Football Supporters Europe (FSE) is delighted to announce Sofia Bohlin and Alan Russell as the board members for our new Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) and Fan Ownership & Heritage Protection divisions.
Both Sofia and Alan will be familiar to the FSE network given their extensive contributions to the football supporter landscape in their countries. The FSE Board approved their appointment during a recent board meeting.
Sofia, an IFK Göteborg supporter, served as the Chair of the Swedish national supporters organisation Svenska Fotbollssupportersunionen (SFSU) from 2015 until 2021. During that time, she has been involved with and instigated several projects and cooperations with the Swedish leagues and Swedish FA, in addition to creating change with her fellow supporters at her football club. Sofia has also chaired SD Europe since 2021 and was elected to the FSE Board in July 2022.
Alan, a Raith Rovers supporter, joined the Council of national supporters organisation Supporters Direct Scotland in 2017 and became its CEO in 2018. He has been on the board of Raith Supporters Trust since 2004, and his work on the SD Scotland Index has given supporters across Scotland greater insight into the ownership status of their clubs as well as their approach to transparency and supporter engagement.
Sofia Bohlin commented on her appointment: “Following on from my time as SD Europe chair and being elected to the FSE Board, I am excited to continue my contribution at the European level, this time with a specific role representing the SLO on-topic division.
“In Sweden, we enjoy one of Europe’s most developed SLO implementations. The SLO team within FSE is making consistent progress in growing and championing the role through day-to-day work, the UEFA Academy programme, and through a number of EU-funded projects so I’m delighted to represent the interests of this key instrument of supporter engagement at FSE Board level.”
Alan Russell said: “I am delighted to be joining the FSE Board to help fans across the continent secure a greater say in the future of their clubs. I believe that football clubs are strongest when they are firmly rooted in their communities, and recognise the important place they have in their fans’ lives.
“In recent years the growth in fan ownership has been a phenomenon in my country, and I’m keen to add my knowledge of this to the wealth of experience that exists across the continent.”
This milestone is the latest commitment to solidify the legacy and long-term future of the SLO and Fan Ownership & Heritage Protection work. The new On-Topic Divisions were established following the merger of FSE and SD Europe last October and allow for a specific focus on the respective work.
FSE now has four on-topic divisions: Anti-Discrimination, Fans’ Embassies, Fan Ownership & Heritage Protection, and Supporter Liaison Officer.
With work on FSE’s new Fan Ownership & Heritage Protection (FOHP) strategy underway, FSE members and those with an interest in the topic are invited to express an interest in being involved with our FOHP working group. More info can be found here.