Almost all supporters of U.S. Ancona 1905 do not possess a tessera del tifoso (fan card), which is required for Italian supporters to attend away matches without any special conditions when it comes to ticketing, travel and other conditions. However, last Sunday (16 November) saw supporters of Ancona allowed to follow their team to SPAL without any conditions imposed – thanks to the friendship between supporters of the two Lega Pro clubs, and fundraising initiatives launched by supporters in order to help victims of flooding in the Tuscan town of Carrara.
This was made possible thanks to measures approved by the Osservatorio Nazionale per le Manifestazioni Sportive (an agency of the Italian Minister of Interior), which state that non-holders of the tessera may be allowed to attend away matches if social inclusion projects or charity projects are implemented by fans of the clubs involved.
Sunday’s trip and the accompanying activities were made possible thanks to close cooperation between the Supporter Liaison Officers of SPAL and Ancona, with support from Sosteniamolancona (the supporters’ trust at Ancona) and Supporters in Campo.
Supporters in Campo is the Italian umbrella organisation for supporters’ trusts and an affiliate member of SD Europe. It was launched as a key outcome of the EC-funded ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project in June 2013.
Sosteniamolancona were among the founding members of Supporters in Campo, and hosted the organisation’s first Annual General Meeting earlier this year. Founded in 2010, Sosteniamolancona owns a share in their club, which enshrines democratic supporter representation in its articles. The trust has the right to elect two representatives to sit on the club’s board, and also holds a ‘golden share’ with veto rights on the club’s colours, site and trademarks attached to it. The achievement of these rights was a landmark moment in Italian football, and paved the way for other supporters’ groups – including Fondazione Taras in 2012. SD Europe’s 2012 ‘Heart of the Game’ position paper includes a case study on Ancona.
Ancona’s SLO is the former chair of Sosteniamolancona and current board member of Sosteniamolancona and Supporters in Campo; further recognition of the positive contribution made by the trust to the club.
Before kick-off on 16 November, the chairs of each club presented to the team captains a plaque with the club colours and Supporters in Campo slogan (‘Il calcio senza tifosi perde la propria anima’ – ‘Football without fans loses its soul’).
To find out more about Supporters in Campo, visit their website. To find out more about the SLO project, click here or follow @SuppLiaison on Twitter. Further information about yesterday’s game is available via the Sosteniamolancona website (in Italian).