Exeter City Football Club has topped the Fan Engagement Index for the 2021/2022 season – for the fourth year in a row!
The Index, which is produced by Think Fan Engagement, uses publicly available data to measure clubs across all the football leagues on their dialogue with fans, their governance and transparency.
Chairman of the Exeter City Supporters' Trust, Nick Hawker said: "This is testament to the great work by both Trust and Club Comms teams. The collaboration around Fan Forums, more than anything, is indicative of being a fan-owned club. Engagement with our biggest stakeholder shouldn't be a surprise!”
The owner of Think Fan Engagement Kevin Rye added: “once again, Exeter City have won, and I’m not surprised. The question is always: can they keep delivering, and the answer so far is yes.
""I get asked regularly why Exeter City does so well in the Fan Engagement Index. It's because that at the heart of everything they do is a commitment to genuine, transparent dialogue, done because it's the right thing to do.
"Not only is it the right thing to do, given their recent excellent financial results, we can now say with certainty that it makes good business sense as well."
The Fan Engagement Index, released by Think Fan Engagement, is showing most Premier League clubs still outside the top-thirty, with only Brentford, Everton and Norwich City from last season in the top-30.
Two Premier League clubs, Newcastle United and Leeds United, are now in the bottom four of the table, which measures Fan Engagement according to Dialogue, Governance and Transparency. The data collected is collected annually from publicly available sources, with all clubs sent a copy for comment.
A number of EFL clubs, led by Swindon Town, have shown significant improvements, with Swindon posting a huge 100-point, 72 place rise from 92nd and bottom, up to 20th place. Bristol City, Bolton Mansfield & Preston have also shown big improvements. Bottom of the table are Hartlepool United, with the first zero score in the Index’s history.
Kevin added, “The Fan Engagement Index was created as a positive way to make clubs take Fan Engagement more seriously, with an ambition to place it at the centre of everything they do. I’m not convinced we’re there yet, as can be seen by too many clubs still not - publicly at least - meeting fairly basic standards of engagement with their fans.
“But we know huge change is possible. You only have to look at Swindon Town under Clem Morfuni and Rob Angus to see it can be done. It’s not a matter of size, it’s a matter of willingness. They chose to embrace Fan Engagement at the heart of their business model, and it’s paying off. The same can be said of clubs like Bradford City and Bristol Rovers. Both were languishing towards the bottom of the table in 2018/2019, but now they’re comfortably amongst the best twenty clubs in the country.”
The first Fan Engagement Index was published for 2018/2019 season, and scores clubs in the top four divisions of English Football using publicly available data on their Dialogue, Governance and Transparency in Fan Engagement. Clubs were also asked for their comment on the data collected.