Report: ‘Engage! How club can win with football supporters’
I key point del report: ‘Engage! How club can win with football supporters’, realizzato congiuntamente da Supporters Direct UK e dalla Football Supporters Federation, per approfondire i risultati conseguiti nel primo anno di introduzione dei meccanismi di confronto tra club e base del tifo e sottolineare gli aspetti dove, attraverso il dialogo, è possibile trovare un approccio operativo migliore.
Le nuove misure di Fan-engagement e ‘dialogo strutturato‘(qui approfondimento e Video1, Video2) sono state implementate dalla scorsa stagione 2016/17, su impulso della Permier League, come risultato di un più ampio percorso di cooperazione che ha compreso istituzioni sportive e amministrative al tavolo con le rappresentative dei tifosi, determinando una serie di nuovi programmi che hanno attivato un confronto costante su molteplici aspetti che coinvolgono più o meno indirettamente i supporters(qui e qui dettagli).
SD/FSF END OF SEASON REVIEW FOR STRUCTURED DIALOGUE COMMITMENTS AT CLUB LEVEL
Following the first full season where the new structured dialogue commitments have been in place for PL and EFL clubs to engage with supporters, SD and the FSF jointly surveyed supporter’s groups to establish how the new requirements were working.
In total we had responses from supporter’s groups at 75 of the 92 clubs. The good news is that the work of the EWG and these commitments haven’t gone unnoticed:
–92% of clubs know about the new structured dialogue commitments
–85% of clubs are meeting with supporters at least twice a year
–86% of the clubs are fielding appropriate people – either owners, directors and/or senior executives
Although this is encouraging there is still a lot of work to do to make these meetings worthwhile and to meet the purpose they were designed to achieve:
–48% of clubs that know about structured dialogue either misunderstand it or don’t act on the outcomes
–34% said that strategic issues can’t be adequately discussed at these meetings
–33% said a suitable level of information isn’t shared ahead of these meetings
–18% don’t feel like the meetings are the right size for a constructive discussion
It was noticeable that those clubs that had supporter representation at board level (17% of respondents) performed better for example:
–85% said their club understands and acts upon the structured dialogue commitments
–100% said they felt that the meetings were carried out with the right senior representatives, that there was suitable information shared before the meeting and that supporters had the ability to add any topics for discussion
What was also interesting was the results on the pitch made no difference in how supporters rated their clubs structured dialogue performance. Promoted clubs (and those finishing in the top 4 in the EPL) and relegated clubs broadly recorded the same satisfaction results from supporters, and sometimes worse, for example when asked ‘how well do you feel your club understands structured dialogue commitments’ only 33% of promoted clubs were rated as ‘understand it and acts on it’ compared to 50% of relegated clubs.
There were encouraging examples of best practice which included:
-Discussing significant issues on the likes of stadium development, new ticket pricing structures before decisions have been made
-Willingness to discuss finance with appropriate information and personnel, including a meeting ahead of a transfer embargo to explain the background
-Consultation on national game issues such as B teams for the EFL trophy
-Regular contact between Supporters Trust Chair and senior club personnel outside these meetings
-Meeting with the clubs media team to improve communications output
-The CEO has agreed to meet with the Trust as well as the normal Fans Committee meetings
-The Fans Advisory Board attendees have been halved to 10 to improve the discussion
Alongside improvements supporter’s groups wanted to see including:
-Standardised minimum level of information to be shared at/before meetings
-Stricter enforcement/monitoring of the regulations by league or other body, including penalties
-Not passing off fans forums as meeting this request – this is not ‘structured’ dialogue
-Less operational and more focus on major strategic issues
-Meeting action points to be followed up and progress reported back by Club
-CEO to discuss financial information in more detail
-More visibility of good/bad practice
SD and the FSF will continue to work with all parties to improve formal dialogue between club leaders and their supporters, including the need to ensure the leagues meet their commitment of providing a suitable template of information for clubs to share.