Following on from two successful pilot sessions last month in Denmark, with the Danish Football League and in Russia, with the Football Union of Russia, the new SLO Education Programme, run in partnership between the UEFA Academy and SD Europe, was officially launched on 9 March.
For SD Europe, the establishment of the SLO Education Programme, in partnership with the UEFA Academy, is the culmination of over 10 years of work at European level in the area of developing and implementing SLOs.
What is an SLO? Supporter Liaison Officers (SLOs) act as a bridge between football clubs and supporters by providing a two-way flow of information around key topical issues. The role ensures that fans’ voices are heard within every club’s internal structures while working to ensure an enjoyable match day experience for everyone in the stadium. SLOs can work with many different departments within a football club and often take many forms from club to club, but their expertise is focused on supporters. Find out more here.
The programme, which has been carefully curated by SD Europe in consultation with supporter liaison experts, will provide SLOs with the tools and know-how to perform at their best within a highly demanding role. Aimed at supporting SLOs at club and national level, and hosted by national associations and leagues, the programme offers flexibility to the local context and caters for the requirements of full-time, part-time and volunteer SLOs.
Speaking about the SLO Education Programme, SD Europe CEO Antonia Hagemann said ‘As their role develops across Europe, increasing demands are being placed on SLOs by a host of stakeholders, all with different needs and wants. Juggling these expectations, often at a moment’s notice, is a difficult task that requires adequate training so that SLOs keep everybody happy. Football governing bodies receive the help and advice they need from the UEFA Academy and SD Europe to tailor the SLO Education Programme to their requirements and raise the standards of supporter liaison in their countries as part of an integrated approach to safety, security and service at football matches.’
In collaboration with the UEFA Academy, SD Europe’s SLO Team will be delivering the content of the programme.
Lena Gustafson Wiberg, Head of SLO Training at SD Europe, said ‘The whole SD Europe team is delighted to be embarking on this new SLO journey. Since the organisation’s inception, supporter liaison has been a core element of what we do. There has been significant progress in the field over the last 10 years through our projects. This programme through the UEFA Academy will facilitate more supporter liaison officers to grow within their roles to the benefit of national associations, leagues, football clubs and ultimately fans’.
SD Europe will provide further updates and information on the programme as they materialise.