Football Supporters Europe (FSE) met with individuals from across Europe with key experience in fan ownership and heritage protection for the very first time this week to begin developing its policy and work in the area.
The meeting comes following the establishment of a dedicated Fan Ownership & Heritage Protection ‘On-Topic Division’ within FSE and the appointment of Alan Russell, CEO of Supporters Direct Scotland, as its representative Board member, earlier this year.
During the meeting, representatives of FSE set out their initial plan to develop the organisation’s policy in the area, building on the previous work of SD Europe, and announced that due to the interest in taking part in the work, an expanded expert panel would be created. FSE will consult with the members of this panel both collectively and within their respective fields of interest throughout the coming weeks and months. Taking this approach will ensure all interests from 100% fan ownership to 50+1, fan-elected directors, and heritage protection are incorporated into future policy development and implementation.
FSE has set out four phases to work leading through to March 2024:
- Phase 1: Formation of Expert Panel & Research
- European Football Fans Congress 2023 (EFFC 2023): Presentation, Workshop, Member Engagement
- Phase 2: Policy Development
- Phase 3: Implementation
FSE Board member and Head of the Fan Ownership & Heritage Protection division, Alan Russell said: “As we kick the programme of work off, it’s important that we gather input and insight from a wide cross-section of our community.
“It’s clear that we have a diverse wealth of expertise to draw on from success stories across Europe, but perhaps just as importantly our staff and members of our expert panel also have experience of when things don’t go well – this will help us develop policies and guidance that work in practice, not just in theory. We’re looking forward to learning from even more of our members at the #EFFC
The next steps will involve some initial research and consultation, building up to a workshop at EFFC in Manchester next month to present the plan and gather feedback from members and the wider network.
Anyone interested in taking part in the expert panel can still register their interest by contacting: info[at]fanseurope.org and are asked to include a summary of their background in the topic and motivation to contribute.
FSE would like to thank everyone who attended the meeting for their contributions.
If you have not registered to attend EFFC 2023, you can find out more information and do so here.