The latest fan engagement-index rank the ‘Big Six’ in the bottom half

a new league table rating how football clubs engage with supporters places those 'big six' English teams firmly in the bottom half

Protests at Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have shown the discontent among supporters with United’s Supporters’ Trust writing to Red Devils’ co-owner Joel Glazer asking for better fan engagement.

With the concept of big six along with some other Spanish and Italian clubs having their own breakaway European Super League have broken fans trust in the club’s owners and management. The idea of the Super League was eventually scrapped off but it took a great toll on the fans of the club.

So, it is no surprise a new league table rating how football clubs engage with supporters places those ‘big six’ English teams firmly in the bottom half – with the message they are “failing fans to some extent”.

Protests at Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have shown the discontent among supporters with United’s Supporters’ Trust writing to Red Devils’ co-owner Joel Glazer asking for better fan engagement.

The Fan Engagement Index, which rates dialogue, governance and transparency, shows how the so-called Big Six compare to England’s 85 other professional clubs. Manchester City rated highest of the six at 46th, but that was still in the bottom half for the 2019-20 season.

Next is Arsenal at 47th, followed by Manchester United (59th), Tottenham (62nd), Liverpool (64th) and Chelsea (78th). Only City and Arsenal improved their scores from 2018-19.

The best-faring top flight teams from the 2019-20 season are Norwich (10th), Leicester (11th) and Everton (13th) with League Two Exeter City top of the table for the second year running.

Exeter are one of eight League One and League Two clubs who make up the top 10 and are partly run by supporters’ trusts or have fan representation on their boards. Reading are the highest-ranked Championship team in eighth.

Salford City – part-owned by several former Manchester United players including Gary and Phil Neville, Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield Wednesday, Macclesfield Town and Swindon Town make up the bottom five clubs.

Fan engagement consultant Kevin Rye, who compiled the index, said the results for the ‘big six’ showed they were “failing fans to some extent” but admitted “you did not need to look at the table for that” and “a lot of clubs aren’t exactly covering themselves in glory”.

All of the ‘big six’, except Tottenham, have apologised or showed regret for their part in the Super League. Chelsea announced on Tuesday that three supporter advisors will attend board meetings “to ensure general supporter sentiment is considered” while Liverpool have met one of its supporters’ groups to discuss changes to its structure.

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