It's too easy to point out what clubs get wrong. The way we're going to see long-term changes in Fan Engagement is by spreading around what works, and rewarding good practice and leadership.
The first this week is COO of Norwich City Ben Kensell. The club recently opted to revamp the club's ticket membership scheme, and though they didn't get it right first time, went back to the fans, apologised, re-engaged and consulted across the fanbase to get it right. Leaders sometimes struggle with words like 'sorry', but it's not a weakness, and fans - like ordinary people - prefer honesty and openness
Our second featured Fan Engagement leader of the week is Tom Gorringe at Bristol Rovers. Fan Engagement at any club is about fostering a culture, and wherever Tom's been - Portsmouth, Cardiff City, Brighton and Hove Albion - he's been known for it. He's always available to fans via Twitter, and in his role as Commercial Director actively listens & has overseen significant practical improvements for fans around the Mem. In recent months he's been working on improved consultation and engagement, and we think he deserves recognition for that.
Finally, Andy Holt, majority owner of Accrington Stanley. Andy's become very well known for being outspoken when it comes to the big issues in football, and whether-or-not you agree with him on everything he says, he does his best to walk-the-walk where his own club is concerned. The Club That Wouldn't Die has become the latest club to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its supporters' trust. The recently registered Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust has signed the agreement with the club as part of its ongoing relationship.
MOUs help both club & supporters' trust/independent group to manage a relationship with a set of guidelines that work for both sides - during good or bad times. We recommend all clubs adopt one.