It is time for SD Europe’s fourth official meeting on December 1st. Our past official events have seen the SD Europe network meet in Hamburg (2015), Malmo (2016), and Dublin (2017). This time we are in Huelva, where the inspirational Recreativo Supporters Trust, will host us.
This year will see 13 countries represented. With member-run clubs, supporters trusts, and national fan organisations in attendance, it is set up to be a productive and exciting weekend in Huelva, southern Spain. Our hosts will be Recreativo Supporters Trust, who successfully responded to the financial crisis a few years ago and managed to save the club from bankruptcy.
As SD Europe enters a second decade of existence, our network is growing. We are delighted to welcome the Bohemians Supporters Trust and Supporterscollectif Netherlands as members. Furthermore, many national supporter organisations are increasing the member-run clubs within their membership; supporter groups are taking over football clubs or setting up their own. Lastly, growing level of expertise and the accumulating experience at domestic level has allowed the national supporter organisations to build the capacity of their members more than ever.
The SLO network is spreading too, and the overall implementation of Supporters Liaison Officers (SLO) across Europe represents the single most revolutionary change to the game. The next step will be to train those in the job and help them to meet the challenges and enjoy the positive outcomes it can have for so many
This weekend’s agenda will start with the organisation’s AGM as SD Europe members are updated about the activities and the status of the organisation and the support it provides to them. A series of workshops will follow that will allow people to improve their knowledge on and understanding of membership-related initiatives and challenges, volunteer management and maintaining a relevant message in an ever changing football environment. Kat Craig of athlead UK, Jannis Albus of German Bundesliga club Schalke04 and SD Europe board member of Israfans Shay Golub will be the facilitators of the workshops. After the workshops, participants will attend Recreativo de Huelva’s home football match against its Sevilla II neighbours.
SD Europe became a pan-European members’ organisation in its own right in September 2016, having been originally formed in 2007. This happened following a meeting with all SD Europe members in Hamburg, which a year later SD Europe celebrated the organisation’s its first AGM in Malmo, giving members and representatives from its wider network an opportunity to have a direct say in its objectives and operations for the first time.