Focus Groups for Football Clubs – some lessons

I feel very lucky doing the kind of work I do. I love the interaction with supporters, with officials, directors, owners. There are so many dynamics and relationships in a football club, and they need understanding, people need listening to, conversations need to happen. I'm even luckier that from time-to-time I get to indulge in …

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Supporters: Stakeholders or a public order problem?|Video Blog

Both the language and actions of clubs and the football authorities increasingly see supporters as stakeholders in the game, with Structured Dialogue as a means of managing those relationships. Yet the law concerning the behaviour of football supporters is very tightly defined through acts such the Football Offences Act. The result is that supporters are more …

Relationship building at Norwich City | Case Study

It’s easy to point out the mistakes when it comes to clubs and their relationship with supporters, and I've seen my fair share. But what's equally important is to show the good, the successful - otherwise, how else does good practice spread, and how do we learn and improve? Norwich City FC is a privately …

Arsenal & West Ham: Do the fans always know first?

NB: This article was edited on 06/09/2017 Or perhaps it should say, 'Do the fans always know best?' I've been prompted to write this article by two interesting stories and posts that I’ve seen recently. The first, about the protests being organised by West Ham supporters; and the second, a story from the Arsenal Supporters …

FSF Survey shows that US style ‘Fan Engagement’ isn’t the answer

Today's FSF fan survey results show that football clubs are still not grasping the need for genuine, properly structured dialogue between fans and their clubs. Clubs have undoubtedly got better at recognising the needs of supporters when it comes to matchday, but they have looked too much to the United States and 'fan engagement', which …

‘Sanitising’ English football: who asked the fans?

'Sanitising' is an word often used to describe, in particular, Premier League football and the commercialisation that we've seen since its creation in 1992. A recent retweet from the Non League Paper featuring an interview with a Liverpool fan on this subject has prompted me to put down my thoughts on it. The actual tweet …