I’m surprised this news hasn’t come out from the club already, maybe it has and I’ve missed it, but of all 92 clubs in the Football League, the Imps have been ranked sixth in the first annual Fan Engagement Index, which has been compiled by Fan Insights.
It scores each of the 92 clubs in the top four divisions of English football on their relationship with supporters, taking into account dialogue, governance and transparency. Those scores then go towards an overall total, in which we’re sixth, behind only Exeter, Wimbledon, Doncaster, Carlisle and Wycombe. When you consider which of those clubs are (or were) fan-owned and in dialogue as part of their running, it’s an impressive achievement.
The Imps were fourth in the dialogue table, aided by supporters representative on the board and of course, the supporter’s board. We were also fourth in the transparency table too, so anyone thinking the club are trying to hide away and act surreptitiously haven’t experienced the 88 clubs worse than us!
The ‘Imps on the Road’ fan forums held around Lincolnshire came in for praise as well. The report states that ‘for clubs with more dispersed fanbases, this is a good initiative. Also, some clubs with big regional ‘exiles’ groups do similar events’. Our SLO team are also a big part of the high finish, acting as a conduit on matchday and beyond not only for home fans but rival supporters as well.
The whole report is available to read here, for anyone who is interested, but I do feel strongly about our club’s current situation in terms of how it engages with supporters. I know a year or two ago the words ‘too corporate’ used to get bandied about, but it’s nice to see an independent body recognise the strong work that goes in day to day.
For those who called me a sycophant, the club have not (as far as I know) released any of this; I’ve found it on the Portsmouth website. This isn’t a post I’ve been sponsored to write either…