Supporter Liaison Officer
SLO - The Guidelines. Introduction
The recommendations and suggestions contained in this text derive from Article 35 of UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play – Edition 2010.
Starting from the 2012/13 sports season, all the European clubs participating in the UEFA competitions had to designate a delegate for relationships with the fan base (Supporter Liaison Officer – SLO) to ensure a suitable, constructive dialogue between clubs and their supporters.
The Italian Football Federation first adopted the content of Article 35 within the UEFA Licensing Manual - Version 2.3 (and in all its subsequent versions). As a result, in part at the instigation of the Lega Nazionale Professionisti [Italian National Professionals League] - Serie A, the Lega Nazionale Professionisti - Serie B, and the Lega Italiana Calcio Professionistico [Italian Professional Soccer League], it extended the requirement for the Supporter Liaison Officer to all professional clubs, including this provision within the regulations that govern admission to the championship via the granting of the national licence.
The introduction of this requirement for the granting of the national licence represents a crucial turning point for relations between the club and its supporters and underlines the importance that the FIGC and the Leagues attribute to dialogue and communication between clubs and fans.
Generally, the organisational criteria contained in the national licensing system are understood to improve the clubs' management methods. The introduction of the SLO responds to the need to perfect communication between the parties concerned and make it more transparent.
The goals pursued through the introduction of the mandatory nature of the SLO figure include:
Improving and, in some cases, starting a constructive dialogue between supporters and club.
Improving the quality of services offered to supporters.
Promoting and instigating social activities.
Improving the organisation and management of matches through a process of fan accountability.
Contributing to improving relationships between different stakeholders of the world of soccer, in particular between supporters, club administrators, owners, institutions in charge of holding soccer events.
Preventing, through initiatives and dialogue with supporters, episodes of violence and/or discrimination.
Description of the role
The Supporter Liaison Officer carries out functions connecting supporters, the club, the national federation, and the league.
The SLO must, through their own work, that of the club, and with all the members, create ethical behaviours that tend to involve supporters in the best ways and with continuous interaction programmes.
This is also for isolating fans' violent breaches.
The SLO collaborates with the club in preparing regulations regarding requirements and procedures for the accreditation of supporter organisations and associations with the club.
The accreditation activity, which occurs via the conclusion of conventions/agreements with the clubs, must be facilitated by the latter as part of a process of greater accountability for clubs and supporters.
In addition, the SLO has the task of assessing and authorising requests for meetings with members, including club managers, coming from supporters or supporter associations or groups. The meetings that are not carried out in compliance with the provisions of the current legislation, or not authorised by the SLO according to what is described above, will be sanctioned pursuant to art. 12(9) of the Italian Code of Sports Justice.
The SLO takes part in supporters’ activities, on the occasion of home and away matches, and provides them with every useful communication. On the occasion of away games, and in part thanks to the collaboration of the host team SLO, it will need to suitably inform the guest team supporters about methods for accessing the facility and its regulations of use, places of interest to visit, and host fan habits.
The exchange of information between SLOs must be encouraged. The creation of a network of SLOs both nationally and European-wide represents an essential factor in this process and constitutes one of the main goals of the growth project that the SLO must lead.
In compliance with the separation of roles, the SLO collaborates with the security officer and may participate in the GOS in compliance with the provisions for this purpose.
RIFERIMENTI SLO FERRARA