Premier League clubs fared poorly in the latest Fan Engagement Index, with only two ranking in the top 25.
The index scores clubs in the top four divisions of English football using publicly available data on their dialogue, governance and transparency in fan engagement.
Everton and Brentford were the only two top-flight clubs to rank in the top 25 of the index, 23rd and 25th respectively, while Newcastle United and Leeds United are now in the bottom four of the table.
The owner of Think Fan Engagement, which produces the index, Kevin Rye, said: “The Fan Engagement Index was created as a positive way to make clubs take fan engagement more seriously, with an ambition to place it at the centre of everything they do.
“I’m not convinced we’re there yet, as can be seen by too many clubs still not – publicly at least – meeting fairly basic standards of engagement with their fans.”
Ranking first once again are Exeter City, with Carlisle United in second place for the second year in a row.
AFC Wimbledon maintain third place while Bradford City have broken into the top 10 for the first time, posting a 50 point increase – one of a number of EFL clubs who have shown significant improvements including Swindon Town, who saw a huge 100-point, 72-place rise from 92nd up to 20th place.
Bottom of the table are Hartlepool United, with the first zero score in the Index’s history.
“But we know huge change is possible,” Rye continued.
“You only have to look at Swindon Town under Clem Morfuni and Rob Angus to see it can be done. It’s not a matter of size, it’s a matter of willingness.
“They chose to embrace fan engagement at the heart of their business model, and it’s paying off.
“The same can be said of clubs like Bradford City and Bristol Rovers. Both were languishing towards the bottom of the table in 2018/2019, but now they’re comfortably amongst the best twenty clubs in the country.”