It was a productive day in Sofia, as the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) organised a Supporter Liaison Officer workshop under its ‘Fan Dialogue: 2020 and beyond’ project.
On the agenda for the day was: The work of the BFU with the fans, an overview of the SLO role, the new Council of Europe Convention, a presentation by SD Europe about the SLO role (challenges, relationships and how it should be), and a Q&A between the BFU, local police authorities, SLOs and the supporter groups representatives.
There were positive discussions about every item on the agenda. The main discussion between the supporters and the BFU, was about televised kick off times. The BFU then presented the different layers to the SLO work, the accomplishments thus far, and discussed the working relationship with both the local authorities and the clubs. The BFU also discussed the SD Europe LIAISE project and the importance of the exchange visits.
SD Europe consultant Loukas Anastasiadis commented on the success of the day while highlighting there is much work to do: “We have been coming here two or three times a year for the past five years, and it was the first time that progress was so visible among the participants. It was very positive to see that there is a sustainable network among the SLOs. As it is important to understand that they are in a very good position from where they were, a lot more needs to happen. In this process, it is everyone’s responsibility to ask the difficult questions and move forward. They have established a level of cooperation and now it is about how do they move forward and make it better”
Today we’re in Sofia for an interesting #SLO workshop organized by the Bulgarian Football Union #BFU #fanliaison pic.twitter.com/V01NN5ZdkM — SD Europe (@SDEurope07) 14 febbraio 2019
In recent years, the BFU has taken some important steps towards improving the relationship with the supporters. The appointment of a dedicated SLO coordinator, the ongoing development of the SLO work, the implementation of the Fan Dialogue programme have been some of the biggest milestones in the process. Moreover, the BFU have been a solid and reliable partner for SD Europe’s LIAISE project, which is co-funded by Erasmus+ and UEFA, from which they have greatly benefited. The BFU has already hosted the Czech Football League last year, participated in an exchange visit to Poland and organised the second LIAISE workshop, which focused on the Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events. The next exchange visit of the LIAISE project will see a Polish delegation visiting Bulgaria.
For more information about the SLO role, visit sdeurope.eu/slo or get in touch with the SD Europe team via our Contact Us page. Read all the latest news about LIAISE here. Follow SD Europe on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates!