Building a movement is not like building a house, even though the use of the same word to describe the processes implies similarity.
Movements are often described as having developed organically, but this doesn’t accurately reflect the commitment required to actually make it happen. A need for those willing to commit time and resources, in order to translate ideas into actions. Just as a house can’t be built without bricks, without people like this, movements would be impossible to get off the ground.
A gathering of such people will take place on November 27 in Malmö, where SD Europe’s first Annual General Meeting will take place; its first Annual General Meeting as an independent pan-European organisation, owned by its members.
This will represent the culmination of a process that began in 2007, with the idea that there was a need for like-minded groups of supporters and clubs to work together, marrying principles with pan-European co-operation. Established with a firm commitment to democracy, transparency and a belief in a better way for football, and supported by UEFA, the SD Europe network has set about making this vision a reality.
Many milestones have been celebrated along the way, as a succession of ideas have been translated into actions. Amongst these was a meeting in September 2015, when representatives from across the network expressed their clear desire for an independent organisation to be established, and nominated a steering committee to oversee the incorporation, working with Supporters Direct in the UK.
Now that this has taken place, and as the network approaches its tenth anniversary, the time has come to both celebrate this achievement and look to the future. With this in mind, members will elect the organisation’s first board and ratify a proposed strategy for the coming year. Membership is drawn from across Europe, with national organisations, individual club groups and member-run clubs all eligible to join. The organisation is fully democratic, with each country being entitled to one vote at the AGM.
On behalf of the interim board, Diego Riva (Italian national organisation Supporters in Campo) said:
“As a network we have always been clear in our desire for an independent organisation to represent our views on the European level. We are delighted that this now exists in SD Europe, and look forward to working collectively to promote a more democratic, sustainable model for our game.”
Antonia Hagemann, CEO of SD Europe, said:
“SD Europe has grown from a standing start in 2007 to a flourishing network that includes national supporters’ organisations, individual club groups and member-run clubs in over 20 countries. We exist to serve this network, helping build links, share best practice and represent its views on a range of key issues. As a team, we are looking forward continuing this work, and further developing SD Europe’s position as a key stakeholder in European football.”
Lofty ambitions? Perhaps. But with the commitment of the network acting as the catalyst, much has already been achieved in the last ten years. Here’s to another decade of success.
For more details, see SD Europe: Key Questions & Background Information.
About SD Europe SD Europe is an organisation that assists democratic supporters’ groups in achieving formal structured involvement in their clubs and associations, and developing member ownership of football clubs. Established in 2007 with support from UEFA, SD Europe also advises clubs on their ownership and governance structure and works with football governing bodies, leagues, UEFA, and European institutions. It is currently active in over 20 European countries and is also responsible for the implementation of the Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) requirement (Art. 35, UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations). For more information, contact us and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.