At the invitation of the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU), UEFA and SD Europe SLO consultant Stuart Dykes met with the BFU SLO Coordinator, Dimitar Christov, and future deputy general secretary, Pavel Kolev, on 17 June. The two sides discussed the status of the SLO project in Bulgaria, the work being undertaken and the challenges in implementing the SLO requirement. The BFU highlighted their commitment to promoting the project and organising a workshop next season and requested assistance in educating and training the clubs and their SLOs about their role.
The SLO project was also a topic of discussion at a round-table meeting on 18 June that was co-organised by the Bulgarian Ministry of Sport, the BFU and Sinya Bulgaria, the supporters’ trust of Levski Sofia, to hear recommendations for a new Bulgarian sports law that is due to be introduced in the near future. The meeting was attended by members of parliament, the CEO of Levski Sofia, representatives of the Parliamentary Committee for Youth and Sports, local Bulgarian supporters and SD Europe. In his opening speech, the minister said: “The current situation of football in Bulgaria makes the role of fans more important. They are getting actively involved in supporting their football clubs in other ways, such as campaigns and donations. Our task is to listen to all sides. The stakeholders in football are not only the coaches, the players and the executives, but also the supporters.” SD Europe introduced the concept of the SLO project, stressing the benefits gained by its implementation and suggested that the Council of Europe recommendations on liaising with supporters should be integrated in the draft bill.
SD Europe and the BFU also had the opportunity to present the role and the development of the SLO project in Europe and Bulgaria to local supporters at a special event earlier in the day that was also streamed live over the internet. Many questions were asked by those in attendance, who included representatives of top-tier football clubs.