The supervisory board of fourth-tier German club FC Saarbrücken has given the go-ahead for the creation of a new Fan- und Förderabteilung (Supporter & Development Department) to provide a mechanism for developing a work network between the various club committees and departments, members and supporters. It will also serve as an additional channel of communication and consultation between supporters and senior club officials.
The SDD is the brainchild of Florian Kern, the newly appointed spokesperson and head of the department. As a member of the supervisory board, Kern has long been a backer of the club’s supporters. “One of the ideas behind the department is to build a network to achieve a greater level of transparency, but it’s also about enriching the life of the club through the active involvement of supporters“, said Kern. “It will also allow us to build on the excellent work being done by our supporter liaison officer, Peter Thielges, and give us more options in this area. Peter Thielges and our new security officer, Peter Becker, will be key hubs in this network“.
The principle of increased engagement between supporters and their club has generally been accepted as a positive step by the game’s key stakeholders, with the football authorities in England, for example, having stated that “a club’s interests are best served through having working relationships with its supporters“. In this context, the new SSD at FC Saarbrücken is another welcome development.