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EFL announces winners of first Away Fans Experience awards

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

The English Football League (EFL) has announced the first winners of its new Away Fan Experience campaign – an area of work to improve away day experiences across its three divisions.

Brighton & Hove Albion in the Championship, Sheffield United in League One and Crewe Alexandra for League Two have all been rated the best by away fans in their respective divisions.

The clubs were assessed by a cross-section of away fans from around the country put together with FSF help, who scored the host clubs on the various strands of an away day – such as information about the away end, travel information provided by the host, the welcome received from club staff, signage, the facilities and much more.

Brighton & Hove Albion scored highly by providing visitors with an Away Fans’ Guide to the Amex and ensuring a warm welcome – staff wear the visiting team’s colours and the away end is decked out similiary.

Head of marketing at the club Tom Gorringe said: “We aim to ensure that anyone attending the stadium has a good time no matter where they are sitting in the stadium.

“We attempt to make the away area feel like a ‘home away from home’ branding it in the away teams’ colours and added extras put in place that suit the needs of visiting supporters.”

League One Away Fan Experience Campaign winners Sheffiled United received praise for the friendliness of club staff and stewards towards away fans at Bramall Lane. The club welcomed and engaged with away fans on matchday, with United providing their opposition with a detailed Visitor Guide weeks before the game.

In League Two, Crewe Alexandra were praised for their consistency of approach, making it a priority that all fans, whether home or away, were welcomed and treated with the same respect.

The club prides itself on friendly and helpful stewarding, ensuring visiting supporters are always met with a friendly face. Information is relayed to supporters on the coaches when they pull up at the ground and stewards are outside to help with any further enquiries.

FSF deputy chief executive David Rose said: “Away fans put in the most time, money and effort to follow the club they love.

“They make a huge contribution to the live experience and are often the catalyst for a great atmosphere. The FSF welcomes an initiative that will encourage clubs to show how much they value some of football’s most passionate and loyal supporters.

“We will continue to support the EFL with this project and their efforts to develop the away experience over the coming seasons.”

Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this story.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe