch them. This, paired with the 22% who didn’t watch, and usually don’t, show that fans just don’t want to watch the football on offer.
A total of 64% of voters did not watch the Saddlers, leaving only 36% who did. The numbers are dropping, and the club will be worried seeing that, and seeing so few people want to actually spend their time watching Walsall, when all they need to do, is put the TV on.
Why did people watch? And more importantly, why didn’t they?
The biggest reason for fans not wanting to part with their cash, is the type of football on offer. Many feel the side are boring to watch, and with a lack of goals recently, can they be blamed? This is also paired with Dutton as the Head Coach. A large portion of the fan base have no taken to him, and his way of running the team. A string of poor performances in Dutton’s spell in charge has finally driven fans away. These two sit hand in hand, and once again, is something that the club will be considering with the return of fans so near.
Fans also pointed to the poor quality of the iFollow service, which has not exactly impressed all season. The teething problems slowly were ironed out throughout the season, however the picture quality, camera angles, and commentators have been all been spoken about. Although the service is not solely Walsall’s fault, it is something that does play it’s part when fans consider spending £10 on the service.
There will of course be other reasons too. The country starting to re-open will be playing it’s part, especially with the Saddlers having little to play for. However, the concern is there that when the club need the income when fans are allowed back, the uptake won’t be as high as needed.