SD Europe’s SLO project coordinator, Stuart Dykes, recently attended a training session organised by the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) to talk to clubs about the SLO role. The session formed part of a club licensing workshop held in Zagreb on 25 January 2016 and attracted representatives of 21 clubs (all ten from the first division, 11 of 12 from the second).
Currently all ten top-division Croatian clubs are required to have an SLO in place under the HNS licensing regulations. Though the requirement is not mandatory in the second tier, several clubs have voluntarily appointed SLOs to improve the discourse with fans.
The session was opened by Ivančica Sudac (Head of International Affairs and Licensing), who reminded the clubs of their obligation to deploy an SLO under Article 35 of the UEFA Club Licensing and FFP Regulations and the equivalent clause in the HNS Club Licensing Regulations.
Stuart Dykes then gave an introduction to the theory behind the SLO role and the reasons it was introduced in Europe. The presentation was tailored to the perceived needs of the Croatian clubs and focused on recruitment and the prerequisites for being an SLO before outlining the expected benefits for clubs who fully embrace the SLO role.
The workshop marks the launch of a new strategy adopted by the HNS for the purpose of developing the SLO work in Croatia. Further workshops are in the pipeline as part of an overall integrity-based approach to safety and security issues in Croatian football. SD Europe will continue to liaise closely with the HNS in an advisory and service capacity.
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 project 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 54 member associations. If you would like to learn more, visit the SLO section on the SD Europe website,browse the SD Europe SLO resources, follow the official SLO account on twitter or get directly in touch via email@example.com.