We’re delighted to announce that Rochdale Football Club has achieved Family Excellence Status for the 2021/22 season.
The club joins a record number of 65 EFL Clubs in achieving the accolade, including 12 clubs who have also been crowned as ‘Gold Award’ winners for their exemplary work in engaging families on matchdays.
Now in its 14th year, the Family Excellence Scheme is an ongoing consultation programme, which aims to drive continuous improvement and best practice in family engagement across the leagues.
The record-breaking number, up from 63 Clubs in 2019/20, recognises continuous improvement and best practice in family engagement across the leagues and supports clubs’ efforts to attract and retain young fans of the future.
Given the particularly challenging set of circumstances that society faced during the COVID-19 Pandemic, EFL clubs’ work to ensure supporters have been welcomed back safely, whilst boosting the matchday experience has been recognised across the scheme this season.
EFL Clubs received two ‘mystery family’ visits throughout the season, with their feedback and reports determining whether each respective club achieve ‘Family Excellence’ status. The ‘mystery family’ rates and scores across eight different areas, including first impressions/ the experience of purchasing a ticket, the social media/ website experience, facilities/ what’s on offer at the stadium and refreshments.
At Dale, seven of the eight areas were rated as ‘good’ (scores of 7/10 and 8/10), with the exception of refreshments, which received ‘excellent status’ (9/10)! The family wrote:
“The menu at Rochdale is excellent. The club are proud of their food and drink offer, and there is excellent variety for fans including children’s items, vegan items and limited edition items. Every child also gets free fruit, which is a lovely touch. They can also purchase pick and mix tubs. The items are well priced and are of good value. Lovely staff!”
Director Murray Knight, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to say how pleased we are to have received Family Excellence status for 2021/22.
“After fans were kept away for a season during Covid, it was brilliant to be able to welcome everyone back to the Crown Oil Arena. With some Covid restrictions still in place, our priority was making sure we were able to do that safely and within Government guidelines, while looking to return the matchday offerings to pre-pandemic standards, and this award shows that we were able to do that.
“But there’s still room for improvement and our aim, moving forward, is to continue exploring ways to enhance and add to our matchday experience for families and all supporters. Those discussions are already taking place and new ideas are being put forward, with the club working closely with Rochdale AFC Community Trust to deliver that.
“The majority of our scores were ‘good’ with one ‘excellent’. I hope this time next year we we will have a lot more in the excellent column, and that’s something we’re all striving to achieve!”
EFL Chief Executive, Trevor Birch, added: “I would like to congratulate the record number of clubs that have achieved Family Excellence status this season. Ensuring a memorable matchday experience is vital to attract the next generation of young fans so it’s great to see so many clubs excelling in this area.
“Fans returning to EFL clubs in their millions this season has been fantastic to see and club staff should be commended for going the extra mile to make the matchdays engaging for families attending live games.”