Football club says technology is 12th man
Technology has been revealed as the secret weapon of one of the country’s most successful football teams.
AFC Fylde, in Lancashire, are currently riding high at the top of Conference North having won 13 and drawn five of their opening 19 games this season – scoring a net-bulging 59 goals in the process.
On Saturday they hammered Boston United 9-2 but chairman David Haythornthwaite told BusinessCloud that tech has been critical to the club’s success.
The club play at a new purpose-built £13million stadium at Mill Farm Sports Village, and owner Haythornthwaite said it was built to make watching football as easy and comfortable as possible.
“I can give my manager all the money in the world,” he says.
“I can’t control what happens on the pitch but I can control everything that happens off it. You’ve got to use technology. Technology is at the very heart of everything we do here.
“My concept was I started with a piece of land and I said ‘we play football 21 Saturdays a year so 343 days this building has got to work and be a business. We want to build an entertainment centre.”
In choosing a design for the stadium Haythornthwaite travelled the length and breadth of the country, visiting the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and MK Dons for inspiration.
The high-tech turnstiles, which were used at Twickenham in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, make it as easy as possible for people to watch football, from buying the ticket to getting into the stadium.
“With our systems you can go online and put the ticket for your match on to your mobile phone,” says Haythornthwaite.
“You come to the ground and scan it in from your phone. I want to make it as easy as possible for people to come. You can print it off like an airline ticket or you can have the ticket sent to you.
“This is technology at its highest level so it makes it easy for the fans.”
• The full story, including other examples of tech, is included in December’s edition of BusinessCloud. Subscribe here.
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