The Fan Engagement Pod


Ryan McKnight: Thinking about fans

Season 1, Ep. 57

This is a chat with Ryan McKnight, CEO of the North of England Football Academy, former Stockport County CEO and adviser to a whole series of clubs, and ex-editor of FC Business Magazine.

Ryan has been thinking a lot about the relationship between fans and clubs, and how that manifests itself in the practical - as well as emotional - sense. We talk about the mistakes clubs make in marketing, how loyalty is always defined by a negative experience, and why season tickets are outdated. As Ryan says, the relationship with your club is going to be the longest you’ll have in your life, so it’s vital it’s done right.

It’s a really fascinating and absorbing tour of the issues from someone who’s thought very deeply and read very widely.

Don’t forget you can find out how your club did in the Fan Engagement Index at You can also register for free for the Fan Engagement Hub if you want to access more detailed data and case studies from the 2019/2020 Index.

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More Episodes


Supporter Liaison Officer: Not just an add-on. Stuart Dykes from SD Europe

Season 1, Ep. 61
Episode 61 is with Stuart Dykes from SD Europe’s Supporter Liaison (SLO) Project. SD Europe is one part of the legacy of Supporters Direct, and works across Europe with clubs, fans, leagues and federations on how to implement the role. Go to for more.The SLO role was first seen in German football, but can now be seen across all of UEFA’s member associations, including in men’s professional football in England in the top-four divisions.From the perspective of us at Think Fan Engagement, the SLO role has never come even close to its full potential, often hampered by the absence of enough guidance from the leagues as to how to make the role work. In many clubs it’s something of an afterthought, often bolted onto another, existing role, instead of being able to play its proper role of ensuring that fans are thought about in all the decisions a club makes.Stuart really is a mine of information and expertise on the subject. Anyone hoping to create an effective SLO role should listen to this episode.You can find out more about our work at Register for free and you get access to the Fan Engagement Hub, with more detailed data and case studies from the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 Fan Engagement Indexes.By the way, from now on, we’ll be publishing one edition a week each Tuesday, including the Fan Engagement Chat, Bas Chat, with Bas Schnater, and Did They Ask The Fans, with Tim Crow.Please like, subscribe and share. It really does help our visibility.