Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) has called on decision makers within the game to engage more with supporters when rescheduling fixture dates and times.
SDS is currently consulting with supporters throughout Scotland on this issue and will publish a report in June, which will include recommendations on how best to make football more accessible and affordable for all. Among the bodies being consulted by SDS are Dons Supporters Together, Arab Trust and Hibs Working Together, whose input will help to formulate recommendations for the game’s governing bodies.
Andrew Jenkin, Acting Head of SDS, said: “The decision makers in Scottish football all acknowledge that fans are the lifeblood of the game, and we believe they should consult fans in greater depth on issues such as fixture rescheduling. “This weekend’s Scottish Cup fixtures present a prime example of the difficulties that fans face, with Dundee United supporters having to get to Stranraer on Sunday for a 12.30 kick-off. This is just the latest in a number of rescheduled matches that require long journeys at awkward times.”
While SDS appreciates that broadcast income is one of the strongest revenue sources in Scottish football, they believes that this benefit should not come at the detriment of supporters: “When matches have to be rescheduled to accommodate the broadcasters, this should be done as part of a process that allows greater engagement with fans and takes into account their concerns, particularly travelling supporters.”
Among the recommendations SDS is proposing are a six week notice period for any fixture changes, ticket price reductions for matches chosen to be screened on television and for fixtures to be scheduled so that away supporters can get to and from matches on public transport.