On March 14th FASFE organised a meeting with Bayer Leverkusen supporter liaison officer (SLO) Frank Linde in Madrid.
The meeting was co-organised by Rayo ADRV Accionistas and attended not just by supporter groups but also by clubs both from the local area and outside Madrid, evidence of the great interest in learning more about the SLO role and how it can improve the relationship between clubs and supporters and the matchday experience for all parties involved.
Frank made an introduction to the development and importance of the role in German football and presented the work of the SLOs at his club. Bayer Leverkusen has three, soon to be four, full-time SLOs who work to manage their sometimes difficult relationship with the other stakeholders. In doing so, they facilitate the communication between the various club departments, the board and the supporters through social media, meetings and events. The presence of SLOs at security meetings with safety officers, stewards, the police and sometimes the SLOs of other clubs is crucial in ensuring a pleasant matchday experience, both home and away. Communicating all the necessary information to the supporters is a key part of the job.
“My phone is always on and I am always available for any supporter who wants to contact me during the working day and on matchdays,” said Frank. Even though the meeting lasted more than two hours, he patiently answered the questions of the attendees, who left the room knowing more about the role of the SLOs.
FASFE general secretary Emilio Abejon said: “As members of SD Europe, FASFE will encourage all the member-run clubs in its network to implement the role. We hope that the RFEF and La Liga will take more steps to improve the relationship with supporters and develop the SLO role in the intended manner and are ready to assist in this process.”
Formed in 2008, FASFE is the Spanish umbrella organisation for supporters’ trusts and other groups, member-run clubs and minority shareholders and member of SD Europe.
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 requirement 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 55 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.