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SLO

SD Europe helps to implement the Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) role at clubs across Europe. Click here to read all the latest news and updates about the role.

Under Article 35 of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, clubs across Europe are required to appoint a supporter liaison officer (SLO) to ensure proper and constructive discourse between them and their fans. The introduction of this licensing requirement constitutes a landmark in club-supporter relations and emphasises the importance attached to dialogue and communication between clubs and fans.

Supported by fans

In recent years fan representatives across Europe have highlighted the need for improved communications between supporters, clubs, governing bodies and the police and eventually proposed the implementation of SLOs after intensive discussion at national and European levels.

Supported by UEFA and national associations

UEFA believes such dialogue better reflects the nature of football as a game with a variety of interest groups whose views need to be considered. Football fans were for a long time ignored in this dialogue, but are now considered valued stakeholders/members of the football family.

Resources

There is a variety of resources related to the SLO project, produced by SD Europe, Licensing Bodies (national associations and leagues), club SLOs, supporters’ organisations (eg FSE), European Institutions (Council of Europe, European Union). We have group them in four categories, which can be found in the SD Europe knowledge database.

UEFA SLO handbook, 2011 edition

The official UEFA version, in English, can be found on the UEFA website.

The SLO Handbook is available in nineteen languages and eight Licensing Bodies have produced a localised version. The full archive of the handbooks can also be found in the SD Europe knowledge database.

History

In a survey conducted by Supporters Direct on behalf of UEFA in 2007, the majority of the member associations consulted expressed the view that the dialogue between supporters and associations and between supporters and clubs is worth improving because it enables supporters to become more serious and responsible partners.

Having acknowledged fans as major stakeholders in the game, and by backing the pan-European supporter organisations SD Europe and Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and the work of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) and the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE), UEFA is helping to set standards for supporter groups, and. UEFA’s approach was reiterated by its president when he said: “The supporters are the lifeblood of professional football – they are the identity of the clubs. Owners, coaches and players change but supporters always remain. At UEFA we try to incorporate the views of the fans into what we do“.

Article 35, Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations

Under Article 35 of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, clubs across Europe are required to appoint a supporter liaison officer (SLO) to ensure proper and constructive discourse between them and their fans. The introduction of this licensing requirement constitutes a landmark in club-supporter relations and emphasises the importance attached to dialogue and communication between clubs and fans.

In particular, according to article 35:

  1. The license applicant must have appointed a supporter liaison officer to act as the key contact point for supporters.

  2. The supporter liaison officer will regularly meet and collaborate with the relevant club personnel on all related matters.

Article 35 is the result of detailed talks between UEFA and SD Europe. The SLO concept gained full approval in 2009/10 from the national associations represented on the UEFA Club Licensing Committee and was drawn up in close cooperation with SD Europe. An expert group was set up to support UEFA and SD Europe in the implementation of the project. Supporters and national associations were informed about the project and asked for their feedback, which has been integrated into this handbook.

Article 35 pursues the following aims:

  • To establish networks of SLOs at a national and European level to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practice and to improve the relationships between the various stakeholders, in particular the relationship between supporters and club directors/owners/safety and security organisations.

  • To provide some guarantee that a minimum level of communication flow occurs between club and supporters and hence reduce the likelihood of supporters becoming disenfranchised.

  • To better align the ability of supporters to feed into club decision making with their massive importance to the club.

  • To provide incentive for largely unorganised club supporter bases to come together and voice their beliefs. A better organised fan base will have added power to its voice and the SLO will provide an improved opportunity for this voice to be heard.

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