Nick Mernock has recently been named as the new Chairman of the Everton Fans' Forum, so evertonfc.com sat down with him to find out what he intends to achieve during his tenure.
Congratulations on your appointment Nick. Tell us a little bit about how you became an Evertonian?
Thank you! I became an Evertonian in the late 60's, after an FA Cup game against Tranmere Rovers. My dad took me to that game and instantly, like most Evertonians, I was hooked on the atmosphere, the ground and the great players that are still my heroes on the pitch.
From there, it’s just spiralled through from going to the game myself, going with my wife and now going with son - it’s a whole family thing which I think most Evertonians find is the same for them.
How long have you been involved with the Forum?
I saw the set up a few years ago; I applied and was accepted second time around. I’ve done one year so far and I find it an interesting challenge and certainly something I’d recommend to most Evertonians to participate in if they can.
It was an honour really to be asked and voted for by my colleagues on the forum, particularly after one year. My role is now more to assist the process and hopefully enable a lot of very enthusiastic Evertonians to make a difference and contribute to the Club.
What are you looking to introduce now you are chairman?
For me personally, Chair is a lovely position but it’s like the conductor of a band - there are a number of experienced people who are part and parcel of the Forum. What we are trying to do at the moment is work through a number of projects that we are going to drive ourselves, in conjunction with the Club, our contacts and hopefully the help of other supporters.
We want to look at retail, away fan initiatives, the relationship with Supporters’ Clubs but mostly the matchday experience. I think the key element of the Forum is that it’s driven by Evertonians - it’s to make sure they come to the game, enjoy that experience, either as a repeat customer or for the first time, and we want it to be something that people will remember. The Forum is a major part in making that experience the best it can be.
Taking matchday experience as an example, the Club works hard on being able to produce a memorable matchday, but things can always improve can’t they?
I think so; it’s the lovely thing about being a football supporter. From your perspective you know what makes a great day for you and that’s a lot of what we need to find out. The Forum has it’s contacts, it links into supporters’ clubs and it utilises people to get those experiences and that knowledge to ensure we get as many Evertonians contributing to ensuring the best possible experience. So we need to factor in everything, whether it’s food, the style of programmes, ticket prices, accessibility – what is best for them. The only way we can do that is by getting the most views as possible.
Why should Evertonians join the new Fans' Panel?
I think it’s a great opportunity. One of the projects at the moment is trying to link the fans, surveys and a number of issues through the Forum so that we make sure we can contact people. We’ll be looking for as many opportunities as possible to utilise as many fans as we can so I would implore people to join the Panel.
The more people who contribute, the stronger and better it makes the Fans’ Forum so I’d encourage everybody, if you have a view, to register and contribute to a number of projects that we are going to be running over the next 12 to 18 months.
Join now by clicking here.