Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and Supporters Direct Europe (SD Europe) can confirm both organisations have formally began operating as one organisation on 1st October 2022, beginning a bright new era in football supporters’ representation in Europe.
This milestone fulfills the democratic will of the members of FSE and SD Europe, who voted in favour of a merger between the organisations at their respective BGM and AGM in July 2022.
The merged organisation, which retains the name ‘Football Supporters Europe’, will see the marrying together of both organisation’s key priorities, including the protection of supporters’ fundamental rights, safeguarding the future of European football, anti-discrimination, fan ownership and heritage, fans’ embassies, development of the supporter liaison officer role, and campaigns such as Europe Wants To Stand and the Win It On The Pitch ECI petition.
FSE’s membership of national supporters’ organisations, many of which are members of SD Europe as well, club supporters’ groups and individual fans will join together with member-run/fan-owned football clubs and additional local supporters’ groups from SD Europe’s membership.
Ronan Evain, Executive Director of FSE commented: “The decision taken by the members of FSE and SD Europe to align together as one organisation with a unified, democratic voice for all supporters encompassing a wide variety of priorities signals a seismic shift in the football world.
“Supporters are not a homogenous group; our passion and dedication take many forms. This milestone demonstrates supporters’ collective commitment to cooperation and will cement our position as a major stakeholder in the European game.
“The new FSE will provide even greater benefit to its present members and those joining from SD Europe as they will gain access to the support, resources, and expertise from both organisations as we become one. This move will further strengthen the position of supporters throughout the men’s and women’s game from the grassroots level up to UEFA club competitions and international tournaments.”
Sofia Bohlin, Chair of SD Europe & newly elected FSE Board Member, added: “Both organisations have accomplished significant strides forward over the last decade or so, driven by many of the same members. The two organisations shared common values and priorities for the European game. Along with their shared members, this merger is a natural progression.
“The new merged FSE will continue to champion the work of both of its predecessors and provide scope to strengthen and expand these areas as a part of a unified European supporters organisation, in addition to exploring new areas of focus in an ever-changing football landscape.
“It will also bring together the experiences, perspectives, and best practices from staff members and an even wider array of supporters, creating a greater understanding and appreciation for each other’s priorities and concerns.”