Forest transparent fan engagement plan


Nottingham Forest launches fan engagement plan Image: City Ground, The Stadium Guide, CC BY-SA 2.0

The professional football club Nottingham Forest F.C. (UK) has launched its Fan Engagement Plan in line with the Premier League’s newly introduced Fan Engagement Standard.

‘Nottingham Forest’ stated that in November 2022, the Premier League clubs voted unanimously in favor of the Fan Engagement Standard.

The Nottingham Forest Football Club is a professional football club based in West Bridgford, Nottingham, England (UK), and plays in the Premier League, the highest level of the English football league system. Founded in 1865, the Forest has played their home games at the City Ground since 1898.

The City Ground is a football stadium in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England (UK) on the banks of the River Trent. It has been home to the Nottingham Forest F.C. since 1898 and has a capacity of 30,455.

London (UK)-based the Premier League is the highest level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League. Seasons typically run from August to May, with each team playing 38 matches against all the other teams, both home and away.

The Premier League’s newly introduced Fan Engagement Standard lays down that prior to the start of the Season 2023-2024, for the first time all clubs will publish a Fan Engagement Plan setting out their own approach to FES activity throughout the season. The strategy at each club will be led by a Nominated Board-level official to oversee fan engagement and the operation of the Fan Advisory Board.

The 2023-2024 Premier League seasons is the 32nd season of the Premier League and the 125th season of the top-flight English football overall. The fixtures were announced on June 15th, 2023 at 09:00 BST. The season started on August 12th, 2023, and will end on May 19th, 2024.

The introduction of the Fan Engagement Standard (FES) reinforces the league and the clubs’ commitment to ensuring long-term meaningful engagement with its supporters.

The Nottingham Forest Football Club place on record its commitment to adhering to the FES and further cooperating with its fans and engaging with them on a wide-range topics to enhance the experience for them and to ensure they operate in a transparent fashion.

‘Nottingham Forest’ further stated that a key element of its plan is the announcement of its Fan Advisory Board (FAB) and this represents a significant stride forward for how they, as a club, consult and engage with their supporters groups through structured dialog regarding a wide range of off-field matters and topics of great importance to their supporters with the overriding aim of the FAB being to enhance the experience for each of their supporters.

The FAB will comprise six fan members from the below supporters’ groups:

  • Nottingham Forest Supporters Trust;
  • Nottingham Forest Supporters Club;
  • Forza Garibaldi;
  • Punjabi Forest;
  • Nottingham Forest Disabled Supporters Association; and
  • Nottingham Forest North America.

There will also be two independent representatives who will complete the FAB.

Each of these groups has accepted the top-flight’s invitation to sit on the FAB and the FAB are scheduled to meet for the first time in October 2023.

Exulted Tom Cartledge, Nottingham Forest F.C. Chairman, “We are delighted to publish our Fan Engagement Plan for the 2023-2024 seasons. The Fan Engagement Standard was unanimously agreed by all Premier League Clubs last year and represents a significant stride forward for Fan Engagement in the most watched sports league in the world. I am delighted to be the Nominated Board Level Official to oversee the establishment of our Fan Advisory Board and my aim is to ensure this adds real value to our fan base through meaningful dialog with the FAB members to make lasting and beneficial change for all of our fans. Our fans are the lifeblood of Nottingham Forest and represent all that is good about the City. After months of hard work behind the scenes, it is a pleasure to share this news with you all.”

The Fan Engagement Plan also provides detail on the club’s plans for the 2023-2024 seasons, as well as providing information on the progress they have made in recent months.

The club’s commitment is to place its fans at the heart of everything they do through transparent communication and meaningful interactions, ensuring its supporters help inform and have a role in decisions made across the club.

‘The Plan’ stated that in line with the FES, Nottingham Forest would like to place on record that the below assets are considered Club Heritage Assets:

  • Club Name;
  • Club Crest; and
  • Home Kit Colors.

The club heritage assets cannot be amended without prior fan consultation.

Fan Advisory Board

‘The Plan’ further stated that in approving the FES, each Premier League club has agreed to the commitment to introduce a Fan Advisory Board (FAB) with the primary purpose of engaging in discussion, exchanging information and securing feedback from a fan perspective. The FAB will be a consultative body of representative club supporters.

Forest Goals (2023-2024 Seasons):

  • For the club’s Fan Advisory Board to meet and consider significant and lasting change that benefits the club, the fans. The FAB are scheduled to meet for the first time in October 2023;
  • Publish the club’s first annual report that reviews the work undertaken in the fan engagement space throughout the 2023-2024 seasons;
  • Roll out a program to formalize the club’s International Supporters Groups. The club recognize that there are Supporter Groups globally but by introducing an official program they will be able to bring these fans closer to the club;
  • Identify a full-time Supporter Liaison Officer to be the daily point of contact for fan queries, suggestions, feedback, and complaints;
  • Launch a fan engagement section on the club website where one can find out more about the work the Premier League club is undertaking in this space, information on how to contact supporters’ groups and summaries from the FAB meetings;
  • The club is committed to continue hosting two Q&As sessions with its Chairman Tom Cartledge throughout the season to provide an update on club matters;
  • The club will further strengthen its commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to help ensure the club is both representative of and accessible to its fans.
  • Following the collapse of the ‘LGBTQ+ Trickies’, the club will work closely with their fans to help ‘Proud Forest’ grow into a recognized supporters group this season with the view to them joining the FAB for the 2024-2025 seasons;
  • Publish clearer guidance for fans to have their say and provide feedback to help improve supporter experience across the club; and
  • Assess the performance of the ‘MyForest’ membership program which is currently in its first year and conduct a thorough review to see how the club can improve the membership scheme for the 2024-2025 seasons.

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