The EFL Enjoy the Match Campaign is an initiative that, for many seasons, has helped Clubs to promote a zero-tolerance policy on anti-social behaviour across EFL League stadia.
Launched in 2008 the Enjoy the Match campaign was born out of the EFL’s Family Excellence Awards Scheme, where ‘mystery family’ visits to all clubs had indicated that abusive language and aggressive behaviour in stadia and/or family areas played a big part in families’ decisions to attend football matches again in future.
The findings from family visits at that time revealed that ‘foul and abusive language created a negative impression at half of the 144 games assessed’. The ‘Enjoy the Match’ Campaign, was therefore launched to help Clubs provide key messaging in stadia, and seek to reduce and remove bad language and aggressive behaviour from family areas of grounds.
Central to the Enjoy the Match campaign is a ‘Code of Conduct’, which asks all supporters to encourage players, respect the match officials and help to create a great atmosphere within each stadium. Supporters are also encouraged to report any anti-social behaviour they witness and ask for any assistance from club stewards or other match day staff.
Junior and family attendance across the EFL has risen significantly over recent seasons. Feedback from recent EFL supporter surveys has shown that 100% of respondents who attend matches with children agree that the attitude and awareness of both supporters and club staff in helping to create a family experience was important to their matchday.
Now over a decade later, the message behind the campaign is as relevant as ever. The commitment across all of our Cubs that aggressive behaviour and abusive language is not tolerated within family areas, sends a powerful message that EFL stadia offer positive matchday experiences, where families feel engaged, safe and part of their club.