In a joint statement released last week, US Ancona 1905 and Sosteniamolancona (the supporters’ trust that holds two seats on the board and a rights-attached shareholding in the club) announced the formation of the Supporters’ Relations Centre (Centro Relazioni con i Tifosi).
The CRT, that will consist of four members of Sosteniamolancona coordinated by the two Board members elected by the supporters and supported by two more members selected by the club against specific skills, will manage activities and issues regarding the away matches of Ancona 1905 and whenever necessary, play the role of the SLO, managing the presence and security of the Biancorossi fans at home and away matches.
In Italy, the SLO is included in the licensing requirements of the top four divisions. The fact that US Ancona, a fifth division club, have sought the best way to implement the requirement shows not only the vision of the club, but also an understanding of the need for Italian football to collectively improve the relationship between clubs and supporters; and the understanding of their needs and rights.
This initiative and delegation of responsibility to fans, shortly after the decision of the US Ancona Board to gradually remove barriers between stands and pitch, highlights the ongoing positive cooperation between Ancona and Sosteniamolancona, the trust founded in 2010 in order to facilitate the formation of a new club after AC Ancona was dissolved. Sosteniamolancona today hold two elected seats on the club’s board, as well as a shareholding that gives the trust a right to veto any change in the club’s name, colours, logo and home stadium.
Sosteniamolancona are founder members of Supporters in Campo, the Italian network for democratic supporters’ groups, which was launched in June 2013 as a key outcome of the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project, which was financed by the European Commission and coordinated by SD Europe.
The SLO concept gained full approval from the national associations represented on the UEFA Club Licensing Committee during the 2009/10 season and was drawn up in close cooperation with Supporters Direct Europe. UEFA then appointed SD Europe to facilitate the introduction of the new SLO requirement. To find out more, visit the Supporter Liaison section of this website.