As a result of a unique process, football supporters and representatives from all major European football institutions will launch a jointly developed „Handbook on Supporters Charters“ to promote on-going dialogue and a closer relationship between supporters and clubs in European football as means to combat current (security and economic) problems.
The document that was designed as a practical tool kit to serve clubs and fans will be launched as part of the ProSupporters Seminar and Round Table at the House of Sports in Vienna/Austria on 3 June 2013.
Upon initiative of Football Supporters Europe (FSE), the handbook was drawn up in a comprehensive consultation process with a balanced working group including representatives from UEFA, the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), the international players association FIFPro, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the European Club Association (ECA - in an observer capacity), and, of course, fans' representatives from the membership of FSE from across Europe.
This was the first time, that all major parties came together to develop a consensual position on the involvement of supporters in structured dialogue to overcome existing problems, with a focus on the positive key role of supporters in the game. Jo Vanhecke, Chair of the Council of Europe Standing Committee on Spectator Violence put it as follows: „It is about partnership, not about a code of conduct or a set of repressive rules. The process to produce this handbook was in itself a breakthrough. All relevant stakeholders have had an input and discussed the content in an open dialogue, based on principles of mutual respect and equal status“
Per Arne Flatberg of the NSA (Norwegian Supporters Alliance) who was involved in the process says: „We are thrilled to be involved in the creation of this handbook, a process that has been both challenging and rewarding, and I truly believe, it will be a great tool for all parties involved in football. We highly encourage fan organisations throughout Europe to push for the implementation of Supporters Charters at their clubs“
UEFA President Michel Platini and EU Commissioner Andrea Vassiliou also both endorsed the FSE Handbook. Michel Platini said: „I strongly believe that fans play a crucial role in defining and shaping the character and identity of their clubs. It is encouraging and comforting that fans took the initiative to develop this document and I sincerely hope that many clubs will make use of this tool in order to launch a new, positive relationship with their devoted fans.“
The FSE handbook will be launched at the European Seminar and Round Table event of the „ProSupporters“ Project, organised by the Austrian FSE member and partner organisation „FairPlay. Different Colours. One Game“ from 2 – 4 June 2013. The seminar will also mark the final of the 14month EU-funded ProSupporters project. In three workshops, the overall work and results of the project will be presented and discussed.
By the end of June 2013, the FSE Handbook will be available in 5 languages both as hard copy version and for download via www.fanseurope.org
A full programme and further details on the seminar can be found on the FairPlay Website.
Additional information on the ProSupporters Project and further FSE activities can be found on the [FSE Website section on the ProSupporters Project] as well as on the project website www.prosupporters.net