As part of our work developing the Supporter Liaison Officer role in Scottish football, ensuring that fans have a point of contact and line of dialogue with their clubs, we’re seeking to promote the role via a series of interviews with people in the role across SPFL clubs.
Following our first interview with Beverley Mayer of St Johnstone FC, we’re speaking to the first SLO appointed in Scottish football, Celtic’s John Paul Taylor.
I think the role of SLO is extremely important these days. Fans rightly have greater expectations from their Clubs these days and with so many issues impacting on football fans from legislation to high admission costs fans are asking more questions than ever. The SLO is their route for raising these questions and getting responses from the Club management.
It’s mostly communication, email, social media, face to face meetings all form a large part of it but also meeting with Departments within the Club to plan for forthcoming matches or to review past matches. Also look into various different projects and ideas which would assist supporters.
I think the attitudes within the Club have changed to a certain degree as there is someone willing to challenge decisions on behalf of fans. I also think we have much more information tailored directly for fans travelling to and from matches at home and abroad, I think we are now better placed than ever when it comes to providing fans with relevant and specific information.
SD Scotland and SD Europe are the main one but have also tied in closely with FSF and to an extent SFSA, I also work with the main football bodies SPFL and to an extent SFA and UEFA when playing in European competition.
In the short term it’s mainly continue doing what we have been with a view to continually reviewing and hopefully improving the service. Long term is really to continue to promote the role of the SLO within the game in Scotland, to raise awareness and to try to ensure that when matches are being planned that the SLO has some input on behalf of their Club’s fans. Our Fan Forum is the key engagement vehicle for organised dialogue with the Club however I’m here every day so the engagement process is open to all fans every day.
. 0141 551 4209, @CelticfcSLO,
I started my employment at the Club in October 1993 when I worked as Ticket Office Manager, that position, which I held for 15 years allowed me to build up a number of relationships which remain in place today. Having all of that background info on the mechanics of the Club, a working knowledge of the football business and multiple relationships with fans and fan groups was ideal for me taking the role as SLO in 2013.
The best player I ever seen play for Celtic was Danny McGrain, Danny seemed to play forever and I can’t recall him ever having a bad game, he was skilful going forward and sound defensively apart from his goal scoring he was the complete player, truly world class.