Liverpool are implementing some significant changes behind the scenes to improve supporter relations.
Following on from a year-long research initiative conducted alongside market research firm Populus, the club identified a list of ways to improve their relationships with the fans, with an eye toward greater transparency and accountability.
To that end, Liverpool announced the launch of a new supporter liaison office this weekend to implement the recommendations from the Populus/LFC report. The centerpiece of the new office’s remit will be to establish new fan forums on a wide range of important issues, including ticket prices & availability, the stadium, local fan engagement, and diversity & inclusion. These forums will have between eight and twelve members from the club and the supporter base, with permanent seats being given to the Spirit of Shankly, the Liverpool Supporters’ Trust, and the Supporters’ Committee.
Club CEO Peter Moore will also convene an annual fan summit and will feature club directors and senior officials. It will be held at the end of every season at Anfield and will act as a sort of post-mortem from the fans’ perspective, as well as a platform to address any outstanding issues brought up in the fan forums.
The new Club and Supporter Liaison office will be headed up by Tony Barrett, longtime Reds beat reporter and formerly with the Echo and the Times. He’ll assume his new role next month will coordinate the club’s fan engagement programmes and establish an ongoing dialogue with supporters.
Liverpool communications director Susan Black said that the club was eager to get this right, even if that meant the gestation period for this new engagement model ran long.
“This extensive independent research programme took nine months, during which time Populus engaged with fans at home and around the world in order to build a robust picture of what the issues are that matter. They also gathered opinions on how fans want us to engage with them. This new engagement model will give us a more open and robust platform to engage with more of our supporters on more of the issues that matter to them. Tony will drive this for the club and we are delighted that he will be joining us.”
The forums will be held throughout the 2017-18 season, with updates on their proceedings and information of how to get involved posted on the official club website.