Premier League launches Fan Engagement Standard
"Our fans are what makes Manchester United the greatest club in the world.
A FIRST FOR US AND FANS
"That’s why we’re excited that, following the unanimous agreement of all 20 Clubs last November, the Premier League has today officially launched its Fan Engagement Standard.
"As you’d expect, we have fully supported the Premier League’s commitment to developing this new Fan Engagement Standard and have worked with them and our Fan Advisory Board to develop it. We’re proud of the contribution we’ve made in helping make it a reality not just for us, but for all clubs and all supporters. And we are determined to continue to lead the way and continue to think fan first.
WE ARE ALL FANS
"As a fan myself, but also as chief operating officer and our Nominated Board Level Official for Fan Engagement, I am especially committed to putting you at the heart of our club. We’re proud of our diverse fan base and the 275 official supporter clubs we have across the world, and we value and appreciate the incredible and loyal support you all give the team. Wherever we play, at home, away, in Europe or further afield on tour, it’s this passion and dedication that makes this club so special.
WE’LL NEVER SETTLE
"We’ve made good progress in the past year across a range of areas relating to improving the experience for our fans, but we know we must do more, working with our fans and recognised fan groups to drive change and to build trust.
"Our commitment to you is that we will listen, we will act in your interests, we will communicate with honesty and transparency, and that, together, we will make supporting Manchester United the best experience it can be. We will produce an annual fan engagement plan to share information and progress with you.
YOU HAVE OUR WORD. YOU HAVE MY WORD
"I personally commit to regularly meeting with our Fans’ Advisory Board, Fans’ Forum, our official independent supporters trust and official supporter groups throughout the season to hear their feedback and to inform our work. Plus, I will attend at least three of the four formal quarterly meetings with both FAB and FF.
An ongoing, open dialogue is key to improving fan engagement so please do get in contact with us, either directly or via one of your fan representatives, to share your ideas and feedback.
"Thank you for your loyal support. We look forward to hearing from you.”
Collette Roche, COO and Nominated Board Level Official NBLO for Fan Engagement
"We welcome the launch of the Premier League’s Fan Engagement Standard and the increased focus it puts on protecting the interests of fans and strengthening engagement between clubs and supporters.
"At Manchester United, our FAB will continue to drive forwards fan engagement to achieve, and where possible exceed, the requirements of the FES."
Chris Saad, co-chair Manchester United Fans’ Advisory Board.
OUR FAN ENGAGEMENT STANDARD
We want to build greater trust with fans so they feel valued and are proud to support Manchester United, no matter where they are in the world. We will do this by facilitating and encouraging in-depth consultation between the club and fans on all relevant matters to ensure we make better decisions which benefit everyone connected with Manchester United.
KEY CONTACTS FOR FAN ENGAGEMENT AT UNITED
NBLO and Chief Operating Officer: Collette Roche
Chief Communications Officer: Ellie Norman
Head of Fan Engagement: Rick McGagh
Supporter and Disabled Supporter Liaison Manager: Michael Leneghan
MU Foundation CEO: John Shiels
Get in touch: email@example.com
OUR FANS' ADVISORY BOARD AND FANS' FORUM
We are proud to have been the first Premier League club to establish a Fans’ Advisory Board (FAB), something we believe will help us make better decisions and bring fans closer to the club. The FAB, which held its first meeting in January 2022, is key to our ability to engage with fans with its focus being to provide effective, confidential and in-depth consultation between the club and a group of respected fan leaders and to provide counsel to the club’s leadership on relevant strategic matters.So far FAB has already discussed topics such as stadium redevelopment, fan share plan, capital needs and the club’s vision and objectives.
The FAB will provide advice and support to the club’s leadership in developing and delivering key projects pertaining to fan interests, including but not limited to:
(a) competition matters;
(b) enhancing the fan experience (physical and digital);
(c) stadium development projects;
(d) sustainability, corporate and social responsibility initiatives;
(e) improving fan products and services (including ticketing and membership products and pricing);
(f) football governance; and
(g) fan share ownership.
The FAB, which meets 4 times per year, is comprised of:7x fan members:
- A fan Co-Chairperson
- Two elected Fans' Forum members
- Two representatives appointed by the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST)
- Two joint club-fan co-appointees
7 x club members
- A club Co-Chairperson
- Up to five senior club representatives
- One of the club's Executive Co-Chairmen will attend FAB meetings on a regular basis (at least one per season)
We are in the process of reviewing the operation and Terms of Reference of the FAB after its first year of operation.
Alongside the FAB sits our long-established Fans’ Forum which remains at the heart of our engagement with match-going supporters.The Forum has been an integral part of Manchester United for over 10 years and has been expanded in the last 12 months to make it even more representative of our fanbase.
Richard Arnold (CEO) and Collette Roche (COO) attend each meeting along with other senior leaders from across the club. This commitment highlights how fundamental the Fans’ Forum is to our operation and the importance we place on it.The Fans’ Forum is made up of representatives from different constituencies of the Manchester United fanbase and senior members of the club. Four times a season, it offers an open forum to promote a better understanding of the issues that are affecting supporters and helps to maintain a constructive dialogue between the club and fans.
You can see a full list of the representatives and their respective roles on our website [link]. The aim is to give a voice to different sections of our support – whether that’s season-ticket holders or members, local fans or overseas supporters’ branches, under 21s or over 65s. We currently have 16 fans on the Forum and we advertise any vacancies across club channels. There is a maximum tenure of six seasons and we review each role every two years and open it up for application to ensure new fans can get involved.It is a proactive forum that helps improve the experience of fans going to matches. It’s about making sure that we listen to and understand the views of fans at an early stage of our decision-making process to get better outcomes for all. It ensures things like ticketing and accessibility policies are fair. It’s important that we listen to fans’ voices and have their input before things are decided.
The FAB and Fans’ Forum work closely together and complement each other, with Richard Arnold, Collette Roche, Ellie Norman and Rick McGagh (head of fan engagement) as well as other club officials, sitting on both boards along with MUST representatives and two elected Forum members who sit on FAB.
As a direct result of the two bodies working together we have already delivered change with the removal of the mandatory elements of the Automatic Cup Scheme, offering more flexibility for season-ticket holders and opening up greater access to match tickets for official members, and the agreement to remove the executive seating from the Stretford End.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Before the start of next season we will publish our 2023/24 Fan Engagement Plan. This will set out our approach to how we will engage with fans and give detail on our planned activity. We are also pleased to confirm we will be part of the Premier League Fan Engagement Standard assessment pilot, working with the Premier League and their advisors to test out the assessment process and ensure it is fit for purpose before it is rolled out across all clubs.
This further demonstrates our commitment to this work and we look forward to sharing our work and identifying further areas to improve. Throughout this period, we will keep in regular contact with our fan representatives to ensure fans have a say and help us shape our plan ahead of launch.