The Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) in March organised a meeting for SLOs from first and second tier clubs that focused on the drafting of a new SLO handbook and discussed recent developments in Dutch football in terms of dialogue with supporters.
Eighteen SLOs representing 18 clubs (ADO Den Haag, Ajax, AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord, NAC Breda, FC Dordrecht, FC Emmen, FC Utrecht, SC Cambuur, SC Heerenveen, PEC Zwolle, Vitesse, Heracles Almelo, FC Oss and RKC Waalwijk) attended the meeting. The KNVB was represented by Chris van de Poll (SLO coordinator and security officer) and his assistant, Stijn Tap.
More than ten SLO meetings have taken place under the auspices of the KNVB in the past three years. The latest gathering considered a raft of measures aimed at improving the relationship with supporters, in particularly through the SLO project. This was followed by a look at the process for drafting a Dutch SLO handbook, which will be prepared by a working group set up by the KNVB. This steering group consists of the KNVB and SLOs from FC Emmen, Feyenoord, SC Heerenveen, NAC Breda, PEC Zwolle, FC Utrecht, ADO Den Haag.
The Dutch handbook will focus on key areas of concern to the SLOs, such as the theoretical framework (KNVB and UEFA guidelines, SD Europe recommendations), the practical “field work” (profile, job description, working with each other and other stakeholders, etc), suggestions and recommendations, case studies and contact details. It will attempt to cover the issues encountered in the first and second tiers and will be written in such way as to permit updates whenever necessary.
In support of the working group, SD Europe presented the process for the drafting of the UEFA/SD Europe SLO handbook (2011 version) and the outline of a 2016 version that is currently at the planning stage. SD Europe also showcased best practice examples from Europe and highlighted the importance of strong and sustainable domestic SLO networks and communications.
The event was concluded by a closed meeting between the members of the handbook working group, who are expected to have finished their work by September 2016.
Apart from the handbook, the plans of KNVB for the immediate future include a seminar with the main football stakeholders (clubs and club SLOs, police and prosecutors, city councils and supporter groups) on 10 May as well as a training workshop for Dutch club SLOs with the participation of SD Europe and best-practice SLOs from other countries.
The verified list of Dutch club SLOs and their contact details are: ADO Den Haag (Koos Roeg), Ajax (Henk Voors and Patrick van der Meer), AZ Alkmaar (Guido Florijn), Almere City (Dirk Van Der Pool), NAC Breda (Robert Prins), SC Cambuur (Johan Van Ijsselmuiden), FC Dordrecht (Jan Van Nieuwenhoven), PSV Eindhoven (Etienne Van Herp), FC Emmen (M. Kampman), Excelsior (Ton Janssen), Feyenoord (Ton Strooband, Maurice Dumas, Rogier Wijsbroek), De Graafschap (Dennis van Amerongen), SC Heerenveen (Andre Gout), Heracles Almelo (Raymond Alfons), NEC Nijmegen (Laura Metiary and Hilde Boerstal), Roda JC (Henk Bakker), FC Oss (Thomas Vervoort), FC Utrecht (Robert Junier), Vitesse (Roy van Reem and Nick Oudendag), RKC Waalwijk (Bernd de Louw), Willem II (Peter Galle), PEC Zwolle (Paul Benning).
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, browse the SD Europe SLO resources, follow the official SLO account on twitter or get directly in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.