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Norwich City top of Premier League table for engaging with fans

PUBLISHED: 09:25 30 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:30 02 December 2019

Canaries Trust chairman Robin Sainty described the club's ranking as 'well-deserved'. Picture: Archant.

Canaries Trust chairman Robin Sainty described the club's ranking as 'well-deserved'. Picture: Archant.

Archant

Norwich City are among the top 10 best clubs in England's top four divisions when it comes to fan engagement, according to a new study.

The first 'Fan Engagement Index' ranked Norwich City seventh out of the 92 Premier League and EFL clubs for governance, transparency and dialogue. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdThe first 'Fan Engagement Index' ranked Norwich City seventh out of the 92 Premier League and EFL clubs for governance, transparency and dialogue. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Canaries earned the seventh-highest score out of 92 Premier League and EFL clubs in the first 'Fan Engagement Index', and are the best-ranked in the current top flight.

The report - published by faninsights.co.uk - ranks clubs based on governance, transparency and dialogue, with the Carrow Road outfit scoring 135 points out of a possible 240.

City were ranked especially highly on the latter, with the index naming the club as one of only eight to "regularly do the three types of face-to-face dialogue" - hold fans' forums, maintain one-to-one relationships with independent fan groups and meet with fan liaison groups.

Kevin Rye, founder and director of faninsights.co.uk, told BBC Sport: "The reason Norwich City do well is because they have hard-wired fan engagement into the way they run the club."

Robin Sainty, Canaries Trust Chairman, said: "It doesn't come as any great surprise - I would have expected Norwich to score very highly.

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"Since Ed Balls became chairman there has been a steady upward trend in the level of fan engagement, which was then continued by Steve Stone and now by the likes of Ben Kensell and Stuart Webber.

"I think it's well-deserved and it's very accurate."

Norwich City's relationship with the fans has always been important, with the supporters playing a huge part in their promotion to the Premier League through the One City Strong and Sing Up The River End campaigns.

There has, however, been some discontent, with members expressing their anger over a new tiered membership system introduced in the summer which many felt did not reward the loyalty and support of fans.

Mr Sainty said: "I think the club made a mistake with the membership scheme in the way it was brought in and the relative lack of consultation beforehand, but they understand that and have accepted that.

"All you can ask for from a club is to be prepared to engage and put their hands up when they get it wrong, because they will - nobody gets everything right all the time.

"Norwich City are no different."

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