Derby County is one of 63 EFL clubs to have been awarded Family Excellence status for the 2019/20 season, reflecting the club’s continued commitment to attracting and engaging families and young fans at Pride Park Stadium.

During what became an unprecedented season for EFL football, the scheme recognises that family engagement continued to thrive in 2019/20, despite supporters being unable to attend live fixtures for the final part of the campaign.

Derby received ‘mystery family’ visits during the 2019/20 season, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, with the assessors’ feedback and reports determining whether the club would achieve ‘Family Excellence’ status. The EFL’s Family Excellence Scheme sees each club assessed across a range of touchpoints, in order to reflect and report on the first-time family experience they encounter.

The club was provided the following feedback: “In a league where family excellence levels are believed to be the highest in Europe, Derby County are among the best.

“This is demonstrated in many ways, from the excellent family and first-time fan information on the website; the outstanding service over the phone and the chance to win a ‘first-time’ fan award; good engagement of younger fans over social media; a super-smooth parking experience; the family marquee and the fan zone outside of the stadium; a great range of refreshments; entertaining mascots and very engaging stewards.

“The club should be very proud of its performance in 2019/20.”

EFL CEO, David Baldwin said: “It is fantastic to see the continued dedication of EFL clubs to provide an exceptional matchday experience for families when attending fixtures across the League.

“I would like to congratulate all those that have achieved Family Excellence status for the 2019/20 season and Luton Town, Peterborough United and Plymouth Argyle for their respective awards, setting a consistently high standard for family engagement.

“We know nothing beats the joy of watching a live fixture and the EFL and its Clubs look forward to welcoming the return of fans to stadia, when it is safe to do so. Up until the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak it is clear from the evidence gathered throughout the Family Excellence Scheme, that young fans and families were experiencing a high standard of matchday experience across the League. It is testament to clubs’ hard work that the standard of experience offered to families continues to rise, and this will undoubtedly help to ensure a welcoming environment will be provided for all families, once we are able to return to stadia.”

The ratings saw Derby finish seventh in the Championship, as well as eleventh across the EFL overall.