Hosted by ‘Orgoglio Pratese’, the 4th Supporters in Campo AGM took place in September, as Italian network members met to discuss their ideas, best practices and challenges.
The event was kicked off by the Supporters in Campo five-member board who gave an overview of the activities at national level before passing to the floor to each group in order for them to give an update on developments at local level. The discussion was a great opportunity for participants to capture ideas and best practices as well as engage in some constructive self-criticism.
Some setbacks Supporters in Campo members had in the past year have shown that there is a lot more to accomplish, but the future is only positive for Supporters in Campo who “..can learn from their mistakes and grow, by confronting them” as ‘Per Brindisi’ highlighted.
The afternoon session was split in two as participants looked into Supporters in Campo member involvement as well as external issues. The focus of the debate was the knowledge and experience sharing at national level, as well as the different options of financial and managerial control of the club and the influence supporters can and should have to achieve better governance in football.
Experience from club to club varied with no case being the same. However, everyone agreed that though checking the club’s financial and managerial decisions is necessary, supporter influence should not backfire from a comparative advantage to a disadvantage as fans need to take a realistic approach to help their club position itself better than, yet still relevant to, the wider environment the club has to compete in.
Two FASFE representatives, the Spanish national organisation of supporters groups and member-run clubs, attended the event as part of the exchange visit under SD Europe’s “Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football” project.
It was a return visit following that of SinC to the Fútbol Popular meeting in Getafe a few weeks earlier. Narciso and Ferran spoke to the meeting about the structure, challenges and solutions of SinC’s Spanish counterpart and then analysed how Recreativo’s “Recre Trust of Aficionados” (who just appointed a team of five SLOs) were the driving force behind the rescue of the oldest club in Spain.
Sunday saw an official outline and approval of SinC activities and financial accounts as well as the appointment of a new five-member board consisting of Diego Riva, Cosimo Dolente, Mirko Cecconi, Alex Sometti, Pippo Russo and Stefano Pagnozzi.
Supporters in Campo chair Diego Riva said: “The focus of the board next year is to increase the support to its members. We will not be put off by mistakes or setbacks as it is the difficulties fans encounter that allow us to maintain a debate among members to improve and strengthen the network in order to face the challenges that lie ahead. We are here to stay.”