Liverpool FC is set to introduce a new way of working with supporters following a comprehensive consultation programme with Liverpool fans.
More than 10,000 Reds have had their say in the single biggest piece of supporter research ever carried out by the club, with the intention of informing and improving interaction between LFC and its followers at all levels.
Nine months ago, Liverpool teamed up with Populus, a highly respected, independent, leading research agency who have worked across football and sport for many years, acting on behalf of various industry leaders including the Premier League.
Populus launched the club’s research programme last December with the primary aim of assessing what is working well with supporter liaison and identifying the big issues that are important to fans. From the outset, there was a commitment to develop an open dialogue with supporters which will be built upon in accordance with the various outcomes of the survey.
Populus split the research programme into three areas. Firstly, they conducted more than 40 in-depth interviews with fans, supporter groups including Spirit of Shankly, Spion Kop and the Liverpool FC Supporters’ Committee, key media commentators, politicians, Liverpool city influencers, senior club officials and other groups and individuals within football.
The second area of focus centred on fans being asked their opinions about how LFC can better understand the issues that affect them, how they currently engage with the club and how this process can be enhanced. More than 10,000 supporters replied to the online questionnaire to give their views – a significant and hugely welcome input for which the club is extremely appreciative.
Lastly, they carried out extensive desk research in football and other sports to identify best practice fan liaison models that deliver direct, open and transparent engagement with supporters.
Populus have now collated the huge number of responses from supporters and have been analysing these in great detail to ensure the views and issues from local fans and from fans around the world have been captured.
As a result of the in-depth interviews and the fan survey, four strategic issues have been raised by fans that are most important to them: ticket availability, ticket prices, stadium-related issues and local supporter engagement.
The comprehensive research programme is now drawing to a conclusion and the full results and analysis have been digested and discussed by the club. The club have now decided on a new fan liaison model, closely supported by Populus, and this will be discussed at the next Liverpool FC Supporters’ Committee meeting this weekend (Saturday May 20).
Susan Black, communications director at LFC, said: “This is a hugely important programme for the club and the biggest supporter research we’ve ever carried out.
“We’ve learned a lot along the way and would like to thank everyone who helped us with this valuable research, including the 10,000 fans who completed the survey and those who took time out to be interviewed by Populus.
“Based on the extensive research, a new fan liaison and engagement model will be introduced which we believe is a stronger and more transparent model that will see more authentic fan engagement through direct as well as structured channels and forums.
“This will ensure we are discussing the issues that matter to most of our supporters in an open and transparent way. In keeping with that objective, we have also created a new liaison and engagement model that will allow fans to work with the club more effectively.
“We will be presenting the key findings, the new supporter liaison and engagement model and how this will operate on a day-to-day basis to the LFC Supporters’ Committee this Saturday. We will then share this information with supporters via our website and social media channels so they know how they can get involved.”