Supporters Direct Europe (SD Europe) is launching its first position paper, ‘The Heart of the Game: Why Supporters are Vital to Improving Governance in Football’, at an event hosted by Ivo Belet MEP at the European Parliament in Brussels today and Clément Moracin will represent the think tank Sport and Citizenship there.
The paper covers a range of issues relating to good governance, financial sustainability and supporter involvement. Recommendations to public authorities and football governing bodiesinclude: a revival of the members’ association model of club ownership, expansion of existing national networks of organised supporters’ groups, and the implementation of club licensing and financial fair play rules in all European leagues. Football’s key stakeholders will bepresent, including UEFA, national associations and leagues, and Members of the European Parliament, Council and Commission.
The event will feature a panel discussion, moderated by Raphael Honigstein (Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Guardian), and featuring contributions from David Lampitt (Chief Executive,Supporters Direct); William Gaillard (Senior Adviser to the President, UEFA), Emanuel Medeiros (Chief Executive Officer, European Professional Football Leagues); and Christian Müller (Chief Executive Officer, SG Dynamo Dresden). The panel will discuss how football’s governance and financial sustainability can be improved, as well as the need for increased supporter participation in governance and ownership at all levels of the game.
Representatives from the growing European network of organised supporters’ groups working towards greater levels of involvement in the decision-making process and ownership structures of their clubs will also be present at the event. Ivo Belet MEP said: “Formalised involvement of supporters can strengthen governance and encourage financial stability at football clubs, leagues, and national federations. SD Europe and the growing movement that they are a part of have won support from a variety of stakeholders, and this position paper shows why.”
Antonia Hagemann, Head of European Development at Supporters Direct, said: “This paper not only sets out evidence of how supporter involvement and ownership can help improve European football and deliver EU values, but it also provides a range of recommendations for the game’s key stakeholders. SD Europe are committed to ensuring that supporters across the continent are able to securea greater role in the decision-making process and ownership structure at their clubs; and as amovement we see supporters as having a vital role to play in the development of a better game for all.”