The Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) project was a topic of discussion at two major UEFA events in September, when SD Europe SLO consultant Stuart Dykes attended both the UEFA-EU Stadium and Security Conference in Warsaw and the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play workshop in Dubrovnik.
Addressing the security conference in the Polish capital, UEFA vice-president Michael Van Praag underlined UEFA’s readiness for dialogue with supporter organisations as well as its support for initiatives from clubs and supporters across Europe that aimed to enhance the fan experience. He also reminded the clubs present of their wider responsibilities to all fans, including those who travel to matches without tickets. He said: “I strongly encourage enhanced dialogue between clubs, national associations and their governments on this important issue.” In their role as intermediaries SLOs are, of course, ideally placed to play a key role in ensuring this dialogue takes place.
One of the workshops in Warsaw focused on organised activities by fans, both positive and negative, and SD Europe were able to explain the role of SLOs during a panel discussion on the subject in front of the 300 delegates, who included club and national association safety officers, stadium managers police officers and supporter representatives.
Two weeks later SD Europe SLO consultant Stuart Dykes was invited to present the latest developments in the SLO project to an audience of around 150 national association licensing managers and financial and legal experts at the annual UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play workshop in Dubrovnik.
Both events offered an excellent opportunity for face-to-face meetings with SLO coordinators from the various national associations, with SLO meetings and workshops now being planned in eight countries as a result.
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 or get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.