Survey Results May 20th

Date: 24 May 2020

This Survey was conducted in mid May 2020 and to date there has been 324 responses analysed as below.

Some individuals will appear in more than one category.

While responses from Mini Junior parents have pre-dominated this is not surprising given the Club’s membership profile. A validation exercise was carried out comparing Mini Junior parents’ responses with all others and there appeared to be no skewing of the overall results.

The gender split was Male: 71.4% Female 28.6%


A number of choices were given for possible capex projects using available funds. Respondents were asked to rank the projects. The % ranked first for each project was:

Expansion of Wainwright Bar ~ to improve income for the club


Upgrade of Ladies Toilets ~ ladies toilets are underprovided and in poor condition


Improvement of Exterior of Entrance ~ the current entrance does not attract people into the building particularly if the Wainwright Bar is to be improved


Improvement of Changing Rooms ~ modern changing rooms have shower and toilet facilities within each room


Further enhancement of Dooley/Wiseman


Enhancement of Leigh Gallery


Enhancement of Simons Lounge


Applying a weighted average to all the rankings the projects were ranked:

This ranking is the same as the Management Committee are currently exploring for utilisation of available funds.

The possibility of utilising volunteers, particularly during the current lockdown, to carry out some of the lower ranked projects will be explored. (Please see section before Conclusions)

Other Capex projects favoured were:

  • Upgrading the Children’s play area. This is already on our list of intended projects during lockdown. Unfortunately the idea of an additional area at the front of the Club is likely to be a Covid-19 casualty.
  • Gym. This has been explored in conjunction with external operators but could not be made financially viable.
  • Car Parking. Additional Car Parking is a “nice to have” but does not of itself generate additional revenue and we would be unlikely to gain planning permission where it took up some of an area regarded by Sport England as playing field. The size of the bays is dictated by our contract with the NHS which stipulates the number of bays. In order to accommodate this the bay size has had to be at the narrow end of the recommended spectrum.
  • Replacing the Squash Courts with additional function suites/gym/exercise rooms. While demand for Squash has declined over the years membership currently appears to have stabilised. Squash members are valued and the continued provision of facilities is regarded as part of the Club’s remit as long as numbers and demand justify. The additional facilities would be unlikely to generate significant additional income and in the “New Normal” conditions we face maximising utilisation of our existing facilities will be a challenge, never mind trying to sell additional.
  • Ladies toilet in changing rooms. Fitting one in might be challenging but will be examined.

Sale of Land

Respondents were asked whether they favoured an immediate sale of the Mound to finance Capital projects.

Just over 50% were in favour and only 26% opposed.

Strongly agree




Neither agree nor disagree




Strongly disagree


The Management Committee will therefore continue to explore the option of sale. A final decision to sell or not would need to be put to the membership in General Meeting


Respondents were asked whether they agreed with what appears to be the RFU’s intention to flatten the league pyramid and have more regional rugby. There was clear support for this policy both among all respondents and those associated with the Rugby side of the Club.




Strongly agree






Neither agree nor disagree






Strongly disagree



Respondents were asked what they favoured as regards a salary cap for the 1st XV. The results show a divergence of views but with the vast majority in favour of the status quo.




No cap



Increased Cap



Didn’t agree or disagree with present cap



Lower Cap






Re-commencement of Memberships

80% of respondents said they would be prepared to start paying their subs even when the Club is closed.

The Management Committee is vastly encouraged by this but for the moment does not intend to start asking for people to pay. It is impossible to predict how many members would be lost for ever if subs were demanded in a closed period and this needs weighing against the impact of a one off addition of a few months income. In the nature of things it is the non-respondents to the survey who are less likely to renew.

We would also like to retain the option of an appeal for donations to help finance Capex and re-commencing subs now would be two bites at the cherry.


Respondents were asked how likely they were to use all day catering facilities. 50% were likely to with 47% unlikely. (Balance didn’t respond)

Definitely would


Probably would


Probably would not


Definitely would not


The view of the Management Committee is that this option should continue to be considered but with caution. It should be borne in mind that this idea is as much aimed at bringing in local residents as satisfying existing members, many of whom do not live near the Club.

Other Points raised

It isn’t possible to respond individually to every point raised but apart from the points addressed above there were a number of themes:

Preserving Cash/Timing of Capex

The Management Committee are acutely aware of the need to preserve cash but there are two compelling reasons for initiating capex now:

  1. The shutdown allows us to undertake projects that if delayed to when we reopen would have a major impact on the commercial and sporting side of the Club, necessitating limited shutdown.
  2. The clock is running on the exposure to Capital Gains Tax from the sale of the “NHS Car Park” in March 2018. It is reduced by expenditure on qualifying capex.

Therefore major projects such as partitioning and improving the Dooley, relocating the offices and expanding the Wiseman Suite, and replacing the boilers have been commissioned. It is estimated these can be financed without over exhausting cash reserves.

Team Culture

Comment was made about an increasing divide between the 1stXV and the other male rugby teams. There were also queries as to why other male teams shouldn’t have their own sponsors and kit.

One of the great strengths of the Hoppers is that it has always been a Club and not a number of separate teams that happen to operate at the same ground. This is summed up by “Once a Hopper always a Hopper”.

Culture is hard to change but the Management Committee are looking at how to lessen these divides and welcome suggestions as to how this can be achieved.


With the furloughing of a majority of staff communication has undoubtedly slipped.

The Management Committee would welcome any assistance in this area. Please email to if you can help.

Longer term a number of initiatives are being undertaken to improve communication which includes investment in a new website and a CRM system. This latter will initially be aimed at our bookings system but will also improve communication with sponsors and members.


This has long been ripe for improvement and those who attend the AGM will be aware of appeals for help in this area. It really needs a “champion” to take it on and realise its potential. In the short term volunteer assistance with stocktaking and tidying up the shop would be appreciated.


Volunteers are vital to the success of the Club. The need for volunteers for specific projects:

  • Decorating and sprucing up Changing Rooms, Leigh Gallery, Simons Lounge in particular
  • Communication
  • Sorting out the Shop

Have been mentioned above but if you have any ideas about areas you could help in please contact .

Without volunteers the Club will wither and die.


Feedback received about having a survey has been very positive and the level of response was encouraging.

As is to be expected there is no unanimity of views on any one topic. It is the job of the Management Committee, as elected by the members, to take all views into account and come up with a way forward for the Club. You may disagree with some of the decisions made but it is certain that others in the Club will agree as the survey indicates a wide divergence of opinions.

The Management Committee have found the Survey useful and while it was put together quickly they have learnt a lot from it. The possibility of a further survey later in the summer is being explored. If you have any questions you would like asked please email them to .

We now have access to the Survey Software and if any particular section of the Club wanted to survey their members this could be accommodated. It would be up to that section to frame the questions and to publicise the survey link among their members.

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