Archive for the ‘Football In General’ Category

First SD Scotland Index on Governance and Ownership Released

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Supporters Direct Scotland (SD Scotland) have released the findings of their first index into the governance and ownership of clubs in the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

The index builds on a Working Group Report on Supporter Involvement in Football Clubs (made up of the SFA, SPFL, Supporters Direct Scotland, Scottish Government and Sportscotland) which provided recommendations on reducing barriers to further involving fans within their clubs. Some of these recommendations were ultimately not accepted or pursued by clubs, but are still regarded by SD Scotland as good practice, and have been used as the basis for the SD Scotland Index.

Raith Supporters Trust are proud to have played an integral role in developing the SDS Index, building on our “Who Owns What?” research into the structure of Raith Rovers

The SDS Index can be viewed here.

5 Days Left To Complete The 2017 Scottish Football Supporters Survey!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017



Go to http://www.scottishsupporters.net/complete-the-2017-scottish-football-supporters-survey/ to add your views to the survey, and by submitting your email address along with your response you could win 2 tickets to the Scotland vs England match at Hampden on 10th June!

Fixture Rescheduling

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Last week, the Livi For Life trust and the Raith Supporters Trust sent a joint letter to Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, regarding the rescheduling of the final set of fixtures in this season’s Championship campaign. Following this, we were pleased to speak to Mr Doncaster to discuss the issues raised in our letter.

L4L RST

The key concerns we raised included:

  • Whether the impact of moving 5 fixtures in order to accommodate 1 fixture in the TV schedule was acceptable or appropriate
  • What consideration was given to the financial impact on clubs of fixture changes, and what consultation takes place with clubs
  • What consideration was given to the impact on the supporters’ matchday experience, and what consultation takes place with supporters
  • What mechanisms are in place for clubs to challenge the rescheduling of their fixtures

Many of the issues we discussed are confidential in nature, relating to the commercial arrangements with various broadcasters. We can report, however, that Mr Doncaster acknowledged the difficulties that the rescheduling of fixtures raised for supporters, particularly those at key points in the football season; and that our concerns were listened to and understood by Mr Doncaster, and in many cases shared. Where we weren’t in total agreement, we were pleased that the constructive tone of the conversation allowed these concerns to be noted for consideration in future.

We will strive to ensure structured dialogue on issues such as these takes place, and would welcome any opportunities for supporter representation in discussions with broadcasters going forward.

We would like to express our gratitude to Andrew Jenkin of Supporters Direct Scotland for helping to arrange this conversation. SDS and the network of Trusts that it supports provide a forum for dialogue and engagement between supporters across Scotland, and with the football authorities, and we appreciate the opportunities that this creates.

Supporters Called Upon To Have Their Say On The Future Of Scottish Football

Monday, April 4th, 2016

SD_Seats_MasterPropThe Scottish FA, the SPFL, and Supporters Direct Scotland are pleased to today (Saturday 26 March) launch the Scottish Football Supporters Survey 2016 – designed to give supporters across the country their say on the big issues affecting the national game.


Read more, and complete the survey here

Supporters Direct launches its ‘Manifesto for the Scottish elections 2016’

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/scottish-government-manifesto-for-change-within-scottish-football to add your support to this campaign.

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Supporters Direct Scotland has been a major force in Scottish football in recent years, successfully challenging the political parties and football authorities to introduce real reform for the benefit of the fans. With these crucial elections in May 2016, we challenge the major parties to adopt our agenda to implement lasting change for Scottish fans.

1) Structured dialogue
Supporter involvement within the game is critical. SDS wishes to see clubs engage with supporters through a range of structured means including quarterly meetings with Supporters Trusts and embracing supporter on to the board of clubs. Supporters contribute time, emotional effort and, over a lifetime, a huge sum of money to support their clubs. Clubs should make a more concentrated effort to embrace their views.

2) Funding for fans to own their clubs
We are pushing for the creation of a new ‘Community Sports Fund’ for supporter groups to have a bigger stake in their club. SDS believes community groups and community owned clubs offer greater social value and could bring larger net benefit if they had access to affordable capital to transfer assets into community ownership.

3) Tackling prejudice
Football is a universally loved sport which can unite people and create positive change in the community. SDS can continue to play a key role in eradicating sectarianism, sexism, homophobia and racism which still exists around sport. SDS is committed to championing equality through sport and will continue to work with the key stakeholders to tackle discrimination.

4) Fair ticketing
The commodification of football has meant that too often, supporters have been viewed as cash cows rather than the lifeblood and valued stakeholders they are. SDS will continue to campaign for a ‘Football is Fair’ ticket price limit for Scottish FA & SPFL games to ensure that football remains accessible and affordable to families and future generations.

5) A living wage at clubs
SDS is passionate about equality at every level of the game, including financial equality. We would like to see those who work within clubs, some of which are multi-million pound companies, pay all their staff a living wage. SDS believe that if clubs can afford to pay players significant sums of money, they can afford to give staff an appropriate salary.

League Cup re-vamp… what do you think?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Earlier this week it was announced that the League Cup will be restructured to include a group stage before the beginning of the league season, bonus points for penalty shoot-out victories, and a winter break for the top tier clubs (and potentially for clubs in the divisions below).

Read the BBC website article for more information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/35031970

We would be keen to hear your opinions on these changes, let us know what you think.

championees!

Scottish Government Promote Consultation With Supporters

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Supporters Direct have issues the following press release regarding a consultation process which will run until mid January.

Have your say online at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/09/8222

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:

  • right to influence;
  • right to govern;
  • right to bid; and
  • right to buy.

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

‘Strict Liability’ for Offensive Behaviour

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Following on from the events of last Friday, the Raith Supporters Trust today wrote to the Chairman of Raith Rovers calling on the club to support the introduction of strict liability to Scottish football. We feel this is a vital step to help eradicate sectarian and offensive behaviour at football grounds.

Dear Alan,

We are writing to you in relation to the sectarian chanting at our recent home game against Rangers FC and the ongoing debate in the press around this issue.

I am sure you will agree that the level of sectarian singing at the Rangers match was completely unacceptable and not the kind of atmosphere which supporters of our club wish to be exposed to whilst following their team.

Regrettably, this, and other offensive behaviour, is not a new problem for Scottish football. It is the latest in a long line of incidents which continue to blight our game and numerous initiatives by the football authorities and clubs have failed to eradicate this hatred from Scottish football.

The Raith Supporters Trust believe that a change in approach is required if we are serious about tackling this issue.

That is why we are calling for UEFA’s ‘strict liability’ principles to be introduced into Scottish football. We believe that this change in approach would help eradicate the kind of offensive behaviour we witnessed recently at Stark’s Park. The strict liability principle has been effective in tackling racism, homophobia and other forms of unacceptable behaviour in European football. It applies to all UEFA-run competitions, and has been adopted by a number of individual football associations including the English FA and we believe that it is an approach that is urgently needed in Scottish football.

We are not alone in supporting this change. The introduction of European style sanctions reflect the recommendations made by Scottish Government’s advisory group on sectarianism and have been supported by leading anti-sectarian charity Nil by Mouth. Simply leaving it to individual clubs and hoping that it goes away has proved to have failed.

Raith Rovers FC has in recent years taken the lead on the future of the Scottish game and issues of sporting integrity. This has improved the reputation of Raith Rovers and given our support an even greater sense of pride in this great club. We hope that you can further enhance this by supporting our call for proposals to introduce strict liability to be brought forward as soon as possible and voting in favour of it.

Best regards
Alan Russell
Chairman of Raith Supporters Trust

Alcohol sales at Starks Park – what do you think?

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

So the Tories are writing to all scottish football clubs to get their views on allowing the sale of alcohol at football games the same way as they do in England. So what do you as supporters think? Would you like a pint with your pie rather than a bovril?

See BBC article here

Report from Fan Meeting on Reconstruction

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The Raith Supporters Trust attended the Fans meeting on League Reconstruction last night at Starks Park. It was an interesting and frank session with Turnbull Hutton and Eric Drysdale leading the discussion and a number of other Rovers Directors present. Below is a brief summary of the main points discussed:

The SFL have a ‘shopping list’ of issues they’d like to address in any reconstruction, namely:

  1. A single league body
  2. Fairer distribution of money
  3. An easing of the ground regulations to get into top flight (seats, undersoil heating etc)
  4. Voting rights being dominated by the Old Firm
  5. More promotion and relegation between divisions
  6. Number of teams in each division (bigger divisions, not playing each other 4 times)

The Board of RRFC felt that the 12-12-18 proposal meets all these except the last item on the above list.

  • The SPL and SFL will merge, this is not a takeover by one of the other
  • The Old Firm veto will end as the new league body will have 9 Directors: 3 from the Premier, 2 from the Championship, 1 from the National League, 2 Non-executive Directors and a Chairperson
  • There will be two automatic promotion spots from National League to the Championship, and a 6-team playoff between the bottom 2 in the Championship and those in positions 3-6 in  the National League
  • A pyramid has been proposed, but this is dependent on the SFA being able to get agreement with the non-league bodies to set up two national feeder leagues – It was felt this probably won’t happen in the short term.
  • SPL teams are giving up money in order to create a better model lower down the league structure. This means teams finishing in the top half of the Championship before the split receiving significantly more money than at present (an additional £419k for the winners). For example if Raith Rovers finished second again  they would receive an extra £352k on top of the current £90k
  • The other potential benefit to clubs lower down in the structure will be that any sponsorship or TV money over and above what is currently raised will trickle down to all 42 clubs, rather than being kept by the SPL clubs.
  • Ground regulations will be relaxed and will be handled more on a case-by-case common sense basis.
  • Promotion and relegation between Premier and Championship will be done through the “Middle 8 split” consisting of the bottom four teams from the Premier and top four teams from the Championship. The middle 8 would start with everyone on zero points potentially making it a more exciting ‘sprint’

The Board of RRFC felt that while 12-12-18 is not seen as ideal, it is really the only model on the table. Many other configurations have been discussed and researched, but could not be made to work financially. The club is concerned that if it doesn’t go ahead then the SPL will invite clubs into an SPL2 and do nothing to address any of the concerns on the shopping list.

They felt that while the proposals don’t deliver bigger leagues at the top end of the game they do mean that the majority of the 42 teams in Scotland will play a greater number of teams each season than they currently do. They see the current proposal as a window of opportunity to move forward, and the only option that will allow Raith Rovers to break out of its current financial situation. They recognise that it is not perfect, but believe it is the only way forward which is likely to be offered. While not perfect, going forward the single league body and change in voting rights mean that it will be much easier to change the make-up of the divisions in future if 12-12-18 is found not to be the right structure.

The session was well attended and we appreciate the RRFC Board giving us the chance to find out more about the proposals and put our views to the Board. If you have any thoughts then please let us know at chairman@raithtrust.org.uk