The fourth session of the ECA Club Management Programme was successfully held on the 4th and 5th of October. Focused on Community Activities, one of the three club's pillars, the two-day event was organised at the Jan Breydel Stadium in Bruges, Belgium.
The first day was entirely focused on Community Activities, whereby important topics linked to Community, Social Environment and how football clubs interact with these were discussed. The 35 participants were presented with various social initiatives and got a detailed insight of the operations and management of the host club, Club Brugge, thanks to a presentation by the club's Community Coordinator Peter Gheysen. The presentation was followed by a workshop, for the participants to get to know the club's different departments through practical experiences around social topics and values. The first day continued with a case study of the Juventus' Sustainability approach, presented by Virginia Antonini, Sustainability and External Relations Manager, as well as with interventions from FK Sarajevo, KKS Lech Poznan and Tottenham Hotspur FC.
The second day was dedicated to Supporter Relations, and started with a panel discussion on Fans and Ultras. Following the interesting debate on the topic, the participants could learn from the experiences of Athletic Club and Djurgårdens IF on how they work together with their respective fan bases and how they deal with the challenges and find solutions through projects and partnerships. Continuing, a presentation from Dirk Vos, Supporter Liaison Officer at KAA Gent was given. The Supporter Liaison Officer is an important link between the club and its supporters, as he or she helps to build a constructive dialogue in many different areas and can communicate key decisions in order to engage with the fan base. Finally, the participants were also given a presentation by Alzheimer Scotland on their Football Memories project, which uses the memories of football fans to help people with dementia.
The fifth and penultimate session of the Club Management Programme, to be held in the beginning of 2017, will be covering the Club's Operational Services during match day. The first edition of the ECA Club Management Programme will then conclude with the final session in Warsaw, Poland, in the spring of 2017.