With the season drawing to a close, we decided to take the opportunity to survey Palace fans about their opinions regarding the previous season, and what the future looks like. Given that this will be a summer of significant change, the data provides some interesting insight into the mood of Palace fans. We’d like to thank the 700 fans who responded to our survey.
Full disclosure: We also had approximately 100 responses from rival fans in an attempt to change the outcome of the survey. Thanks to the obvious way in which these fans responded, we removed these results from the data.
We asked Palace fans how satisfied they were with the season’s performance. The largest core of responses came back as neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, the fact that there is a broad split between those who were satisfied and those who were dissatisfied indicates how split the fanbase is about the question.
The question of Palace’s standard of entertainment comes back with a much more definitive response. Palace fans clearly weren’t happy with how the side played or the quality of football, as 69.4% of respondents indicated they were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the standard of entertainment from Palace.
One of the key topics of debate when it comes to assessing Roy Hodgson’s management of Palace is just how much support he has had in the transfer market. Nearly 60% of respondents indicated that the club hadn’t supported the manager with signings, while only 15.8% of Palace fans felt he had been given the support he needed.
If you want a true indicator of the disconnect between Palace fans regarding Roy Hodgson, look no further than the results to the question about whether the manager got the best out of the current squad. There is an almost-exact split of fans who agree and disagree.
Hodgson is the first Palace manager to have taken Palace to four seasons of Premier League safety, and while the last 18 months haven’t been the smoothest for him, the majority of Palace fans appreciate what he has achieved over the course of his career with the club.
The same can be said about whether Roy Hodgson should be considered a legend for his spell as manager. More than 2/3rds of Palace fans agree that he should be classified as that, while 8.9% strongly disagree and 5% disagree.
More than half of the respondents to the survey wish to see Palace player a more expansive and attacking style next season. Palace were the 7th lowest scoring side in the league this season, and for spells this season looked toothless in attack.
Moving on to the issue of who the club appoint next season, the question of whether the club appoint a new boss with Premier League experience once again provides interesting results. Palace have, for the majority of their Premier League spell, had a manager with such experience leading the way. While Palace have been burnt from the experience of appointing Frank de Boer (the only manager lacking Premier League experience) Palace fans aren’t wholly committed to avoiding such a manager in the future.
Of the choices available at the time of the survey going out (we hadn’t been seriously linked with Nuno Espirito Santo at his stage) Sean Dyche was the most popular choice of manager for next season. Frank Lampard, who had been heavily linked previously, received the second highest number of responses with 22.5%
Of those who responded with ‘Other’ to the above question, a third named Rafa Benitez as their preferred candidate, while Nuno received the next bulk of votes with 10.7%.
Most Palace fans believe that the new manager will receive the support they need next season. Given the significant number of out-of-contract players Palace have, it’s imperative that the club does just that.
We asked Palace fans where they expect the club to finish next season. Unsurprisingly, most feel that a repeat performance is most likely. 17.4% think the club will be relegated, while only 3% expect the club to finish in the top half. None voted for top six.
We also asked supporters whether they feel the club’s owners have the interest of the club at heart. At a time where the divisive actions of a few in European football have created rifts between supporters and owners, that 70% of respondents were positive about Palace's owners is indicative of the way Steve Parish and Co. have managed the club.
Finally, we asked Palace fans to tell us what success looked like. We decided to filter these responses down to mostly key words (you might see some random ones), and have created a word cloud which outlines some of the big issues for Palace fans. From this word cloud, it’s clear that Palace fans want youth, excitement and cup runs.