The FSF is ready to help promote the work of SLOs, to answer any questions you may have or to help with advice wherever we can. This section is pretty new and we'll be adding content as the days and weeks progess.
We aim to put SLOs in touch with each other to facilitate the spread of good ideas and best practice models, to open up lines of communication more generally, and make your lives easier. If you'd like to get involved in that email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Frequently Asked Questions about SLOs
- Full SLO contact list
- Downloads and resources (inc. UEFA's Supporter Liaison Officer Handbook)
- FSF Annual Report 2013 (inc. SLO section)
- Case study - Birmingham City
- Case study - Cardiff City
- Case study - Crewe Alexandra
- Case study - Doncaster Rovers
- Case study - Everton
- Case study - Manchester City
- Case study - Newcastle United
- Case study - Sunderland
- Case study - Wigan Athletic
Download UEFA's Supporter Liaison Officer Handbook (English version, 2011 edition) here. Beginning with a foreward from UEFA President Michel Platini it offers definitions of an SLO, target audience, benefits, selection, support, tasks, outlook, implementation, case studies and other valuable resources. Read a little more about the history of the SLO on UEFA's website.
The FSF is affiliated to Football Supporters Europe who represent fans across the continent. FSE's Supporters Charters in Europe handbook for for fans, clubs, associations and leagues should be an educational read for SLOs. With statements of endorsement from Michel Platini, the European Commission and fans from throughout Europe, it's a heavyweight publication - download it here. Back to the top.
The FSF is keen to see Supporter Liaison Officers (SLOs) become a real link between clubs and their fans. Over at Birmingham City a new supporter "hub" has brought together 30+ forums, websites, Facebook groups and Twitter accounts to work with the club's SLO. Is this the way ahead in the digital age? The Blues Collective explains more here. Back to the top.
Cardiff City have produced an Away Fan Guide 2013/14 which offers advice around travel, ticketing and tourist attractions. There's also information on the stadium itself and additional detail for disabled supporters. This seems a very useful tool for visiting fans and something which other clubs could roll out. Back to the top.
Crewe Alexandra have appointed Beverley Dyer (Customer Service Manager) and FSF National Council member Dave Tomlinson as joint SLOs. You can read the club's statement on the appointment here, the SLO job description here and an SLO explained document here. According to Dave Tomlinson, many fans and clubs are still “not getting” the SLO role and the potential it has to improve the fans’ experience. Dave took the time to tell us more here. Back to the top.
Doncaster Rovers have appointed two SLOs from the club's fan base after consultation with supporters at the club (including FSF Deputy Chair Martin O'Hara). Their Supporter Liaison Officer document (download here) is well worth a read for anyone at the beginning of this process.
The club say they "wish to build a culture where the club and supporters are together as one. By acting as an independent mediator, the SLO’s will provide information and guidance to supporters and the club’s management, providing a conduit of two-way communication between the supporters and the club management". Back to the top.
Christine Prior, Supporter Liaison Officer at Everton, said: "This season we have continued with our work on improving the matchday experience for all at Goodison Park. We have a dedicated ‘Memorable Matchday’ team in the club who are committed to ensuring we do all we can to make Goodison Park a great atmosphere regardless of the result on the pitch."
Different matchdays are themed so that, for instance, Everton's match against Hull City in October was a "retro day" with various events celebrating the club's successes in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Younger fans from both clubs were also selected at random for a half-time kickabout on the pitch. You can see images from the club's ‘Memorable Matchdays’ against Chelsea and Hull City. Back to the top.
Hull City fan Chris Cooper explains his positive experiences at Manchester City. He says these were a sharp contrast with what he found elsewhere: "At Hull City we have a sizeable group of young supporters whose mission is to create atmosphere and colour at games. They are avowedly anti-hooligan but express their passion for the team by singing and choreography of giant flags.
"Given my son is one of their number I take it upon myself to call clubs ahead of time to ensure that the group do not get unnecessary attention from heavy stewarding nor problems with the various flags and banners they take to away games.
"I’ve came across every regulation and ‘jobsworth’ reason in the book and going up into the Premier League has meant a whole new set of clubs to deal with. Unfortunately our first game at Chelsea was not a good experience.
"Despite calling ahead of the game, come matchday flags were not allowed inside the stadium having been deemed “too big”… only to see huge Chelsea flags being passed overhead and the stadium festooned with flags and banners throughout the home areas. All Hull City flags were impounded and had to be retrieved after the game.
"I mention this as a contrast to the excellent experience at the Etihad Stadium. I called ahead and we were met at the turnstiles by the safety officer and each flag was checked for its fire certificate and then stewards helped the lads inside with their flags.
"The choreography went as planned and then stewards helped move the flags to the back of the stand. Throughout their conduct was one of assistance and service and for that the whole team should be commended."
An example of our work with SLOs took place at Newcastle United's where SLO Lee Marshall approached us for some advice and assistance in setting up a new fans' forum, to aid communication between the club and the fanbase.
Lee says, “The SLO role has been given great support and a lot of work has gone into looking at what it can achieve and how we can mould the broader aims from Article 35 to fit our unique position. Fans’ views have been vital in that process.
“One of the key ways in which we will be engaging with supporters and ensuring regular, structured dialogue between our fan base, club officials, our Foundation and sponsors is through the introduction of a new Fans Forum for the 2013/14 season and beyond.
“We have worked closely with the FSF to identify both best practice and fresh ideas and we look forward to continuing that work as we form and develop the Forum.” Back to the top.
Sunderland SLO Chris Waters has produced a Visitors Guide for away fans which is also distributed in hard copy form. The away end has also seen work undertaken, including bespoke posters and videos for visiting teams. A section of the concourse has also been spruced up to appeal to families with kid-friendly games and displays. Back to the top.
Wigan Athletic's SLO Ian Wadsworth has said that most Wigan fans still do not know what an SLO is and what the role does, find out more here. Speaking to the Progress With Unity podcast recently, Ian said: "I'd say it's quite an evolving role. It's not really taken off yet. I'm sure the majority of the fans listening to this don't know what an SLO is and don't know what we do." Back to the top.