Supporter Liaison Officer
Friday 13 July 2012 at 23:27
As part of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, clubs across Europe will be required to appoint a Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) before the beginning of the 2012/13 season.
Article 35 of the regulations, which covers the SLO, states as follows:
Article 35 - Supporter Liaison Officer
1. The licence applicant must have appointed a liaison officer to act as a key contact point for supporters.
2. The supporter liaison officer must regularly attend meetings with the club’s management and must collaborate with the security officer on safety and security-related matters.
UEFA have introduced the role of a Supporter Liaison Officer to ensure that there is dialogue between a club and its supporters. The role of Supporter Liaison Officer was announced in July 2010 but had previously been discussed at the 2009 European Football Fans Congress, held by Football Supporters Europe. Spirit of Shankly attended this congress and contributed to the discussions formulating the role.
The role of the SLO does not replace a registered supporters trust, such as SOS, which is registered with Supporters Direct, but can be an additional conduit to ensure communication and dialogue is improved and maintained between a football club and its supporters.
With the 2012/13 season approaching, Spirit of Shankly asked Liverpool FC if an SLO had been appointed and who this person was. During a recent interview for the latest LFC podcast, a representative from the Premier League informed us that a member of the customer service team from LFC had been allocated to this role. Following our approach to LFC regarding the Supporter Liaison Officer, the club has informed us that they now intend to invite the Supporters' Committee to nominate a committee member to take up this role, although Supporter Committee members have indicated the role of the SLO has not been specifically discussed with them.
SOS thanks Jen Chang for the club's prompt response, however, as the Supporters' Committee is a body facilitated by the club, working to a format and remit established by the club and appointed via a club sanctioned process, we would question whether it is sufficiently independent to provide an individual to act as the SLO fulfilling the spirit of the UEFA regulations.
Listen to Head of Supporter Services at the Premier League, Cathy Long, talking to SOS about the type of person who would be suited to the SLO role at LFC.
You will be able to listen to Cathy talking more about the SLO
role in our podcast which is due out early next week. You can also listen to our previous podcasts by downloading from our website
or via iTunes