Fan Charters meeting at Millerntor
In the end of September the newly established consultation group on Supporters Charters met for the first time at the Millerntor Stadium, home to FC St. Pauli. The group, chaired by FSE, consisting of fans and representatives of European football governing bodies and institutions (e.g. FIFPro, Council of Europe, EPFL, UEFA and a representative of ECA in an observer capacity), came together to kick-off its work to elaborate a European handbook on so-called Supporters Charters.
Supporters Charters, in brief, are to be considered a written agreement between fans and clubs identifying each other’s rights and obligations towards each other. Fortunately, there has been a mutual consent between the fans and the representatives of the football bodies and institutions present from the start, that supporters charters shall not be imposed from the top, but in contrast, should be the result of a joint and longer-term negotiation process (on equal footing), and take all local conditions and characteristics into consideration. Existing supporters’ charters which ignored these principles, were considered even counter-productive by all participants with regards to solving existing problems and establishing a functioning fans’ dialogue.
The actual handbook, to be published in 5 languages in June 2013, should ultimately provide practical tips for fans, clubs and associations on things to keep in mind while elaborating a supporters charter together, to avoid potential problems, confusions and misunderstandings or even a failure of the project.