There are a huge number of reasons why people go to football matches and there are many different types of football supporter, writes Cathy Long, Head of Supporter Services at the Premier League, on the BBC Sport website.
The Premier League and its member clubs are working harder than ever to understand why fans attend games and how we can make their match-day experience as positive as possible.
Fans tell us that the overall experience is what is important, because it is what stays with a family or a first-time fan long after the final whistle has been blown and is what makes them come back again and again.
Every fan knows the result of a match is never guaranteed, but if someone wants their child to start following their team, then having a fantastic time – win, lose or draw – is what may count.
These are challenging times economically and supporters have never been more conscious of what they are spending their money on and what they are getting in return.
With that in mind, Premier League clubs have never been more determined to appreciate fans and avoid taking them for granted. Price is a major factor in any supporter’s decision when it comes to attending a game of football, but it is not always the most important one.
For many years, the expectations of core fans when they went to a match was very low, beyond what happened on the field of play.
But what we have begun to see in the past five years is a genuine recognition from clubs that the match-day experience goes much further than purely the 90 minutes on the pitch. >>>Article continues at BBC.co.uk>>>
NB: Cathy Long joined the international speaking line up at our inaugural Fan Experience Forum to explain the Premier League’s innovative VisitFootball project.
- Four clubs receive inaugural VisitFootball awards
- Fan Experience Forum heads to Etihad Stadium, Manchester for 2013
- “The changing face of football crowds” – Fan Experience Forum co-host featured on the BBC