Implementing the SLO
SD Europe works with supporters groups and member-run clubs to meet the need for meaningful supporter involvement in the running of football clubs and the sustainable development of the game as a whole.
Supporter liaison officers (SLOs) go right to the heart of what we advocate for and we have facilitated the implementation of the role across Europe since 2010.
“The implementation of the SLO function has been one of the most important things in Swedish football. We introduced it in 2012 and haven’t regretted it for a second.”
Mats Enquist, CEO Swedish Football League
Our work includes:
- Coordinating the European Commission-funded Erasmus+ project, Liaison-based Integrated Approach to Improving Supporter Engagement (LIAISE)
- Holding observer status on the Council of Europe (CoE) Standing Committee on Safety, Security and Service at Football Matches and other Sports Events (T-RV)
- Participating as experts in the activities of the CoE Standing Committee, such as consultative visits to help various countries prepare to implement the Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events (CETS No. 218) as well as the current Joint Programme of the Council of Europe/European Union, Promoting Safety, Security and Service at Sports Events (ProS4)
- Encouraging meaningful dialogue between grassroots supporter groups across Europe and stakeholders, including European institutions, governing bodies, leagues, clubs, and other relevant participants
- Developing and delivering tailored training around the SLO role to various stakeholders including member associations, police, and SLOs
European SLO network
As part of its objectives under Article 35, SD Europe established and continues to coordinate a network of European SLOs.
The first meeting of the network took place in Stockholm in June 2016, with subsequent meetings held in Gelsenkirchen and Rotterdam. A working group of SLOs is now in place to lead further development of this network – providing SLOs with an excellent opportunity to learn from the experiences of others and examine best practice in other European countries.
History of the SLO role
In a survey conducted by Supporters Direct on behalf of Uefa in 2007, football associations expressed the view that dialogue between supporters and associations and also between supporters and clubs was worth improving as it enables supporters to become more serious and responsible partners.
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. In particular:
- The license applicant must have appointed a supporter liaison officer to act as the key contact point for supporters.
- The supporter liaison officer will regularly meet and collaborate with the relevant club personnel on all related matters.
The inclusion of Article 35 was the result of detailed talks between Uefa and SD Europe. The SLO concept gained full approval in 2009/10 from the national associations represented on the Uefa Club Licensing Committee and an expert group was set up to support Uefa and SD Europe in the implementation of the project.
The inaugural Uefa SLO conference was held in Berlin in October 2011, organised jointly with SD Europe and with 47 national associations in attendance.
As part of its work around the SLO role, SD Europe was granted observer status on the Standing Committee of the European Convention on Spectator Violence in January 2016.
The first ever meeting of European SLOs took place in June 2016 with SLOs as mentioned, with SLOs from 11 countries present.
The second ever Uefa SLO conference took place in Vienna in November 2017.
SD Europe’s two-year LIAISE Erasmus+ project got underway in January 2018. Later in the year, the third SLO network meeting took place in Rotterdam.
Additional guidance and support
SD Europe actively works on the development of the supporter liaison officer (SLO) role across Europe and further afield. For additional information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.