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Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga
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Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in the Bundesliga

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Thomas Weinmann, Supporters Liaison Officer, Borussia Moenchengladbach, outlines in detail the key responsibilities of being an SLO, from being a lawyer to the fans inside the club, supporting …

Thomas Weinmann, Supporters Liaison Officer, Borussia Moenchengladbach, outlines in detail the key responsibilities of being an SLO, from being a lawyer to the fans inside the club, supporting self-regulation in the stands to the specific tasks during the week, and at home and away games.

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  • 1. SLO Supporters – Liaison - Officer Workshop: „Closing the gap – SLO‘s in Europe“ EFFC – 2010 17-08-2010, Barcelona Practical aspects of the work of a SLO in Germany „What‘s a SLO about?“ Thomas -Tower- Weinmann Diplom Kaufmann, Fanbeauftragter Deutsche Fußball Liga Borussia VL 1900 Mönchengladbach GmbH www.borussia.de www.fanprojekt.de
  • 2. Who or „what“ is a Supporters Liaison Officer? “That’s a paid job? What are you doing during the day and a week even?” • We are no Taxi-Drivers who can answer: “I’m a Taxi-Driver!” and everybody would understand immediately • Explaining what we are doing during the day could easily take a whole day!!! • Why? Because we are working in a new and unknown “job” and even in Germany, where we started in the 80th in several clubs, there are only 60 people doing this job! 60 for 80 Mio people. • No wonder that no one knows about our work….. ☺ 2
  • 3. Lawyer, Partner, Fan It’s necessary for our job as “SLO” “Fanbeauftragter”, “Fan-Liaison-Officer”, “Supporters- Attendant”, “Supporters-Coach” or how ever you will call our job that we are at first the • Lawyer of the Fans, • • a Partner, and still • a Fan and a Supporter on ourselfes! A good friend of mine from Liverpool once said to me that my job is very hard to handle because I’m sitting on two horses and that I always have to try to keep them together! When you loose one of your horses you fall down or ride only on one horse your Job is over. • On the one hand we have to represent the interests of the Fans! • On the other hand we have to take care of the interests of the Clubs and the League! 3
  • 4. What‘s good for the club is good for the fans? • In the first years of my Job at the Supporters Club of Borussia I only had one view: The view as a Fan and the view of Fans who want to take care about their club. • Since I work for the Club as a SLO I won two views on the same case! • My boss, the chief-executive of Borussia always tells me; “What’s good for the club is as well good for the fans!” • My answer is always; “What’s good for the Fans is as well good for the club!” • As you can see, there is a dilemma and two total different views on the same case! • And what is the truth now? The truth is that there is not only one truth! • The only thing that counts for both sides is that there is no trouble around the club because of the Fans! 4
  • 5. No Fire Fighter! 100 % Self-regulation! • The SLO is no fire fighter you can call when its burning. • Like: “Oh my god, our fans behave that or this way! We don’t want that! Do your job and stop it!” This doesn’t work! • The SLO is necessary in the club to PREVENT situations no one wants to see and to prevent that we’d get to a point of no return! • But the SLO is no Security or Police-Officer either, who should go right into the situation. His job is “just” to prevent that those situations to happen! • For that the SLO is the main COMMUNICATOR between all protagonists in and around the clubs and his job is always to stay in contact with everyone to talk and to share information and disanonouminize (what a word) the whole fan-base! • In the next step he has to organize the fan-base so that the fans themselves care about their problems themselves own and implement 100 % SELFREGULATION ! 5
  • 6. SERVICE / SECURITY / COMMUNICATION To get to the point: The main goal of the SLO’s job and what everyone expects from a good SLO is: • A brilliant and funny atmosphere in between our fans mainly inside and outside the stadium • without VIOLANCE, DISCRIMINATION and political abuse! There three main ways we could reach this goal: • With SERVICE: • With SECURITY: • And at last but not at least with COMMUNICATION - Talking, talking, talking ☺ 6
  • 7. A dream come true or a hard job? “Wow, what a job! He turned his hobby into his work! Cool!” • But you shouldn’t forget that many people are jealous and envious about your “success”. • So you should have a strong back bone to handle the verbal attacks • “He is no one from us anymore!” or “Plays the music he is paid for!” • Don’t underestimate this aspect! • One aspect everyone should know: When you work as a SLO you loose your hobby! • You have to seek a new one so that you could find a mental compensation. Otherwise you can’t work in this field for a long time I suppose. 7
  • 8. You have to be very idealistic! • You have to be very very idealistic! • Your no anonumeous fan anymore - you‘re an official of the club! • You‘re well known and what you are saying is heard! • You loose your privacy around the football match and you loose your professionall perspective In your personal life because the job you‘re doing is not „on the market“. Clubs can‘t find employees for this job by advertising it in the papers! • And there is no comparable job anyway. Or do you know of the SLO of McDonalds or Burger King? ☺ • When you want to go back to your „normal job“ it is very hard because you‘re out for too long! • These aspects of our job are not recognised by the outside world, where everybody things you‘ve got a dream job! 8
  • 9. Maintain the special fan culture of your club! You have to be born for the job but if you are you wouldn‘t want to do anything else! The German Football Association (DFB) gave out a guideline years ago which is nearly the same today and should be read as the main goal a „league“ expects from the SLO: (find it in the handout) „ 9
  • 10. Implantation of a strong self-organization! How to be successful in your job as SLO and reaching a high level in self-regulation? • It’s not good if a club or a league works like a teacher and tells the fans what they have to do and what they shouldn’t do! When you want to be successful in the main goals of the so called “Fan-Coordination”, which I say are: • NO VIOLANCE • NO AGGRESSIONS INSIDE THE STADIUM • RESPECT TO ALL OTHER FANS AND PEOPLE and • NO RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION You have to support the implantation of strong self-organization in- or outside the Club with own rules and own hierarchy! 10
  • 11. Example: The FPMG-Supporters Club To give an example here is the way we do it in my club: BORUSSIA VFL 1900 MOENCHENGLADBACH We talk about Fan-Work or Fan-Coordination on two sides: • INside the club the three SLO’s have to do there job as written above and organizing everything around the 750 official Fan-Clubs with 17.000 members. • AND mainly all the communication aspects like being involved and holding a strong view and a strong partnership with the second side, the self-organized Supporters-Club FPMG The Supporters-Club FPMG (www.fanprojekt.de) is organized outside the club but with strong links and contracts between the club and the Supporters Club. Daily contact with the SLO included. How to keep contact with the fan-base to have a major chance of influence ? Selling the tickets for away-games and the home-sections of the “hardcore-fans” and having influence on the distribution. 11
  • 12. Disanonyminizing the Fan-Scene! This distribution over the SLO’s and the Supporters Club is the only realistic chance that every fan who goes to every game has to stay in a good contact to the Supporters Club because otherwise he risks to loose the right of buying tickets! And for the fans its good to know that there will be no game he/she won’t get a ticket because it’s sold out! The SLO’s and the people working in the Supporters Club have the possibility to know every member of the so called Fan-Scene and I always speak about “Disanonymounizing” the Fans! If everyone knows each other the risk of being violent is very low! Only with strict own rules written down by the fans themselves like the so called Borussen-Kodex (www.borussenkodex.de ) the fans accept measures to increase the security around a game and accept rules to take care about each other including no Pyroshows and Bengalos on the terraces! No one from “outside” tells them how to react Only the SLO’s and they themselves tell each other what to do! This is the only way this has a chance to be successful! The SLOs are the link between the Supporters Club FPMG and the Fan-base and the Security-people. We are like trouble managers around the games and it’s necessary to have a good communication between all people working for the fans around a game. 12
  • 13. 1. Tasks on a daily basis 1.1. Office Jobs: 1.1.1. Formal communication with Fans (Club philosophie and politic transfer) - E-Mail (reading, answering, forwarding) - Letters (old school ☺) - No Autograph-demands (other department: Merchandising) 1.1.2. Data care and administration - Care about memberlists and Informations - Official Fan-Club Administration - Fan-Club statistics (members, w/m, data, fan-basis, season-tickets etc.) 1.1.3. Internet and Phone-Service - Discussing issus with fans over the phone - Send information to the fans via phone and Internet - Care about the fan section of the homepage of the club - Visiting and communicating on internet platforms 13
  • 14. 1.Tasks on a daily basis 1.1.4. Seeking and forwarding information around the club and its fans - Getting information: - Newspapers and other media - Internet - Personal contacts to players and officials - Press-Conferences - Forwarding information: - To a Supporters-Club-Commitee - To official Fan-Clubs - At homepages and Internet platforms - Own media-work for the fanbase - Inside the club and the league officials and players 1.1.5. Beeing part of workshops and meetings inside the club and the league around the theme „Fans and Supporters“ for example: - Merchandising meetings and workshops - Catering, sponsoring, membership - Building a new stadium meetings and workshop Every theme that „belongs“ to the fans!!! 14
  • 15. 1. Tasks on a daily basis 1.1.6. Participation on security meetings and workshops in the club and league - In summer preparing the new saeson - In between the season before and after home- and away-games - Special events and occasions and situations 1.1.7. Beeing a part of the decion about stadion bans for supporters 1.1.8. Ticketing for the supporters: Supervising and beeing part of deciisions in organizing - Contingent for Fan-Clubs and the Supporters Club - Tickets for the so called „Every-game-driver“ - Season tickets - Away-season-ticket - Standing terrace capacities - Reserve supply (emergency tickets ☺) 15
  • 16. 1. Tasks on a daily basis 1.2. Longterm „business“: Guiding the fanbase in a self-regulating way 1.2.1. Taking care about the official fan-clubs and updating their interests - Information letters - Questionnaires - Visiting Fan-Clubs meetings and parties - Building up a regional-volunteer-system for organizing the fan-club working together - Organizing and visiting football-tournaments of the fan-clubs - Visiting other events of fan-clubs 1.2.1. Organizing the contact between club officials and players with the fans - Meetings with fans (so called „Players Eve“) in the training camp sand in the season - Discussions-Evenings at the Fan-Base-house (Fan-House) exclusive for fan-clubs, for members, for season-ticket-holder, for away-season-ticket holder and the main fans of the active fanbase - regional meetings with players and fan-clubs even to parties and bithdays of the fan-club - Autograph hours at the stadium - Visting football tournaments of the fan-clubs with a player 1.2.3. Organizing and supervising fan-vacancies and travel-opportunities - To away-games - To the national-team games - To big tournaments - To training camps abroad and at home 16
  • 17. 1. Tasks on a daily basis 1.2.4. All day communication to: - SLO Colleagues of the other clubs in the 1. and 2. League - Supporters clubs of the other teams - Regional and federal organisations of fans and active scenes - Friendly clubs in Germany and all over the world 1.2.5. Transfer know-how, education and information turnaround - Beeing a part of league meetings with all colleauges of the other clubs organizid by the league - Internal meetings with the colleagues organized by themselves - Participation at fan-congresses and conferences - Organising fan-conferences and meetings at the own club - staying in touch with league officials and „main people“ necassary for the job - Education and school-workshops -… 17
  • 18. 2. Away games tasks 2.1. Before the games 2.1.1. Collecting information about the possible travel-alternatives to the games 2.1.2. Collecting information about the away club specialities - What is allowed and what is not? - Contact to the SLO-colleagues - Contact to the security-chief - Meeting point akquisition - Where could the fans meet, in which Pub, in which place - Could there be a mobile fan-embassy of the club as meeting point - contact to civil-fan-police officers of both clubs and information transfer 2.1.3 Information-Transfer and Communication in general - Clubs and Supporters-Clubs Homepage - Direct letters, -mails, to the fan-clubs and members - Internet platforms - Personal contact via phone, sms or mail 18
  • 19. 2. Away games tasks 2.2. Travel to the games - On your own by car, bus, flight or train - Together with fans or a fan-club or a organized travel in train or bus - With the clubs Info-Bus (meeting point bus = fan-embassy) 2.3. Shortly before the games - Staying with the fans just at the entrance of the away-sector and beeing the „translator“ - Short contact with the SLO colleague of the other club - Short contact wiht the chiefs of Police and Security from the away-sector - Staying there where the fans meet before the game (a meeting point the SLO should point out before) in Pubs, public places or anywhere else 2.4. During the games - Staying INSIDE the away sector amongst the fans (standing or seating terrace) - Temporarally inside the Stadium to prevent and to prohibit verbal and physical conflicts among the fans and against the stewards or the Police, or even the fans from the other club . - But NO Job as a Steward! Just a Communicator with deescalation methods - Trying to be a diplomatic mediator between Fans and Stewards or Police - Communication with the fanbase at half-time - Communication with the chiefs of Security, Police and with the SLO colleagues at Half-time 19
  • 20. 2. Away games tasks 2.5. After the game 2.5.1. Staying in the near the guest entrance - Communication with the fans after the game - Watching and taking care on the fans on there way home from the stadium side 2.5.2. Staying in the city or in the surrounding area (depending on the city and on the special situation around the game ) - Participation on meetings with the fans and Fan-Clubs in the away city or on the way with evetns, parties and birthdays of Fan-Clubs 2..5.3. Alternative traveling home on your own or with the fans again 20
  • 21. 3. Home games tasks 3.1. Before the games 3.1.1. Choreogrphics and planned fan-action before the game - Coordination of all fan activities around the „Flag-Day“ or the Day of choreography - Coordination with marketing and Stadium-Organisation chiefs 3.1.2. Forwarding all necassary information to the Fans (same as away) - What is allowed and what is not? - Contact to the SLO-colleagues - Contact to the security-chief - Meeting point akquisition - Where could the fans meet, in which Pub, in which place - Could there be a mobile fan-embassy of the club as meeting point - contact to civil-fan-police officers of both clubs and information transfer 3.1.3 Information-Transfer and Communication in general - Clubs and Supporters-Clubs Homepage - Direct-Letters, -mails, to the Fan-clubs and members - Internet-platforms - Personaly contact per phone, sms or mail 21
  • 22. 3. Home games tasks 3.1.4. Fan-Programme before the game - Fan-Club honouring on the pitch - Show-acts with fans - Birthday celebtration with the speaker of the stadium 3.1.5. Information transfers - Meeting in the morning with all employees of the „fan-coaching“ team, fanbase and active fans - Speeking to the main stewards in the away sector and the chiefs of Police and Security - Coordination of all activities in the meeting points (like FanHouse, Infopoint or Beergarden) 3.2. Shortly before the game - Meeting and talking with the guest SLO and fans at the guest-terrace - Talking to the guest section stewards an volunteers of the fancoordination - Staying and communicating at the major meeting points inside the stadium 3.3. During the game just like 2.4. away games 3.4. After the game just like 2.5. but mostly with staying at the Fan-House after the game! 22
  • 23. Clubs structure and working conditions The structure of Organisation inside the Club: The SLO should have his own department „Fan-Coordination“and should represent the interests of the fans only towards the chairman or secretary of the club. Not towards other department such as marketing, merchandising, ticketing or Security. The SLO is as a lawyer for the fans not to be dependent on the decisions of any other interests! Monthly the secretary should get a report about the fanbase to get an actual feeling for how the fans behave. This needs to be done „on time“to understand the fans properly The SLO should have a yearly meeting with the board of the club to inform them of any tendencies in and aprund the fans! Tasks for the clubs and working conditions for the SLO: All members of the board and the secretary of the club as well as all department-chiefs have to support the SLO in his job! The job is very difficult in between all interests and the SLO has to feel 100 % support from the clubs offficials. Otherwise he is not able to do his job in a way everyone expects him to do! The job needs a maximum of personal flexibility and it is necessary for the SLO to organize his working time on his own very flexible. The financial budget should also be very flexible depending on that what is needed! Personal conditions for the job as a SLO: The SLO should come from inside the fanbase to have a major contact to all protagonists and to know how a fan in his clubs scene feels. Otherwise he never will be accepted by the fans! On the other side he should be a strong personality cause he always walks „on the line“ which means he has to stand his man very often in sensible situations in between all protagonists! The SLO can‘t be found through a job advert in the newspaper! 23 It is not a normal job….
  • 24. Thomas -Tower- Weinmann Address: Borussia VfL 1900 GmbH Hennes-Weisweiler-Allee 1 41179 Mönchengladbach www.fanprojekt.de | www.borussia.de tower@borussia.de +49-171-3126000 Age: 48 Education: High-School graduate Profession: Dipl.-Kaufmann , University of Cologne (!) Borussia Mönchengladbach Fan since 1973 (2:1 DFB-Cup-Final against Cologne) First game in a Stadium: Another 2:1 away in Cologne: 1975 First home game at the old Bökelberg: 1980 Since 1992 active supporter in the FPMG – Supporters Club Since 1994 member of the Committee of the FPMG Since 2003 SLO of the Club and Secretary of the FPMG in personal union Successes as a simple Fan: 1 DFB-Cup Winner (1973) 3 Championships (1975, 1976, 1977) 2 UEFA Cup Winner 1975 and 1979 Successes as an Active Supporter: 1 FA Cup Winner 1995 24

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