UEFA backs project on fan ownership and better governance

Fan-led project focuses on good governance, sustainable finance and volunteer engagement.

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UEFA is currently co-funding a project that promotes good financial practice in football. The initiative is co-ordinated by UEFA’s partner SD Europe, an organisation that assists supporters in becoming formally involved in their club as well as developing member ownership of football clubs generally.

The "Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football" project brings together six member-run football clubs and various European national supporters’ organisations, and focuses on three key areas to enable growth: governance, sustainable finance and member/volunteer engagement.

The project, also co-funded by the European Union under its Erasmus + programme for education, training, youth and sport, will help promote EU principles on good governance in sport, through a two-year training, education and exchange programme involving project partners from seven EU states.

Malmö workshop

As part of this initiative UEFA attended a recent workshop highlighting the project in Malmö, Sweden, and were joined by UEFA social responsibility partners including Football Supporters’ Europe (FSE), CAFE (Centre for Access to Football in Europe) and Fare.

The workshop discussed, among other things, ways of achieving financial sustainability and how clubs can operate without neglecting their founding principles.

UEFA senior benchmarking manager Sefton Perry gave a presentation on the importance of evaluating football finances today, and the various challenges which can arise.

"We have been working with SD Europe for many years," he said. "This meeting was a great opportunity to see and hear directly how national supporters’ organisations and member-run clubs at all levels of the game have developed and perceive football."

The various project partners are taking part in a series of exchange visits over the lifetime of two-year project, with key learnings and best practices being compiled to shape a comprehensive online training tool by the end of 2017.

Antonia Hagemann, CEO of SD Europe, said: "It is great see how member-run clubs and national supporters’ groups benefit from this project. The feedback has been very positive and we look forward to further improve the way we all operate based on shared values and principles."