Supporters Direct Scotland are pleased to reveal the results of the Scottish Football Supporters Survey 2016, the biggest consultation of supporters on key issues within the game to date.
Some of the key findings of the survey were:
SDS understands a perception that Scottish football surveys are a “talking shop” and don’t leave to meaningful debate and change. For that reason the officially recognised supporter organisation has agreed with the Scottish FA and SPFL that it will present three key “asks” as a consequence of this survey that will challenge Scottish football to consider, these have already been presented to the Scottish FA Congress and Professional Game Board. Football’s progress in addressing these will be tracked through Supporters Direct Scotland’s new platform ‘The Scottish Supporters Network‘, allowing supporters to have their say on key issues within the game.
These “asks” are as follows:
Innovation around ticket pricing – SDS want to support a more innovative approach to ticket prices and matchday value. We recognise that revenue cannot drop at our clubs, nor would supporters want to see that impacted on the park. We do believe there are more creative pricing strategies that can be introduced, delivering wider choice at both ends of the pricing scale. SDS also believes we can work with clubs to assess how to add genuine, meaningful value to match-days and open to that process of dialogue and support.
Fan focused approach – SDS would like to see supporters more central to decision making processes, by those that govern the game, both from within (governing bodies) and externally (local authorities, police and other external agencies, and Scottish Government). This means taking a more “customer focused” approach to the game we love, from police and stewarding. We also want to see the introduction of a test pilot around family friendly in-stadium bars (which already exist) that don’t require fans to come in and leave, before re-entering the stadium.
Kick-off times – We recognise the significant annual investment TV companies make into Scottish Football.We’re also sure that low attendances don’t look great as a TV spectacle. SDS wants to build a direct relationship with Sky Sports, BT Sport and BBC Scotland with a regular course of meetings. We know there must always be compromises, but we believe there’s a real opportunity for us to work together to promote the game we love.
Since its inception, the Scottish Football Supporters Survey has helped shape strategy and facilitate change at all levels of the game, and it is hoped that by setting out three clear areas for improvement, this can be reviewed via the Scottish FA Congress as a means of testing progress.
Already, supporter views have been taken on board from previous surveys and helped achieve the implementation of innovations such as:
Head of Supporters Direct Scotland Andrew Jenkin comments:
“When we launched this year’s survey we set out with a clear vision: to build a survey that really aimed to not only give supporters a say within Scottish football, but ensure their views were heard.
“The result was outstanding with a huge 14,457 supporters taking the time to give their views on Scottish football’s most pressing issues. The level of engagement we received through the survey reaffirmed our belief that supporters want to be further represented within the game given this is the biggest ever consultation of supporters within the game.
“In order ensure the survey isn’t just a talking shop, we’ll be presenting the results to the game’s governance structures and decision makers. This includes the Scottish FA’s Congress and Professional Game Board.
“In addition to simply sharing the results, we’ve used our learning from the survey and additional fan related issues we’ve encountered to develop these three key ‘Supporter Asks’ which we believe supporters are most keen to see addressed.
“We’ll be monitoring and tracking the game’s response to these ‘Asks’ over the course of a year and look to feed this back in next year’s survey.”
Stewart Regan, Scottish FA chief executive says:
“The Scottish Football Survey gives fans an opportunity to have their say on the issues that matter most. I am delighted that so many have responded and we will work to ensure that the views of the supporters are heard and acted upon.
“We are now in the second year of the Scottish FA Congress – the only forum where all stakeholders within the game are represented – and Supporters Direct Scotland will present this year’s results to that group with a view to the key issues featuring in our Convention in December.
“The Scottish Football Survey has already helped influence change with the creation of the single league body, the introduction of play-offs and the creation of the Scottish football pyramid.
“We have worked closely with the Scottish Government and SDS to ensure greater supporter involvement in the game and, to that end, the Congress will also hear a presentation on the benefits of a more co-ordinated approach to implementing the role of Supporter Liaison Officers throughout the senior game.”
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster comments:
“Through the Scottish Football Supporters Survey, we have an excellent opportunity to hear the views of fans and use them to make a positive impact on all areas of the game.
“This platform means results from the survey are fed straight to the game’s decision makers. The survey tells us and our members what the game means to fans, what they enjoy and what changes they would most like to see.
“The age of social media has given supporters a voice like never before and that is demonstrated by the sheer number of participants in this year’s survey.
“This volume of data and feedback will help us move forward with a product that is exciting to existing fans and a new generation of supporters. Without fans, there is no game.
“The SPFL and our clubs will continue to do everything we can to look after existing fans, listen to their opinions and open the game up to new fans. This survey is one way of doing that.”