SD Europe Fund: PAC Omonoia 1948
This is the first of six articles over the coming weeks introducing the projects of the successful applicants to the SD Europe Fund.
First under the microscope is PAC Omonoia 1948, a Cypriot member-run football club, and their project which will encompass exchange visits with Isreali member-run side Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem FC.
Recap: What is the SD Europe Fund?
The objective of the SD Europe Fund is to enable the members of the SD Europe network to establish their own projects that further develop supporter involvement. The SD Europe Fund sees the distribution of €12,000 to its members; €9,000 to fund three nation-wide projects and €3,000 to fund three projects with exchange visits of member-run clubs within the network. Each project chosen was constructed with SD Europe’s principles in mind; Democracy, Cooperation, Solidarity and Sustainability.
Recap: Who were the successful applicants to the SD Europe Fund?Member-run Football ClubsNational Supporters OrganisationsPAC Omonia 1948 (Cyprus)Israfans (Israel)AKS Zły (Poland)Unsere Kurve (Germany)FC Tarraco, CAP Ciudad de Murcia, UP Palencia (Spain)Supporters Direct Scotland
PAC Omonia 1948 & Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem FC Exchange Visit
Who is involved?
PAC Omonia 1948 was founded by fans of Cypriot club AC Omonia, following the decision made in a closed AGM to spin-off the football department into a company, essentially removing the democractic nature from the club and privatising it. PAC Omonia 1948 continues the tradition and essence of Omonia as a democratic one-member, one-vote organisation and as a social organisation that cares about its community.
Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem FC shares similar beginnings with PAC Omonia 1948. Following a series of poor management decisions during the mid 2000s, the supporters felt like they could no longer identify with Hapoel Jerusalem FC which led them to start their own member-run club carrying on the true spirit of what the original club had represented. The new club has grown to supersede the original club which ceased to compete in 2019. Like Omonia 1948, ‘Katamon’ takes pride in contributing to its community and runs various social programmes.
What are the project’s activities?
The project will see board members and volunteers from PAC Omonoia 1948 take part in exchange visits with Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem FC with the aim of exchanging best practice and knowledge in the areas of board level decision-making, membership management, social programmes, partnerships, on-pitch performance and youth academy management. These areas were decided upon following consultation between the club’s Committee, volunteers and members.
In discussion with SD Europe, it was identified that given Omonia 1948 and Katamon both exist in politically complex environments in addition to sharing similar priorities, values and face similar challenges, there was a natural fit for not only Omonia 1948 to develop through the project, but create an opportunity for Katamon too.
What are the anticipated outcomes and impact at national and local/club level?
Through the project, PAC Omonia 1948 aims to take on board the necessary know-how to adapt to the demands of promotion to higher divisions. The club recognises that it will need to continue to operate as a financially sustainable organisation which in part will require a drive for new members to contribute financial, and of course, moral support.
The club also recognises the significance of not losing sight of its commitment to the community when on field success comes, and hopes to learn from Katamon’s experience in this area. In its community, the club wants to further reach out to the Turkish-Cypriot minorities in the country and address its diversity by engaging more women with the club at member, volunteer and committee level.
Lastly, Katamon operates community programmes including its ‘Neighbourhood Leagues’ initiative which focuses on settling and easing the complex political environment and conflict between different groups in Jerusalem whilst ultimately developing local players for the club, which Omonia 1948 is focused on emulating in Cyprus.
SD Europe will be present throughout the project to guide both clubs to ensure they get the most from working and learning together. We will bring you updates on this project and its events over the coming months.
Later this week, we will introduce SD Scotland’s project so stay tuned to our social media channels.