Football Supporters Europe (FSE) headed to Poznan, Poland, in June for its latest Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) Network meeting. Hosted by Polish Ekstraklasa club Lech Poznan, the event welcomed 23 SLOs and SLO Coordinators representing 13 different countries from across UEFA’s member nations.

Over two packed days (12th and 13th June), SLOs engaged in lively conversations on critical subjects facing their roles, providing the opportunity to learn from their peers’ experiences. and explore best practices from various European contexts. 

Marcin Kawka, SLO at Lech Poznan, set the tone with a welcome address. He emphasised the importance of SLOs learning from each other’s experiences at their own clubs and highlighted the nuances of local laws, club relationships, and interactions with police and security officers.  

Several subjects were covered through a series of working sessions over the two days, including the new UCC format, the UEFA Academy SLO Education Programme, the pros and cons of having fully employed SLOs, communications between SLOs at domestic level, relations with the SLO coordinator, educational exchanges with other SLOs, and finding pathways to new SLOs. 

The SLOs also took part in a session that focused on building on their skillsets, including the importance of information sharing on matchdays. The meeting concluded with a discussion about how the SLOs felt the network should work and grow in the coming years. One clear outcome was confirming the importance of bringing SLOs and SLO coordinators together with their peers and providing dedicated time and space for this European network. 

IF Elsborg’s SLO, Jacob Norrhult, shared his perspective following the meeting: “Attending this meeting as a new SLO provides valuable insights into the role’s variations across Europe while highlighting our shared challenges. It is a very valuable experience to have this opportunity.” 

FSE’s Head of SLO Development & Training Lenga Gustafson Wiberg said: “When you see the SLOs leave at the end of the event, it’s clear how beneficial the SLO Network Meetings are. FSE’s work on developing the SLO role has demonstrated once again how bringing SLOs together to discuss, debate, and learn from each other is pivotal in helping their individual growth at their clubs, but also in collectively raising strengthening the role in general.” 

FSE plans to resume holding the meeting on a more regular basis, with early planning for the next edition SLO Network Meeting already underway.  

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