Platini to give fans a say in running the game
UEFA president Michel Platini expects to unveil plans to give soccer fans an official say in running the game by the end of the year, a senior official at European soccer's governing body said yesterday.
Platini will hold meetings with supporters' clubs and associations from around Europe in the coming months with a view to giving them a seat on UEFA's new Strategic Board.
The highly influential sub-committee - due to be endorsed at a special UEFA congress in May - will comprise representatives from the national associations, the leagues and the clubs and players, each with four members.
This strategic board will then make direct recommendations on how the game should be run to UEFA's executive committee which makes the body's day-to-day decisions.
"The idea is to maybe give fans observer status at the beginning and then to eventually give them the same say (as the others). We hope to have a plan by the end of the year," William Gaillard, special advisor to Platini, told Reuters.
"Platini is a firm believer that there is no soccer without the fans. We are the producers and they are our consumers."
Gaillard pointed out that the main problem facing UEFA is the "lack of Europe-wide coordination" by those representing the interests of fans.
"In some countries such as England and Spain for instance, fans groups are very well organised, but in other nations they are very weak," Gaillard said.
"Our first aim or objective will be to help them get themselves organised on a European level which has already started with our support."