SWINDON Town have finished bottom of a fan engagement index for the entire English professional football pyramid two years in a row.

In the 2018-19 season, the County Ground club finished in 92nd place behind now defunct Bury FC and Macclesfield Town. Swindon then went up one place after Bury lost their professional status, however, the club still scored nothing in two of the three main categories – dialogue and transparency.

Governance was the only category in which Town scored any points at all, but 10 points out of 80 was all the club were awarded out of a possible 240 overall.

Think Fan Engagement Index (TFEI) – run by AFC Wimbledon fan Kevin Rye – aims to “make fan engagement more easily understood, measured and improved” but say they are “not only about league tables”.

Rye’s company says it “also picks out some of the detail of what clubs are doing, and shares it more widely than might otherwise happen.”

Explaining why the index was created, Rye said: “The point of the index is to hold a mirror up to clubs and say: “I’m telling you what you do.” These are not subjective judgements. OK, the score is, but that was created with an expert in the field.

“But I’m just trying to hold up a mirror and say: “what are you doing and are you doing it?”

Rye then discussed the club at the foot of his index and how previous owners could have helped avoid issues with communication further down the line.

He said: “I’ve known Swindon through my job for the best part of 17 years, and there has only been one period where things were OK.

“At that moment, everything was great but perhaps what should have been done there was the club instituted some permanent changes.

“So under owner X, they say fan engagement is a critical part of the football club. It’s like a supermarket putting up a sign saying: “we don’t want your custom.” It doesn’t make any sense.

“So owner X says we’re going to meet with the fans regularly and sign an enforceable agreement that says we’ve got rights and responsibilities as a club, and so do the fans.

“If that had been in place, when owner Y comes in, it’s much harder to move it and change it.

“A lot of clubs don’t know how to do this, and they’re not being helped by governing bodies. But the lion’s share of responsibility does lie with the club, and the club has to want to make an effort.

“But if a club only scores 10, there are wider issues at play.”