EFL SUPPORTERS CHARTER The EFL is committed to providing excellent service to its clubs, supporters and stakeholders. Our Supporters Charter sets out the EFL’s policies in this area. SUPPORTER SERVICES The Supporter Services department promotes the work carried out by the EFL, its member clubs and community trusts through regular engagement with supporters. Integral to this is the development and activation of ongoing supporter consultation and policy, including cultivating key relationships with representative supporter groups, independent organisations and bodies. Acting as the principal point of contact at the EFL for any supporter queries or complaints, a key function of the department is to provide a professional and approachable point of contact within the EFL for supporters and other members of the general public who need help, advice and information on any aspect of our activities. The Supporter Services department delivers some of the EFL’s key strategic club and supporter engagement activity, such as the award-winning Family Excellence Awards scheme, the Enjoy the Match campaign, and Disabled and Junior Supporters work, as well as driving research and best practice sharing in general. The department also works across the EFL to ensure that a high level of service is provided to all our members and by all our member clubs. CONTACTING SUPPORTER SERVICES Contact with the Supporter Services Department can be made in the following ways: By post: Letters should be addressed to Supporter Services Department, EFL House, 10-12 West Cliff, Preston, PR1 8HU. By direct dial telephone: on 01772 325829 By fax: on 01772 325801 By e-mail: to firstname.lastname@example.org Normal Office Hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. The EFL will endeavour to respond to any letter, fax or e-mail within 7 working days of receipt of such communication. If it is not possible to provide a full response to the issue raised within that time, an acknowledgement will be sent and a detailed reply will follow within 21 working days of receipt of the original communication. We will attempt to resolve all justifiable complaints within 28 working days. If, however, this cannot be done, we promise to keep the complainant updated on the progress of the complaint. The complainant does have the option after 28 working days of taking the complaint to the Independent Football Ombudsman (IFO) if they are dissatisfied with the progress made. The IFO has been established by the football authorities as the final stage in football’s complaints process. They are accredited as an Approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Body under the 2015 Alternative Dispute Resolution Consumer Regulations issued by the Government.The IFO can check that a case has been fairly handled and that due process was followed, although the IFO does not provide an alternative interpretation of EFL regulations or EFL Board decisions. Details of all complaints are recorded and information will be provided to the Independent Football Ombudsman as part of the reporting process. Further details about the Independent Football Ombudsman can be found at www.theifo.co.uk. For any query or complaint relating to services provided by an EFL club, supporters should initially contact that club accordingly, via methods detailed with their customer charter procedure. Should a supporter remain dissatisfied with the response received or the way their complaint has been handled, they can refer the matter directly to the IFO. STAFF CONDUCT Employees of the EFL will conduct themselves in a courteous and responsive manner when dealing with all internal and external stakeholders. The EFL is committed to treating all people equally and fairly and have policies and procedures in place to safeguard individuals. DATA PROTECTION The EFL complies with The Data Protection Act 1998 and all other relevant legislation. All personal data held following communication with the Supporter Services Department is only used for the purpose it is collected and is kept for as short a time as possible. The EFL is committed to the safe handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of personal data and a written policy on this is available. CONSULTATION & SUPPORTER ENGAGEMENT The EFL is committed to regular consultation with supporters and stakeholders within the game. We are at the heart of progressive debate and engaging with all our stakeholders is key to positively develop our competitions as a whole. We are also committed to enhancing the consultative reach of our members among their fanbases and local communities, though effective supporter dialogue and EFL Trust projects. In June 2016, following the Government’s Expert Working Group on Supporter Ownership & Engagement (EWG), in which the EFL played an active role, clubs introduced new regulations requiring clubs to engage with their supporters in a structured and regular manner. Clubs are required to meet with a representative group of supporters at least twice a season to discuss significant issues relating to the club. The framework for each club’s specific consultation strategy is to be documented within its customer charter. For its part, the EFL will meet with the supporter organisations at a national level and club groups on an ad hoc basis whenever needed. The EFL continues to foster a good working relationship with other footballing bodies which include the Football Association, the Premier League, the National League, the Professional Footballers Association, the League Managers Association and the European Professional Football Leagues. The EFL also consults at national level with the Football Supporters' Federation, Supporters Direct and Level Playing Field (formerly the National Association of Disabled Supporters), contributing to discussion and responding to issues in order to improve supporters’ experience and enjoyment of the game. The EFL also has representation on the Kick it Out Professional Game Guidance Group and continues to develop ways to consult with other football bodies and Government in line with key issues that affect the game. Supporter Liaison The EFL and its clubs set out commitments to supporters within the Supporter Liaison Officer and Supporter Engagement regulations. EFL regulations require clubs to appoint a Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO). Their role is principally to ensure proper and constructive discourse between a club and its supporters. Working with both Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters’ Federation, the EFL provides guidance and support for all member clubs and their SLOs, to encourage greater consultation and engagement with all stakeholders across the game. TICKETING The EFL, as event organiser, has direct responsibility for the staging of the final ties of the EFL Cup, the EFL Trophy and the EFL Play-Off Finals. The following policies apply in respect of these EFL events: Pricing The EFL continues to strive for wider access to matches by offering a broad range of ticket prices Club Ticket Allocation & Sales The EFL will endeavour to allocate 80% of the available tickets to the two clubs competing in the final. The location and amount of tickets allocated to each finalist club will be determined by the EFL following consultation with clubs, Wembley National Stadium and the Metropolitan Police Service. The EFL also provides guidance to finalist clubs with regards to the ticket sales process and method of block allocations sold. Clubs are responsible for the use of any external ticket agency and will adopt their own sales procedures in relation to prioritisation of tickets and availability for their supporters. Concessions Concessions will be available to junior supporters (16 years and under) and senior citizens (age determined in accordance with the ticketing policy of the competing clubs). Babes in arms (under 6 months) do not require a ticket. Babes over 6 months will require a ticket for entry at a concessionary rate. Disabled Spectators Designated places will be available for disabled spectators in wheelchairs and their carers. These tickets will be distributed by the two clubs competing in the Final, at a cost equivalent to the relevant price for the area they are in and provide a personal assistant space free of charge (where a PA is required). Ambulant disabled supporters’ tickets will also be available. Again these tickets will be distributed by the two clubs competing in the Final, at a cost equivalent to the relevant price for the area they are in and provide a personal assistant space free of charge (where a PA is required). Returns/Refunds Every effort will be made to facilitate the return and re-distribution of unwanted tickets. Following the introduction of legislation to combat ticket touts (section 166 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994), any member of the public would be committing an offence if they should offer for sale any ticket that they have purchased for one of the EFL Finals. Any unwanted tickets should therefore be returned in advance of the fixture to the point of sale (usually one of the clubs competing in the Final), where, providing the ticket-holder has a genuine reason for returning the ticket(s), a full refund will be given. If any of the EFL’s Finals should be postponed before kick-off, ticket holders will be entitled to free admission to the rearranged game. If the match should be abandoned after kick-off, ticket holders will be entitled to half price admission to the rearranged match. Club Tickets & Facilities The EFL requires each member club to submit their ‘Pricing Plan’ for league fixtures to ensure that they provide fair pricing and minimum numbers of tickets for both disabled and non-disabled supporters, as detailed within regulation 34.2. The EFL works with clubs to provide guidance and best practice in relation to the services they offer. Clubs are required to make any discounts or special promotions (in each case for one match only) available on a similar basis to visiting supporters, unless such matches are designated as ‘local promotions’. Local promotions are permitted up to four times throughout the season as per EFL regulations. DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS The growth of digital and social media has been particularly significant over the last decade, and the EFL has kept pace with that change in order to provide information and engagement around our clubs and competitions. Key messages and information is globally consumed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we have developed our online presence in order to engage supporters and provide the information they require, when and how they want to access it. Our official EFL supporter-focused digital and social media channels are: Website: efl.com Facebook: @theEFL Twitter: @EFL Instagram: @EFL YouTube: /c/theEFL Our digital presence is constantly evolving and expanding in order to ensure we provide the content our supporters want, while in addition to the above we also have a range of social media accounts dedicated to each of our competitions. Supporters can also ensure they receive official email communications from the EFL by registering for newsletters at www.efl.com. These accounts are outlets both to provide official information and news on the EFL and through which we can engage with supporters tens of thousands of posts. Together they represent a multi-platform audience of millions of fans and while we try to answer questions as best we can via social media, supporters should be aware that the EFL cannot guarantee a response to every supporter who contacts us via these channels. Should supporters wish to receive a guaranteed response to an enquiry or complaint they should follow the procedure outlined in the Supporter Services section of the Supporter Charter and contact us by email, post or phone. EFL DIGITAL EFL Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of the EFL. EFL Digital manages and develops the digital and mobile rights of the EFL and participating clubs in the EFL Digital central agreement. These activities include the provision of official club websites, mobile sites, apps, video and audio, with live match commentary available through PlayerHD and free highlights packages through YouTube. EFL Digital works alongside clubs’ media, commercial and marketing departments in creating and developing engaging digital products aimed at growing club revenues and brands. The EFL Digital team includes dedicated roles in the fields of content, commerce, analytics, video, digital marketing, project management and rights. COMMERCIAL The EFL has been responsible for some of the most innovative commercial partnerships and competition changes in English football. Our role in progressing and developing our competitions for the benefit of supporters and clubs alike means there is an inherent requirement to keep pace with the modern demands of clubs and football audiences. The EFL generates the commercial revenue that sustains and fuels football's growth, working for our member clubs in enhancing the competition and engaging with our audiences. It is therefore of paramount importance that the EFL continues to attract a new, younger generation to ensure our clubs continue to play in stadiums full of passionate fans for years to come. With that in mind the EFL’s commercial and marketing activities illustrate a commitment to further promote and enhance our competitions for clubs, supporters and our stakeholders across our football stadia and digital platforms, to ensure we are easily recognisable to a broader audience of potential fans. In order to further the reputation of our clubs and promote attendance at matches, through a number of centralised initiatives the EFL aims to reflect the unique product our competitions represent, to both domestic and international audiences. Whether through ticket initiatives, supporter campaigns, overseas fan engagement research, and work with our key commercial partners, we aim to bring a broader degree of entertainment and accessibility to EFL fans. BROADCASTING The EFL’s broadcasting partnerships aim to deliver innovative content and ensure high quality exposure of our clubs and our competition. Throughout the course of the 2016/17 season up to 127 EFL fixtures across all our competitions will be screened, all live on Sky Sports. The EFL maintains regular dialogue with Sky to ensure that any Sky Bet EFL matches set to be displaced for live coverage are done so as soon as is practically possible. In a joint commitment by both the EFL and Sky Sports, decisions on televised fixtures are to be made at the earliest possible convenience to assist attending supporters. Recently the EFL launched a revamped ‘primetime’ highlights show in partnership with Channel 5 and together with our new ‘Nick Kicks’ programme on Nickelodeon, such content illustrates our commitment to allow a younger, family audience to engage with our competitions. EFL TRUST The EFL Trust is a national charity that uses the power of football to change people’s lives. The Trust unites the inspirational work delivered across England and Wales by the dedicated network of community trusts associated to the 72 EFL clubs. These charities have a combined annual turnover of over £44 million, and 2,500 members of staff, including teachers, coaches and professional health workers. Each year these Trusts engage with over 1.5million people using the power of football to improve health, inspire education, reduce crime, increase participation and tackle many difficult social issues like drug abuse, dementia and homelessness. Based in the heart of their communities the 72 EFL community trusts use the magnetism their club badge to connect with people and tackle society’s greater goals by inspiring people through powerful projects built upon a foundation of its key themes of sport, education, inclusion and health. Under these four themes, the Trust’s national projects have the scale and impact to improve communities around the country. The Female Football Development (FFD) scheme, for example, has so far inspired more than 40,000 new players to start playing the women's and girls' game. In another scheme, 40,000 primary school children got active and learned about healthy eating thanks to Kinder+Sport Move & Learn programme. The Trust also delivers the Government’s key National Citizen Service (NCS). Last 10,000 15 to 17-year-olds took part in NCS with the EFL Trust and learned vital life skills designed to help a young person’s transition in to adulthood. These young people delivered around 300,000 hours of social activity to help improve their communities. Since 2007, winning partnerships have played an integral role, and today, The Trust is proud to team up with numerous organisations to turn goals into reality, including;, The Premier League, The PFA, The FA, Sport England, Ferrero NCS, The Open University, University of South Wales, and many more. INCLUSION AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICY The EFL is committed to ensuring that football is inclusive of all communities and free from discrimination. We are dedicated to promoting equality on the grounds of any *protected characteristic as defined in the Equality Act 2010. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and the EFL is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination incorporating direct, indirect, associative or perceptive discrimination and all forms of bullying, harassment and victimisation. Following government consultation, the football authorities’ commitment to promoting inclusion within the game led to the introduction of the Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan. The plan led to regulatory commitment from the EFL and its member clubs to develop a Code of Practice. The Code of Practice sets out key areas all EFL clubs should look to address to ensure they are inclusive across all areas of their business. The EFL has a reporting pathway to deal with any allegations of prejudice, ensuring that all individuals can raise their issue through the channels explained in this charter. On the receipt of any complaint, the EFL will investigate, if appropriate, with assistance from other football and statutory agencies, and make recommendations and/or change to procedures as necessary. While the EFL can consider and assess any reported issues, depending on the nature of any query or complaint it may be appropriate for clubs and/or other authorities to carry out further investigation. In such circumstances the EFL will provide advice and guidance on the appropriate channels for complaints or incidents to be addressed further. The EFL also works closely with Kick it Out which provides a reporting service for discriminatory behaviour through its ‘kick it out app’. The free app provides users with the ability to confidentially report incidents they may see, hear or witness at a match. By attaching video, photo and audio evidence to complaints fans can help support investigations into discriminatory abuse and behaviour across football (for more please visit www.kickitout.org). In June 2016 the EFL introduced ground-breaking new regulations aimed at tackling the under-representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) managers and coaches employed by clubs. The new regulations require clubs to formally advertise any position in their Academy that require the employee to hold a UEFA A or B licence. In addition, clubs are required to shortlist at least one suitably qualified BAME candidate for interview as part of a formal recruitment process. With regards first team football, eleven clubs have agreed to pilot similar requirements for positions in senior football during the 2016/17 season. The EFL also promotes and supports work in relation to other research areas such as women and girls attendance, LGB&T (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) awareness, mental health awareness and other PFA and FA led campaigns. * Protected Characteristics – Age, Sex (gender), Gender Reassignment, Disability, Race (ethnicity), Religion and beliefs, Marriage and civil partnerships, Maternity and Paternity. SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND VULNERABLE ADULTS The EFL is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. With so many people involved in and influenced by professional football, it is essential that the EFL and its member clubs acknowledge the role that they play in creating a safer environment for everybody involved in the game, especially for the more vulnerable, including children and young people. The EFL is working closely with other football governing bodies to help contribute to this safer environment. The Child Protection Advisor for the EFL sits on the Affiliated Football Safeguarding Forum which has representation from The Football Association (FA); The Premier League; The EFL and its partners the EFL Trust; League Football Education (LFE); and the Wider Forum which includes, The Professional Footballers Association (PFA); The Football Foundation (FF); The League Managers Association (LMA); and representation from the NSPCC – Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU). The Football Safeguarding Forum seeks to provide a strategic approach across football and share best practice. The EFL has developed, and will continually review, a booklet “Safeguarding Children and Young People Guidance to Member Clubs” this document provides information on what clubs must have in place to meet their legal responsibilities. The guidance also endorses and promotes the Safeguarding Policy and Procedures developed across Affiliated Football in addition to those produced by The Football Association. This ensures that we have a proactive and integrated approach to safeguarding everybody within football. It recognises that professional clubs have a duty of care to all children, young people and adults at risk who participate in activities delivered by them and it outlines the arrangements clubs should have in place to meet that duty. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT The EFL Youth Development department supports EFL Clubs in all aspects of their operations within the Academy System. The aim of the Academy system is to help young players maximise their potential in football, education and life with well-being and personal development at its heart. The aim is to develop well-rounded individuals as well as high quality players. Clubs provide expert services, support and advice to Academy Players and their parents, establishing the platform for every young player to enjoy and value their Academy experience. The EFL’s ultimate aim is to deliver more and better home grown players which will in turn deliver benefits to both domestic league football at all levels and the national team. SAFETY AND SECURITY The EFL is committed to working with Clubs and partners to ensure fixtures are safe and enjoyable for spectators from all communities. We have robust working arrangements with a number of partners which includes the Football Safety Officers Association (FSOA), Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA), the Football Association, the Premier League, Kick it Out, Police Forces and of course the 72 member clubs of the EFL. Through the Safety and Security Advisor we conduct match inspections to ensure that individual clubs are well positioned to ensure their operations are a safe and enjoyable experience for all spectators. We work with Clubs on a number of initiatives to promote safety and security which has included training of stewards and security staff, reducing the numbers of pyrotechnics discharged within grounds and dealing effectively with any occurrences of hate crimes and discriminatory behaviour amongst spectators. The EFL provides ground regulations to its members, which set out key requirements in respect of matchday protocol including spectator conduct, audio/visual restrictions and image rights, prohibited items and reinforces the key principles of stadium safety. The EFL holds five competition Finals at Wembley Stadium each season and we work closely with many partners, including Wembley, to ensure our events are an enjoyable experience for all spectators. MATCH OFFICIALS All refereeing appointments are handled by Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO). Match observers are appointed to each EFL match and provide a report on the match officials’ performance together with a report of any extraordinary incident which may have taken place. Club managers also compile a report on the Referees’ performance and all of this data helps to produce a ‘merit list’ of match officials on which appointments, retention or reclassification are based. Clubs are encouraged to provide constructive feedback on match officials and dialogue is encouraged with PGMOL. The EFL Referees’ Manager works with his group in a bid to constantly improve standards and support the development of match officials. OFFICIAL CHARITY PARTNER For 2016/17 Season Prostate Cancer UK are the Official Charity Partner of the EFL. Prostate cancer is a disease that will affect 1 man in 8 in their lifetime. The money they generate through fundraising supports research to find better ways of diagnosing and treating prostate cancer, and helping men affected by the disease. So far to date the partnership with the EFL has raised over £2M. The EFL is watched by over 16 million fans a season of which 77% are men, approximately a quarter of which are over 45.