“Inspiring, a priceless experience, lasting cooperation”
These are just some of the words used to describe SD Europe’s Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football (CSBGiF) project, as it formally came to end earlier this week with the submission of a final report to the European Commission.
Bringing together member-run football clubs and national supporters organisation in a unique collaborative partnership for the first time, an independent evaluation of the work by research partners substance has shown the outputs and outcomes of the past two years to be significant.
Three training events delivered (Good Governance, Financial Sustainability, Member and Volunteer engagement)
17 international exchange visits held between partners
66 individual organisations (representing 19 different countries from Europe, North America and Africa) involved in activities
Consolidated the SD Europe network established by a previous Preparatory Action
Nearly 4,500 hours of time from partners, involving over 300 volunteers
Over 1,600 articles and social media posts published by SD Europe and project partners
166 meetings with non-partner organisations and almost 300 new contacts established by partners
Creation of a dedicated online training tool and accompanying resources
More practice focused learning and training, including the establishment of an ongoing exchange visit programme for SD Europe members
Further research, including the continued identification of best practice and insights from outside of football
Utilise expertise across the game to underpin the growth of the supporter movement, particularly around fan ownership, influence within decision-making processes and the supporter liaison officer role
Identify additional funding to support these activities as well as the ongoing work of SD Europe’s wider network of member-run clubs and supporter organisations
“Over the past two years it showed how much can be achieved if football clubs and supporters work together. This cooperation of like-minded, skilled, enthusiastic people who care about football and their communities was exciting and has to continue,” said Antonia Hagemann, CEO of SD Europe.
Sharing experiences and expertise in Manchester
The project was a direct follow on from SD Europe’s Preparatory Action in Sport (2012/13), which demonstrated the need for dedicated training and information exchange amongst member-run football clubs as well as both national and local supporters organisations.
The partners and contributing organisations were as follows:
Cava United Football Club (Italy)
Cork City Football Club (Republic of Ireland)
Football Club United of Manchester (United Kingdom)
Irish Supporters’ Network (Republic of Ireland)
Malmö F.F. (Sweden)
Schalke 04 (Germany)
Svenska Fotbollssupporterunionen (Sweden)
Supporters in Campo (Italy)
Unsere Kurve (Germany)
Informed by a needs analysis exercise early in the project’s lifetime, the training events addressed the specific needs and challenges of partners.
It quickly became apparent that no matter the size of the organisation or its origin country, participants had key areas of interest in common and could provide each other with practical support, advice and insight.
“It was interesting to see that clubs in different countries have similar problems and how we can all look at solutions together. We had two very good visits at Malmö FF and Cork City, and they also visited our stadium and our city. That was the best part of the project for us, and we will stay in touch,” said Thomas Kirschner of Schalke 04.
“This project is important for us as a national supporters’ organisation. We can learn from other national groups – how they try to face the authorities, how to work with members etc. It is important to see others are doing the same and to receiving support,” said Mimmo Dolente, board member of Supporters in Campo, Italy’s national supporters organisation.
Post-project activities will continue with the implementation of the project report’s recommendations as well as actions based on the feedback received from partners and non-partner organisations.
All related news and updates will be posted on the SD Europe website and social media channels.
For further reaction, visit the SD Europe YouTube channel. The Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football project was funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme and co-financed by Uefa.
For further information on project’s objectives and activities, visit Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football or email: email@example.com.