Introducing Stoke City's Supporter Liaison Officer, Anthony Emmerson...
ANTHONY'S role is to provide supporters with a link into the Club, allowing fans to put their thoughts and views forward on any subject wish.
The role which is backed by UEFA and the Premier League is designed to ensure that fans have a dedicated point of contact at Stoke City.
The SLO will best represent the needs of fans within the Club and ensure that the most common issues/ideas are raised at the highest level at the bet365 Stadium.
Anthony is based at the bet365 Stadium and is accessible to supporters whether by telephone on (01782) 592135, via email at [email protected] or face to face at the stadium should you wish to call in to discuss any issue involving your dealings with Stoke City either on a matchday or otherwise.
"I'd like to think that I'm a 'people person' and so meeting supporters is definitely the highlight."Anthony Emmerson
Job description & duties on a daily basis
"I'm the Potters' Supporter Liaison Officer and most of my time is spent meeting with, or communicating with, our fans. This Club exists for its supporters and it's important that we have quality two-way communications in order to collect regular feedback on our operations. This way we can be sure that we're collecting the best possible ideas for further improving things like catering, ticketing, car parking and other important areas. It's also important to recognise that this Club needs to do all it can to grow the fans of tomorrow. So, as well as looking after the regular attenders, I'm also involved in initiatives to get new supporters to the bet365 Stadium. For example, I manage the group sales team and spend lots of my day making sure that we've got plenty of schools, sports clubs and other organisations coming along to the stadium each and every matchday."
"Since leaving University, all my employment has been focussed on customer care roles, with most of my working spent with Middlesbrough Football Club. I had 11 years at the Riverside where, certainly in the early years, there were good moments on the pitch with Steve McClaren's teams winning the Carling Cup in 2004 and getting to the UEFA Cup Final in 2006. Off the field, I was very proud to lead a successful era of fan engagement on Teesside, which included Boro winning the prestigious Football League Family Club of Year Award for 2013/14."
"My role is anything but 9-5pm. I'm at the stadium during regular work hours Monday to Friday and, of course, on matchdays. However, evenings and weekends are sometimes spent out in the community, meeting with supporter groups or attending events on behalf of the Club."
What do you enjoy most about your role?
"I'd like to think that I'm a 'people person' and so meeting supporters is definitely the highlight. I was brought up on the terraces of the 'other' Victoria Ground (Hartlepool United) and so I'm in my element when enjoying the football banter with Stokies in and around the stadium on matchdays."
Do you have a fulfilling moment during your time in the role?
"As a relative 'newbie' to the Club I'd like to think that the best moments are very much ahead of me. However, if I had to pick some activity that stands out then there are a couple that spring to mind. Firstly, I was knocked for six by the sense of community here on matchday (and the noise!) and so I raised the idea of a special community game or as we ended up calling it the 'I Am Stoke' fixture. It was against Hull City last season and seemed to capture the imagination of our fans. In fact, it was our biggest home fan attendance of 2013/14. More recently, I've been involved in some very rewarding work with our disabled supporters. Many fans will know that some disabled fans have asked for us to address the issue of sightlines from the disabled decks and I've been in regular discussions with some brilliant people. The work is ongoing, but both sides are working together, with a real united front, and that has been really satisfying."
Plans to progress the Club's influences with supporters?
"I'm sure the Stoke City supporters will find it even easier to engage with the Club moving forward. Whether people want to speak with us after each game, or once a year, we've got to keep finding the perfect way to collect feedback and ideas; whether through emails, telephone calls or face to face meets. I'm interested in some of the survey work undertaken in the past here at Stoke, and moving forward I'm looking to deliver our biggest and most well received consultation yet! I also am really proud to work with the Supporters Council. I'd challenge any supporter to find another Premier League club that offers fans such regular meeting with the Chief Executive where real important decisions are shaped and implemented. This really is fan engagement at its very, very best, and I look forward to seeing what future successes that the Club and the Supporters Council can achieve together."
If you have any queries then please contact Anthony on (01782) 592135 or via email at [email protected]