This weekend FIGC (Italian Football Federation) and Supporters In Campo (Italian national supporters organisation) worked together to host the next stage of the European supporters project ‘Fans Matter!’ in Rome.
‘Fans Matter!’, organised by the European supporters organisation SD Europe of whom Supporters In Campo is a member, aims to improve the capacity and professional management of member-run football clubs and supporter organisations that are involved in the management of clubs, particularly on the non-elite – lower league and amateur level.
This weekend hosted in Rome, training began for fans involved in member-run football clubs and supporters groups who are involved, or want to be involved, in the running of their football clubs. The key areas of football club management, stakeholder management, volunteer management and membership management are the focus of the training.
Along with Supporters In Campo members, FIGC and SD Europe, three supporters organisations who are also project partners, Sandlanders (Africa), Israfans (Israel) and FASFE (Spain), attended to exchange experiences to progress in their respective countries and enrich the discussion.
This stage of the project will see the information and best practice curated by industry experts taught and transferred by the national trainers to fans to help them strengthen and grow their football clubs and supporters groups.
Following the meeting, Marco Brunelli, General Secretary at FIGC said “The FIGC is very pleased to be part of Fans Matter!. We joined the project with enthusiasm because we believe a strengthen and participated relationship with the fans may be fundamental for us. Moreover, Fans Matter! represents also an innovative way to provide new opportunities for clubs in Italy as a function of development of their governance through an adequate professional training.”
Fabio Guarini, Board Member of Supporters In Camp said “it is fantastic to be able to empower supporters across Italy to be better prepared in running their football clubs. As I said at the start of this project, we feel like pioneers. This is the first time the work of supporters at the local level has been invested in. This was important back in 2019, and now after the pandemic it is vital.”
Commenting on the meeting, SD Europe’s Membership Development Manager Loukas Anastasiadis said “Those who lead their clubs to bankruptcy, not just financial, but also of ideals and morals, say that fans should not be involved in the running of football. We prove them wrong, as Fans Matter! addresses this issue and ensures fans can acquire the knowledge on how to sustainably manage a club, its membership, volunteers and communication.”
SD Europe spoke to FIGC and Supporters In Campo following the meeting...