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SPFL And It’s Members Can’t Ignore The Fans

Date: 11th May 2020

Without the support of a club’s fans, they won’t be able to survive this pandemic.

That is the simple truth of it when it comes to the game in Scotland. 

That’s why teams are trying to sell season tickets for next season. Not an easy sell given no one knows when games can take place again, it will take even longer to get fans back into stadiums to watch those games. Yet fans (some that are hard up themselves) are still buying these season tickets. 

Certain sides are also embarking on membership schemes and have also started donation pages for their fanbase to join and create more revenue that way. 

When fixtures do take place again, the likelihood is that it will happen behind closed doors. In that scenario the football clubs will probably offer live feeds and online highlight packages, which again the support will fork out for. 

Scottish football was already seeing the sense in fan ownership models, whether it was fans fully owning their clubs or partly. I can only imagine an uptake in those ideas will happen before all this Covid-19 business is all said and done. 

Yet how much have the SPFL and most of their members listened to their fans during the recent squabbles when it comes to the governing of our game and what should happen next? 

Not enough, in my opinion. 

Did The Premiership sides consult their customers, their main stakeholders, when they decided to sink league reconstruction plans? Nope. 

When it came to ending seasons, crowning champions and relegating sides – did the games lifeblood (the fans) get a say in what should take place? Nope. 

When it was decided that the SPFL would just cut off it’s ties to the pyramid system, were the footballing fanatics asked for their opinion? No! 

Would the supporters want an enquiry into how the SPFL has handled things since lockdown? No one knows because they weren’t asked.

Now I am not saying Scottish football clubs haven’t been a source of good during this crisis, the opposite is true. Many a team, no matter their size, have come out and helped their community. But it is also true that the community in return have seriously backed their football clubs. 

We need to understand that ‘football is nothing without the fans’ is not just a tired cliche that just gets thrown out there every so often. Football clubs need to see that they just can’t take money from these punters at every opportunity, including when times are bad for the same said punters, and not expect to give something back to these supporters. 

They need to be more open, transparent and willing to listen and consult more with fan groups when huge decisions are being made regarding the future of our game! 

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