SPEAKER PREVIEW: Engaging with supporters – a European Perspective
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
From the 2012/13 campaign onwards, all European football clubs must have an operating supporter liaison officer (SLO) as part of a new UEFA licensing requirement – marking a huge new step in club/supporter relations.
The move, the result of close cooperation between European football’s governing body and Supporters Direct – the body that provides guidance on supporter involvement and community ownership to fan groups in more than 20 countries throughout Europe – is aimed at improving clubs’ relationships with fans, and other key stakeholders, by encouraging two-way dialogue.
- See Club-fan links added to UEFA licensing criteria (UEFA.com)
At Fan Experience Forum 2012, UEFA’s Head of SLO Project Sefton Perry and Stuart Dykes, SLO Consultant at Supporters Direct will join the international speaking programme as guest speakers to explore the challenges, successes and early benefits of the scheme.
“Before we started, SLOs were established in only two or three countries in Europe,” explains Stuart. “But we’re now rolling the concept out across 53 different national associations – each of whom has a different footballing culture.”
“As we’ll discuss in Turin, one of the biggest challenges for us has been explaining what supporter liaison officers are, what they do and what the benefits of introducing SLOs are.”
“That’s why we are delighted to be a part of the Fan Experience Forum,” continued Stuart. “The Forum is a great platform to engage with clubs and associations from around Europe, and further afield.
“We’re also very excited to learn about how enlightened clubs are engaging with fans, and creating stronger relationships.
“It really is such a vital time to be encouraging dialogue and debate about fan engagement and experience – and we look forward to doing just that in Turin.”
Fan Experience Forum 2012 explores the latest trends, winning strategies and business ideas to enhance the sports fan visitor experience.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Before joining Supporters Direct to help implement Article 35 of UEFA’s licensing regulations (Supporter Liaison Officer) on behalf of UEFA, Stuart Dykes worked professionally as a translator and interpreter, with clients throughout the football world, including FIFA, for whom he translated the Technical Report for the 2006 World Cup. He has been involved supporter-related issues at club and national level in Germany since 1992. Stuart bought his first season ticket at FC Schalke 04 in 1989 and is also a founder member of FC United of Manchester.
Stuart served as a member of the admin group of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) from 2004 to 2009, during which time he helped to coordinate the anti-racism activities at the 2006 World Cup in Germany on behalf of FIFA. The expertise gained in this area led to him being appointed as a consultant on social responsibility issues to Schalke.
Sefton Perry joined UEFA full-time after completing his MBA in Football Industries and after a successful business career in the UK and Switzerland working latterly on cross border M&A projects in Zurich. He is an economics graduate and UK chartered accountant and has years of experience visiting over 200 stadiums in various parts of Europe and further afield as a football supporter. For the last six years Sefton has been based in Nyon Switzerland, working within the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play unit. He focuses primarily on strategy and development, creating and authoring the first Europe-wide benchmarking analyses of club football “The European footballing landscape.” Now in its fourth year, the publication is printed and distributed in four languages and has become the principal authority on football club finances as well as covering areas such as stadium attendances and utilisation, league structures, club ownership and youth and head coach investment.
Despite having a Dutch mother, English father and Brazilian wife he has unfortunately not been blessed with much skill on the pitch! Nonetheless he is happy and proud with the next best thing, to be working on important projects at the heart of European football. Club licensing is constantly evolving with the introduction and phasing in of Financial Fair Play measures as well as expanding to include the concept of Supporter Liaison Officers, a project under Sefton’s leadership that is aimed at increasing communication between supporters and their clubs.- PreviousNext