Partners from SD Europe‘s Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football project gathered once again in Dublin recently (November 18th and 19th).
Running from January 2016 until the end of next month (December 2017), the project brings together six member-run clubs and five national supporters organisations to focus on themes of Good Governance, Sustainable Finance and Member & Volunteer Engagement.
The workshop in Dublin gave everyone involved an opportunity to highlight the key activities that have made a positive impact on their own organisation as well as to explore how the sharing of best practice, connections and learning might continue beyond the end of the funding period.
Co-financed by the European Union via their Erasmus+ programme and Uefa, the project’s aim is to promote and support good governance in sport through training, education and exchange of national supporters’ organisation and member-owned clubs in seven countries.
The project is to achieve its objectives through:
- The development of a collaborative partnership between supporter-owned football clubs and national supporters organisations (NSOs), a network that will exist beyond the lifetime of the project and include other clubs and groups from across Europe.
- Delivering three workshops on: Good Governance, Sustainable Finance and Member & Volunteer Engagement.
- The support of volunteers at grassroots level, encouraging active citizenship as well as participation in sport and democratic processes.
- A series of one-to-one exchanges between member-run clubs and NSOs in order to see good practices and improvements in action.
- The development of an online training resource based on the training events and one-to-one exchanges.
- An improved understanding of the importance of evaluating both the project’s work and day-to-day work within partner clubs and supporters organisations.
- Disseminating the learnings and outcomes from all events throughout SD Europe’s growing network of clubs and supporters groups, and other relevant stakeholders.
The opening session focused on the specific highlights appreciated by each partner. It was agreed that the training workshops had covered relevant, useful content and that the opportunity to learn side-by-side with clubs and organisations of different sizes, backgrounds and objectives was of significant benefit to everyone involved.
The exchange visits between partners were highlighted as an essential part of the project, while learning and sharing of best practice also naturally spread into additional areas such as match night operations and community activities.
The second session was led by evaluation partners Substance. Getting a feel for the positives and challenges of the project overall, partners and attendees were asked to highlight key achievements, insights and areas of improvement for the project generally, SD Europe as primary co-ordinators and also for the European Commission as primary funders. The importance of feeding back considered and accurate statistics, numbers and insights into the project’s final report was also stressed.
The day’s third session of the day focused on the Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) role. With a number of European SLOs present and involved with the CSBGiF project, Lena Wiberg Gustafson – the lead SLO at Djurgardens IF – gave an overview of the impact the role has had for clubs and supporters alike in Sweden. SLOs from the League of Ireland were invited to attend, hear more about best practice in Sweden and discuss key pain points.
The final discussion of the day focused on establishing the project’s legacy and areas of interest for mutual learning in the coming months and years. Topics included comparative governance, financial best practice, succession & sustainability and board member education. All in all, a great day’s work!
“It was fantastic to have everyone together again in Dublin,” SD Europe‘s Acting CEO, Niamh O’Mahony, said. “There was a real sense throughout the workshop that partners are determined to keep the connections and learning going, which was a key objective of the activities to begin with. We look forward to sharing the project’s online tool and final report with everyone in due course.”
The final steps of the project will be the development and launch of an online training tool (which will be made available to the SD Europe network), as well as finalising the project’s final report and submitting the same to the European Commission.
For more information about the Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football project, visit the Our Project page. If you think the findings and outcomes of the project may be relevant to your organisation or club, be sure to get in touch with the team!