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Last chance to apply for Supporter Liaison roles

Make a difference as a volunteer

18 November 2021

AFC Wimbledon is a pioneering club in many ways.

We have collectively taken on many challenges, and surpassed expectations. Now we have cleared the final hurdle of the return to Plough Lane, our attention has turned to building on what we’ve achieved so far and making sure that as a fan-owned club, AFC Wimbledon provides the best possible service to both its owners and other match-going fans.

As part of that, The Dons Trust, working in collaboration with AFC Wimbledon, has reviewed and revamped the role of Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO).

We have created three new volunteer posts of Chief Supporter Liaison Officer (Chief SLO), and two supporting/assistant SLOs to cover home and away fixtures.

There will continue to be a club employed Deputy SLO who will remain as a day-to-day liaison point between club staff and Chief SLO & team, as well as the official contact point for the EFL.

Although the role of Chief SLO is the principal liaison point between club and SLOs, it will very much be a team effort between the three roles, particularly as it will be difficult for one person to attend all matches.
These are volunteer roles, so whilst high standards are expected, the work will be shared, and the team will need to work together to ensure maximum coverage of matches. For the team to deliver consistently, they will need to be flexible in what they do, and work together to ensure they meet the needs of fans.

The role profiles and person specifications are set out below:

The SLO is a way of ensuring that the voice of supporters is taken into account in decisions made by clubs. As a club owned by its fans, via The Dons Trust, this is even more important for us, and we want enthusiastic self-starters with the skills and desire to help us establish the role and make it one of the most effective in the country.

In any of these roles, your work will be occasional. As the lead role, the Chief SLO will need to input (actual attendance not required) into monthly meetings with the senior staff team at AFC Wimbledon, and similar input into The Dons Trust strategic communications group. The Chief SLO will also be responsible for establishing a social media presence with an inbound element (dealing with queries from fans) initially via Twitter and an email service.

Between them the team will be expected to cover the majority of home fixtures, and as many away fixtures as possible. In addition, providing support for the social media presence.

To apply please send a copy of your CV and a covering letter outlining your skills and interest in the role by e-mail to Jane Lonsdale (jane.lonsdale@thedonstrust.org) or write to Jane Lonsdale, co-chair of the Dons Trust Board, AFC Wimbledon/The Dons Trust, The Cherry Red Records Stadium, Plough Lane, London, SW17 0NR. Closing date for applications is Friday 19 November 2021.

The Dons Trust/AFC Wimbledon are both Equal Opportunities employers and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

These posts will be subject to DBS Disclosures (criminal record checks)
Supporter Liaison Officers at AFC Wimbledon

Chief Supporter Liaison Officer (Chief SLO), 2 x Assistant SLOs (Home and Away)

There will need to be a degree of flexibility in the roles.

The role of SLO

The definition of a Supporter Liaison Officer comes from the original SLO Handbook, published by UEFA:

● Supporter liaison officers (SLOs) are a bridge between the fans and the club and help to improve the dialogue between the two sides.
● Their work is dependent on the information they receive from both sides and the credibility they enjoy with both parties.
● The SLO informs fans about relevant decisions made by the club management and, in the other direction, communicates the points of
● view of fans to the club management.
● The SLO builds relationships not just with various fan groups and initiatives but also with the police and security officers.
● The SLO engages with SLOs of other clubs before matches to contribute to supporters behave in accordance with security guidelines

It is important to note that the SLO won’t be a substitution for the existing channels of communication but will instead build on the voice of supporters in the ownership and operation of the club.

The Chief SLO will lead the team, acting as the main liaison point with various departments, staff and officials within and outside the club with the aim of helping build and maintain dialogue between the fans of AFC Wimbledon and the Club itself. They will be the main contact point for the club as part of the team. They will lead a team of two other SLOs (Home and Away).

The role reports into the Club and will entail regular liaison with various roles around the club and with The Trust itself. The post holder will be required to feed into key meetings and processes as necessary, including the regular monthly Senior Leadership Team Meeting of senior club staff, and the Communications Working Group convened as part of The Dons Trust, which assists the club in strategic communications issues. This will be particularly relevant as the Chief SLO will be responsible for providing a Social Media presence to deal with both inbound queries, and outbound, proactive dialogue with fans (although like many other functions, this role will be shared between the team).

Although the role of Chief SLO will be a hands-on one, requiring attendance at the majority of matches, it is a ‘strategic’ role, requiring the ability to deal confidently with fans, officials and individuals at all levels of the club, police and external authorities, opposition clubs and SLOs and others, both in person, on the phone and online via social media.

The Away and Home SLOs will be more focused on spending time dealing with, helping to channel and resolve face-to-face queries from fans on a matchday, as well as providing on-the-ground interventions and support for fans at either home and away fixtures.

Competences/skills/experience required:

● To be an AFC Wimbledon fan and supportive of the ownership of the club by The Dons Trust (preferably a member of The Dons Trust)
● A good knowledge of the history, heritage and values of Wimbledon’s football club (before and since 2002)
● Be able to attend all home matches (including cup competitions)
● Some knowledge about the key supporter networks at local and national levels
● Be available to attend the vast majority of home matches
● Ability to liaise with police, stewards and safety officers & other staff
● Basic educational, psychological and sociological skills in dealing with people, especially with regard to group dynamics
● Political neutrality
● Commitment to key values such as anti-discrimination and the rejection of violence
● Excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively face-to-face, in writing and through social media channels - particularly concerning contentious or high-pressure issues or situations
● Live within easy travelling distance of Plough Lane

Chief SLO: Tasks

● Guide the establishment of the SLO role and SLO team
● Work closely with senior members of club staff to ensure issues are resolved in a timely manner
● Be a visible presence to all fans on the ground at matches
● Be responsible for setting up and running the SLO Social Media account, primarily as an outbound/supporter services channel
● Line manage two other volunteers (Home SLO, Away SLO)
● Contact the supporter liaison officer (SLO) of the visiting team (ensure they’re aware of the assistant SLO at home matches)
● Exchange necessary information with the SLOs of the visiting team
● Liaise with the club disability and inclusion officer
● Attend to any requests from supporters relating to the day of the game
● Attend all pre-match organisation meetings (Chief and Home SLO)
● Be responsible for the Social Media account (dealing with inbound queries)
● Assess the risk situation (in liaison with the assistant SLO at home matches)
● Communicate with safety officer and the police
● Require to be patched into the relevant radio system for matchday communications
● Be listed as the main SLO contact in the EFL SLO handbook and any other relevant publications
● Quality assure all parts of the matchday experience for the visiting fans

Post-match
● Debrief with all relevant club staff and external stakeholders

The successful candidate will:
● Receive a club email and shared working space at Plough Lane as and when required
● Be required to attend pre-match briefings with any other relevant parties (including club, security or police, or Dons Trust officials) and ensure Home and Away SLOs are fully briefed in advance of fixtures
● Feed into planning meetings, prior to key fixtures
● Attend any training required as part of the job, including that provided by the club, The Dons Trust, The EFL or other organisations (and be reimbursed for any reasonable expenses connected to these)
● Receive accreditation for matches and be reimbursed reasonable expenses as part of undertaking the role.
2 x Assistant SLOs (Home and Away)
The two assistant SLOs will work with the Chief SLO, focusing on home and away matchday issues, resolving queries, liaising face-to-face with fans, as well as stewards, police and other club staff as necessary (in support of the work of the Chief SLO).

Between the three roles, it is expected that the majority of fixtures should be attended.

Home SLO

The Home SLO will be focused on matchday issues, resolving queries, liaising face-to-face with fans, as well as stewards, police and other club staff as necessary.

Competences/skills/experience required

● To be an AFC Wimbledon fan and supportive of the ownership of the club by The Dons Trust (preferably a member of The Dons Trust)
● A good knowledge of the history, heritage and values of Wimbledon’s football club (before and since 2002)
● Be able to attend all home matches (including cup competitions)
● Be prepared to educate themselves about the key supporter networks at local and national levels
● Basic educational, psychological and sociological skills in dealing with people, especially with regard to group dynamics
● Political neutrality
● Commitment to key values such as anti-discrimination and the rejection of violence
● Excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively face-to-face, in writing and through social media channels - particularly concerning contentious or high-pressure issues or situations
● Live within easy travelling distance of Plough Lane
● Be able to pass an enhanced/basic DBS check

The successful candidate will:
● Receive a club email and shared working space at Plough Lane as and when required
● Be required to attend pre-match briefings with the Chief SLO and any other relevant parties (including club, security or police, or Dons Trust officials)
● Receive a mobile phone for use in connection with the role
● Require to be patched into the relevant radio system for matchday communications
● Participate in planning meetings, prior to key fixtures
● Attend any training required as part of the job, including that provided by the club, The Dons Trust, The EFL or other organisations (and be reimbursed for any reasonable expenses connected to these)
● Receive accreditation for matches and be reimbursed reasonable expenses as part of undertaking the role.

Tasks - matchday

● Welcome and look after visiting SLOs
● Attend any relevant pre-match briefings with the Chief SLO and any other relevant parties (including club, security or police, or Dons Trust officials)
● Support the work of the Chief SLO as necessary
● Ensure logistics for fans bringing material into the stands, such as flags, banners, mosaic cards, etc.
● Attend any pre-match meetings as necessary
● Liaise with the safety officer, stewards and match commander as necessary
● Mediate if problem situations arise
● Be a visible presence to all fans on the ground at matches
● Work closely with the Chief SLO to ensure issues are resolved in a timely manner
● Run the Social Media media account as and when required
● Report important or critical matchday issues directly to the Chief SLO
● Liaise with the away team’s SLO as required
● Be available to attend the majority of home matches
● Ability to liaise with police, stewards and safety officers & staff

Post-match
● Debrief with all relevant club staff and external stakeholders

Away SLO

The Away SLO will be focused on away fixture matchday issues, resolving queries, liaising face-to-face with fans, as well as stewards, police and other club staff as necessary.

Competences/skills/experience required

● To be an AFC Wimbledon fan and supportive of the ownership of the club by The Dons Trust (preferably a member of The Dons Trust)
● A good knowledge of the history, heritage and values of Wimbledon’s football club (before and since 2002)
● Support the work of the Chief SLO and Home SLO as necessary
● Be able to attend all away matches (including cup competitions)
● Be prepared to educate themselves about the key supporter networks at local and national levels
● Be a visible presence to all fans on the ground at matches
● Work closely with the Chief SLO & Home SLO to ensure issues are resolved in a timely manner
● Run the SLO Social Media account as and when required
● Report important or critical matchday issues directly to the Chief SLO
● Liaise with the home SLO as required
● Read through any relevant pre-match information as required
● Be available to attend the vast majority of away matches (including cup competitions)
● Ability to liaise with police, stewards and safety officers & staff
● Basic educational, psychological and sociological skills in dealing with people, especially with regard to group dynamics
● Political neutrality
● Commitment to key values such as anti-discrimination and the rejection of violence
● Excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively face-to-face, in writing and through social media channels - particularly concerning contentious or high-pressure issues or situations
● Be able to pass an enhanced/basic DBS check

The successful candidate will:
● Receive a club email and shared working space at Plough Lane as and when required
● Receive a mobile phone for use in connection with the role
● Participate in planning meetings, prior to key fixtures
● Attend any training required as part of the job, including that provided by the club, The Dons Trust, The EFL or other organisations (and be reimbursed for any reasonable expenses connected to these)
● Receive accreditation for matches and be reimbursed reasonable expenses as part of undertaking the role.
● Receive a mobile phone for use in connection with the role

Away match preparations
● Contact the SLOs of the home club
● Share all relevant information with the home SLOs
● Communicate all relevant information to travelling fans
● Liaise with the club disability access officer (DAO)
● Attend any pre-match organisation meetings as necessary, in particular before high-risk matches

Away matchdays
● Accompany fans on outward and inward journeys, if necessary
● Attend and be visible at every game
● Liaise with the home SLOs throughout the day
● Move around where supporters gather (e.g. pubs)
● Oversee access to the stadium (visitors section)
● Liaise with the safety officer, stewards and match commander as necessary
● Mediate if problem situations arise

Post-match
● Debrief with all relevant club staff and external stakeholders


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