CAP Ciudad de Murcia visited Italian partners Cava United for the SD Europe “Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football,” Erasmus+ project
The visit took place in the beginning of April a few days before the visit of Schalke 04 and Malmö FF to Cork City.
In preparation, Cava United recruited a hefty number of volunteers to accompany the guests throughout their visit and engage with them in discussions to give (and get!) a better idea of how the two clubs work. Moreover, volunteers and board members from both parties held lengthy internal and bilateral discussions to decide the topics and content of the meetings.
Upon arrival, the Spanish delegation was greeted and had a quick tour around the city, before having the opportunity to observe a meeting between the board of Cava United and the local supporters’ organisation Sogno Cavese, where the two sides discussed the ongoing progress of the club’s organisational and operational situation. The day was concluded with and a lively discussion related to football, supporter culture in Italy and Spain and member ownership; the way national specificity and legislation impact the governance of football clubs, ways to increase membership with limited resources as well as including legal entities in the membership were some of the issues addressed over an Italian cuisine dinner with locally produced ingredients.
The second day, CAP Ciudad de Murcia were brought by Cava United volunteers to the local Archaeological Park of Paestrum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998 and in the afternoon the two groups watched the home match of Cava United against Don Bosco 200 in which the guests participate actively with a lively interest in cheering for Cava United.
The game offered great ground for comparison on various issues concerning the in-stadium management and matchday experience of supporters, the relationship with the team, the players and the coach as well as that with the management of the club on sporting performance-related issues. CAP Ciudad de Murcia presented their idea of ‘el sentimiento’, the feeling of belonging and identification of the players with a member-run club; those who wear a ‘camiseta differente’.
Next day’s observation of the Under-17 team was another opportunity for sporting and cultural integration that didn’t go missed. The two sides exchanged experiences on how to develop sports facilities that are attractive to the younger generations (“the guarantee of the future of any club” as they both admitted) and the short-term and long-term impact of such development on the club’s finances.
“We can absolutely say it was a very fruitful and interesting visit; despite the physical distance, we found out that we share core principles and ideals, but also challenges. This has been an undoubted source of stimulus. Our Spanish friends have left quite a mark and we wish to have them back in our city soon”, said board member of Cava United and project steering committee member Giuseppe Abbamonte.
Cava United’s return visit to Murcia has already taken place last weekend (29-30/4) and it was the turn of the Italians to present to their host their ‘il calcio e della gente’ idea. More about this visit will be on the SD Europe website, so keep an eye or like us on facebook or follow us on twitter.