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First project workshop set for Manchester, 13-15 June

The date has been set for the first Clubs and Supporters for better Governance in Football project workshop: from 13-15 June, project partners and contributing organisations will gather at FC United of Manchester for two days of debate, discussion and collaboration; all under the theme of Governance.

It’s a word that has become ubiquitous in sporting circles over recent years, and as such, governance can be defined in many ways. This workshop will address those debates, but at the same time all partners are aiming to move beyond definition, and into practical, action-based learning and most importantly, implementation. The focus of the workshop is one selected by the project partners, during the project’s initial needs analysis phase.

Over the course of two days, the workshop will seek to answer a series of key questions relating to governance, with a particular focus on the perspective of member-run football clubs and national supporters’ organisations. These questions include:

  1. What are the key indicators of good governance at sporting organisations?

  2. How can members be better engaged in governance structures?

  3. What are the extents and limits of transparency?

  4. How can governance be affected by growth of an organisation?

  5. What’s the best way to monitor and evaluate governance?

Partners will look to answer these questions and more, through a combination of discussion and practical exercises. The workshop will kick off with a welcome and scene-setting from noted governance authority Sylvia Schenk, a lawyer in Frankfurt on Main, Germany and a volunteer in national and international sport since 1975. From 2007-2010 she was Chair of Transparency International Germany, now chairing its Working Group on Sport. She is a board member of the German Olympic Academy and an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne.

As well as the formal agenda, partners will have plenty of time to exchange ideas and experiences in a more informal setting over the course of the two days, and will also have the chance to enjoy screenings of the Euro 2016 tournament. A tour of FC United’s Broadhurst Park – a stadium which was constructed thanks to a pioneering Community Shares finance-raising campaign – is also on the agenda.

Overall, the workshop will aim to provide both inspiration and ideas that can be translated into practical actions in the coming months and years. Partners and contributing organisations will be encouraged to arrive armed with their own case studies and concerns, to drive the discussions and help inform the development of an online training course – one of the project’s key objectives.

For further information about the workshop and the project as a whole, please contact Ben Shave, and keep an eye on

About the ‘Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football’ project

This is a two-year project, coordinated by SD Europe, and co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and UEFA. The project will help promote EU principles on good governance in sport. It will do this through a training, education and exchange programme involving member-run football clubs and national supporters’ organisations; covering the full range of the football pyramid and aimed at promoting co-operation between like-minded organisations.

The partners and contributing organisations (in Italics) are as follows:

The project addresses three core topics, which are of importance to all the partners: good governance, financial sustainability, and member/volunteer engagement and democratic participation.

Partners will attend a total of three in-person sessions, plus opening and closing events. These will be supplemented by a series of one-to-one exchanges. The project will also include a research and evaluation element, in order to assist the ongoing measurement of good governance in sport; and the development of an online training resource, which will provide long-term impact beyond the lifetime of the project.

The project will be supported by an advisory board, made up of:

  1. Jonas Baer-Hoffmann (Head of Public Affairs, FIFPro Division Europe)

  2. Sean Hamil (Director, Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, Department of Management, Birkbeck College, University of London)

  3. Dr Joachim Lammert (Universität Leipzig, Sportwissenschaftliche Fakultät, FG Sportmanagement)

  4. Pedro Velázquez (EU sports governance expert)

This is the second EC-funded project to be coordinated by SD Europe, following the successful Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership preparatory action in the field of sport, which also involved three other members of this collaborative partnership.

About SD Europe

SD Europe is an organisation that assists democratic supporters’ groups in achieving formal structured involvement in their clubs and associations, and developing member ownership of football clubs. Established in 2007 with support from UEFA, SD Europe also advises clubs on their ownership and governance structure and works with football governing bodies, leagues, UEFA, and European institutions. Currently, it is active in over 20 European countries and is responsible for the implementation of the Supporter Liaison Officer requirement (Art. 35, UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations). For more information, contact us.


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