This week sees another milestone in our Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football project. This is a two-year collaborative partnership, coordinated by SD Europe, and co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and UEFA.
Two representatives from two our project partners are visiting us: from FC Schalke 04 we are hosting Thomas Kirschner and Florian Hartmann, and from Malmo FF we are welcoming Pierre Nordberg and Pontus Hansson. We have a busy few days taking them around our club, community, along with showing them some of the tourist delights that Cork City has to offer.
On Thursday we will be having a discussion in Bishopstown around operations, business development, and ethical sponsorship; Éanna Buckley and Lisa Fallon will share ideas with our visitors that could help us all achieve more off the pitch.
Thursday will also see us visit some of the great historical parts of our city. We’re hoping to hit the heights, and ring the bells of Shandon, along with a short tour of the surrounding area.
Thursday evening sees us host an evening at UCC with an open discussion on the project topics. Our speakers on the night will be Dr Seán Ó Conaill from the UCC Sports Law Clinic, former FORAS board member and current acting-CEO of SD Europe, Niamh O’Mahony, current FORAS secretary, Darren O’Keeffe, Club de Accionariado Popular Ciudad de Murcia member, Maria Angeles Nuñez, along with one or two others on the night. This is a unique event that is open to all-comers, and everyone is welcome to participate in the discussions.
Friday’s highlight will of course be the Turner’s Cross match day experience, with City hoping to extend their fantastic start to the season against Derry City. The stadium will no doubt be full to capacity and a great example of how we run our home matches.
Before the game we will be taking our guests to City Hall to meet the Lord Mayor which also helps to promote tourism and investment in the City. After discussing the history of Cork we will travel to the Mardyke Arena to tour the amazing facilities that we have access to through our superb partnership arrangement with the arena. Following on from that discussion, and prior to kick-off, we will be hosting a meeting with our SLOs, Alan Coughlan and Dinny Deady, and our security team leaders; the SLO project is a main feature of our involvement with SD Europe and we are proud to be leading the way for the rest of the league to follow. Both Germany and Sweden have experienced vast improvements in their leagues over the years and the SLO role has been instrumental in better fan engagement, better match day experience, and more positive feedback overall. After a hectic day, we may allow our guests to relax in one of our local bars for an hour or two.
On the last day of our exchange visit we will have various discussion sessions with the FORAS board, visit the club shop in Douglas Village Shopping Centre, and see our guest off at Cork airport.
Please feel free to say hello to our guests if you meet them during the next few days, we hope to learn a lot from them during their stay and we will share this information on in the near future.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact John at 087-2662202 or Mike at 087-6995766.