Brentford Football Club has given its support to the introduction of the Premier League’s new fan engagement standard (FES).
The FES is the latest in a series of league-wide measures designed to reinforce clubs’ commitment to ensuring long-term meaningful engagement with supporters.
Clubs initially endorsed the development of the FES at the Premier League AGM in June 2022 and it is now being introduced following a period of detailed planning.
Brentford’s commitment to fan engagement
Brentford FC has a long history of working closely with its fans.
Following the purchase of the club from its Supporters' Trust Bees United in 2012, Matthew Benham agreed that they should retain a ‘special share’ in the club, providing fans with the right to veto the sale of the stadium unless certain conditions are met.
Bees United also retains a seat on the club’s main board of directors as the fans’ representative.
Chief executive Jon Varney is the club’s nominated board-level official for fan engagement and the club also has a team in place dedicated to managing its engagement with supporters. These include staff from the box office; fan and community relations; operations; EDI; and retail and marketing.
In line with the Premier League’s FES guidelines, Brentford will publish a fan engagement plan outlining its priorities ahead of the 2023/24 season.
Our Fan Advisory Board
Brentford’s new fan advisory board (FAB) will play an important role in its approach to fan consultation, ensuring that fans continue to influence decision making at the club.
The FAB will be made up of 12 representatives from the club’s two main official supporters’ groups: Brentford Independent Association of Supporters (BIAS) and Bees United, including a co-chair from each group.
The composition of the group, which will aim to meet quarterly, is currently being worked on and will be communicated in due course.
Brentford’s first FAB meeting will take place in April 2023. Topics for discussion at FAB meetings will be agreed in advance and will cover such matters as the club’s strategic vision and objectives; operational matchday and non-matchday issues; ticketing and club updates; and other priorities and plans.
The FAB will continue to be supported and advised by a number of working groups in particular areas such as ticketing, food and drink, fan atmosphere and the promotion of inclusion for women and girls.
Jon Varney said: “At Brentford, we are proud to have a long history of working closely with our fans and were delighted to have achieved the highest scores in Premier League club for matchday fan experience for the second season in a row.
“We welcome the introduction of the Premier League’s fan engagement standard which will help us to formalise our approach to fan engagement and strengthen the existing dialogue we already have with our supporters.
“Those fans involved to date in our working groups and with Bees United and BIAS dedicate a huge amount of time and energy to help us improve, bring forward ideas and challenge us.
"Our discussions, debates and disagreements always help us to develop and refine our plans and policies.
"We are thankful for that commitment and look forward to listening to, and co-operating with, the new board on strategic issues and projects as we continue to grow.
“We also look forward to working with our fan advisory board and with other clubs to learn and share best practices on fan engagement.”