Following the success of the ECA Workshop on New Media, which took place back in March in Munich, ECA today organised a workshop dedicated to Fan Relations & Stadium Security at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona.
The relationship ECA Members enjoy with their fans is central to their existence. Making sure that the harmony between clubs and fans is maintained is essential in ensuring the progress and development of clubs. Much of the work linked to relations with fans centres around ensuring their safety and security in and around the stadium.
As a result, the ECA Institutional Relations Working Group came up with the idea of organising a workshop dedicated to this important topic. The aim of this workshop was to exchange thoughts and offer best practice on the different ways clubs go about ensuring the safety and security of their fans. ECA believes that by sharing different approaches clubs can learn valuable lessons from each other on how best to move forward in ensuring fan safety.
55 participants from 39 ECA Member Clubs found their way to Barcelona to attend the workshop.
The morning session of the workshop saw three selected ECA Members present the work they do in this field at their respective clubs. Cédric Dufoix (General Secretary at Olympique de Marseille), Bernhard Heusler (Vice-Chairman at FC Basel 1893) and Marko Vjetrovic (Director Foreign Affairs at FK Partizan) outlined the problems they face in their countries and explained the measures that were taken in order to solve these issues. Each presentation was followed by an extensive Q&A session, during which the workshop participants were able to share their ideas and experiences and explain how they tackle similar issues in their countries.
In the afternoon, a roundtable discussion entitled 'Assessing the different approaches of clubs in the area of fan relations' which included participation of Arkadiusz Kasprzak (KKS Lech Poznan), Ronnie Hawthorn (Celtic FC), Alex Garcia-Cascon (FC Barcelona), Jens Volke (BV Borussia Dortmund) and Daniela Wurbs (Football Supporters Europe) led to further interesting discussions among participants. It was made clear that fans and clubs have to work more closely together to overcome problems which harm all stakeholders in football. All those present agreed that a relationship based on trust, dialogue and respect is crucial and would help improve the situation in many countries.
ECA Executive Board Member Ebru Köksal (Galatasaray SK), who chaired the event, stated:
"Today's workshop clearly underlined that there is a strong need for clubs to get together and exchange thoughts on this matter. It is vitally important that clubs help each other to improve the situation in their respective countries by sharing knowledge and best practice. At the same time, clubs and fans have to work together with the involvement of all stakeholders. I am convinced that following today's workshop many club representatives will have travelled back home with new ideas and thoughts on this matter."