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Aug 20, 2019

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Bringing the Network Together: SD Europe, Hapoel Katamon, and SinC present at FASFE meeting!

In the beginning of August, Logroño, Spain, hosted the annual meeting of Federación de Accionistas y Socios del Fútbol Español (FASFE), ‘VI JORNADAS FÚTBOL POPULAR’ for a weekend with the Spanish fùtbol popular movement.

The meeting was hosted by local fan-owned club, SD Logroñés, with representatives of Supporters in Campo, the Italian umbrella group for supporters’ trusts and community clubs, and a board member of Hapoel Katamon, a member-run club in Jerusalem, Israel flying to sunny Spain to meet the network.

The first day of the weekend saw a warm welcome and introduction to the story and traditions of local club, SD Logroñés. SD Logroñés were re-established in 2009 by its fans, following the serious economic problems of CD Logroñés.

The next day began with an ‘on the field’ story, with local football player, Jorge Herreros discussing the balance of being a lower division footballer and everyday life. The session was followed by an interesting conversation about the common difficulties many clubs face to survive in contemporary football.

The following session had a representative of the working group attempting to reform the Ley del Derporte, update FASFE members about the development around the law and supporter proposal to provide a more democratic football for all. The presentation was followed by a discussion among members about the importance of strong governance in the game

The current Spanish Sport Law, dating from 1990, states that professional sports clubs must be private companies (SADs) apart from four exceptions: FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna. This, however, is a requirement that FASFE is pushing to change to allow for greater supporter participation and democracy at the highest level of the game in Spain.

The proposal includes: 

  1. Eliminating the obligation of being SAD (Sports Limited Company) to compete in professional competition
  2. Mandatory introduction of fans in boards
  3. Promotion of fan ownership

The weekend continued with updates and the season review from FASFE around activities and plans for the future to sustain the fùltbol popular family and pushing for better regulation and governance in football

The Fútbol Popular movement in Spain continues to grow year by year. FASFE is a vibrant group of fan-owned, community-orientated football clubs, that believe there is a different way to organise and run clubs in modern football.

Emilio Abejon of FASFE, highlighted the international growth of the fan-owned movement as a continued model to expand: ‘What we call fútbol popular in Spain is part of a movement that’s taking place all over Europe, where supporters want to be part of the decision making process in clubs and football government bodies. In this gathering we’ve seen how the movement takes shape in other countries such as Italy and Israel and that inspire us’.

After FASFE’s updates, the focus of the day shifted to our European guests. Supporters in Campo (SinC) representative and SD Europe consultant, Stefano Pagnozzi, opened the session explaining the role of SinC with Italian fans, underlining the declining state of italian football and the rise of fan groups that want to have a say in their club. Over 40 groups are trying to save and run their beloved clubs in Italy, and the italian national umbrella organisation is doing their best to help fans organise themselves to take an active role in their local clubs.

SD Europe held a session about strategic updates on the communications of the European network, to continue to connect all members across Europe and help spread the different football stories. 

SD Europe membership consultant, Loukas Anastasiadis, shared with the attendees the activities of the SD Europe network, emphasizing the support of democratically organised fans and the importance of working together to boost fans’ power. Loukas also gave an update of the current LIAISE project, which is developing the role of the Supporters Liaison Officer at the European level. 

He emphasised the importance of joint growth and shared experiences that come from cooperation on common issues, such as in our E+ projects “Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football”.

The final session was headed by board member Yotam Karmon. Yotam illustrated the experience of his club, Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem, who in twelve years of fan ownership, succeeded in building an incredible network for all ages by creating intercultural projects with schools and the local community members.

Yotam said: “I hope the Spanish member-run clubs got some new ideas and tools in the conference, that would help them improve and succeed. I would like to thank SD Europe, FASFE, and SD Logroñés for the warm hospitality”

Get in touch with the SD Europe team via our Contact Us page. Read all the latest news about LIAISE here. Follow SD Europe on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates!

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