The FSA works with two organisations, Football Supporters (FSE) and SD Europe, to represent and promote the interests of football supporters at European level. To keep FSA members up to date on that work, we’ve rounded up some highlights below from our friends at FSE and SD Europe…
SD Europe AGM
SD Europe held their AGM back in May and the main message from the event was about involving footballers as serious stakeholders across the game.
Supporters groups and member-run football clubs from 23 countries across 4 continents, accompanied by representatives of UEFA, FIFPRO, national associations and the European Parliament, met to discuss the big issues around supporter ownership, dialogue and more.
SD Europe chief executive Antonia Hagemann said: “Despite the constraints of having to hold the AGM virtually the event demonstrated the vibrancy and tenacity of the individuals involved in member-run clubs and supporters organisations across Europe and further.”
Read a round-up of the AGM here.
Fans should have special status – European Sport report
The European Parliament is compiling its latest Sport Report, a policy document examining the most pressing matters in sport and making recommendations to EU member states about how to tackle them.
SD Europe have made a submission to the Parliament making the case that supporters should be formally recognised as major stakeholders in the game’s decision-making processes at local, national and European level.
Their submission is worth a read. Check it out here.
Fans’ embassies – FSE provides support across the continent
Football Supporters Europe have been busy since the Euros kicked off providing support to fans travelling across the tournament.
With matches played in 11 cities in as many countries – from Baku in Azerbaijan to Saint Petersburg in Russia – delivering the Fans’ Embassy service has been a significant challenge. A challenge made all the more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been a bumpy road to EURO 2020, but we’ve put in a lot of work to make sure that fans—and especially travelling fans—have access to as much information, guidance, and support as possible,” said Fans’ Embassy project manager Matty Willis.
“We’re thankful that our Fans’ Embassies team is comprised of so many experienced volunteers and professional fan workers who have been able to adapt to the unusual circumstances of the past 18 or so months.”
The Fans’ Embassies continue to serve as a hub for key information, news, documents and contacts. Each host city has its own guide, including details on current public health measures, travel entry requirements, public transport options and local legal assistance. In addition, the website incorporates a live chat function and the number of a 24/7 helpline.
European Super League fall-out
The tail end of the European Super League debacle continued into May and June. A delegation of fan representatives led by FSE met with UEFA and its president Aleksander Čeferin to discuss the implications of the failed project and the critical role fans played in its demise.
Fans in the meeting were clear that the attempted breakaway must never be allowed to happen again – the future of football cannot be controlled by a handful of billionaire club owners.
Reclaim the Game
Eleven demands for radical change to the game were put together in one ‘Reclaim the Game’ manifesto by FSE at the end of May to help supporters campaign across the continent.
FSE have created a campaign and online resources to help supporters push for change at whatever level of the game they may be at – from the Champions League to grassroots.
‘Reclaim the Game’ covers subjects such as ticket prices, safe standing, revenue distribution and fan involvement in discussions on the future of the game. The manifesto aims to complement domestic initiatives and campaigns. Each demand can be expanded upon and amended to fit the local footballing landscape.