Djurgården Football Club is committed to develop new sustainable strategies and forms for organisation and cooperation in its activities and its immediate surroundings. The demands all parties in society make on a major football club are extensive today and in many ways sustainability is the way forward addressing these challenges. Sustainability can be said to be about working in a manner, which is credible, and thus strengthening our own goodwill and thereby also long-term endurance. Different clubs’ networks (geography, history, and relationship with the municipality, sponsors, media and supporters) are factors that affect conditions for operations today and in the future. If we master and understand Stockholm’s unique circumstances, we are better placed to control our own operations in a manner that is in line with the overall development of society. In other words, the organisation must master its own surroundings and its expectations in order to put in place an organisational strategy that is sustainable over time. This applies in particular to the requirements that are sometimes listed under the concept corporate social responsibility according to perceptions that apply so far.
A Joyful match day-experience for everyone
Djurgården accepts responsibility and has defined CSR beyond society commitments and view sustainability as a mean to address key challenges and create an environment where the club is better prepared to meet its obligations. Mentioning a few, the club has taken several initiatives to promote a welcoming and joyful match day-experience for everyone.
One initiative among many is the internationally acknowledged ENABLE research project. ENABLE is a project that draws together an international network of key stakeholders and world leading experts in football safety and security. The primary task of the project has been to undertake a programme of evidence gathering in order to analyse, identify and share good practice in the managements of crowds attending Swedish Professional Football Matches. The project is a long-term commitment from various important stakeholders and updated information can be found at www.enable- research.org.
The importance of the youth
As we are club activating almost 2 000 youth players from the age of six, we have a special responsibility to provide a healthy and positive environment wherever they engage in club-related activities. We put a lot of emphasis on core values and engage the youth team-leaders in extensive education and follow up. Leaders, players and parents are informed on how the club expects its representatives to behave on and off the pitch. We accepts responsibility on the behalf of our youngest fans and has launched the concept of a children and young person claque. The idea is that children and young people have their very own section, which is adult free. We are talking about the next generation of Djurgården fans who one fine day will take up the song from all those old fogies in the claque.
Sustainability and Social Integration, two pillars
Djurgården Fotboll Club, of Stockholm, is an including club open for everyone. As a football club we have an important role to play when it comes to encourage integration initiatives. Over the past eight years Djurgårdens Drive In-Football has opened sports halls for spontaneous football in Stockholm’s suburbs in big need for meaningful activities. Drive In-Fotball is run in cooperation with local district administration but most of all, the activities embrace local participation as the Drive In- leaders are recruited from the same suburbs where the activities are being held. The information provided here is just a small selection of the work Djurgården engages in on a daily basis. One could say that the major resource in Djurgården Football Club is the social strength, which is “bigger” than the financial strength, and which can therefore be developed to create more resources. This can be explained by the relationships between different perceptions of what the club represents (values, ideology, historical symbols, creation of identity) and the stakeholders who have positive attitudes to and strong interest in and feelings for the club. By developing new platforms for interaction and engagement, new cooperation’s and sponsoring chains can arise in new combinations between the clubs main stakeholders. This creates trust and credibility, which in turn is important for the stability and long term success of the club. Sustainability is an integral part in these strategies!