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Activities & Training Partners

Fans Matter! is comprised of a series of training and workshop sessions at the European and national level.

Fans Matter! will assist the sustainable and smooth operation of member and community-run clubs, clubs that have supporters involved or want to have supporters involved in the running of the club and supporters who are or want to be involved in club operations. 

For all of these football-related organisations, fans matter because they are a part of the club’s fabric from the boardroom to the boot room. 

Fans Matter! will achieve this through a European and national training, education and exchange programme, bringing together national supporter organisations with national football bodies, where a relationship exists, and member-run clubs in a collaborative partnership.

Fans Matter! goes local and ensures that a tailored training and education programme will be developed by the project’s partners for the project’s target groups in each country. Fans Matter! training topics focus on the management of:

  • The football clubs (CEOs, board members and executives)

  • The stakeholders

  • The membership

  • The volunteers


Each project partner will identify 1-4 trainers (in Italy and Israel this will be done in cooperation with the respective football associations), who will design and implement the training and education programme in each country. These national training workshops are scheduled to take place between May and October 2021.


If you would like to participate, please contact:


The training workshops will be delivered by SD Europe’s identified experts:


James Mathie

James Mathie of Sporting Assets will deliver the training workshop on club management. James has been supporting community-led sports enterprises for more than 12 years, working for Sport England, Supporters Direct (UK) and now Sporting Assets. He has worked closely with a number of football clubs, from amateur to professional, across a diverse range of areas from facility development and governance reviews to supporting more than 30 community takeovers.

As well as working directly with clubs, his expertise has led to him being invited to be part of government expert groups, presenting to various football bodies, including the UEFA Masters for International Players, and developing best practice and workshops to support club development.


Kat Craig

Kat Craig of Athlead, will deliver the training workshop on volunteer management. Kat is Athlead’s CEO. She is an award-winning human rights lawyer and former international charity director, having led teams across five continents.

She now focuses on helping entities and partnerships build sustainable organisational and programmatic strategies, across the footballing ecosystem. She manages Athlead’s portfolio of projects, and in that context regularly chairs roundtables with representatives from sporting federations, clubs, fan groups, athletes, player unions and sport-for-development organisations. She runs two international cohort-learning programmes for major funders in the field.

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Shay Golub

Shay Golub will deliver the training workshop on stakeholder management. Shay is a member of SD Europe's advisory board, a political campaigner and trainer. Shay is the chair of SD Europe’s members in Israel ‘Israfans’ and has been the chair of ‘Halev Hayarok’ the supporters’ organisation that owns 10% and manages the operations of 2nd division club Hapoel Kfar Saba for six years (2008-2014). Shay has helped a number of political organisations during the pre- and post-election period be elected and successfully implement their election programme. He has served local communities in Israel as a member of political think tanks and manager of community projects.


The Fans Matter! project partners and training providers will be supported by the project’s advisory group comprised of individuals with experience in member-run football clubs and supporter dialogue.


Andreas Rettig, Former Commercial Director Of FC St. Pauli (Germany)

Andreas managed the affairs of FC St. Pauli, the famous professional member-run club from Bundesliga 2 in Germany. The club is well known for its supporter influence via the Annual General Meeting, the club’s supervisory board, which oversees the operations of the management board, and its wider membership of (at the time of writing the application) about 30,000. Andreas has been an outspoken promoter of member-ownership in football and will make himself available around questions concerning the club management training. Andreas will provide input for the club management workshops.


Mike Derham, Former Deputy Chair Of Cork City FC (Republic Of Ireland)

Holding the ‘Train the trainers’ level six certificate (awarded by the ‘Further Education and Training Awards Council’), Mike provides consultation to multinational organisations on how best to implement the ‘blended approach’ to learning, whilst ensuring that their employees always have access to definitive materials and subject-matter experts. Mike will provide feedback on the training needs, methodology and programme. He will also contribute to the development of the ‘CEO & board member development’ module.


Jannis Albus, Former Coordinator Of Member Projects, Fans & Services Of Schalke04 (Germany)

Jannis has been involved in the provision of member services at Schalke for over four years. He has extensive knowledge in the development and delivery of membership at the fourth biggest member-run club in the world. Jannis will provide ad-hoc advice to the membership training but also to the development of national workshops. He will also make himself available for requests for advice from national supporters organisations and clubs.

Sofia Bohlin, Chair Of SD Europe & Chair of SFSU, & Kaveh Sarvari, Head Of B2C & Events & Slo Coordinator At SEF (Sweden)

In Sweden, the national supporter organisation (SFSU) and national league association (SEF) have signed a five-year educational programme which will involve training of clubs and supporter groups in a number of areas. Sofia and Kaveh will inform Fans Matter! experts, partners and trainers about the progress in Sweden and share their experience.

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