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What is a Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO)?

With football becoming more of a corporate game by the week, it is imperative that football fans have a voice within their clubs. Supporter Liaison Officers are typically that voice at football clubs across Europe and they have a huge role to play in ensuring that football remains a game that is open and accessible to all.

If you are wondering what a Support Liaison Officer does or how to become one then you have landed in the right place. Today, we will be answering ‘What is a Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO)'.

What is a Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO)? Role and responsibilities

The role of an SLO is to effectively act as the bridge between the powers that be at football clubs and supporters. If the football club is planning on making any major changes then it is up to the SLO to relay this information to fans and then communicate any feedback from them back to the football club.

For example, if an owner of a football club was planning on raising ticket prices, it is the duty of the SLO to relay this information to fans and then challenge the owner on it. They would be responsible for detailing the reasons why this might not be the smartest idea and to push back against ideas that would make life more difficult for supporters.

Everything an SLO does should be with supporter interests in mind and they are expected to deliver information to the club that they gather from fans in the terraces. Therefore, they should be someone who has a deep understanding of the fan culture at their club and someone who still regularly attends matches.

The role was first created in Germany and clubs competing in European competition have been required to appoint an SLO since 2012 when UEFA added it to their rulebook. Many other football associations across the world have since made it a requirement for clubs in their league, too, and conduct regular meetings with SLOs in their leagues.

Supporter Liaison Officer
Supporter Liaison Officers are expected to be a bridge between supporters and football clubs – Photo by Icon Sport

What UEFA say about SLOs

UEFA President, Aleksander Čeferin said the following back in 2021:

“Supporters are the lifeblood at the very heart of professional football, a sentiment that has perhaps never been more relevant. Recent events have underlined the predominant and central role played by fans and the importance of ensuring their voices are heard, which is why we are looking at better ways to involve fans at UEFA.

“In recognition of the need to build and maintain constructive and fruitful relationships between clubs, governing bodies and fans, teams competing in UEFA competitions have been required to appoint supporter liaison officers (SLOs) under Article 35 of our Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations since the start of the 2012/13 season.

“SLOs provide an important link to supporters at the club and, increasingly, national team level. They create platforms for dialogue and communication between stakeholders, which helps to build trust.”

What SLO's say about their role

Earlier this year, Football Supporters Europe conducted an interview with Daniel Peterka, the SLO for Sparta Prague. Throughout the interview, Peterka gave an insight into what the role entails from someone who lives and breathes it every day. Speaking about some of the work he has undertaken during his time as an SLO, Peterka said:

“I am very proud of the progress we made during the 2022/23 season, at a time when the ultras group made the decision to boycott home matches. By conducting the right conversations, finding the common ground, and taking small steps, we found solutions where they were happy to return, including a programme for the fans with stadium bans, which was an important step for them.”

How to become a Supporter Liaison Officer

Despite Supporter Liaison Officers being a requirement in certain leagues, they are appointed directly by football clubs. To become an SLO you will need to wait until the position is advertised at your football club and then apply for the position. Typically, there will then be an interview process.


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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