AMIDST the dramatic end to Argyle’s Sky Bet League One campaign, it was announced that the club became one of only nine member clubs to have achieved Gold Award status in the EFL’s 2019 Family Excellence Scheme.
The scheme represents the EFL’s commitment to make attending football matches a more family-friendly experience, which is also firmly in-line with Argyle’s Vision and Values. In the 12 years that the award has been in operation, the club has achieved Family Excellence status 10 times – having missed out twice in 2011 and 2012, largely as a result of issues caused by administration.
This year, though, is the first time in the club’s history that it has won the exclusive Gold Award. The second of a three-part series, we delve deep into ten different categories that make up the EFL assessors’ report on Argyle’s match-day experience for families. Today, Stadium Vicinity, Retail and Refreshments.
In the category of Stadium Vicinity, Argyle scored 8/10 on two consecutive occasions – once visited by a guest family, and once by an EFL assessor. The first visit, conducted by the EFL assessor, occurred in September, for Argyle’s 3-2 defeat by Doncaster Rovers at Home Park.
The assessor outlined our staff’s commitment to a positive experience, saying that “customer service was superb.”
The family who conducted the second visit, the last-gasp Westcountry Derby draw with Bristol Rovers, agreed, praising the “general friendliness of staff in all areas, including retail, security, stewards and – especially – the players.”
In many ways, it has been a challenging season on the retail front, with Argyle Superstore staff having to contend with moving into their brand-new shop midway through the campaign. That said, it was another area in which the assessors spoke highly of the Pilgrims, with one visit occurring before the move, and one after. Despite the disruption, this area also scored 8/10 on both visits.
Speaking on their visit to the previous facilities, located behind the Mayflower Grandstand, the EFL assessor said: “The facilities and customer service were excellent. It was also pleasing to see pocket money items available to buy.”
By the time the family assessors attended in March, the club shop had settled into its new facilities, located behind the famous art deco façade. Upon visiting these facilities, the family praised the “well organized and designed shop floor. The staff were helpful, there was a high quality of goods, and there was a good range of promotions.”
The family visitors were also very impressed with the practicality and value of the Pilgrims’ refreshment kiosks within the stadium, scoring it 8/10.
“There are shelves that you can put food on while consuming food. This is a very easy solution and should be copied by other clubs.” The EFL assessor also awarded 8/10 on their visit, praising the “good value” and “friendly staff.”
The club is proud of the results, which placed us second in League One, and fifth in the EFL overall for families’ match-day experience. That said, we are always working on ways to improve visiting Home Park, and hope to make 2019-20 even better.
Interested in sampling our award-winning match-day experience for yourself? Take advantage of our Early Bird season-ticket discount up until Wednesday, 22 May.