Direct News: FA plots revamp of fan club

The Football Association is searching for a direct marketing agency to lead a major overhaul of its englandfans supporters club.

As the FA's official supporters club, englandfans offers its 10,000-plus members access to exclusive merchandise, competitions and match tickets.

The FA is keen to expand the scheme as part of an increased focus on customer relationship management, and is planning a relaunch early next year. It is not known whether the club's name will be changed.

Englandfans also runs a loyalty scheme that awards members 'caps' for attending matches, increasing their chances of being able to purchase tickets for the most in-demand England fixtures.

Several direct agencies have been approached about pitching for the work.

Its direct activity is currently managed in-house and through EHS Brann; it is not known whether the agency will be involved in the relaunch.

Englandfans was established in 2001 after the England Members Club was disbanded due to Home Office concerns that its membership included several known hooligans.

All its members were forced to reapply to join englandfans.

The club has been no stranger to controversy in its four-year existence.

About 100 of its members were barred from attending Euro 2004 in Portugal after the FA ran its membership list through the Police National Computer of banned fans.

More than 100,000 England fans are expected to attend next year's World Cup in Germany.

Englandfans is planning activity around matches, including the distribution of 10,000 postcards and T-shirts featuring Basil Fawlty's 'Don't mention the war' quip translated into German.

The FA denied it had plans to relaunch the club.

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