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The SLO Interviews – Sean McHugh / Hamilton Acccies FC

Date: 20th February 2018

As part of our work developing the Supporter Liaison Officer role in Scottish football, ensuring that fans have a point of contact and line of dialogue with their clubs, we’re seeking to promote the role via a series of interviews with people in the role across SPFL clubs.

Our third interview in the series comes with Sean McHugh the Supporters Liaison Officer at Hamilton Academical FC.

Firstly how important would you say the role the SLO at a club is. Would you say that it is vital looking to the future that all professional clubs appoint SLO’s? 

For me it is imperative that each club has an SLO, It is a fantastic avenue for any fan to have an open line of communication with their club on a daily basis and have the faith that any points of view, concerns, queries that they have are put to correct the person and responded to in a timely matter and any actions implemented to make there entertainment at the football better, With almost every club in the Premiership now having an SLO it has been very easy to work and learn from those you speak to on a week by week basis. 

  
What does your usual working week consist of in your role as the club SLO? 

I am only in the role on a voluntary basis so I work full time outside of the role which is challenged further by working on constant nightshift basis however I make myself available at all times and will respond ASAP to any queries raised, However I can be found in the function suite at all home games or within the stadium at least 2/3hrs before kick off and I am at most away games also and happy to help with any queries. Otherwise I am in dialogue with stakeholders regarding upcoming games any issues that may have arisen at previous games or queries raised by supporters. 

 

What would you say has changed since you came into your position? 

I came into the role around a year ago now and I have overseen increased dialogue at our club on a range of subjects. Most clubs now have an SLO in place and this helps assist at away games for our supporters and has massively raised the awareness of the role within each club in Scotland. 

 

What personnel and groups are you in liaison with as the SLO? For example working closely with Supporters Direct Scotland. 

Liaising with Supporter Groups (WeAreHamilton & HAFSWO) as well as supporters who contact me direct, SD Scotland, Club Security & Management and those involved in operating our catering units on matchdays. 

 

What are your short-term and long-term plans in your role? What actions are you looking to take to engage fans and further make a difference? 

Keep the communication lines open we have an upcoming Fans Forum (20/02) so following on from that implementing any points of action going forward as well meeting with as many fans as possible at home and away games looking to continue to improve our club on all fronts that enhance supporter experience for all at Hamilton Accies. 

Longer term I am looking to improve and expand my knowledge on all matters off the pitch that clubs need to adhere to in regards to legislation, rules, security etc having learned loads so far I am keen to expand on what your everyday fan doesn’t see that goes on at football clubs prior to a match day. 

 

How can fans get in touch with yourself if they have any problems or enquiries? 

Email – Sean@acciesfc.co.uk

Twitter – @AcciesFCSLO

Or in person at home matches within the function suite. 

 

An Hamilton supporter yourself how is it that you came to support the club? 

The club moved back to Hamilton in 2000 and I started to go along regularly as I only lived a stones throw from our current home this allowed me to leave home and go on my own to matches at that time we were in the 2nd division but I loved it and I lived the highs and the lows of following the club home and away. 

 

The best player you’ve ever seen play for Hamilton and why? 

Alex Neil – Wore his heart on his sleeve each week as a player and became a fantastic manager with us and its no surprise to me as a manager down in England that he has been so successful and I have no doubts he will take Preston to the premiership in the near future. 

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