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FIFPro Division Europe and Supporters Direct Europe launch first cooperation between players and supporters

Date: 2nd October 2013

Why Supporters are vital

FIFPro Division Europe (FIFPro) and Supporters Direct Europe (SD Europe) have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding, through which the two recognise that the time has come for players and supporters to stand together, and highlight their shared interest in making the game more stable, sustainable, and better-governed.

Both parties recognise that the challenges faced by European football affect players and supporters in different, but equally serious, ways. Players continue to find themselves going months at a time without wages or as victims of insolvent clubs; whilst supporters and local communities are forced to watch their clubs either disappear or change beyond all recognition.
The Memorandum of Understanding contains the following objectives:

–        To promote improved governance and sustainable financing of professional football in Europe
–        To further the involvement of players and supporters in decision and policy making frameworks
–        To confront societal problems affecting the relationship between supporters and players such as discrimination, violence or hate speech
–        To explore joint interests in football as a cultural good and economic product, incl. broadcasting, property rights, new media, etc.
–        To contribute to the continuing fight against match fixing and other threats to football’s integrity.

The cooperation will be further developed through a joint event and the launch of a joint publication in December 2013. At the event, representatives from football’s key stakeholders will debate the relationship of supporters and players with their clubs; specifically the requirements for players to pursue their profession in a safe, fair and sustainable environment, and for supporters to play a role in the ownership and decision-making processes at clubs.

FIFPro General Secretary, Theo van Seggelen: “Players and supporters share a passion for our game but also an interest in a financially sustainable and well governed industry. We are seeing in many areas how short term corporate interests override those of players and supporters and threaten the long term stability and integrity of the game. Through this cooperation two of the key stakeholders of football will promote a more balanced football industry.”

Antonia Hagemann, Head of SD Europe: “Together, supporters in the stands and players on the pitch create the shared identities that make football clubs unique, and they share a common interest in ensuring the problems football faces are addressed. Our cooperation with FIFPro Division Europe aims to do just that.”

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