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West Brom bring back fan zone

A fan zone will return to The Hawthorns next season – with CEO Ron Gourlay admitting he has been left surprised by Albion's lack of pre-match entertainment.

Albion chief executive Ron Gourlay. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Albion chief executive Ron Gourlay. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The former Manchester United, Chelsea and Reading official said when he became chief executive back in February that he is determined to rectify a 'disconnect between the club and its supporters.'

And the return of a fan zone – which Albion haven't had for three seasons – is one thing Gourlay is working on as he bids to restore some pride to the club's supporters.

The fan zone will provide family-friendly entertainment and refreshments to supporters before every weekend and Friday night fixture.

"It was a surprise to me on joining the club that we did not provide pre-match entertainment – and in the many meetings I have had with supporters’ groups the return of the Fanzone has been a recurring subject matter," Gourlay said.

“We have listened to our supporters, and I am pleased we will be able to provide a Fanzone next season.

“It is imperative in this day and age that we offer a service that enhances the matchday experience beyond the 90 minutes of football.

"Not only will the Fanzone return but my hope is that it returns as one of the best in the country. Providing a safe, fun, family space prior to games will also help to ease traffic issues with supporters arriving earlier to enjoy the Fanzone.

“We have been working with The Albion Foundation to ensure it is a family-friendly environment which can be enjoyed by supporters of all ages.”

The fan zone will be free to enter on the presentation of a valid home ticket and will be located at the site of Greggs on the corner of Birmingham Road and Halfords Lane.

Away supporters from the vast majority of clubs will also be able to enter.

Supporters will be able to enjoy food and drinks, as well as a range of child-friendly activities, while a big screen will provide live broadcasts of televised matches being played elsewhere in the country.

During the winter, a marquee will be in place to protect people from bad weather.

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