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FAMILY EXCELLENCE: United receive award

Club delighted to receive latest Family Excellence Award for 22/23

18 May 2023

Club News

FAMILY EXCELLENCE: United receive award

Club delighted to receive latest Family Excellence Award for 22/23

18 May 2023

Following two independent inspections during the season, the club is delighted to have again been recognised for its match day experience for families by receiving the EFL Family Excellence Award.

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Every year each EFL club has two unannounced ‘mystery shopper visit’ and receive feedback, reports and recommendations on how to improve. We are then benchmarked against other clubs in League Two, and across the rest of the EFL.

The club has now received the results of the second visit of independent, mystery shoppers and their overall rating for the 22/23 season. This latest visit was at the Grimsby home win on 4 March 2023, which saw over 6,000 home fans attend on the day, and a crowd of close to 6,500. 

Looking at the two visits combined over the season, we improved by place to be ranked 6th of 24 (21/22:7th) in League Two.

Overall, we ranked and 32nd of 72 in the EFL (unchanged), with a score of 8.0 overall (21/22: 8.4) and a touchpoint score of 7.7 (21/22: (L2 average 7.2 and EFL average 7.6). 

“This season's Family Excellence assessment visits once again highlight the great engagement work done at Brunton Park. Information provision is strong, travel support is exceptional and the quality of the junior fan experience is evident. It's also clear that the club is continuing to evolve the experience to keep up with family expectations.”

The detailed scores in 12 assessed key areas, with the comparison with League Two and the wider EFL is contained in the summary report, can be found HERE.


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The first visit covered the drawn home game on 3 September 2022 against Rochdale. It assessed us as being ranked at 6th of 24 in League Two, and 32nd of 72 in the EFL, with a touchpoint score of 7.8 (L2 average 7.0 and EFL average 7.4).  Click HERE to view that report.

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “This latest independent report is again very positive. It shows the continuing hard work and improvement that goes on behind the scenes off-the-field, week in, week out. It is credit to the staff that they continue to perform at a high level. It’s excellent for their work to be recognised again.

“This year has been a great success with the new Fan Zone and much improved catering offering. With new developments to the ticketing system recently introduced, and a new e-store coming very soon, we expect improvements in those areas to follow. 

“We are working on plans to make the Fan Zone bigger and better in 2023/24. We also understand that personal interaction with fans, by all of us at every touch point – the Blues Store, with stewards and catering staff - is an area where we need to do better.

“We are continually striving to improve. The independent benchmarking and balanced, unbiased feedback is valuable. It gives recommendations, ideas and feedback for us to get better again, as well as allowing us to see how we compare with other clubs.

“The latest report highlights things for us to look at and improve on and we will look to achieve that so that we score better again next year.

“We will do this and work together with fans through the Carlisle United Supporters’ Groups (CUSG) to make sure fans continue to be at the heart of the development we make to the match day experience.”



The purpose of this award and inspection process is to help improve levels of family engagement at the club by providing detailed feedback on every element of the new family experience (from finding information to leaving your stadium after the match).

The report makes clear recommendations on what could be done to address any ‘gaps’ and strengthen the experience.

The report gives an overall score and individual scores for 12 specific areas.

It includes a two-page summary of the touchpoints, with very detailed assessor feedback and recommendations for improvements (not published for internal use).

Also provided is a written summary as well as benchmarking and historical performance information.

If we achieve the required standards across the two visits, then we can be awarded the EFL Family Excellence Award.

The club has achieved the Family Excellence Award in every year bar one since it we established over a decade ago.

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