VisitFootball, a joint venture between the Premier League and the national tourism board VisitEngland, has announced Arsenal Football Club as ‘Club of the Year’ for providing outstanding customer service.

VisitFootball has been assessing the care that customers receive at football grounds since August 2010 and for the first time has recognised Premier League stadia with four awards.

A panel of industry experts from the tourism, football and customer service industries voted Arsenal the VisitFootball Club of the Year for their “simply outstanding service”. Three other Premier League clubs won Best Fan Innovation, Warmest Welcome and Unsung Hero awards.

VisitFootball has adapted VisitEngland’s ‘Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme,’ which is used to assess other tourist attractions such as theatres and museums, specifically for football stadia.

All 20 clubs in the Barclays Premier League were judged by a professional tourism assessor across eight areas of the supporter match experience, such as ticketing, stewarding, catering, toilets and the club shop.

Commenting on Arsenal’s award, the judging panel said: “Arsenal was simply outstanding in every area of customer service. From the moment the assessors booked their tickets to when they left the ground, Arsenal were on their A game.

"Their staff at every level from stewards to catering and cleaners to retail were very impressive. They clearly have a culture of high standards at Emirates Stadium and their professionalism shines through."

Chief executive of Arsenal Football Club, Ivan Gazidis said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be awarded ‘Club of the Year’ in this exciting new venture. It’s fantastic news for everybody connected to the Club – particularly our staff and those who perform matchday roles and drive the Club’s vision and values to make our supporters proud.

"We have introduced a number of innovations over the last couple of seasons such as changes to our ticketing model in close consultation with supporters groups and an improved retail experience to name just two. Improving the Arsenal fan experience at large is one of the Club’s key priorities in which we’re investing heavily to constantly improve.”

VisitEngland commended the improvement in customer care since the scheme started two years ago, hailing the Premier League for taking the care of supporters visiting its stadia so seriously.

The success of the scheme in addressing standards of customer care in the Barclays Premier League is such that it is to be expanded this season to include the assessment of facilities for away support, accessibility and hospitality.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Oct 2012