More to be done on the “matchday experience” for the fan by European Clubs

European sports fans believe the match day experience is the lowest priority for club owners, with the majority claiming that ‘foreign owners do not have the best interests of their club at heart’, according to the findings of a new survey by Havas Sports & Entertainment, organiser of the fourth annual Global Sports Forum Barcelona (GSFB).

In the survey sports fans ranked the ‘match-day experience’ bottom in a list of club owners’ priorities behind ‘selling merchandise’, ‘maximising ticket sales’, ‘signing sponsors’ and ‘winning matches’. In addition 63.3% of respondents stated that they ‘don’t want foreign owners in their domestic league’, with 52.1% claiming that ‘foreign owners do not have the best interests of their club at heart’ and more than half (50.8%) worried that clubs would be left ‘in turmoil’ when a foreign owner leaves.

The research was carried out amongst sports fans across the European markets of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK as part of the GSFB’s focus on the globalisation of sport. The findings, along with other topics affecting the sports industry, will be discussed by the Forum’s 1,000-plus delegates, including leading rights holders, brand representatives, athletes and personalities from the world of sport. The event takes place at the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya in Barcelona from March 7-9.

“Technology and globalisation have helped more sports clubs reach a wider fan base, but all club owners must not forget their regular and dedicated fan base, who deserve the best possible match day experience,” said Lucien Boyer, global president and CEO of Havas Sports & Entertainment and general commissioner of the Global Sports Forum Barcelona. “A club’s most committed and passionate supporters are an integral part of its identity and can be one of the main reasons why a club can gain global appeal. Owners, whilst focussing on the team’s development on the pitch and commercial potential off it, must remember to keep its loyal fan base happy and work with them to grow the club

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