Giving Supporters Representation

Scottish Supporters Network

Supported by:   Supporters Direct Scotland

Results of Supporter Led Consultation on Colt Team Proposals

Date: 30th June 2017

SD Scotland are pleased to share the results of our recent consultation into the SPFL’s proposals to introduce Colt Teams into the league setup.

Earlier this month, the 42 member clubs of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) were sent a document in which they were invited to express an interest in operating a Colt team within the league structure and/or give their general views on the potential participation of Colt teams within the SPFL.

In the interests of supporter participation and to gauge the feelings of fans on this matter, Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) carried out an online survey.

Fans were asked six questions. Fans were then invited to give their views on how Scottish Football could improve the production and development of elite young players in Scotland who fall within the 17 to 21-year-old age bracket.

 

Clearly, the issue of Colt teams being allowed to compete in the football league pyramid is an emotive one for fans and this question generated the largest response.

There were 1,071 respondents with 74.4% of fans (797) saying no to Colt teams within the football league pyramid. A total of 24.3% (261) of fans answered yes with (1.2%) of fans (13) saying they didn’t know.

With regards to how far Colt teams should be allowed to progress within the football league pyramid – if they were granted entry – there were 312 respondents.

A total of 38.1% of fans said Colt teams should only be able to be promoted as far as League One which is in line with the proposal presented to SPFL member clubs.

There was a strong response when fans were asked if they would watch their side play a Colt team.

Of the 1,068 respondents, a total of 64.3% of fans (687) said they would not watch their side play a Colt team. Just over a quarter of respondents (25.5%) (273) said they would watch their side play Colts.

The basis of this proposal is to try and improve the production and development of elite young players in Scotland

But supporters appear sceptical when answering that this is the correct way forward with 69.8% of fans (746) of 1,068 respondents believing the production and development of elite young players would not be improved.

Colin Paterson, a fan of Scottish Football for around 25 years and who assisted SD Scotland with this consultation, said:

“I would like to thank Supporters Direct Scotland for carrying out this survey and every fan from every club who took the time to fill the survey in.

“I would also like to thank the SPFL for agreeing to look at the results and take the views of fans on board with regards the issue of Colt teams being admitted to the league pyramid.

“There is a process which is being followed but at this early stage it is clear to see that, from the number of fans who responded, Colt teams would not be welcomed into the football league pyramid by supporters.

“Everybody wants to see Scotland develop talented young players who are good enough to play for the national team.

“But this should not be to the detriment and devaluement of our vibrant, rich and exciting league structure which includes clubs of proud standing supported by passionate fans and communities who love football and their local teams.

“It will be up to the 42 SPFL member clubs to decide if Colt teams should be admitted to the football league pyramid. I would urge all fans – whether they are in favour of this proposal or not – to contact their club and supporters’ group and make their feelings known on what would be a fundamental change to club football in Scotland.”

 

Survey Background:

The survey was carried out between Monday, June 19 and Monday, June 26. There were a maximum of 1,071 respondents.

Fans representing all 42 SPFL member clubs filled in the survey with the most fans from one single club being Clyde’s who made up 18.9% of the 1,069 respondents to this question.

St Mirren (7.4%), Aberdeen (7%), Celtic (6.9%) and Airdrieonians (5.8%) fans make up the top five in terms of clubs whose fans responded.

In terms of the age of respondents, the single biggest response from fans came from those who fall within the 45-54 age bracket. They accounted for 23% of the 1,070 respondents.

Almost half of the respondents (48.6%) were aged 45 and over. More people aged in the 55 to 64 age bracket (17.2%) responded compared to those who fall within the 16-24 age bracket (12%).

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