Celtic SLO John Paul Taylor managed to secure Visas on Arrival for the club’s travelling supporters for their recent away match against Qarabaq in Azerbaijan.
As the visa process can take up to 10 days, supporters are often prevented from travelling. However, through this cooperation the necessary time was reduced to just three days, and with the use of the club’s communications channels (website, Twitter, etc.), Celtic enjoyed the support of over 100 fans instead of the original handful expected to attend.
John Paul oversaw communications and collected the details of all fans planning to travel, collating their travel information and passports before sending them to the Visa Centre for a letter of authorisation to travel. He said: “From my perspective it was great to provide the assistance to ensure fans managed to get to the match. Without the intervention of the SLO the process would have taken too long and denied fans the opportunity.
I think this is a good example where the SLO in conjunction with the Club can assist fans and ensure that the team gets strong backing in what was a very important match“.
Under Article 35 of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, clubs across Europe are required to appoint a Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) to ensure proper and constructive discourse between them and their fans. The SLO project originated in 2009 as a result of detailed talks between UEFA and SD Europe. It was approved by the UEFA Executive Committee in 2010, with SD Europe appointed to manage its implementation across UEFA’s 54 member associations. If you would like to learn more, visit the SLO section on the SD Europe website or get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.