The Scottish Government are promoting the opportunity for supporters in Scotland to have their views heard around the creation of legislation to help with advancing supporters involvement within the game.
Minister for Sport Jamie Hepburn said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring football supporters have the opportunity to be involved in the decision making and running of their football club wherever possible.
“I know some clubs already engage well with their fans, but I believe we can do more.
“Our consultation is seeking views on each of the main options to strengthen supporter involvement in clubs: a right to influence, a right to govern, a right to bid, and a right to buy.
“Football clubs occupy a special place in the hearts of supporters and communities in Scotland.
“This is a unique opportunity to help shape the future of Scottish football. I encourage you to make your voice heard and have your say.”
The Scottish Government believes supporters should have a role in decision-making – or even ownership, when the opportunity arises – of their clubs.
Andrew Jenkin, head of Supporters Direct Scotland said, “we look forward to seeing the outcome of this consultation process.”
“We truly believe supporters are vital to football in Scotland and their views should be listened to throughout all aspects of the game’s governance. For the last 15 years, Supporters Direct Scotland have been working towards further involving supporters within the ownership of clubs through democratic structures.”
“We’re pleased that the Government are going to be taking on-board supporters views within this process and are happy to promote this opportunity to supporters to ensure their views are represented.”
Parliamentary debate on legislation earlier this year demonstrated unanimous support for this position and a consultation is now underway on the full range of options available on football supporter involvement – including ownership:
The consultation is available online for people to complete, and the Scottish Government is working with fans’ representatives, football bodies and MSPs to ensure all views are heard.
The consultation timeline is longer than usual and will run until 15 January 2016 to specifically allow for the widest and most representative range of responses.
Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence. It is expected that a report on the consultation will be published in Spring 2016.
The consultation follows on from the Scottish Government’s establishment of a working group led by an independent chair, Senior Lecturer Stephen Morrow of Stirling University, which was asked to identify, consider and provide recommendations on potential ways to increase and improve supporter involvement clubs. The working group – which included representatives from the Scottish FA, Scottish Professional Football League, Supporters Direct Scotland and sportScotland – published its report on 30 January 2015 and made a number of recommendations which are now being taken forward.
About Supporters Direct
Supporters Direct help fans to set up democratic cooperatives (known as supporters’ trusts) to gain influence in the running and ownership of their clubs.
SD and SD Scotland represent over 200 supporters’ trusts and similar organisations in England, Scotland and across Europe, with over 750,000 members.
39 clubs in the UK are owned by their supporters, with three in the Scottish Professional Football League; four in the English Football League; and three in the top three divisions of English Rugby League