Austrian Bundesliga SLO coordinator Alex Schwärzler demonstrated extraordinary organisational skills in putting together an SLO workshop on the afternoon before the Champions League qualifier between FC Salzburg and Malmö FF at very short notice.
SLOs and security officers from 10 Austrian clubs gathered to hear Malmö SLO Pierre Nordberg talk about his club’s approach to supporter liaison and security issues. Other presentations were given on the subject of existing and future challenges to supporter dialogue in Germany, the potential personalisation of away match tickets in Austria, and the SLO work at German Bundesliga club FC Augsburg, so in fact this was a trilateral meeting of SLOs from Austria, Sweden and Germany, not a bilateral one.
Comments from participants ranged from “Thank you for yesterday’s invitation. It was a great meeting and a really nice exchange of ideas” and “It was certainly a lot of fun and it was great to see the commitment of the Malmö SLO to his work” to “The meeting was very interesting and we enjoyed it very much. We should definitely discuss the topic of ‘my club’ again“.
In thanking FC Salzburg on behalf of the Austrian Bundesliga for their support in hosting the workshop, which included the provision of a room and equipment and tickets for the match, Alex Schwärzler said: “We are convinced that this look beyond our own horizons will take us another step forward and help us improve our work and, in particular, our communications with supporters. The fact that 15 representatives of 10 clubs engaged in a lively and at times controversial discussion after the presentations adds another piece to the jigsaw as we jointly strive to professionalise our work and ultimately the way we look after supporters“.