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Our History

SD Europe has already come a long way in its short history. Here’s a brief timeline of key milestones to date:

2018: The third meeting of the European SLO network meeting takes place in Rotterdam in June 2018. It is attended by SLOs from 13 countries as well guest speakers from Uefa and the European Think Tank of Football Safety and Security Experts.

2018: A new Erasmus+ project, LIAISE, begins. A unique two-year collaborative partnership, the project brings together supporters, football associations, football leagues and stakeholders, including Uefa and the EU Think Tank of Football Safety and Security Experts, to focus on the development of the supporter liaison officer (SLO) role for the first time.

2017: SD Europe’s Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football Erasmus+ project comes to a formal end, though the impacts and benefits will be felt for some time to come (Read the final report). In the meantime, a new Erasmus+ application – for a project on the SLO role – is successful.  

2017: The second Uefa SLO conference takes place in Vienna in November 2017 with the agenda and speakers organised by SD Europe.

2017: The organisation marked ‘10 Years: A decade of Service to Supporters‘ with a session dedicated towards the past, present and future of SD Europe at the home of Schalke 04 in Gelsenkirchen.

2017: The second ever meeting of Europe’s SLO network takes place in Gelsenkirchen in June 2017 with SLOs from eleven countries. It follows on from the inaugural meeting in Stockholm 12 months previous.

2018 SLO network meeting in Rotherdam

2016: In December 2016, as part of the Takkula Report, the European Parliament approves a motion (no. 35) that says it “considers the ownership model whereby club members retain control of the club (through the 50+1 rule) as a good practice in the EU, and invites the Member States, sports governing bodies, national federations and leagues to start a constructive dialogue on, and exchange of, this model. SD Europe and its members lobbied for its inclusion.

2016: Having gathered together for the first ever formal meeting of the SD Europe network in Hamburg (2015), the organisation became a pan-European organisation in its own right in September 2016, registering as the European Supporters Alliance (T/A SD Europe) in Ireland. The organisation’s first AGM was held in Malmö, Sweden – running alongside an Erasmus+ project workshop focused on sustainable finance.

2016: SD Europe begins coordinating a two-year collaborative partnership of twelve partners (seven countries), co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and Uefa: Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football. Through a training, education and exchange programme involving member-run football clubs and national supporters organisations, the project helps promote EU principles on good governance in sport. Its final report (available in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian) can be found here.

Malmo FF visits Schalke 04 as part of an Erasmus+ project

2016: SD Europe was granted observer status on the Standing Committee of the European Convention on Spectator Violence in January 2016. In this capacity the organisation takes part in consultative visits and other events organised by the Standing Committee as experts for supporter liaison.  

2014: SD Europe awarded observer status on three EU Expert Groups established under the 2014-17 Work Plan for Sport: Economic Dimension, Good Governance and Match Fixing.

2014: As a result of the Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership project, national supporters organisations are set up in Italy and France as well as the first ever supporters network in Ireland.

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2013: SD Europe and FIFPro Division Europe sign a MoU, through which the two organisations recognise that the time has come for players and supporters to stand together and highlight their shared interest in making the game more stable, sustainable, and better-governed.

2012-2013: SD Europe, along with nine partners from eight different countries (including national supporters organisations, club groups and member-run clubs), took part in a preparatory action in the field of Sport funded by the European Commission. The Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership project focused on good governance in sport and followed the development of a European-wide network of supporters organisations trying to be involved in various decision-making processes throughout the game, and the support that SD Europe can provide them to help fulfil their objectives. The initiative delivered governance handbooks and workshops in six countries.

Launch of the Heart of the Game report at the European Parliament, Brussels

2012: SD Europe publishes a position paper The Heart of the Game: Why Supporters are Vital to Improving Governance in Football at the European Parliament in Brussels. The report sets out the organisation’s positions and demonstrated how supporter involvement and ownership can help improve European football, as well as deliver European values and EU aims. You can read the report (available in English, French, German and Italian) here.

2011: The inaugural Uefa SLO conference, organised jointly with SD Europe, is held in Berlin in October 2011 and attended by representatives of 47 national associations.

2010: The SLO project is introduced in Uefa Club Licensing & FFP regulations under Article 35. To be eligible for a UEFA license, clubs need to appoint an SLO.

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2009: The SLO concept gains full approval from the national associations represented on the Uefa Club Licensing Committee. SD Europe and Uefa set up an expert group which, together with supporters and national associations, drafted the guidelines for the proper implementation of the project.

2007-2009: Uefa agrees to support a pan-European feasibility study conducted by Antonia Hagemann and supervised by Supporters Direct. The study demonstrated a clear and growing demand for similar services to those supplied by SD in the UK on the European level, and provided a catalyst for SD Europe’s work to begin in earnest. You can read and download the study here, with a summary also available in French and German.

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