The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) held its second annual SLO workshop in Madrid on 30 March.
In the presence of representatives from 16 of the 20 La Liga clubs, SD Europe and UEFA SLO Consultant Stuart Dykes gave a presentation about developing the SLO role in Spain. This theoretical intervention was followed by input from two practitioners. Thomas Kirschner, head of the supporter department at FC Schalke 04 in Germany explained how the SLO work is organised at his club, while Javier Ucha Marquiegui, SLO at Athletic Club, provided an insight into the relationship between the Basque club and its supporters.
The RFEF, represented by Eduard Dervishaj (Director of the International Department) and SLO coordinator Pablo Bisbal de Celis, reiterated their commitment to the project and desire to establish the role at Spanish clubs. The clubs were again reminded of their obligation under Article 35 of the UEFA Club Licensing and FFP Regulations (Article 69 of the RFEF Club Licensing Regulations for UEFA Competitions) to have an SLO. It was noted that many clubs are already performing SLO tasks but that this is often done by a range of club employees. The RFEF would like to see the clubs bundle their supporter liaison activities through the office of the SLO and a good discussion was held about how this can be done and the potential for recruiting SLOs straight from the fan base, a process that has already started at some clubs.
Supporters were represented at the workshop by Emilio Abejón of SD Europe’s Spanish affiliate Federación de Accionistas y Socios del Fútbol Español (FASFE).
Under Article 35 of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, clubs across Europe are required to appoint a Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) to ensure proper and constructive discourse between them and their fans. The SLO project originated in 2009 as a result of detailed talks between UEFA and SD Europe. It was approved by the UEFA Executive Committee in 2010, with SD Europe appointed to manage its implementation across UEFA’s 54 member associations. If you would like to learn more, visit the SLO section on the SD Europe website, browse the SD Europe SLO resources, follow the official SLO account on twitter or get directly in touch via email@example.com.