The Raith Supporters Trust attended the Supporters Direct Scotland Conference on Sunday at the Falkirk Stadium. This is the opportunity for Trusts across Scotland to get together and talk about the challenges facing Trusts and Scottish football. It was an interesting day with a number of speakers including Paul Goodwin, Chief Executive of Supporters Direct Scotland, Professor Stephen Morrow an expert in football finance from Stirling University, David Lampitt the Head of Supporters Direct UK.
Perhaps the two most interesting talks of the day were David Longmuir, Chief Executive of the SFL and the Falkirk manager Steven Pressley. Pressley spoke well and gave a passionate speech on what he thought was wrong with the Scottish game. You can read what he said here:
David Longmuir of the SFL outlined the thinking behind the SFL proposals for restructuring the game in Scotland. This includes a 16/10/16 set up with the main objectives below:
- increase the size of the top league
- remove the need to play each other four times
- create a ten team league in the middle that helps facilitate progress between the leagues
- create a more equitable distribution of finances
- removes the financial ‘cliff’ that exists when teams are relegated out of the SPL
- introduce a pyramid system at the bottom of the third tier (dependent on the structure below allowing this to happen)
A sixteen team top league reduces the number of games top flight clubs have so the plan is to create a sectional league cup with groups of four in a format similar to the Champions League or a World Cup. Longmuir was impressive and was very open to hearing what Trust thought of the plans. The main problem seems to be getting agreement of the SPL clubs and he admitted that ‘consensus was the biggest hurdle to change’.
In the afternoon session Raith Trust Board member James Proctor updated us on progress on his Supporters Charter project. More info available on that here: http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_football.cfm?page=3438
Supporters Direct Scotland now have a dedicated section on Pie and Bovril website and you can find out more at www.scottishfans.org