Scotland is a hive of activity as far as the SLO work is concerned at the moment.
A Supporter Liaison Officer Development Day staged by SD Scotland at Bellshill on 14 July, which heard presentations from Lasse Bauer, lead SLO at Danish top-division club Brøndby IF, JP Taylor, SLO at Celtic, and SD Europe, was followed by an invitation to SD Europe to present at the Scottish Football Association Congress in late September.
The Congress was established in 2015 as part of the ongoing modernisation of the SFA’s governance and is Scottish football’s first fully-representative group of stakeholders. It serves as a functional and inclusive body to debate, discuss and make recommendations on the key issues affecting the game.
Club and affiliate representatives are joined on the Congress by recognised bodies such as PFA Scotland, Scottish Coaches’ and Managers’ Association, Scottish Senior Football Referees’ Association, Scottish Football Writers’ Association, sportscotland and SD Scotland representing supporters.
The presentation to Congress gave a general introduction to the role of the SLO, the interaction between SLOs and safety officers, and best practice examples from across Europe. This is particularly relevant in the context of the current debate on spectator violence in Scotland in the wake of disturbances after the Scottish Cup final between Hibernian and Rangers at the back end of last season.
This issue has been looked at in more detail by SD Scotland, who were recently appointed by the SFA to oversee implementation of UEFA’s SLO personnel requirement in Scotland, in an insightful piece that can be accessed here.
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.