Northampton Town are pleased to confirm they have received the first report of the season from the EFL and following a mystery shopper visit have been placed 2nd in Sky Bet League Two out of 24 clubs and 17th out of all 72 EFL clubs for the matchday experience offered to families at Sixfields.
The EFL send mystery shoppers out to all clubs twice a season to experience a matchday for themselves and to send reports back to the EFL. These reports form part of the annual EFL Family Excellence award process.
Some highlights from what the mystery shopper wrote in their report:
"From the first impression and the welcome on the website ‘Football is a family game, and we are a family club aiming to make your matchday experience with us positive and fun’, you know your family is in safe hands at Northampton Town.”
“A club with great levels of family engagement over recent seasons and another excellent report this time out. Over the phone, via email and face-to-face on the day, the assessor and his family felt valued at every step. Steve (a steward on the day) was exceptional and is mentioned several times for the kindness and assistance he showed.
“The Junior Passport and Catch it with Clarence are both thoughtful and effective initiatives (to the extent that the assessor and his family have been talking about the visit ever since). The five-a-side, inflatable goals and the 'hit the target' game were all great activities and the club also makes sure the fans have the opportunity to provide feedback.
"This is a club that is proud of its history on the pitch but also promotes the great work it continues to do off it, in the wider community.
"Northampton Town set out with the aim to make matchdays ‘positive and fun’. It is safe to say the club matched its targets and are a club focussed on family."
The club scored an overall mark of 8.3/10 with the EFL average of 7.4/10 in this report, with the full report expected to be out later in the season.
Chief Executive James Whiting said: "It is very important for us as a club to provide a welcoming environment and experience for families and this first report backs up our belief that we do offer such a welcome."
"We work hard to bring supporters the best matchday experience possible and it is always rewarding to see us ranked highly by independent mystery visitors who experience a matchday at Sixfields for themselves.
"Attendances are on the increase at Sixfields and we are sure the areas picked up by this experience plays a part in that. Last season saw our biggest fourth tier average attendance since the 2005/06 season, even beating the average attendance in the 2015/16 League 2 title winning season, while this season our average home league attendance for the first nine home games was 5,135, that's up from 5,036 last season."
Chairman Kelvin Thomas added: “So much credit has to go to James and his team for this high praise. We speak often about how important it is throughout the club to follow through with our Community beliefs.
“After receiving our National and European Community awards last month the football club is continuing to be known as one of the leading Community clubs in the country and now with this independent praise for what we do on a matchday, it continues to highlight the club we have become.
"This doesn't happen by accident and we need to thank all the staff and all the volunteers who work so very hard to help the club to achieve these wonderful accolades."
If you wish to bring your family to taste our highly rated matchday experience for yourselves, please check out the TICKETS section of this website for more details.