Jul 12, 2017
Supporter Liaison Officers continue building bridges
The SLO requirement enters its sixth season, as SD Europe celebrates its tenth anniversary
This year SD Europe, the European umbrella supporter organisation that promotes structured involvement in the decision-making of football clubs and governing bodies, sustainable social and financial development of football, and member-run clubs, celebrated its first AGM with representatives from 15 different countries.
In the ten years of SD Europe’s existence, structured dialogue has been a core part of the organisation, materialising in the introduction of the Supporter Liaison Officer requirement in the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations (Article 35) in 2012/13.
It has been a busy five years for the SLO work, and last season was no exception.
SD Europe participated in training workshops and strategy meetings in ten countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, Georgia, Belgium, France, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Russia and Scotland, where SD Europe members Supporters Direct Scotland are project coordinators of the SLO work on behalf of the Scottish FA. We also attended a meeting of the Scottish FA Congress to talk about the development of the SLO work there.
SD Europe also helped organise four training and experience sharing meetings: three UEFA SLO bilateral meetings in Latvia, Finland, and Macedonia, where local football associations, clubs, SLOs and supporters met with SLOs of visiting clubs around UEFA competition matches, and one shadow visit of Swedish SLOs to Germany.
At grassroots level, SD Europe was involved in four events, raising awareness on the role of the SLOs among supporter groups and lower-division clubs in Spain and our members FASFE, Ireland and our members Irish Supporters Network, Netherlands and Supporterscollectief and Ukraine.
SD Europe also continued the work at the institutional level, attending the joint UEFA and EU Safety and Security Conference, the annual UEFA licensing workshop, two meetings of the Standing Committee of the Council of Europe, two meetings of the Council of Europe EURO 2020 Working Group, two Council of Europe/EU project (ProS4) events in Bucharest and Split, a Council of Europe consultative visit to Greece, and a meeting of supporter groups with the UEFA president, Alexander Ceferin.
In a new development, SD Europe also arranged local SLO support for the clubs participating in the UEFA Europa League final in Stockholm in May.
Last but not least, SD Europe successfully organised the second European club SLO network meeting, which has grown 40% since last year and welcomed participants from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland.