The Fan Engagement Pod
The Fans. Kat Law (Spurs), Fulham (Dan Crawford), Liverpool (Jay McKenna) (Part 2)
Kat Law (Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust), Dan Crawford (Fulham Supporters Trust), Jay McKenna (ex-Chair, Spirit of Shankly) talk about what Fan Engagement is like when you're face-to-face with the board and owners of a club.
Each one of these three know what it's like to maintain dialogue with their clubs over a number of years. In the case of Kat and Dan, both the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust and Fulham Supporters Trust have been meeting face-to-face with the boards of their football clubs for a number of years, and in many respects are in the gold-standard for the role a supporters' trust can play.
In more difficult times, Spirit of Shankly moved between close relationships and dialogue, and high-profile activism. It was when Jay McKenna was Chair of SOS that Liverpool fans had a #walkouton77 over a breakdown in dialogue over ticket price increases.
The insight here is something that every single Fan Engagement professional - clubs, leagues, consultants - should listen to. Part of the challenge for clubs sometimes is to understand their fans as activists, and why their passion leads them to be so committed as to want to become involved in this way.
Apologies for some of the poor sound quality at times.
Key Insights from Episode Three
- Activists like those involved in Supporters Trusts are usually motivated by a love and concern for the club; bear this in mind when criticism comes
- Supporters Trusts (and similar organisations) are representative of part of your stakeholders, and can bring great insight you might not be able to acquire easily otherwise
- Fans are very often professionally skilled, have insight that can be valuable to you: seek it out and use it
- Fulham Supporters Trust: https://www.fulhamsupporterstrust.com/
- Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust: https://www.thstofficial.com/
- Spirit of Shankly: http://www.spiritofshankly.com/
- Don and Tom's interview with Ryan Sparks (Bradford City) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8jKty7LDXM
Dan Crawford Bio:
Dan Crawford is a freelance sports writer and local councillor in West London, and has been on the board of the Fulham Trust since May 2014. He and other FST directors meet with owners, directors and officials at the club on a monthly basis, underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Kat is a Business Manager for AAR, responsible for concept, creation, execution and delivery of all internal and external marketing, both on and offline. She has been on the board of the Spurs Trust since February 2013. The Trust meets several times a year board-to-board with Club Chair Daniel Levy, Executive Director Donna Cullen, and also other officials and staff.
Jay is acting Regional Secretary for the TUC North West. He was Chair of Spirit of Shankly until March 2019, and part of the founding group of the organisation.