4 tips for building a relationship with the municipality and advisors as a football club

How can you, as a football club or board member, ensure that sport and exercise are (and remain) on the political agenda? – Photo: KNVB Media

Municipal elections are behind us. Now the formation process begins and the results are of great importance to Dutch society as well as to sport and exercise. Municipalities are the most important level of public administration in the Netherlands when it comes to sports finance. But how do you, as a football club or board member, ensure that sport and exercise are (and remain) on the political agenda? And how to build a good relationship with the municipality and advisors? We share some tips that answer these questions.

It is now clear to many that municipalities are very important partners in sport. Previously, experienced drivers participated in SV Marken and CVV De Jodan Boys All their experiences in the field of cooperation with the municipality. Amateur football manager Jan Dirk van der Ze started a conversation With nominated council members about the opportunities they see for amateur sports at the local and regional level. In addition, the KNVB Youth Council also met to exchange ideas with nominated council members about the future of local football

While the focus in recent months has been on putting sport on the political agenda, it will be especially important in the coming years to build a relationship with councilors, councilors and civil servants. But how do you do that?

Tip 1: Congratulate the new advisors and invite them for a business visit

Regardless of the outcome of the elections in your municipality, it is wise to congratulate the new councilors on the results. This not only shows your participation, but it is also an opportunity to invite board members for a working visit. After the elections, several stages pass before an agreement is reached. It is helpful to keep this in mind when sending your congratulations. NOC * NSF has an example of a congratulatory letter which can be used by clubs.

A working visit for council members can consist of watching a game together, after a training session or taking a tour of the union, for example during the weekend when there is a lot of fanfare in the club. By approaching new board members shortly after the election results and getting to know them personally, you build a good relationship with them. They will help define policy over the next four years, so good communication is indispensable.

Second tip: Approach the right civil servant with a concrete idea

Civil servants have a lot of specific knowledge in certain areas – for example sports – and write municipal policy. Therefore, we recommend that you also contact the official with the sports file within your municipality. They benefit from good and interesting ideas. As a council, you can thus briefly share one or more ideas you have as union with the civil servant. Does your association have a document describing who the club is, what is the role of the association, what is the added value in the local community and how can your club enhance this value? Then share it with the administrator. This immediately clarifies what you stand for as an association (and a council).

Tip 3: Join forces

Together you are strong, as the saying goes. This also applies to your football club. It is always helpful to speak to the municipality on behalf of the largest (and diverse) group as possible. There are several ways to join forces. For example by working with several football clubs (if any), or by involving other sports federations in the lobby. But it can also be interesting to find your partners outside of sports. Consider a joint letter to college on behalf of the Senior Citizens’ Organization and the FA requesting more exercise. Or a joint working visit in which you present the cooperation between your association and the primary school in the village. By working together, you can generally get more done.

Tip 4: Keep investing in the relationship with the municipality

Once the council is formed and the local council members are appointed, the job as a manager does not end. These people will determine policy in the municipality for the next four years, so keep investing in the relationship. For example, ask yourself: Who is a local sports council member? Any other Alderman important to us? Connect these people with your prayers and with sports. You can do this by informing them periodically of things that are happening, or by including them in the events you organize. Stay connected and keep the connection warm. Because through media, regulation and communication, there is an increased chance that sport will remain (high) on the political agenda.

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