For the second consecutive year, 63 EFL Clubs have been awarded Family Excellence status, in recognition of their continued commitment to attracting families and young fans, and the engaging level of matchday experience they provide.
EFL Clubs received ‘mystery family’ visits during the 2019/20 campaign prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, with their feedback and reports again determining whether each respective Club would achieve ‘Family Excellence’ status.
During what became an unprecedented season for EFL football in 2019/20, the scheme again recognised that family engagement has continued to thrive across the League, despite supporters being unable to attend live fixtures for the final part of the campaign.
The EFL Family Excellence Scheme sees each Club assessed across a range of touchpoints, in order to reflect and report on the first-time family experience they encounter. The programme empowers Clubs to think differently about their interactions with family supporters, encourages them to innovate and consider the specific wants and needs of the family unit and the matchday experience they offer, in order to attract, welcome and retain a new generation of supporters.
In addition to 63 EFL Clubs achieving Family Excellence status, ten Clubs received ‘Gold Award’ status for the exceptional family matchday experiences they provide, thereby showcasing the ‘best in class’ across the 2019/20 Season.
Further recognised for their outstanding efforts and strategies for capturing the imagination of young fans and families, three Clubs – who have all achieved the Family Excellence ‘Gold Award’ this season - have also recently been revealed as the divisional winners of the Family Club of the Year Award.
In the Championship, Luton Town impressed the judging team with their unwavering commitment and continuous innovation in order to deliver a first-class family experience at Kenilworth Road. Peterborough United’s new Fans 4 the Future initiative and the provision of first class matchday assistants on hand for families, earned the Club the award for League One and in League Two, now-promoted Plymouth Argyle received the award for their dedication to consistently improve facilities on offer to young Pilgrims, with the development of a dedicated Fan Zone area and the use of hugely popular mascot, Pilgrim Pete.
EFL CEO, David Baldwin said, “It is fantastic to see the continued dedication of EFL Clubs to provide an exceptional matchday experience for families when attending fixtures across the League.
“I would like to congratulate all those that have achieved Family Excellence status for the 2019/20 season and Luton Town, Peterborough United and Plymouth Argyle for their respective awards, setting a consistently high standard for family engagement.
“We know nothing beats the joy of watching a live fixture and the EFL and its Clubs look forward to welcoming the return of fans to stadia, when it is safe to do so. Up until the Covid pandemic outbreak it is clear from the evidence gathered throughout the Family Excellence Scheme, that young fans and families were experiencing a high standard of matchday experience across the League.
"It is testament to Clubs’ hard work that the standard of experience offered to families continues to rise, and this will undoubtedly help to ensure a welcoming environment will be provided for all families, once we are able to return to stadia.”
List of 2019/20 winning Clubs
Gold Award Winners:
Blackburn Rovers, Brentford, Cardiff City, Doncaster Rovers, Exeter City, Luton Town, Middlesbrough, Peterborough United, Plymouth Argyle, Queens Park Rangers.